Get ready for some serious partying, mayhem and gore ‘80s style in this deranged satire and celebration of classic slasher cinema! A group of young campers head into the wilderness for a weekend of sex, booze and silliness at an abandoned summer camp – only to be picked off one by one by a blood-thirsty, chainsaw-wielding psychopath wearing a pig’s head mask. Who will survive? The cheerleader? The slut? The nerd and his anatomically correct talking robot?
In PORKCHOP, Mike and 5 others, including his girlfriend, Deborah, all decide to go on a little camping trip at Camp River Bend. But their destination soon changes when a local, Good 'Ol Boy-type convenience store clerk convinces Mike that the place to be is actually Camp Wood, which just so happens to be a turn away from their original destination. But unknown to the group is that Camp Wood happens to be the killing ground for a local legend, a man donning a pig head mask and wielding a weapon, known only as "Porkchop". As the group finally settles in for a night of drinking and partying, little do they know that they are just hours away from making Porkchop's chopping list!
Director Eamon Hardiman's PORKCHOP is a film that I once heard about a couple of years ago. It was around that time, that I wasn't getting too many movies in to review, and was much different than it is to day. So I would occasionally scout out films that I thought had the potential to be good, and PORKCHOP just so happens to be one of those film's that I had inquired about. I am a big fan of slasher films, especially of the 1980s, and seeing as PORKCHOP was fashioned a such, I was eager to see it. But, back then, I never did hear back from the filmmakers, and eventually wrote it off as a missed opportunity. Last week however, PORKCHOP popped up again when INDEPENDENT ENTERTAINMENT (Formerly EI CINEMA, POP CINEMA, SHOCK-O-RAMA CINEMA) sent me a package of their latest Horror movies, which PORKCHOP just so happened to be a part of. I immediately remembered the film, and could not wait to finally see it, expecting to see something low budget, but entertaining.
Well, PORKCHOP starts off as being just that, as the plot felt familiar, and its characters over-the-top, but sometimes funny. The film begins in a rather big way as a skinny dippin' and sexin' coupe get slayed by an unseen assailant. This leads to the credits, and then it is not long until we are introduced to are array of characters. Here we have Mike, the typical Jock, who has organized the camping trip. He brings along a foreign exchange student named Ian(who is from England), his girlfriend, Deborah, and her nerdy brother, Richie, along with his fully-functional, smartass robot, named, "Elrod". Also tagging along are Rachel, the proverbial punk slut(who just so happens to be the apple of Richie's eye), and Courtney, the hypochondriac cheerleader. The initial portion of the film gets off to a good start as it's the low-end production value of the original TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE, meets the plot of FRIDAY THE 13TH. The film even hits all of the cliches prior to reaching its wooded destination, such as the stopping at a convenience store, and the seemingly inevitable character who pops up out of nowhere(in this case, literally) to warn our characters of their impending doom, should they go to Camp Wood> If homage was what the filmmakers were aiming for with this film, then they were on the right track. But it is when the 6 campers reach the campsite that things begin to take sort of a turn, This is when the film's pacing slows down a great deal, leaving the audience waiting for something to ha[[en> Yes, during this time, we have even more slasher film familiarities, such as a spooky campfire tale(one that actually serves as sort of an omen for what was to come later), and there is also more development in terms of the characters and their relationships with one another, But before we know it, the film reaches almost the one hour mark, without displaying not one drop of blood. Now, as anyone who reads my reviews regularly would, know, i'm all for broad characters and their development, but when talking about a fun and entertaining Slasher movie, is all of that necessary> Film's such as the FRIDAY THE 13TH films are entertaining, because yes, they have plots, but they are able to keep us interested in these plots by throwing a generous helping of gore through out. With PORKCHOP, it starts off with a bang(or should I say a smash?) as we see 2 fornicators hacked off right off the bat, yet we do not see this kind of thing again until the film's very last half. The last 30 minutes or so of the film is arguably where the film shines the most, as Chris Woodall's do-it-yourself style of special effects are put on display. Although I felt that some of the camera angles and approaches chosen by Hardiman were a little unflattering for these effects, they look surprisingly good for the budget. So the gore is fairly decent after you are left nearly an hour for them, but after the fact, the film fails to keep up the momentum, as the film ends in a way that is purely lackluster at best. Obviously written to tie in the sequel that is to be released sometime in the near future, the film's conclusion seems flat and rushed, sporting the typical, "killings are occurring again after years of silence" climax.
With PORKCHOP being a low budget Slasher homage/throwback, going in I really wanted to enjoy the film more than I did, I mean, after all, I did anticipate seeing it for quite awhile. The reason for my not enjoying it as much, wasn't because of it's budget or the multiple goofs that are easy to pick up through out the film (such as a news bulletin on the Television saying "San Antonio" news, when the film is filmed and clearly based in Virginia, or the fact that Mike knows of the Porkchop legend, yet before the clerk ever brought it up, he had not heard of Camp Wood), but rather it was the film's pacing, and its inability to keep my interest for the most part. Another thing is that for a film supposedly set in the '80s, even for a film with a comedic edge such as this one, the film just doesn't seem very authentic to the times. Just because you have characters who sport George Michael "Choose Life" shirts, and spout 1980s references doesn't exactly make it authentic.
In the end, PORKCHOP starts off with promise, however it eventually dissolves into a slow, dull and action-less effort, and by the time that the said action does pick up, it is a little too late for the film to revive itself
3/10 The box art promised a score filled with "80s Pop and synthesizer", which got me excited for some kind of great score, but the truth is that it's not so much. There is a rock them which opens the film, and then there is a half trying cover of "Safety Dance" featured, but besides this, the rest of the score is pretty lethargic and dull. It almost seems as though they are going for a FRIDAY THE 13TH-like "kiii" and "maa" theme and are trying to hard to not much it so obvious.
IMPRESSION OF THE FILM
As I said, I really wanted to like PORKCHOP and initially it seemed as if I would. However, as the film progressed, I found myself getting more and more bored with it. With this said however, PORKCHOP does have some bright spots, such as it was nice to finally see one of Erin Russ' film, its gore effects, and I also loved the robot Elrod, which was voiced by INTRUDER and EVIL DEAD 2's Danny Hicks. I have a feeling that the response for PORKCHOP is fairly mixed, so with that in mind, I recommend it, due to the fact that others out there are bound to enjoy this one more than I did. But personally speaking, if you want to see a truly good do it yourself film, check out VIDEO VIOLENCE from 1987 one of my favorites!