A lot of my media reviews are just twitter-based, not much to say. Some however wrap up into memories of my childhood, such as rewatching old movies or maybe seeing media that was recommended to me back then but I had actually never seen before now. Porky’s is the first one in this new set of media reviews to hit that spot.
I grew up in the 70s and 80s, surrounded by exploitation films. I don’t remember any of them being great (evidently a lot of Gen X did remember them being great) but they were part of the stacks of VHS tapes we would rent when I was a pre-teen to a teenager.
Currently, I am on a kick of watching the movies we rented as a kid to see if they work for me still. Sadly a lot don’t, but I think some might (at least I hope Vamp, Conan, etc do work when I get to them), and there have been some huge successful rewatchings for things like Aliens. Aliens always wins.
So I was looking through our Amazon Prime options and I see Porky’s. I already know it is going to be bad, but I noticed it has a 4.5-star rating with 1200+ reviews. I check out the web and find it was one of the highest-grossing movies like this for the time, and evidently considered one of the most successful Canadian movies.
I don’t remember much of the movie itself. We consumed 6-10 videos a weekend when my dad had the money to rent them, and it was one of those movies I think got watched on a Saturday morning with myself (age 14/15), my sister (11ish), and my little brother (5/6ish).
Yes we watch inappropriate movies all the time, but usually it was horror or war/sci-fi type movies. We didn’t go for a lot of the sleazy ones specifically.
So I watched Porky’s this morning… or should I say I watched about an hour of it before I just had to shut it off. First movie since I started this media reviewing that I couldn’t finish the show.
I don’t recall when I was a teenager that it was so sexist and downright misogynistic, although to be honest, that was fairly standard back then, so I should have expected it. I also didn’t realize it was so racist and anti-semitic. I didn’t recall any BIPoC in the movie (although that is obviously racist in itself), but the very large black man threatening the kids with the machete and the relative common use of the N word was shocking this morning… well not shocking maybe, but disappointing at the very least. Either way, totally unacceptable.
What I didn’t see coming, because I hadn’t remembered it was the anti-semitic tirade that would happen sometimes. That part of the story was about a Jewish boy that was constantly picked on and anti-semitic slurs used, by one of the other main characters. That bothered me a lot, then I realized they portrayed him as the richest of the teens as he drove off in his fancy red convertible… which falls right into stereotyping of the whole Jewish Banker thing.
Sadly it was something I would have never understood as a child. I never grew up around anyone of the Jewish faith that was close, and my parents were unique in their religious outlooks that Jewish people were never blamed for anything (in fact my dad would sometimes drunkenly proclaim that Jesus was a Jew and if Christians wanted to be serious they would stay Jewish). I know my dad had a friend who was a rabbi he would sell pot too, but he was never anything but one of my dad’s friends. I just didn’t realize the discrimination and hatred they received regularly, and it still shocks me that so much hate and ire is pointed at them.
Overall, it is a horrifically bad movie. Racist, sexist, anti-semitic with bad acting, bad production, and overall just way too raunchy and not funny. I would definitely say to stay away. Also, I removed from the watchlist the two sequels, I can’t even go there. I have also added the trailer below, and the tweet review below that.