Back in the days when Stifler’s Mom was still a young woman and the main cast of American Pie were only just learning how to read, it was films like Porky’s that were busy laying the foundations of the American High School comedy. Out at the cinemas in 1982 (the same year as The Last American Virgin and Fast Times at Ridgemont High) and set in the early fifties, Porky’s is a loud, messy and amusing film packed full of ridiculous scenes and equally ridiculous characters (one angry, Miss Trunchbull-like gym teacher is named Balbricker, for example, while a young Kim Cattrell plays the enormously flirtatious Miss Honeywell, who howls during sex and has the nickname ‘Lassie’).
The film doesn’t really have a clear plot, but rather follows the main group of characters from one embarrassing situation to the next, occasionally returning to the group’s rivalry with a redneck strip-club owner known as Porky. There are a couple of other storylines tucked in here and there (Pee Wee’s attempts to lose his virginity is the most commonly recurring) but for the most part Porky’s feels like a series of sketches jumbled awkwardly together. There’s also a vague attempt to tackle some more serious issues like anti-Semitism and abusive father figures, but these sequences tend to be brief and almost feel as though they’ve been stuck in as an afterthought (possibly in an attempt to add some weight to the plot).
Despite its faults, though, Porky’s is still quite fun. It’s an easy film to watch, the characters are entertaining, and some of the sequences are pretty amusing (one particular scene involving peep holes, the girls’ shower room and an angry PE teacher is so ridiculous you have to laugh). The film doesn’t take itself very seriously, either – it embraces its own stupidity, which helps it to be taken with a much needed pinch of salt.
If you’re looking for a linear storyline, well-developed characters and anything remotely meaningful you’ll probably want to look elsewhere, but if it’s a few cheap laughs and some mindless entertainment you’re after, you could probably do worse.