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“Jesus and I love you, Joe.”

Love it or hate it, there can be no denying the cultural impact of Trey Parker and Matt Stone’s animated series, South Park. Although not as ‘cool’ as it once was, the show is still ticking away nicely, with the last few seasons brining some of the best episodes yet. With a hit show—not to mention a full-length movie—behind them, Parker and Stone were able to move away from South Park to make last year’s savagely hilarious marionette adventure, Team America: World Police. While most of this is common knowledge, what isn’t as widely known is that there was life for Parker and Stone before South Park. In 1997, Trey Parker wrote, directed and starred in a low-budget flick that took a humorous swipe at the Los Angeles porn industry—that film was Orgazmo.

Orgazmo: Special Edition

Feature


Trek Parker stars as Joe Young, a young Mormon from the Church of Latter-Day Saints who is currently on mission in Los Angeles. Although happy in his work, Joe dreams of the day when he can leave LA and return home to Utah to marry his sweetheart, Lisa, in the Mormon Tabernacle—a ceremony that won’t come cheap. As luck would have it, Joe visits a house belonging to adult film producer Maxxx Orbison, who is in the market for a leading man for his new movie, Orgazmo. Although initially reticent about working in such an immoral industry, Joe is eventually tempted by the lure of a $20,000 paycheque, which is more than enough to give Lisa the wedding she desires.

And so it comes to pass that Joe Young becomes ‘Tom Hung’, a.k.a. Orgazmo, the caped-crusader of porno. Along with his loyal sidekick, Choda Boy (Dian Bachar), Orgazmo takes on ‘all-cummers’ as he fights to save scantily clad young temptresses from the clutches of villains such as Jizz Master Zero (Ron Jeremy) and Neutered Man (David Dunn). However, when the film crosses over into the mainstream and Orbison demands a sequel, Joe, who is already worried about Lisa uncovering his alter-ego, refuses to take part. Joe soon learns that Orbison is not a man to be trifled with, as Lisa is kidnapped and held hostage in order to coerce him into appearing in the film. Before long Joe is forced to adopt the ‘Orgazmo’ persona for real in order to save his girl and defeat the forces of evil, once, and for all.

Video


Orgazmo is presented in its theatrical aspect ratio of 1.85:1, with anamorphic enhancement for those able to take advantage. The low-budget origins of the film are immediately apparently, but all-in-all things aren’t too bad. The image is a little soft, and the level of detail is some way off what one would demand from a flagship title, but then that’s to be expected. The greatest complaint I have is the number of film artefacts on display, but this Special Edition is still better than previous releases in that department (or at least better than the old region two disc that I used to own). Colour rendition is generally fine, while contrast and black levels remain consistent. However, I did feel that the palette was somewhat muted throughout. This is particularly apparent during a number of exterior shots, which almost appear overcast at times. Still, none of this really had an adverse affect on my ability to enjoy of the film, so it’s hard to criticise the transfer too harshly.

Orgazmo: Special Edition

Audio


The disc includes a Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround track that is best described as functional. The track is extremely front-orientated, with only a few brief instances of surround action to break things up. Thankfully this isn’t too much of a problem as the material doesn’t call for anything terribly dynamic, being as it is a predominantly dialogue-driven affair. The dialogue in question comes across clearly from the centre channel, and is nicely balanced with the music and effects. The music suits the tone of the film perfectly, and even includes a fantastic signature tune from Trey Parker’s band, DVDA (if you don’t know what that stands for, you will after watching the movie). All-in-all this is a solid, if uninspiring, track that does what it says on the tin.

Extras


Well, where to begin? This Special Edition of Orgazmo arrives on disc as a DVD-18—that is, a dual-sided, dual-layered affair. As such, there’s plenty of room for hours of Orgazmo related material, and that’s exactly what we get. At this point it’s worth noting that there are rumours that the Canadian release of this film is spread across two DVD-9s, which, if true, should please those who find these dual-sided discs more prone to wear and tear. Anyway, let’s get on with the content.

