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Movie Review

Parker's 'Orgazmo' a Wacky, Inspired Spoof of Porn Films

October 23, 1998|KEVIN THOMAS | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Warning: Although an end-title disclaimer to Trey Parker's blissfully outrageous "Orgazmo" assures us that "no actual Mormons were used or abused in the making of this film," some members of the Church of Latter-Day Saints may be offended unless they approach the picture in the spirit of zany nonsense in which it was made. What's more, when a young Mormon (Parker) comes to the critical moment of truth in his life, he regains a sense of traditional values that turns him into a hero.

Parker's clean-cut Joe Young is doing his Mormon missionary tour of duty in Hollywood when he knocks on the door of porn-meister Maxxx Orbison (Michael Dean Jacobs). Maxxx is so impressed by Young's martial arts skills in dispatching a phalanx of security goons that he immediately envisions him as the star of his latest opus, a cheesy porno "Batman," in which Young would play the super-stud Orgazmo.

Young is shocked at the proposition until Maxxx antes his offer up to $20,000, which surely would go a long way toward paying for the kind of wedding his fiancee (Robyn Lynne Raab) craves. Young reluctantly--very reluctantly agrees--when Maxxx assures him that he will use a double in the sexual interludes.

When Orbison's porno becomes a phenomenal hit, Young's life is turned upside down. His engagement to marry is endangered, and he is thrown into a series of adventures when it becomes clear that Maxxx is involved in a wide range of unsavory underworld activities. As it happens, Orgazmo has a Robin-like sidekick (Dian Bachar), who's an inventor when he isn't acting in porn. Helpfully, he has just invented Orgazmorator, a fancy stun-gun that disarms its victims by zapping them into intense orgasms. So when Joe becomes disenchanted, to put it mildly, with the crooked Maxxx, he becomes a crime fighter, garbed like Batman and armed with the Orgazmorator.

All this is as silly as it sounds, but it's silly in the best sense--inspired wackiness evoking one laugh after another. Parker's no-budget 1994 debut feature, "Cannibal! The Movie," became a cult video before it was finally released theatrically earlier this month. It showed that Parker knew how to get a laugh though technically it was on the level of a home movie. Parker, who broke through with the cartoon comedy "South Park" when it aired on Comedy Central, here had enough of a budget to show that he is capable of developing and sustaining a brisk tempo amid nonstop off-the-wall antics.

Parker and his co-stars are fun, and his cast includes a number of people, including Bachar, who have worked with him on both sides of the camera right from the start of his career as a University of Colorado film student. "Orgazmo," which could be summed up as a martial arts spoof of porn filmmaking with an affectionate nod to comic book heroes, is a natural for midnight movie slots once it's completed its regular runs.

* MPAA rating: NC-17, for explicit sexual content and dialogue. Times guidelines: There is actually very little sex, which is presented for broad comic effect, but there is much extremely blunt language and some standard martial arts violence.

'Orgazmo'

Trey Parker: Joe Young

Dian Bachar: Ben Chapleski

Robyn Lynne Raab: Lisa

Michael Dean Jacobs: Maxxx Orbison

An October Films presentation. Writer-director Trey Parker. Producers Fran Rubel Kuzui, Jason McHugh, Matt Stone. Executive producers Mark Damon, Kaz Kazui, Noriaki Nakagawa. Cinematographer Kenny Giosetti. Editors Parker, Michael R. Miller. Costumes Kristen Anacker. Music supervisor Christopher Violette. Production designer Tristan Paris Bourne. Running time: 1 hour, 35 minutes.

* In general release throughout Southern California.

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