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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

Porky's [Blu-ray]

 

(Bob Clark, 1981)

 

Arrow's Blu-ray is also available in a limited Edition steelbook:

 

Review by Gary Tooze

 

Production:

Theatrical: Melvin Simon Productions

Video: Arrow Video

 

Disc:

Region: 'B' (as verified by the Oppo Blu-ray player)

Runtime: 1:38:26.066 

Disc Size: 33,261,454,378 bytes

Feature Size: 29,038,261,632 bytes

Video Bitrate: 34.99 Mbps

Chapters: 13

Case: Standard Blu-ray or Steelbook case

Release date: June 16th, 2014

 

Video:

Aspect ratio: 1.85:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Audio:

LPCM Audio English 1152 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 1152 kbps / 24-bit
Commentary:

Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps

 

Subtitles:

English (SDH), none

 

Extras:

Audio commentary by writer/director Bob Clark
Porky’s Through the Peephole – Bob Clark looks back at his box-office sensation (15:11)
Skin Classic! – Mr Skin celebrates Porky’s and the heyday of the 80s teen sex comedy (13:11)
Porky’s trailer reel (Porky's, Porky's 2, Porky's Revenge)
Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Jim Rugg
Booklet featuring new writing on the film by Paul Corupe, creator of the Canuxploitation website, and a previously unpublished interview with director Bob Clark conducted by Calum Waddell, illustrated with archive stills.

 

Bitrate:

 

 

Description: Long before American Pie and Superbad came the original and best sex comedy. A firm favourite of teen movie fans, Porky’s introduced audiences to Kim Cattrall (Police Academy, Big Trouble in Little China) and made an absolute killing at the box-office.

It’s 1954 and the sex-obsessed boys of Angel Beach High School are looking to get laid. Porky’s is their destination, local nightclub and whorehouse. Only its redneck owner has other plans, as does his sheriff brother. Will Meat, Mickey, Tommy and the other guys in the gang get their own back? And will the barely-endowed Pee Wee finally lose his virginity?

Having established his credentials as one of Canada’s top horror filmmakers with the likes of Black Christmas and Dead of Night, Bob Clark took an unexpected turn into the world of the teenage sex comedy and inadvertently made the most successful Canadian motion picture of all time, an honour it still holds today.

 

 

The Film:

Love it or loathe it (and there are a goodly number of people on either side), Porky's was one of the most successful comedies of its day, spawning two direct sequels and inspiring an incalculable number of lowbrow teen comedies, most recently including American Pie (1999). Pee Wee (Dan Monahan), Billy (Mark Herrier), Tommy (Wyatt Knight), and Mickey (Roger Wilson) are four painfully horny high school kids growing up in South Florida in the 1950's. Desperate to rid themselves of their cumbersome virginity, they head out to a sleazy bar near the swamps called Porky's, where local legend has it that the owner will fix you up with a prostitute for a reasonable fee. After Porky takes their money and dumps them in the swamp, the guys vow to get revenge. Meanwhile, Pee Wee has to deal with his shrinking penis, someone drills a hole in the wall of the girl's shower, the guys encounter a prostitute named Cherry Forever, and anti-Semitism rears its ugly head. Cheerfully rude in a manner few mainstream films had achieved at that time, Porky's, for better or worse, changed the standard of what was acceptable in a screen comedy. Remarkably enough, two years later director Bob Clark made the holiday favorite A Christmas Story, which displayed his considerable range, if nothing else.

Excerpt from MRQE located HERE

Writer/director Clark shifts the American Graffiti formula to a '50s Florida high school to mount a runaway farce fuelled by the agonies of adolescent sexual frustration. The resulting American box-office bonanza made it the Animal House of 1982, and Clark convincingly captures a tone of masochistic agony as his randy kids are derided, exploited and generally humiliated by the adults around them. There are plenty of sexual gags, but the basic plot is as innocently Oedipal as Jack the Giant Killer as the gang desperately attempt to defeat nightclub owners, parents, and policemen armed with glistening truncheons in their quest for sexual experience. Despite its thinly liberal veneer, it's as reactionary as a smash-and-grab raid, but it's vulgar enough to be fascinating even while you hate it, and it's certainly the most revealing American success since Taps.

