blogging by Andrew Wickliffe

Orgazmo (1997, Trey Parker), the unrated version

The best thing about Orgazmo is the opening title’s song, Now You’re a Man. Unfortunately, once the song’s over, there are ninety more minutes of movie.

Orgazmo tells the simple tale of a Mormon missionary (co-writer and director Parker) who happens upon a porn set and ends up the star of a superhero porno (also ‘Orgazmo’). The porno director, Michael Dean Jacobs, promises Parker enough money to go back to Salt Lake and marry his fiancée, Robyn Lynne Raab, in style. Well, style for Mormons.

Plus, Parker doesn’t have to perform the actual sex; they’ll have a stunt player handle it.

The movie tracks Parker’s experiences making the porno—including making a de facto best buddy in Dian Bachar, an engineering scientist double doctor who makes pornos because it’s the only way he can get chicks (he’s short). The porno becomes a crossover sensation, which still isn’t enough for people in Utah to have heard of it, so Raab doesn’t know anything about it when she arrives in L.A. unannounced to see her beau.

Throw in some dance club thugs terrorizing a neighborhood and Ron Jeremy in a supporting role, and it’s a movie. Apparently.

The first act’s better than the rest of it. Especially since the third act is all about the bad guys getting ready to rape Raab and the movie playing it for laughs. One of the few points Orgazmo gets is how it handles the female nudity. There isn’t any; the lack of it is one of the few successful repeat jokes, if only because the rest of the repeat jokes—there are so many—are terrible and tedious. But instead of leaning into not objectifying, Orgazmo just finds different ways to make fun of women.

There are also a whole bunch of Asian jokes, including baking in some jokes about Black people. Orgazmo didn’t age poorly or rot; it was always bad. Because it’s also really not very funny. Even when Parker and co-writer Matt Stone have a good joke, the actors tend to ruin it. Porno director Jacobs is so bad actual porno star Ron Jeremy acts circles around him. Overall, the best performance might just be David Dunn as Jacobs’s shitty bro nephew. He’s never bad, whereas everyone else ends up having at least one bad scene. Sometimes because of the jokes, but mainly just because of their acting.

Orgazmo is one of those NC-17 movies where they kept the rating instead of cutting (given Bachar’s sidekick costume involves sex toys, I doubt they’d ever get it though at R), but there’s nothing to the movie if they’re not trying to get the NC-17. There’s no story. Parker’s got a rote character arc, which—naturally—involves Raab seeing things his way because he’s the man.

Until turning the attempted rape into a gag, the running jokes (or attempted running jokes) are the worst thing in Orgazmo, which is already dull. They just draw attention to how long the movie’s been going on and not been amusing.

They could’ve used the song again in the main action instead of waiting for the end credits.

Technically, it’s low-budget middling as far as competence. Kenny Gioseffi’s photography is sometimes impressive for how good the poorly composed shot looks (Parker hasn’t got an eye at all), but then another shot will be unintentionally out of focus. Michael R. Miller and Parker’s editing is never good.

I think the fight choreography might be the most impressive technical, actually. Even when it’s not at its best—the superhero fights—it’s not bad like the acting or desperate like the script.

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