Teens are slaughtered by a deranged killer in a pig mask.
This sequel to 2010’s splatterfest “Porkchop” was released overseas under the much more lyrical title of “Porkchop II: Rise of the Rind“, I suspect to avoid confusing the more discerning slasher fanatic. No moniker applied, no matter how alliterative, however, can change this one simple and irrefutable truth: “Porkchops” is the most fun you’ll have watching a travesty of a motion picture since the unintentional laugh-a-minute comedy “Showgirls”. And oh, what a glorious, self-aware travesty it is! The dark hearted movie snob that lies deep in my soul feels he should bear witness to a few cautionary facts before you leap out of your seat (or queue up your Netflix) and rush out (or grab the remote control) to see for yourself.
“Porkchops” looks as though my dear old Uncle Chris shot it with his 1988 Sony V200 Video Camera. In 1988. After his tenth scotch and more scotch. Many scenes end with the actors exiting the screen, only to have the camera linger inexplicably on the empty room, hallway, etc., for several excruciating moments. The performances do not rise above the technical ineptitude, ranging from merely wooden to “Did they pay a hobo who could read cue cards to play this role?” The murders, though some quite inventive (death by water bong, death by tiki torch), are overshadowed by the opening moments of gruesome violence, occurring within the first two minutes. Some are even implied, as characters are dragged off or left shrieking at the demise of another before the cutaway, never to be seen or heard from again. Are we to assume they’ve perished like the others, or is their fate left to our own interpretation, like a low-rent Lynchian nightmare? My inner movie snob prefers the latter, imagining those who met with cryptic ends have all started a commune of survivors somewhere in Oregon, a strict “No Bongs or Tiki Torches” bylaw firmly in place.
This shopping list of critic’s grievances could make for an entire review unto itself, and indeed it should, capping the entire affair off with the appropriate and very deserved grade of What’s Lower Than F? However, there is just too much to adore and almost admire about the delightful schlock that is “Porkchops”. Unlike the first film in what I hope is an undying series, most of the attempts at tongue-in-cheek humor land beautifully here, in spite of (Or because of?) the players involved. There is such an infectious sense of fun, I want to call Uncle Chris and ask if he still has that archaic camera to appropriate for a weekend, so I can implore my average-looking friends to get naked and scream whilst I shower them with fake blood from off-camera. This would not take much coaxing on my part, a testament to the company I keep and also why I love them.
I suppose at some juncture in this review, I should discuss “plot,” a term I use as loosely as a fat man’s tie at a wedding reception. The original was the standard story of campers being offed by a masked psychopath, in this case the disguise in question being a pig’s face concocted from actual swine flesh. Now we know where the title ties in. You will not be confused for one second of “Porkchops” without this prior knowledge, as the exact same character of Burt (Bill Gunnoe) explains the story of murderer Porkchop (Robert Cobb) to the antagonists in unnecessary detail once again here. The only variation is that his sidekick, Teddy, was portrayed (again, for lack of a better word) by the writer/director Eamon Patrick Hardiman in the pioneering entry, this time around by Bill Hairston. That sole bit of possible confusion laid to rest, we are introduced at the onset to Simon (Sam Qualiana), a nerdy kid whose family moves to the town of Woodpine, West Virginia because of undisclosed financial tribulations into the very house where Porkchop resided as a boy. He meets eccentric goth girl Meg (Angela Prtichett), who quickly goads him into throwing a party at the house while his parents (Lisa Taylor, Stephen Hensley) are away for the weekend to retrieve the last of their belongings. Carnage ensues. Story synopsis over.
That bored me nearly to tears just typing it, so back to the aspects that delight me, as I rattle them off in a series of unrelated sentences for the sake of brevity, in no particular order of awesome:
Simon wears a t-shirt in his opening scenes that reads: “My Hovercraft Is Full Of Eels,” a deft Monty Python reference. Hilarious soon-to-be-dead teenager line #1: “Woah, check out that creepy altar!” Simon’s father actually utters the words “I think we’ll be very happy here,” as he gazes lovingly upon the cursed home, fighting the urge to wink at the camera as he proclaims it. A random redneck explains to his concerned cohort in broken medical terms why finding blood in your urine stream is perfectly natural. The local news station is obviously filmed in the corner of a kitchen, complete with counter and cupboards in the background. Did I mention a bong is used as a murder weapon? Hilarious soon-to-be-dead teenager line #2: “Wait, don’t I get a weapon? ‘Cause, even this toaster would work.” Last but most certainly not least, there’s a freaking musical number! Only one! For no reason!
All of this is completely inconsequential if you have troubles getting around basement level production values, atrocious acting and overall lack of concern for any semblance of quality displayed by all involved. I am not one of those people, and therefore remain eternally thankful that the movie snob inside knows when to take a break and curl up with a good book as I revel in filth. I’ve read that there are plans for a “Porkchop 3-D.” I can’t wait.
Porkchop II: Rise of the Rind (2011)