Universal // 1998 // 95 Minutes // Rated NC-17
Reviewed by Judge Patrick Naugle // March 29th, 2005
Making sex safe again!
The guys who created South Park made a movie about pornographic superheroes.
Need I say more?
Utah native Joe Young (Trey Parker) is just a godly Mormon trying to spread the Good Word across Hollywood, California. While going door to door with one of his colleagues, Joe is offered $20,000 dollars by director Maxxx Orbison (Michael Dean Jacobs) to star in a porn film as Captain Orgazmo, a superhero who sports a gun on one hand that can give villains instant orgasms. Of course, this kind of acting role goes against everything Joe stands for...yet the money would help him and his conservative fiancée pay for their upcoming nuptials.
Joe decides to accept the role (he never has to actually have sex, utilizing instead a "stunt cock"), a decision he will quickly come to regret. The character Captain Orgazmo becomes an enormous crossover hit, landing him on the cover of Time magazine and ranking as one of the 10 most profitable films ever made. When Joe is offered even more money to reprise his role, it begins a whirlwind of adventure that finds our unwitting hero battling evil henchmen, horny porn stars, and even his own guilty conscience. Get ready to be "blown away" by Orgazmo!
I laughed. Yes, I laughed and laughed and laughed. And when I was done laughing, I was slightly embarrassed; I'd just spent an hour and a half enjoying men with dildos stuck to their heads. My mother would be so proud. Needless to say, Orgazmo is not a film flush with good manners. This NC-17 rated comedy is low on taste and high on breast, butt, and penis jokes. In fact, I think we can safely say that, inside the Hollywood system, Orgazmo ranks as the Number One comedy revolving solely around gags set in the porn industry.
If you're at all familiar with Trey Parker and Matt Stone's work, you will know exactly what to expect out of Orgazmo. The film is a hit-and-miss comedy that's not for the squeamish -- it's filled with raunchy jokes about vaginas, testicles, penises, breasts, and other parts of the body you weren't allowed to talk about in grade school. The movie is a monument to bad taste and moronic humor.
Orgazmo is a hard movie to review. What, exactly, am I supposed to be reviewing? Once you've seen the film, you realize that while there is acting involved, no one is trying to do anything even remotely realistic. Trey Parker's Joe Young is the straight man of the film -- much of the humor revolves around his frustration working in the pornography industry. Parker displays a good screen persona, giving Joe the needed pathos required to make the character work.
Parker then surrounds himself with all kinds of oddball characters. Where do I begin? Well, there's his stumpy sidekick Choda Boy (Dian Bachar), who wears a huge penis on his head and smacks criminals with dildos. Then there's Dave (Parker's partner, Matt Stone), a film technician who tells everyone that he's not queer, then proceeds to act stereotypically homosexual. Finally, there is a bevy of real-life porn stars, including (God help me for knowing a few of their names) Chasey Lain, Juli Ashton, and the bafflingly popular Ron Jeremy (Jeremy is what Danny DeVito might look like if he were really, really ugly).
The film is a barrage of sex jokes, some of them funny, some of them just plain stupid. It takes a certain mentality to enjoy a film like this; in other words, do not try to watch this film with your Great Aunt Martha or Grandpa Earl. However, Orgazmo may not be a bad choice for a bunch of frat guys with beer in one hand and a doobie in the other. Hmmm. I think for the first time, without question, I've figured out exactly who the demographic target is for a particular film. Oddly enough, for a movie set in the porn industry, Orgazmo has very little nudity or actual sex. While it's still a very raunchy, sexual comedy, there's not much to cause offense when it comes to visuals -- when various characters start having sex, it's usually off camera, with moans, groans, and feet flying in the air. But be warned -- there is one scene so terrible, so earthshaking (quite literally), that it nearly made me weep like a little schoolgirl.
There isn't much left to say about Orgazmo. It's sort of like a third-rate Airplane!, except Peter Graves is nowhere to be found, and instead of it being set on a plane, it's in the bedroom, with lots of gags centered around naughty parts. I feel dirty recommending it, so I'll just leave it at this: If you really like South Park: Bigger, Louder & Uncensored, you'll love Orgazmo.
Orgazmo is presented in 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen. The transfer of the film is better than you've ever seen, though not quite as stunning as it could have been. The colors are all well rendered and the black levels dark and (usually) sharp -- there isn't a ton of detail here, but the picture looks good nonetheless. If you're a fan of the film, you'll most certainly be happy to get this widescreen presentation.
The soundtrack is presented in Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround in English. Much like the video transfer, this sound mix is only mediocre. However, while it won't blow the lid off of your sound system, the dialogue, music, and sound effects can all be clearly heard (and sometimes that's not such a good thing, considering the film's themes). Also included on this disc are English and French subtitles.
Fans have waited long and hard (ha ha!) to get their hands on this new "Special Edition" DVD (which includes about two extra minutes of footage not originally seen in theaters). Was it worth the wait? Here's a rundown of what you'll get:
Three Screen-Specific Audio Commentaries: The first, so-called "drunken" commentary is with Trey Parker, Matt Stone, and producer Jason McHugh, plus a bunch of other crew members whose names I didn't catch. The "actors" track features David Dunn, Robyn Lynne, Dian Bachar, and other actors from the film. The final "wild" commentary includes various members of the South Park writing staff, along with Weird Al Yankovic, writer-director Kevin Smith, and a few other big-name surprise guests. All three of the commentary tracks are entertaining, to various degrees. Each track is rather obnoxious, with the participants -- especially Stone and Parker -- goofing off more than doling out production info. The quality of some of the recordings is pretty poor -- I had a hard time hearing over the soundtrack of the film, and the guests commenting via telephone (i.e., Kevin Smith) were very hard to understand. But, I guess it's pretty much in keeping with the tone and style of the film.
Deleted Scenes with Optional Commentary: Around 30 minutes of deleted footage can be found on the flipside of the disc, with optional commentary from the drunken crew (mostly just giggles and chuckles). None of it is particularly exciting.
"The Book of Orgazmo" Featurette: This nearly 40-minute featurette looks at what it took for Parker and Stone to get their film from script to screen (including a short look at a few of their early films, and the cult classic Cannibal: The Musical). For fans of the film, this is a must-watch.
Finally, there are about eight minutes of EPK interview materials, an extended interview with Trey Parker, 18 minutes of some rather mediocre behind-the-scenes footage, some goofy outtakes from the production, a stills gallery, and some previews for the Universal films Seed of Chucky, Unleashed, Half-Baked: Fully Baked Edition, and the remake of Assault On Precinct 13.
Is it wrong that I laughed at Orgazmo? If so, please don't tell my parents.
It's a "hung" jury!
Review content copyright © 2005 Patrick Naugle; Site layout and review format copyright © 1998 - 2014 HipClick Designs LLC
Scales of Justice
* 1.85:1 Anamorphic
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround (English)
Running Time: 95 Minutes
Release Year: 1998
MPAA Rating: Rated NC-17
* "Drunken" Commentary Featuring Creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone, Producer Jason McHugh, and Production Team Members
* Cast Commentary Featuring Actors David Dunn, Robyn Lynne, and Dian Bachar
* "Wild" Commentary Featuring Numerous Special Guests
* Featurette: "The Book Of Orgazmo"
* Interview with Creator-Star Trey Parker
* Deleted Scenes with Optional Commentary
* Behind-The-Scenes Footage
* Stills Gallery
* EPK Materials
* Official Site