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Review by Marty Mapes
3 stars out of 4
Trey Parker is a very talented filmmaker. ORGAZMO was
made cheaply, and it shows. But even without a lot of money, Parker put
together a solid comedy with great writing, good directing, and
surprisingly good acting all around.
Joe Young (Parker) is a Mormon, going door-to-door for converts in L.A.
Joe knocks on the door of Maxxx Orbison (Michael Dean Jacobs), a porn
director who gets so angry at the interruption that he sends his thugs
out to beat up the visitor. But Joe knows some moves and singlehandedly
beats Maxxx's thugs. Maxxx is so impressed he asks Joe to act in his
Joe learns what kind of movie Maxxx was talking about and starts to turn
him down, but the money is too good to pass up - by taking the part, Joe
would have enough money to marry his sweetheart in the temple in Salt
Lake City. When Maxxx suggests that a stuntman can do all the dirty work
so Joe can remain a virgin, Joe's moral objections dry up. Joe becomes
ORGAZMO, the pornographic superhero whose secret weapon is the
Joe's co-star Ben, aka "Choda Boy" (Dian Bachar), has two PhDs from MIT,
but enjoys working as a porn star. When he's not at work, he's inventing
things in his basement. One of his inventions is the orgazmorator, just
like in the porn films, but this one really works. Joe and Ben's lives
start to parallel Orgazmo and Choda Boy's as the two team up to fight
Orgazmo is a very funny film. I haven't laughed so hard at a movie
since... well... THERE'S SOMETHING ABOUT MARY. Granted, that's not very
long ago, but you get the point.
Part of the reason is the sheer silliness of the movie. There are tons
of cheap jokes, and most of them work beautifully - credit Parker as
director, writer, and co-editor for that. Most of the jokes are visual
(like Choda Boy's costumes or Young's reaction to the industry's common
practices). But in addition there are some solidly funny ideas.
For example, if Joe just SAID he was a Mormon, it would be a single,
funny joke: ha-ha, move on to the next one. But Joe really is a Mormon
(or at least the comic equivalent). His constant naivete and sincerity
make the whole CHARACTER funny, all the way through the film. The fact
that he never compromises his own morality gives the movie internal
consistency and makes the whole of the movie seem even funnier.
And there are some surprisingly good performances, especially
considering that this is a cheap, rookie movie (it is Parker's second as
Parker makes the perfect comic hero. He conveys shock, wholesomeness,
and chivalry with great exaggeration, but without carrying the
performance into sarcasm and cynicism.
Bachar is wonderful as Choda Boy, the movie's straight man (no pun
intended). He has some of the funniest lines in the film and has to
endure the most ridiculous costumes. There were times when I wondered
how anyone could keep a straight face, but Bachar managed to pull it
The other big role, that of Maxxx probably wasn't too challenging, and
Jacobs was thankfully good in the part. There were dozens of other small
parts, and not a single one of them left a bad actor taste.
ORGAZMO is rated NC-17, but don't let that stigmatize it for you (it
probably should have been an R). The comedy is very mainstream and there
is no full frontal nudity (though there are several ... ahem...
artificial members). It's difficult to make a convincing argument for
how funny a movie is without giving away the jokes. But trust me, this
movie is very funny. If you are at all titillated - and not too easily
offended - go see this movie.
Copyright © 1998 Marty Mapes