• Porky’s Revenge (88 Films) Blu-ray Review

    Released by: 88 Films
    Released on: September 10th, 2018.
    Director: James Komack
    Cast: Dan Monahan, Wyatt Knight, Tony Ganios, Mark Herrier
    Year: 1985
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    Porky’s Revenge – Movie Review:

    Movie review by Mark Tolch.

    "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 Revenge – Blu-ray Review:

    Porky’s II looks just fine on this Blu-ray, framed at 1.85.1 widescreen and presented in AVC encoded 1080p high definition. Detail is nice, there’s good depth and texture to the transfer and colors look really nice in the way that they tend to do in eighties comedies. Skin tones are nice and natural too. Black levels are good, there’s no crush, and the image is free of obvious noise reduction, edge enhancement or compression artifacts.

    The DTS-HD 2.0 English language track sounds good. Optional English SDH subtitles are included. Clarity is just fine and the music in the film in particular sounds really good here. Dialogue is easy to follow and understand and there are no problems with any hiss or distortion to note.

    There are two featurettes on the disc, the first of which is High School Nights - Teens In The Eighties: An Interview With Film Critic Kim Newman that runs sixteen-minutes and covers the Porky’s phenomena, their popularity at the rental shops and other films from era like Spring Break, how they sometimes might compare to sexploitation films of the seventies, as well as predecessors like Eskimo Nell and other smut (but not porn) films. Newman also talks about the ‘lively debate’ that occurred around some of these pictures, the objectification of women that was rampant, and some of the actors and actresses that starred in these pictures. Newman, as usual, is amiable and knowledgeable and a lot of fun to listen to.

    The second featurette is Porky's Daughter: An Interview With Actress Wendy Feign. She speaks for twenty-six-minutes about her career, noting how she blasted her picture and resume out to every agent around in Florida and how this led to being cast as Porky’s daughter. She’d never seen the first two movies and went in dressed as a nerd and then got the callback – but they didn’t want her to be nerdy, rather a hot bodied gal with an ugly face! She wasn’t insulted and wanted the work, and so she took the part. From here she talks about what it was like on set, the experiences she had working on her first ever movie, the nudity in the film and her thoughts on that, working with an orthodontist to get her teeth right for the picture and other effects work that were done to give her the appearance she has in the movie, and plenty more. She looks back on all of this with a smile and a sense of humor – she’s quite charming!

    Rounding out the extras are an original theatrical trailer for the feature, menus and chapter selection. As to the packaging, 88 Films includes some nice reversible cover art for this release and, if purchased from their website, a slipcover. Included inside the case alongside the disc is an insert booklet containing an essay on the film penned by Calum Waddell entitled Angel Beach Memories that covers the eighties teen comedy sensation, the fifties setting of the Porky’s films and the influence/impact of the films in the trilogy.

    Porky’s Revenge – The Final Word:

    Porky’s Revenge is the lesser of the three films by quite a margin, though it does have its moments and its place in the pantheons of eighties sex comedy history. 88 Films has given the picture a more than respectable release, however, presenting it in very nice shape and with some nice extras features documenting its history and the movement that it was so clearly a part of (both of the interviews are excellent).

    Click on the images below for full sized Porky’s Revenge Blu-ray screen caps!

    Comments 1 Comment
    1. Mark Tolch's Avatar
      Mark Tolch -
      Oh yeah, Snooky. As I said in the review, I revisit every couple of years after forgetting how bad it is.