Comedy Oddities: Orgazmo

orgazmo indexWhen Kevin Smith names his movies he lets you know exactly what you’re going to get, with films titles including Clerks, Mallrats and Zack And Miri Make A Porno, and while watching Orgazmo I found myself wishing that Trey Parker had done the same thing with this as I was expecting a superhero satire with an 18 rated sense of humour, but instead what you really get is “Trey And Matt Make A Porno With About Twenty Minutes Of Superhero Nonsense Tacked On”. Though I guess that’s not quite as catchy as what they decided to go with.

The film stars Parker as Joe Young, a Mormon going door to door trying to introduce the joy of religion in to people’s lives, but then when he knocks on the door of porn director / producer director Maxxx Orbison (Michael Dean Jacobs) he gets attacked by Orbison’s henchmen. He just happens to be handy with his fists though, which attracts the porn director’s interest as the lead in his current film – the superhero porn parody Orgazmo – just isn’t cutting it on that front. Promising to give him twenty grand and use a stunt cock, Young is persuaded to join the cast as the titular superhero as it means he’ll be able to use the money to give his fiancee the perfect wedding.

The course of true love / making pornography never runs smoothly of course, though the film is a big hit and it looks like Young’s dreams will come true, at least until Orbison blackmails him in to appearing in a sequel, and when fiancee Lisa (Robyn Lynne Raab) finds out what he’s been doing she’s horrified. Meanwhile there’s a subplot where Orgazmo’s sidekick in the film Choda Boy (Parker regular Dian Bachar) has created a gun which causes people to have orgasms, and the two eventually team up to fight crime in real life, but boy does it take way too long for the film to get there.

It’s frustrating because the superhero aspect of the film is easily the best part, but Parker (who wrote and directed the film, with South Park co-creator Matt Stone just a supporting cast member) seems far more interested in sending up the conventions of cheap cash in porn films, and he doesn’t really have much of interest to say other than that the industry is full of scuzzy individuals and people are forced to do things they really don’t want to, which I can’t imagine came as a shock to anyone even back in the nineties. Most of the jokes are all about men’s arses, rubbish porn acting and discussions of double anal and double vaginal sex which are as puerile as you might imagine, there have been great sex comedies in the past but this really isn’t one of them.

That’s not to say that there aren’t some decent jokes in the film, Trey Parker is an accomplished comic writer after all and the movie contains some very funny ridiculously over the top violence which ends with only a slightly bloodied nose or a tiny scratch, while the Mormon religion is amusingly mocked by an old woman who calls Joe and his friend “Soul soliciting pig fuckers”. Matt Stone’s character is a highlight with a great running gag which initially seems homophobic but has a strong and non-offensive pay off, and there’s a great bit of physical comedy involving Choda Boy and his unique Hamster influenced martial arts.

But ultimately the bad outweighs the good, there’s way too much lazy and dull nonsense relating to shooting porn films which twenty plus years on is embarrassing to watch, while it also mocks a porn actress called T-Rex just because she’s plus sized in a truly unpleasant manner. The superhero elements suggest there could have been a good movie here if they’d cut back on the porn nonsense and concentrated on that side of things but it was not to be, and so Parker’s second film as director really isn’t worth bothering with.

★★

Alex Finch.
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