Porky's II: The Next Day/Porky's Revenge
Released By: Kino Lorber
December 6, 2016
Bob Clark/James Komack
Dan Monahan, Wyatt Knight, Tony Ganios, Mark Herrier, Kaki Hunter, Chuck Mitchell
Purchase From Amazon
Porky's II: The Next Day
"If it ain't broke, don't fix it" can be a wonderful approach when it comes to sequels, and with Bob Clark back at the helm and a number of original cast members returning, Porky's II: The Next Day sets itself up nicely to hit the comedic heights of the first film. Picking up the next day after (Duh) Porky's, the sequel finds the Angel Beach crew up to their usual hijinks; Pee Wee Morris (Dan Monahan) is still bragging about how much action he's gotten, in spite of the fact that all of his buddies know that his virginity was shucked less than twelve hours previous, and Tommy, Billy, Mickey, Tim, Brian, and Meat are rolling their eyes at each other and agreeing sarcastically. Even Pee Wee's conquest Wendy (Kaki Hunter) is back to busting his chops, reinforcing the notion that Pee Wee will always be the runt of the litter. Desperate to prove his worth to the gang, Pee Wee agrees to hook his fellow Angel Beach buddies up with some of his "premium" tail, and enlists the services of Graveyard Gloria: The Fuck of Death, a carnival sideshow employee who looks like a librarian, but gets hot to trot when date night involves a trip to the cemetery.
But it's not all fun, games, and action at Angel Beach High, and the gang get down to studying their roles to appear in An Evening Of Shakespeare, hosted by the school's drama department. Billy is cast as Oberon, "The King of The Fairies", a source of great amusement for his friends, Pee Wee is made up as a forest creature, and even Meat gets in on the action, dressing as a woman. The star of the show, however, is sure to be John Henry, a Native Indian student, raising the eyebrow of former racist Tim, who foreshadows trouble when he talks of a Seminole Romeo kissing a White Juliet as a potential problem. As if on cue, the gang's rehearsals are interrupted by the Reverend Bubba Flavel and his Righteous Flock, messengers from God who are determined that Shakespeare's filth shall not be put on display. But when he is quickly shut down by Principal Carter, Flavel declares a Holy War on the Angel Beachers, and aligns himself with the local chapter of the Ku Klux Klan.
There's no fat man in a whorehouse to do battle with here, but when some crooked County Commissioners side with Flavel and shut down the production, the gloves are off; and the gang put an elaborate series of plans in place to get payback on every single one of their enemies, in the hopes of restoring enough peace that they can return to the care-free days of drinking, partying, pranking, screwing, and measuring their wangs.
Porky's II, while not quite matching up to the brilliance of its predecessor, manages to be a whole lot of fun in its own way. Not only is it loaded with the same inappropriate humour that made the original a classic; expect a barrage of dick jokes and other toilet gaggery; the return of the cast and Clark, coupled with the timing of the sequel ensures a symmetry that allows the two films to merge together seamlessly. The laughs are there, the pranks are there, and there's even a bit of a social commentary going on in this 50's/60's world that gives The Next Day enough legs to be a worthy followup. The absence of Chuck Mitchell's Porky is regrettable at first, but recovers admirably by placing Bill Wiley...who is perfect as the greasy Reverend...in place as the bad guy. The Next Day is a fine enough film to be watched directly after the original Porky's, creating a 3+ hour viewing extravaganza.
"If it ain't broke, don't fix it" can be a wonderful approach when it comes to sequels, but "Too much of a good thing" should also be taken into account; and Porky's Revenge, the third and final film in the series, is a puzzling example of the latter. Gone is Bob Clark, but the majority of the cast are back, including Chuck Mitchell...Porky's Revenge should be at least a decent film...right? The answer is...kind of.
