DNA Banner 03
horror dna logo header right
Porno Us Main

Porno Movie Review

Written by Stuart D. Monroe

Released by Cranked Up Films | Fangoria Pictures

porno us poster large

Directed by Keola Racela
Written by Matt Black and Laurence Vannicelli
2019, 98 minutes, Not Rated
Released on May 8th, 2020

Starring:
Evan Daves as Abe
Larry Saperstein as Todd
Robbie Tann as Heavy Metal Jeff
Jillian Mueller as Chaz
Glenn Stott as Ricky
Bill Phillips as Mr. Pike
Peter Reznikoff as Lord Beekman
Katelynn Pearce as Lilith

porno 01 porno 02

Review:

Can we all take a minute to just sit and be thankful for the awesomeness of the horror-comedy? It’s a reliable and wonderful combination, adaptable and ever-changing while carrying on the tried and true horror traditions of its predecessors, the equivalent of top-shelf junk food. Fangoria Films has been decidedly tongue-in-cheek since crawling out of their premature grave – both Puppet Master: The Littlest Reich and Satanic Panic play it for laughs while keeping borderline offensive gore and a vicious sense of humor on full display. Porno, while still firmly a horror-comedy, is a little different beast, though.

Newly promoted assistant manager Chaz (Jillian Mueller; Law & Order: Special Victims Unit); baseball jock Ricky (Glenn Stott; The Good Fight); overly horny Abe (Evan Daves; Wu-Tang: An American Saga); dorky sidekick Todd (Larry Saperstein; High School Musical: The Musical - The Series); and pious projectionist Heavy Metal Jeff (Robbie Tann; Preacher) are closing up the vintage movie theater they work in for the night. The year is 1992. Their boss, big-hearted Bible-thumper Mr. Pike (Bill Phillips; House of Cards), gives them the run of the place (as a reward for their hard work) to watch one of the two films they’re currently showing – either A League of Their Own or Encino Man. When a mysterious “drunk weirdo” sneaks into the theater and hides, however, the group uncover a hidden part of the theater with its own projection booth and naughty posters on the walls. One of the reels is just begging to be watched, and sure enough it’s a porno! This porno is unlike anything the good Christian kids have seen, though, and soon enough they’re being stalked by the naked beauty from the film. She’s a deadly succubus, and their night just got a whole lot more unholy than they bargained for!

Despite an opening scene that actually is mildly pornographic, there’s nothing overly raunchy in Porno, the debut feature from director Keola Racela. Skin-flick siren, Lilith (Katelyn Pearce; Clinton Road), does spend virtually all her time at least partially nude, but the movie isn’t the orgy the title would lead you to believe. Instead, it’s the tale of five good boys and girls who watch something they shouldn’t and get a lot more than they ever bargained for. In the process, they also find out a lot about each other; some of those things will change their lives forever.

porno 03 porno 04

You can take Porno as a straight-up, just for fun, perverted gag of a horror-comedy, and it works just fine. There is some ludicrously fantastic dialogue (“Are you quoting Revelations?”…”Nope, Ghostbusters!”). The running theme of preachiness about “porn chemicals” that infect your brain is just the kind of shit that anyone who grew up in a religious setting (like yours truly) will laugh at while they gag on bad memories. The foreshadowing about exploding nuts isn’t subtle in the slightest. The religious jokes about repression and guilt come so hard and fast that there are moments you’ll think someone screwed up the money shot.

Sorry, I couldn’t help that one.

They say comedy is subjective and all good jokes contain a decent portion of the truth. The excellent young cast (in particular the scene-stealing Robbie Tann as Heavy Metal Jeff) breath true life into archetypes in an archetypical setting. It’s really quite cool, and the subtext is there if you choose to focus on that, too. The jock can be gay. The goofy best friends can discover there’s more than just sex. The zealous manager, well…you’ll just have to wait and see for that one.

There’s a bit of drag as Porno stumbles just a bit finding its footing at the midway point, and this causes a run time that’s probably ten minutes too long. No one is going to care, though, and Porno will go down in history for the single best ball gag in the history of horror film (or any other type of film for that matter). It’s one of those moments when practical makeup effects work to perfection, but it’s elevated to legit fried gold status by pairing it with the most revelatory and deep conversation in the whole film. I was blown away, pun intended.

On top of all that, Porno is beautifully shot by D.P. John Wakayama Carey (Across the Sea). You’re fully in 1992, and it is shot in a way that reinforces that. The porno film in question is straight out of an early Marilyn Manson video. When you have a damn good-looking film with highlight reel makeup moments and fluid set and production design, the result is a film that makes suspending your disbelief easy despite the insane scenario. Porno balances the comedy and the horror more deftly than the previous entries in the Fangoria Films catalog (though all have been a lot of fun).

porno 05 porno 06

Grades:

Movie: 2.5 Star Rating Cover
Buy Amazon Us

About The Author
Stuart D. Monroe
Staff Writer
Stuart D. Monroe is a man of many faces – father, husband, movie reviewer, published author of short horror, unsuccessful screenwriter (for now), rabid Clemson Tiger, Southern gentleman, and one hell of a model American who goes by the handle "Big Daddy Stu" or "Sir". He's also highly disturbed and wears that fact like a badge of honor. He is a lover of all things horror with a particular taste for the fare of the Italians and the British. He sometimes gets aroused watching the hardcore stuff, but doesn't bother worrying about whether he was a serial killer in a past life as worrying is for the weak. He was raised in the video stores of the '80s and '90s. The movie theater is his cathedral. He worships H.P. Lovecraft, Stephen King, and Clive Barker. When he writes, he listens obsessively to either classical music or the works of Goblin to stimulate the neural pathways. His favorite movie is Dawn of the Dead. His favorite book is IT. His favorite TV show is LOST.
Recent Articles

­

Join Us!

Hit the buttons below to follow us, you won't regret it...