Review: Fangoria’s Horror-Comedy PORNO Is A Great Piece Of Escapist Entertainment

4 out of 5 stars

The 1980s were a time when horror-comedies thrived. However, in the decades since it’s been very difficult to find movies which capture the magic of classic titles such as The Lost Boys, Gremlins, An American Werewolf in London and The ‘burbs. Director Keola Racela and writers Matt Black and Laurence Vannicelli have managed to achieve the near impossible with the laugh-out-loud funny Porno. It’s an absolute blast of a film, loaded with some great humour and eye-watering special effects (exploded testicles!). It’s a hoot.

Set in 1992, Porno sees five young employees of a small town movie theatre uncover a curious reel of old film hidden in the building’s walled-up basement. Their curiosity gets the better of them, and when they run the film through the projector they unleash a blood-thirsty succubus who uses their darkest desires against them. That would be bad news at the best of times, but even worse when the theatre owner is a Christian Fundamentalist. Try explaining to your boss why there’s a naked succubus destroying Screen Two on a Friday night.

Filled with the sort of raucous and filthy humour which made comedy films like American Pie and Superbad so successful, Porno really pushes the boundaries of taste. It’s probably one to miss if you think that you’re easily offended. However, if you’re willing to embrace the film’s tone then you’ll be thoroughly entertained. 

The film’s cast (Evan Daves, Larry Saperstein, Jillian Mueller, Glenn Stott, Robert Tann, Bill Phillips, Katelyn Pearce and Peter Reznikoff) all totally embrace the material and they help sell the humour and the gloriously over-the-top horror elements. Everyone of them is great. 

The technical elements of the film are also splendid. Director of photography John Wakayama Carey and production designer Heather Yancey’s work make this low budget film look fantastic. It would be great if more low budget filmmakers took such care with how they presented their films. There are lessons to be had here. Carla Patulo’s score is also wonderful, with the Satanic music cues delivering a beautiful hypnotic quality. 

A brilliantly entertaining genre movie, there’s a lot of fun to be had with Porno. It might be silly, but sometimes all you want from a movie is to be entertained. And with everything currently happening in the world, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with wanting that!