Film Scouts Reviews


by Richard Schwartz

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Wily, goofy and over-the-top, Trey Parker's "Orgazmo" should have no problem achieving midnight cult status. The prospects of a more popular success, however, seem a bit unlikely. The outlandish comedy, which chronicles the rise of a Mormon-missionary-turned-porn-superhero, has already earned an NC-17 rating and its homage to the adult video industry will not help in mainstream circles either.

But then again similar doubts were voiced over the somewhat vulgar nature of Parker's previous Sundance entry, an animated short which featured a fist fight between Jesus and Santa Claus. Apparently audiences *were* ready for the Parker (and co-writer Matt Stone) brand of humor; "The Spirit of Christmas," of course, was spun off into the wildly successful cartoon "South Park."

"Orgazmo" was actually completed before "South Park" even hit the airwaves, which seems even more a tribute to Parker's ability to create an entertaining full-length feature on an independent budget. Like "South Park," the film pulls no punches in the offensiveness category. Organized religion is juxtaposed with pornographic films. Mormons are treated with constant ridicule (surprisingly well received by the Utah crowd). A grotesquely obese woman is shown having sexual intercourse. Whining Japanese, orgasmic Hasidim, queer production assistants, even porn legend Ron Jeremy - they're all here to offend and amuse.

All outrageousness aside, Parker's talent as a director, screenwriter and actor are evident throughout this frenetic romp, which so inspired veteran producer Jerry Zucker that he choose to collaborate with the young filmmaker for his next project. As these major projects continue to roll in - but even on the merits of "South Park" alone - Parker should come to be recognized as one of Sundance's most daring discoveries.

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