Reviews | Written by Charlie Allbright 24/08/2019

PORNO [FrightFest 2019]

A jock, a geeky voyeur (and his mate), a goth, and a straight-edged metaller accidentally summon a sex demon to the cinema. What can possibly go wrong before they’ve had heart-to-hearts and lost (bits of) body parts? Director Keola Racela’s Porno happily dispenses with the truly arcane and the serious to give us balls to the wall, honest-to-Christ, Scooby-Doo hilarity.

The basic premise of the film sees the oddball bunch working in a cinema run by their prayer-toting proprietor. After hours, if they pass muster, they are allowed the (upstanding) film of their choosing on the big screen. One day, a chance encounter leads to the discovery of a raucous reel that then leads them to question their lifestyles and moral choices. Well yes, it does, and there are a few quiet moments of reflection that (bizarrely) are still nice to see in 2019, but don’t kid yourself. Porno, as the snappy title would suggest, is more about facing up to your peccadillos with a giggle and accepting them as being really quite normal when thought of rationally, or moving on with a clearing of the throat and rubbing of the eyes (what did you think we were going to say?).

The feature’s success falls equally between Matt Black and Laurence Vanicelli’s script and the cast themselves. The words are often so ‘first serious drunken party’ daft that they almost shouldn’t work, but with actors such as Robbie Tann as Heavy Metal Jeff and the geeky double act of Abe (Evan Daves) and Todd (Larry Saperstein) at the helm, they become genuinely priceless. Tann and Glenn Scott (as sporty Ricky) in particular then stop the film flying away with itself by bringing true emotion the quiet scenes. Of course, the whole gang are aided and abetted by Katelyn Pearce as Lilith, the appearing beastie. She manages a truly inspiring sense of magneticism that makes the odd bits of the action believable (over and above the deliciously cheesy video sequences), so much so that when things threaten to go pear-shaped, you actually root for the heroes. The only arguable downside is the final third, which is either an OTT tension loser a B-movie beater depending on your point of view. Word to the wise: do not take your mum to see this movie unless she is Very Liberal because she will get several in the eye.

Porno smooshes sweet hey-shucks fun with a well-judged under current concerning the real religious tension surrounding our obsession with sex. It chucks it together with the Scooby Gang and adds decent dick jokes for good measure. It’s good clean fun for the terminally filthy!

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