Before having the ability to offend large groups of people on a regular basis with a weekly show, Trey Parker had to cram all of his offending thoughts into his movies. Do you think a Mormon turned porn-star/martial-arts super-hero fits enough targets into one film?
Actually, Orgazmo doesn’t really seem to have been made with the intention of offending. If anything the film (and that term is used only in the literal sense here) feels like it was put together by a bunch of friends just fooling around with one of the most absurd concepts they could come up with. There’s even a disappointing lack of boob shots for a film that takes place around porn sets (usually covered up by an even more disappointing flabby male ass). Basically, if you can stand the idea of porn, and you aren’t Mormon, there’s really not much here to offend.
The movie is an origin story of sorts. Joe Young (Trey Parker) is on his mission in Los Angeles, doing what Mormons on missions do - peddling his religion door to door. One of those doors ends up being the wrong one - the home of porn director Maxxx Orbison (Michael Dean Jacobs) who orders his guards to cut off the interloper’s balls. Joe is not without his martial arts training though (does that come standard with the Book of Mormon?) and Orbison is impressed when Joe makes short work of his stooges. He offers Joe a part in his newest porn film - Orgazmo. Attempting to make money so he and his mormon fiancee can have an official wedding at the temple in Salt Lake City, Joe takes the job, as long as he doesn’t have to actually have sex, but soon finds himself getting more than he bargained for, especially when he discovers his movie sidekick “Choda Boy” (Dian Bachar) has developed a real functional version of Orgazmo’s weapon. When trouble exposes itself, can Joe become a real version of his porn-star super-hero?
Now all of that sounds absolutely ridiculous, but the truth is Orgazmo is a fun film that doesn’t take itself too seriously. If anything, it probably pokes more fun at itself and its content than any critic could: for instance the goofy sound of Orgazmo’s weapon (which sounds like a bike horn) or the effects shots that linger just a little too long, revealing models on fire instead of houses. The whole concept of the film is silly, and the execution of it is equally so. To top it all off Parker (who also wrote and directed the movie) manages to get porn stars like Ron Jeremy and Chasey Lain to join in the fun. How cool is that?
Orgazmo isn’t going to win any awards, unless maybe there’s an award for most outlandish concept or movies that get better with alcohol. Sure it has terrible production values, the audio is often out of sync with the video and the few special effect sequences are shoddy. That doesn’t stop it from being a fun film anyway, and even more frightening, a fun movie with a better story and more solid characters than some big budget blockbuster super-hero films (hello Catwoman I’m looking directly at you). It just goes to prove a big budget does not a great film make. Sometimes it’s more important to focus on the important stuff and have fun with your audience then attempt to wow them with things your movie doesn’t need.
This Uncut Special Edition of Orgazmo is a pretty big deal for the DVD crowd, not only because, for fans of the movie, there’s a lot of extras in here to be seen as well as anamorphic widescreen versions of the movie (both the original and extended versions are on the disc), but also because it’s been a long time coming. Given some of the references given in some of the retrospective looks at the film and commentary tracks, a lot of these bonus materials were filmed up to three years ago and have just been sitting on the shelf waiting for release.
Lets start with those commentary tracks, shall we? Most movies tack on a commentary with the cast or some of the crew, or sometimes both. Orgazmo takes that a step further and offers three different commentary tracks: Drunken, Cast, and Wild. The drunken track contains Matt Stone, Trey Parker, and a bunch of their friends after a few drinks, and they continue to drink among their ramblings throughout the film, and I do mean ramblings. As the alcohol goes on, the commentary becomes less coherent. The cast track reunites the cast (duh). The third commentary is a bit of a wild card, with people commenting on scenes who had nothing to do with the movie - “Weird” Al Yankovich, Kevin Smith - fans of this cult film paying tribute to it in a manner of speaking.
On side B (yes, it’s a flipper disc, which is one of the release’s downsides) are the rest of the extras - a veritable smorgasbord of bonus material on the film which, in all, are longer than the original movie itself. Heck, just the deleted scenes and outtakes rival the film’s running time, although they are probably the least interesting extras included in comparison. The deleted scenes mostly offer alternate cuts of scenes, although they do finally explain where Joe’s Mormon partner disappears to after the opening scene. The outtakes are pretty funny - you can’t help but laugh as forty minutes of bloopers, mess ups, and laughing pass by in front of you.
There are two looks at behind-the-scenes of the movie. One is just a bunch of home video footage strung together. There’s no real flow to connect what you’re looking at, just a candid look at making a movie with friends. The other look is more formal, titled “The Book of Orgazmo” it explores the development of the movie, from idea through filming. Trey Parker and his friends and partners are surprisingly honest throughout this retrospective look, explaining where ideas came from, what interested them in doing this, and just how low budget the production (and their lives) were at times.
Finally there’s a bunch of zany stuff too long to mention here, because some of it is hidden on the disc in the form of easter eggs. One of the more prominent weird things is an interview with Trey Parker at 1996’s DragonCon where he was apparently brought in through a satellite transmission that never really worked the way it should have. The result is kind of funny to watch, although it’s the kind of thing you’d only watch once. Also included are the red band trailer for the movie’s theatrical release and the original 16mm spoof trailer for Orgazmo, shot before the movie was even really written (with Ron Jeremy playing a different role than he ended up in for the actual film).
With a bunch of supplementary information on the film, the Orgazmo Uncut Special Edition is a DVD done right with only a few minor complaints, such as the disc being a flipper rather than making this a two disc set. Also, even though the picture is now anamorphic widescreen, the sound is still standard stereo, and sounds really bad at times. It’s a shame they couldn’t go back and redub some of the scenes when creating the transfer for this. Although how much should you expect from a super hero porn star movie?