Featured Posts

Reviews Load More

Features Load More

Monday, November 18, 2019

BAFF 2019: PORNO is what you should be watching


Porno is great. Everyone should watch Porno from time to time, and you'll really enjoy yourself watching it.

Okay, sorry, I couldn't resist.

But really, the indie horror movie by newcomer Keola Racela is pretty awesome, and after seeing it at the Buried Alive Film Festival 2019, I have a feeling it's going to make a big splash.

In 1992, a group of teens working in a movie theater run by a very Christian manager are having trouble deciding which movie to watch after closing down (A League of Their Own or Encino Man) when a crazed old man runs in the theater and jumps through a boarded up door. The group discovers that there is an archive of old movies behind the door, and it appears that the theater didn't used to be so high-and-mighty. After they decide to watch the strange film they find, they discover that they have accidentally summoned a succubus that begins preying on their temptations.

Porno's script is pretty awesome: in a lot of ways, it feels like a movie I've always wanted to see. The concept is a clever one, but it avoids a lot fo the pitfalls of the indie horror comedy that so often plague the genre. These characters are genuinely relatable and hilarious, from the pair of hormonal boys who are considering voting for A League of Their Own just because they heard Madonna wrote a book called Sex, to the assistant manager who is in love with her obviously closeted gay coworker. It's easy to see how much writers Matt Black and Laurence Vannicelli put into it, and I suspect it's a project they've been tweaking and refining for a long time.



Porno is full of talented fresh faces and some really great comedic performances. Evan Daves and Larry Saperstein shine as the aforementioned hormonal boys, and there's some genuine heart to their relationship as the film progresses. Robbie Tann is great as "Heavy Metal Jeff," the older projectionist with anger issues who dropped out of college because it was "just a bunch of secular propaganda." The ensemble cast overall is wonderful and reminds me of some of my favorites, like Return of the Living Dead.

One thing I found unique about the movie is how it used both the male and female gaze. It wasn't surprising to me that a movie that opens with two boys spying on their neighbors having sex should have lots of male gaze, especially since it features a lot of a naked succubus performing satanic rituals and seducing the naive theater ushers. What I didn't expect was the level of care that was given to the opposite, including a surprising amount of male nudity (including more than one very graphic mangling of male genitalia) and some ogling of shirtless dudes. I'll be honest, I was a little surprised to find out that director Keola Racela is a man, and that says a lot in terms of how the movie plays as a much more gender neutral affair than your usual horror film T&A.



It also can't go without saying that this movie does one of my favorite things very well, and that's poking fun at religious people. Throughout the movie, these Christian teens are full of what-the-hecks and cheese-and-crackers expletives even in the direst of situations. More importantly, the film pits their blind following of their fundamentalist manager against the ultimate embodiment of their pubescent desires and makes them question their beliefs, especially as they begin to see that the manager isn't all he seems. On a deeper level, Porno accurately reflects the time in most people's lives when they begin to question their parents' and role model's beliefs and become their own people. Its worth mentioning that while it mostly uses this contrast for comedic fodder (to really great effect), in the end it doesn't make fun of those who decide to stick with their beliefs for their own personal reasons, only those who blindly follow.

Porno is a movie that I can't believe won't get a great distribution deal any day now; it's a blast to watch, and excellently crafted. It's certainly my favorite horror comedy of the year, and one I can't wait to revisit.




Porno is directed by Keola Racela, written by Matt Black and Laurence Vannicelli, and stars Evan Daves, Jillian Mueller, and Katelyn Pearce. You can follow the film's hashtag, #pornothemovie, on Twitter for updates.
Share This
Facebook
Disqus

comments powered by Disqus

No comments:

Post a Comment

Subscribe
Labels
Popular Posts
© GeekRex All rights reserved