Released four years after the original, Porky's Revenge finds the much older looking cast on the cusp of high school graduation, an event that stresses Pee Wee out to the point that he's having boner-laden dreams about the ceremony. The approaching commencement doesn't put a stop to the hijinks, however, and we find the remainder of the gang; Pee Wee, Tommy, Billy, Brian, Meat, and Wendy taking advantage of the AV Club film viewing room to engage in some porn watching. Unfortunately for the group, their old nemesis Beulah Balbricker is on the prowl, and she drags the porn-happy teens down to see Principal Carter, whose concerns are somewhat assuaged by Tommy and Billy's claims that the movie is a Swedish art film.
Agreeing to a showing at a later date, the boys head off to basketball practice, where Brian overhears their beloved coach being threatened by a couple of goons looking to collect on a gambling debt. Their affection for Coach Goodenough (no, really) is enough to get the team concerned, but when they find out that the sharks are circling on behalf of one big redneck named Porky, well, action must be taken. Returning to the site of Porky's brothel and gambling emporium, the gang are puzzled to find it still thoroughly trashed from their earlier outing, but their questions are answered with the appearance of a massive riverboat, bearing the familiar piggish neon.
The boys are caught when they sneak aboard...with distraction provided by Meat, who Porky's odd-looking, oversexed daughter has taken a shine to...and Brian realizes that some fast-talking is in order to stop Porky and his goons from blowing their heads off and dumping their bodies in the swamp. Agreeing to throw the upcoming Basketball Championship game is too much of a financial windfall for Porky to ignore, and Pee Wee and Co. manage to escape back to Angel Beach with the Coach's debts forgiven. But Angel Beach pride takes precedence, and the boys formulate a different plan; one that will allow them to win the game and get themselves some protection from the bad men. One thing is for sure, Porky is not going to be very happy about betting on the wrong team, and it's going to take some serious planning for the Angel Beach team to emerge unscathed and put Porky out of business for good.
With an aesthetic and directing style that comes close to mirroring the first two films, it's hard not to have some affection for Porky's Revenge. Yes, the actors are obviously too old to be high school students. Yes, any semblance of plot takes a backseat to a string of not-very-funny gags. But fans of the series, myself included, can't help but want to follow the exploits of the Angel Beach crew a little further. And it's really great to see Porky back as the enemy, once again. Sadly, the main issue with Porky's Revenge is that it's just not funny. The cast do their best to bring out what they can from the writing, but the jokes are tired and pale in comparison to their predecessors. It's difficult to imagine how this could have worked a little more effectively, especially considering that most of the key pieces seem to be in place, but Revenge is a pretty dull slog through previously amusing territory. Every few years, I'll forget the mediocrity and revisit the film, and am reminded fairly quickly how it fails to measure up.
Porky's II: The Next Day and Porky's Revenge come to Kino Lorber Blu-ray on a single disc, with both films appearing in an AVC-encoded 1.85:1 transfer. While I was initially overjoyed to have these sequels in HD and feel confident in passing over the lackluster DVD set that came out 10 years ago, well...the quality here is disappointing. Sporting what appears to be a transfer from a very dated scan, the already soft-looking aesthetic of the films is robbed of detail and punch. Colors are muted and flat, black levels are more gray levels, and though the films are essentially free of damage and debris, there's nothing here that takes advantage of the high definition format. The Next Day fares slightly better than Revenge, with the latter suffers greatly during night scenes, which explode into excessive noise and shimmering. Honestly, I don't think that anyone was expecting reference quality material, but the video quality of these releases is a letdown.
Audio fares about the same for both releases, carried by an English DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 track; though dialogue and effects are relatively clear throughout, the dynamics are flat and stale. Part II experiences some harshness in places, heading into distorted territory, while Revenge presents some noticeable hiss at times. The tracks aren't terrible or incoherent by any means, but they certainly don't sound like they were treated with gentle hands.
English Subtitles are available for both films.
A Trailer is provided for each of the films, as well as Up The Creek, another KL release.
The Final Word:
The collector in me is happy to finally have the sequels to the fantastic first Porky's film sitting on the shelf next to the fantastic Blu-ray of the first Porky's film, but underwhelming presentation in both audio and video are a big disappointment.
Click on the images below for full sized Blu-ray screen caps!
the next day,
- DVD And Blu-ray Reviews N-S