Porno (2019) – movie review

Porno. Image credit: Courtesy of IMDb Porno. Image credit: Courtesy of IMDb

It’s fair to say that the only reason I watched and decide to review this title is that I’m probably going to get tons of views from people searching up “porno movie” on the internet! Also, this review gives the childish side of me an excuse to make a few innuendos and sex-related puns, which is always fun. So, apologies in advance about that!

Porno is a horror-comedy, available on VOD since April 8th, that pays homage to 70s shlock horror. It’s the passion project from Keola Racela (first-time director) and the duo Matt Black and Laurence Vannicelli (first-time screenwriters). Before we delve into the movie, I want to make clear that, despite the copious nudity and the title, Porno is not very pornographic: it’s just about an adult film that haunts and kills people!

Continue reading and check my final grade below…


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My review is also available on IMDb – Porno (2019)

Check out the official list of 2020 horror films I’ve watched

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Porno – yes, it has a plot!

Five teen employees at the local movie theatre in a small Christian town discover a mysterious old film hidden in its basement: they suspect it to be an adult movie, therefore something forbidden to them. However, curiosity takes the upper hand and they decide to play the film. By doing that, they unleash an alluring succubus who gives them an education in… sex and gory death!

Even though the opening scene of the movie is rather pornographic, the movie quickly reveals itself as something different (and better). In fact, Porno is a rather out-there and gruesome horror-comedy: there are tons of instances of full nudity, but they’re either played for laughs or to set-up disturbing and gory sequences. In other words, the goal of this particular Porno is not to arouse the audience (shocker!), but to entertain and scare them.

Offensive comedy and disturbing horror

As a horror-comedy, Porno succeeds at mixing the two genres together in a way that’s never tasteful or subtle, but – for that specific reasons – feels ballsy (yes, it’s a pun) and effective. The comedy is often times juvenile and stupid, but Porno never takes itself seriously (even when stakes are raised), so that you can enjoy the practical jokes as well as the childish sense of humour throughout the movie.

The horror element is, in a way, even more effective. Despite the overabundance of cheap jump-scares that made certain scenes obnoxious, most of the horror relies on squeamish gore and phenomenal practical effects: whenever a scene is getting titillating, the movie surprise you with a brutal kill or mutilation (worst porno ever, am I right?) in a way that both defeats expectations and feels genuinely off-putting.

Porno-like acting and dialogue

Although I’m, perhaps, making it sounds like a sort of hidden gem, there are obviously many aspects that feel cheap and not-so-great in the movie. The porno-level acting might be appropriate for the title of the film, but it’s really distracting when you’re trying to enjoy the movie in a serious way – or without your hands in your pants. The same goes for the dialogue, which is okay when it comes to the comedy, but it’s filled with dumb lines in regard to character development and story progression.

During a few surreal sequences, Porno manages to establish a threatening atmosphere through creative, nightmarish visuals and eerie sound-design. Other than these instances, though, the movie is technically flat and, at times, even badly-made due to poor lighting and unimaginative cinematography. The score is either fitting and original, or bland and uninspired, depending on what scene you’re watching.

Conclusions

I can’t believe I’m writing this, but here it goes: this is probably the most well-made Porno I’ve ever seen. All jokes aside, this film is much better than I anticipated and way better-made than it could’ve been. For a first-time effort from both the director and the writers, Porno is a rather entertaining and enjoyable watch.

What I appreciate the most about this movie is how courageous and unconventional it is: it doesn’t shy away from extreme gore, full-on nudity and very inappropriate jokes (kind of like a Troma movie). Therefore, even the elements that don’t fully work in the film are easy to look past, because of the overall pleasant experience.

Rating 6

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