Excerpt from TimeOut located HERE

Image :    NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.

Porky's gets a robust transfer to Blu-ray from Arrow Films in the UK.  It is solidly in dual-layered territory with a max'ed-out bitrate for the 1 1/2 hour feature. The image must surely be a strong replication of the original. Early 80's film stock was, often, less-stable and Porky's probably never looked pristine. Colors (reds, yellows) show some brightness. There is no noise in the darker sequences later in the film. The 1080P supports solid contrast exhibiting healthy, rich black levels and infrequent depth in the 1.85:1 frame.  It's very clean and this is probably as good as it will get for the film on digital. This Blu-ray offers an authentic, often unremarkable, presentation but certainly in advance of SD.

 

CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Audio :

Arrow don't mess with an unnecessary bump - the audio is transferred via a LPCM mono track at 1152 kbps. It is predictably flat but has some perceived buoyancy (in Cattrall's caterwauling) and a shade of depth in the score by Paul Zaza and Carl Zittrer (Children Shouldn't Play with Dead Things.) Not really much to say - it sounds consistent and a has a few notable moments. There are optional English subtitles and my Oppo has identified it as being a region 'B'-locked.

 

Extras :

Arrow add the interesting audio commentary by writer/director Bob Clark as found on previous DVD editions. It's a worthwhile listen, IMO. There are some new featurettes - Porky’s Through the Peephole spends 15-minutes with Bob Clark as he looks back at his box-office sensation. We get Skin Classic! where the famous (infamous?) Mr. Skin celebrates Porky’s and the heyday of the 80s teen sex comedy for about 13-minutes. There are plenty of references. We get a Porky’s trailer reel with the trifecta of Porky's, Porky's 2, Porky's Revenge. The package has another of Arrow's reversible sleeves - this one featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Jim Rugg and inside is a liner notes booklet featuring new writing on the film by Paul Corupe, creator of the Canuxploitation website, and a previously unpublished interview with director Bob Clark conducted by Calum Waddell, illustrated with archive stills.

 

 

BOTTOM LINE:
Porky's is one of those films with a odd popularity (almost 20-years later it was still the highest grossing film made in Canada). Yes, there are some funny sex-related sight gags - but there isn't much more to Porky's that that. I hadn't seen it for 20-years and did enjoy my viewing. This is another perfect Blu-ray package from Arrow.  It provides an excellent a/v presentation with plenty of valuable supplements. These guys really have got this down to a science. If you have find memories of Porky's - you won't be disappointed by this stacked set - and for the keen - a Steelbook too!  

Gary Tooze

May 25th, 2014

Arrow's Blu-ray is also available in a limited Edition steelbook:


 

About the Reviewer: Hello, fellow Beavers! I have been interested in film since I viewed a Chaplin festival on PBS when I was around 9 years old. I credit DVD with expanding my horizons to fill an almost ravenous desire to seek out new film experiences. I currently own approximately 9500 DVDs and have reviewed over 5000 myself. I appreciate my discussion Listserv for furthering my film education and inspiring me to continue running DVDBeaver. Plus a healthy thanks to those who donate and use our Amazon links.

Although I never wanted to become one of those guys who focused 'too much' on image and sound quality - I find HD is swiftly pushing me in that direction.

Gary's Home Theatre:

60-Inch Class (59.58” Diagonal) 1080p Pioneer KURO Plasma Flat Panel HDTV PDP6020-FD

Oppo Digital BDP-83 Universal Region FREE Blu-ray/SACD Player
Momitsu - BDP-899 Region FREE Blu-ray player
Marantz SA8001 Super Audio CD Player
Marantz SR7002 THX Select2 Surround Receiver
Tannoy DC6-T (fronts) + Energy (centre, rear, subwoofer) speakers (5.1)

APC AV 1.5 kVA H Type Power Conditioner 120V

Gary W. Tooze

 

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