Picks and Pans Review: Porky's Ii: the Next Day

updated 07/11/1983 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 07/11/1983 AT 01:00 AM EDT

The first line of dialogue comes from Dan Monahan, the star—of the first Porky's, that is. He awakes and shrieks, "I got laaaaaiiiid!!" That imbecilic bit of self-congratulation indeed goes a long way toward explaining the whole reason for being (if not the $110 million gross) of the original. Be grateful that Bob Clark, who directed, co-wrote and helped produce II (he wrote and directed Porky's), mercifully has tried to move his Florida high schoolers at least some distance beyond their juvenile sexual obsessions. This story is focused mainly on a white-haired local evangelist trying to rally his Righteous Flock, the school board and city and county commissioners against Angel Beach High School's "Evening of Shakespeare." He thinks it will turn out to be lewd and degenerate. In the first confrontation the principal backs the kids; he and the evangelist, Bill Wiley, quote the Bible as well as the Bard to prove either can be construed as gospel for either side. The whole scene actually is only a setup for the principal to yell, "Get the Flock out of here." If that line doesn't jackknife you at the waist in guffaws, stay away. It's one of the funnier ones. There is an attempt at a sympathetic story by Roger E. (The Lathe of Heaven) Swaybill and Alan (Cat People) Ormsby. The schoolboy Romeo, a Seminole, is beaten by some Indian-baiting local Klansmen. So Monahan, Kaki Hunter (his frizzy, scrawny laidee) and even the rival jerks in school all gang up to take on the KKK, whose members turn out to be pretty tight with—surprise—the county commissioner, the preacher and the city fathers. Even the tyrannically uptight girls' gym teacher, actress Nancy Parsons, flees the Righteous Flock in the end. It is not exactly deep praise to say that The Next Day benefits from its broader comedic basis and is more enjoyable than the original. What it doesn't do is more important: Unlike Porky's, the sequel does not crassly—and thoroughly—insult the intelligence of the people who pay to see it. (R)

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