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By Scott Phillips

OCTOBER 13, 1997: 

Porky's (1982)

When this flick first came out, I was completely baffled by my friends proclaiming it to be the laff sensation of their young lives--it just looked stupid to me. Now that I've finally seen it, I'm still baffled--oh, it's funny, all right--not poop-yer-pants hysterical, by any means, but adequately laugh-inducing. No, I'm baffled because none of my pals caught on to the truth about this movie. On the surface, Porky's seems to be about a bunch of 1950s teens peeping at girls in the shower, but those horny teens spend 90 percent of the movie half-naked in the locker room or completely naked in a shack in the woods (purportedly in an effort to get into some female flesh). And I'm here to tell ya, for a bunch of teenage boys, these guys are waaay too comfortable being naked around each other. When I was a teenager, the mere mention of the word "dong" in reference to another guy was enough to get you a severe indian burn. Let's face it: We're talkin' ManLove here. Consider: The movie carries a really heavy-handed message about "tolerance" in the guise of bigoted tough-guy Cavanaugh's dislike of new kid Brian because he's Jewish. Only after Brian bests the tough-guy in a manly fistfight does Cavanaugh learn to respect the new kid. Later, at the dance (where the guys are indifferent as to which girl they dance with--being around one another is enough), Cavanaugh's even more bigoted dad gives him hell for being punched out by a Jew. Cavanaugh replies: "If being a man means being like you, I'd rather be queer." Uh-huh. Case closed. Porky's is not about horny teens trying to bang a little beaver--it's about the burgeoning homosexuality of a group of South Florida high-school boys and how they deal with it in the repressive Eisenhower era. Need more proof? Only one of the guys gets laid during the movie, and it happens on a school bus with the School Slut, as numerous people stand around to "witness" the (actually unseen by anyone) event. But I contend that this girl is not a slut at all--she's the local fag-hag, courageously putting her "rep" on the line to act as a beard for these young fellows. I used to believe Reservoir Dogs was the gayest movie ever made, but not anymore. (Fox)

Gamera 2 (Gamera vs. Legion) (1996)

According to this, the second installment in the new, improved adventures of Gamera, all the world really needs is a giant flying turtle--and I'm inclined to agree. Who else are you gonna rely on when a freak meteor shower brings a race of big, lobster-like insects to earth? Godzilla? That fat bastard would be right alongside the damnable horde of space bugs as they march across Japan! No, it's up to Gamera ("The Guardian of the Universe"), who comes rocketing from the sea to deal swift justice to the invaders. Our human heroes occupy themselves with dissecting one of the alien critters, discovering that they feed on silicon and have no muscles--instead, their limbs function by the use of pressurized gas (much like my own). Meanwhile, the nasty bugs build a nest, growing a giant flower (!) that will eject a seed pod into space, allowing the bugs to travel to new planets. Unfortunately, the resulting explosion levels the surrounding area and our heroic turtle along with it. As a group of new-age types stand around trying to will Gamera back to life with tender feelings, the marauding bugs make their way toward Tokyo, laying waste to the hapless army. I doubt I'm spoiling anything by telling you that Gamera is revived and proceeds to kick ass on the monster insects, puking up fireballs like a bug-eyed kitty-kat in need of castor oil. While the betusked turtle has never been as cool as Godzilla, these new flicks are right up there; and G2 features some of the best Giant Monster effects I've ever seen. Rent it!

--Scott Phillips


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