“Wait a minute, I know that guy.”
* * *
Over the past few days, I’ve been reading “Our Inner Ape” by Frans de Waal, one of the world’s greatest primatologists. This brilliant Dutch researcher has been watching the behavioural patterns of chimpanzees and bonobos for decades. It might well be one the most interesting books I’ve read in some time.
We apparently share a great deal with our too-close-for-comfort ape cousins. de Waal has turned what he’s learned about apes into important lessons for politicians, managers, even nation states.
Chimpanzees are more violent and warlike, grappling for status in the war for food and sex. While chimpanzees are more apt to turn to brute force to jockey for position, bonobos solve their issues with sex, sex and more sex.
So the question becomes, do we human types take after the often nasty, brutish chimpanzee or the free-loving bonobo? After watching all 94 minutes of the highest-grossing Canadian film of all time in Canada’s domestic box office, I think it is a little bit from column A and a little bit from column B. Some chimp and bonobo, sex and violence all smashed together like a greasy, two-patty Deadbeat Diner burger.
After reading Hacker Renders excoriating review of this Canadian, er, classic, I thought I should take a peek at this film as well. In fact, in the abridged version of his longer review, he said simply, Porky’s was “ass.”
I remember the film quite fondly from my early teens, having snuck out a VHS copy from the video store next door to my father’s house. Maybe I looked older than I was, maybe the clerk didn’t care. I was a superstar to my friends.
In the first screening, I think I was fast forwarding to all the really naughty parts to impress my ill-behaved pre-teen pals. I mostly remember a pantless, howling Kim Cattrall (Sex and the City), a.k.a. Lassie, and that’s pretty much it.
I have to admit much of the rescreening this week was a bit of a shock. I didn’t remember much or any of it.
There was an actual plot, a spindly, anemic little plot, but a plot nonetheless. There were some ok performances, including a too-good-for-this-film portrayal as the good-hearted policeman Art Hindle (E.N.G.)
The hero’s journey in this case is the quest for er, certain lady parts. Although there seems to be equal effort placed against tearing down and humiliating their fellow males. That’s apparently pretty consistent with our innate primate ancestry.
The upshot of all of this is that if you are looking for concrete evidence that we are nothing more than a bunch of rutting mammals, look no further than this goofy, devolutionary piece of Canadian film history.
Rated R for really, really, really nude ladies, frequent, unrelenting sexual references, drinking, punching, racism and cigar smoking
From → (***) three stars, 1980s, characters, Comedy, financing, Grushenka Geusebach, P, production, R (Restricted), R / 18A (Canada), writers
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