Porky's Revenge

porkys-revenge-rev Porky’s Revenge  (1985)    20th Century Fox/Comedy    RT: 92 minutes    Rated R (language, nudity, sexual content, some violence)    Director: James Komack    Screenplay: Ziggy Steinberg    Music: Dave Edmunds    Cinematography: Robert C. Jessup    Release date: March 22, 1985 (US)    Cast: Dan Monahan, Mark Herrier, Wyatt Knight, Kaki Hunter, Tony Ganios, Scott Colomby, Nancy Parsons, Eric Christmas, Chuck Mitchell, Kimberly Evenson, Rose McVeigh, Fred Buch, Wendy Feign, Nancy Hassinger, Ilse Earl, Bill Hindman, Sandy Mielke.    Box Office: $20.5 million (US)


 There’s something off about Porky’s Revenge, the third and final installment of the series, and I’ve never been able to put my finger on it…. until now. Maybe it’s the change of directors- TV vet James Komack (in his one and only feature film) steps in for Bob Clark- but Porky’s Revenge feels like it takes place in some alternate universe, one in which a high school basketball team makes it to the championship despite not resembling anything close to a winning team. Diminutive Pee Wee (Monahan) is on the team. So is Meat (Ganios) who looks like he gained about 30-40 lbs since the last movie. Watching him run/lumber around the court is just surreal. Come to think of it, the whole movie is rather surreal. Porky’s Revenge looks and acts like a Porky’s movie but it doesn’t feel like one. It’s not a bad movie per se, it’s just bizarre.

 porkys-revengeOnce again, everybody (including the makers) seems to have developed amnesia. Pee Wee and Wendy (Hunter) are no longer a couple. No explanation is offered for their break-up. Their relationship isn’t acknowledged in any way. This leaves Pee Wee almost the way we met him three years earlier, as a horny teen who wakes up with an erection every morning. In Porky’s Revenge, we get to see what he’s dreaming about. It’s the hot Swedish exchange student Inga (Evenson, Kandyland) who adds “Yah, yah!” to every statement. They’re at graduation and she flashes her boobs, causing him to “pitch a tent” under his gown. Of course, it comes off and Pee Wee is naked before the entire crowd who starts to chant his name. Freud would have a field day with this guy, especially since his mother and grandmother are also in his dream.

 As implied by the title, Porky (Mitchell) is back and still pissed off at the Angel Beach High gang for destroying his bar. Speaking of which, hold your hails because the gang’s NOT all here. Tim and Mickey are nowhere to be found. It’s okay, we still have Pee Wee, Wendy, Meat, Billy (Herrier), Tommy (the late Knight) and Brian (Colomby). It’s Brian who finds out that Porky is back in business; he now operates a casino riverboat. Their basketball coach is in heavy debt to Porky and the gang tries to gather evidence of Porky’s illegal shenanigans for the D.A. They’re caught and subsequently make a deal with the devil. They agree to throw the final game to cover their coach’s debt.

 Ms. Balbricker (Parsons) is still out to get the gang. This time, she catches them watching a stag film on school property. While Billy tries to bluff their way out of trouble with Principal Carter (Christmas), Wendy devises a mean prank involving a fake letter from Balbricker’s high school sweetheart. It’s not important how it happens but she ends up in bed with Tommy. In addition, Meat is in danger of failing biology due to a weak stomach and a mean teacher, Miss Webster (McVeigh). If Meat fails the upcoming test, he’ll be cut from the team and not allowed to play in the finals. While attempting to steal a copy of the test, the guys learn that she’s sexually involved with school guidance counselor Mr. Dobish (Buch), another mean a-hole. They’re into some kinky stuff and the guys decide to take pictures to use for blackmail. As if he didn’t already have enough to deal with, Porky’s ugly-as-sin daughter Blossom (Feign) is in love with Meat. When she tells Daddy they “went all the way”, he blows his stack and demands that they be married at once. Once again, the Angel Beach gang is forced to take down Porky. All I can say is that, based on this movie, it’s scary easy to operate a drawbridge.

 I guess the big question is this: Is Porky’s Revenge funny? It has a few funny moments but it’s a far cry from the hilarity of the first movie. A lot of the problem stems from what I said earlier about this movie taking place in some alternate universe. It doesn’t even feel like it takes place in the 50s, it’s more like a time warp comprised of different decades. These “kids” don’t look like kids. The main actors’ ages range from 25 to 32. They look too old to even be in college. The pranks feel lazy and half-assed. The cheerleaders, in an early scene, trick the guys into stripping naked and film them getting out of a swimming pool. Big deal. The one played on Balbricker is just plain mean. At least the “kids” feel guilty after seeing how badly they hurt her feelings and try to make it right. Now I know Porky’s Revenge isn’t of this world; it contains something closely resembling human feelings.

 The best thing about this movie is the soundtrack which is mainly composed of new covers of oldies like “Stagger Lee” (The Fabulous Thunderbirds), “Blue Suede Shoes” (Carl Perkins) and “Love Me Tender” (Willie Nelson). The best song is a bouncy little tune called “High School Nights” by Dave Edmunds. It plays over the end credits during which shots of the movie we just watched are shown. This few minutes has the energy the whole movie should have had. Porky’s Revenge just feels perfunctory, as if the makers figured it would make money just by bearing the Porky’s brand name. It didn’t work; Porky’s Revenge is the lowest-grossing entry in the series. It’s not a terrible movie by any means; it’s still better than a lot of today’s so-called comedies. It’s worth watching but don’t expect much by which I mean expect nothing.

TRIVIA TIDBIT: Porky’s Revenge opened the same weekend as Friday the 13th Part V: A New Beginning and a week before Police Academy 2: Their First Assignment. For 17-year-old Movie Guy, it was a great couple of weeks.

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