Film Review: Orgazmo (1997)

Trey Parker and Matt Stone have a lot of strange ideas. They've written films about a hybrid basketball/baseball game becoming the hottest sport in America, counter-terrorists operatives portrayed by puppets, and even a group of foul-mouthed fourth graders saving the world from the rise of Hell overseen by the soul of Saddam Hussein. None of those compare to the bizarre story of Orgazmo. Orgazmo is a film within a film/make a picture film about the porn industry. A Mormon missionary gets snared up in a mob/pornography ring after he uses his karate skills in front of the kingpin/producer. The missionary is offered $20000 to star in the porno superhero epic Orgazmo, about a man with a cannon on his arm that instantly gives anyone targeted an orgasm. The missionary's beliefs are pushed and pushed as the kingpin/producer tries to turn him into the biggest name in pornographic films.

It's a ridiculous concept that somehow works. The world of Orgazmo is pushed into such oddball territory from the start that anything becomes believable. Once you've had a sweet little old lady spew out a string of obscenities that would make Cartman blush because missionaries knocked on her door, you're pretty clearly in anything goes territory. It does. The film is crude but never vulgar and contains brief glimpses topless women and pants-less men shot from behind. The rest is covered with editing, staging jokes, or close-ups of the missionary's face as he's forced to do things that go against his faith.

Trey Parker gives a great performance as the missionary. He's sweet and innocent for most of the film. When he needs to step outside of that and use his karate to fight crime, it's believable. He throws his full body into the performance and doesn't break character. None of the casts breaks during the film.

The structure of the screenplay is strong. Parker and Stone take a lot of odd ideas and fit them nicely into the expected beats of a superhero film. A non-threatening person is suddenly pushed into a world they didn't know existed, plays around with their new-found powers, and is forced to fight for good after someone he knows is put in harms way. They just did it with a film about the porn industry and organized crime.

Orgazmo is simply a funny comedy. I laughed consistently throughout the running time. Two weeks later, I can still smile and chuckle as scenes pop back into my head. If you have Netflix Instant, it's worth streaming it.

Rating: 7/10

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