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MRQE Top Critic

Straight To Hell Returns

Post-Repo Man cult favorite returns with improved special effects —John Adams (review...)

Alex Cox returns... Straight to Hell

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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 next movie.

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 “orgazmorator.”

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 crime.

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 director).

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 off.

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.