The first side of the disc includes not one, but two versions of the film—the original NC-17 theatrical cut, and a new ‘Unrated’ cut that runs for around two minutes longer. The differences here are negligible, but to my mind there’s really nothing in either version to warrant the NC-17 rating. It seems that the MPAA has no problem with graphic depictions of extreme violence, but showing a guy running around with a dildo strapped to his head is a no-no…

Orgazmo: Special Edition
Also on side one are three commentary tracks from various people associated with the production. The tracks are titled ‘Drunk’, ‘Cast’ and ‘Wild’, and vary greatly in quality (both in terms of content and audio). The drunken commentary is easily the best of the bunch, more than likely because it features creator Trey Parker, collaborators Matt Stone, Dian Bachar, Jason McHugh, Dave the Lighting Guy and his girlfriend. What makes this track all the more interesting is that the participants start out fairly drunk, but become shambolic wrecks by the end. This is thanks to a drinking game that requires them to chug every time someone uses the words ‘Orgazmo’, ‘Jesus’, or the phrase ‘Heavenly Father’. The second commentary features the crew, including Maki San, David Dunn, Robyn Rabb and Jason McHugh, while commentary number three features participants such as Weird Al Yankovic, Kevin Smith, Dave Foley, Bob Odenkirk and David Zucker. As mentioned, the audio quality of the commentary tracks isn’t quite what it could be. This is especially true of the third track, which is so poor that it’s virtually impossible to make out the dialogue for the first few minutes. Stick with the drunken commentary to avoid disappointment.

Side two is where the bulk of the supplemental material resides, and it’s some pretty decent material at that. First up we have around thirty minutes of deleted scenes, complete with optional drunken commentary from Parker, Stone and company. These are a pretty mixed bag, but one scene in which a hapless male performer struggles to find a safe place to ‘relive’ himself really stands out. Also of supreme ‘chortle factor’ is the scene in which Choda Boy uses the mighty ‘Cock of Truth’ on a pair of unsuspecting porno actresses. The commentary consists mostly of riotous laughing at jokes that shouldn’t have been cut out (at least not according to Parker), but the track is kind of hard to make out because of the audio quality and the fact that the participants are so wasted they can barely string a sentence together! It’s still pretty funny though.

Next we have the lengthy documentary ‘The Book of Orgazmo: Another Testament of Trey Parker’, which takes us through virtually every stage of production. There’s plenty of info on how the gang met, their earlier collaborations (such as college films and Cannibal: The Musical), interviews with Ron Jeremy and an uncovered Juli Ashton (now there’s something worth watching), plenty of ripping on Dian Bachar, and much more. For my money, the documentary is even more entertaining than the deleted scenes, and it’s always nice to hear from Trey and Matt ‘out of character’, so to speak.

Orgazmo: Special Edition
The ‘DragonCon’ interview from 1998 is actually one of the funniest things on the disc, at least to my twisted mind. The first five minutes or so of the interview consists of Trey Parker sitting, staring blankly ahead as all sorts of technical problems with the satellite link-up wreak havoc with the audio. When he does get to answer some questions he manages to be extremely amusing, even working in a running joke his producer about how ‘hot’ the girl interviewing him is. This is a great piece for fans of Trey Parker, because we really get to see him ad-libbing and interacting with a crowd (albeit via satellite).

Forty minutes of outtakes follow. These are reasonably amusing, but do become somewhat repetitive after the fifth time of watching someone screw up their lines or crack up during a take. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed them, but for me the best of the outtakes is undoubtedly the one that is the most telegraphed. Let’s just say that it pays service to a certain movie in which an empire strikes back… It’s a pity a drunken commentary wasn’t recorded for the outtakes, because it would have added that little bit extra.

Clocking in at a little under eighteen minutes, the behind-the-scenes featurette includes plenty of on-set footage. We get to see the principal cast rehearsing (often with hilarious results), stunts gone awry (complete with a bloody-nosed, whining stuntman), interviews with the crew, and more. I found this segment particularly refreshing after all of those slick studio ‘behind-the-scenes’ featurettes that are basically nothing more than back-slapping promotional fluff.

The EPK interviews run for just under eight minutes, and feature historical interviews with Trey Parker, Matt Stone, Dian Bachar, Jason McHugh and Juli Ashton (who seems to have read a little too much into her character). There’s very little here that you won’t find elsewhere on the disc, but it’s nice that these were included for the sake of completing the Orgazmo experience.

Finally we have a couple of trailers and a stills gallery that offers plenty of behind-the-scenes photos of the cast and crew. The trailers are worth watching, not least because the original 16mm ‘spoof’ trailer is there, but stills galleries have never really been my thing. However, the indifference was offset somewhat by the inclusion of many stills of the stunning ‘Naughty Twins’…

Orgazmo: Special Edition

Overall


While it’s fair to say that Orgazmo is the poor relation to both South Park and Team America, the movie is not without its charms. Sure it’s low-budget, and some of the jokes miss the mark, but all the indicators of greater things to come are there. Parker makes for a credible and likable straight man, with much of the humour revolving around the ‘fish out of water’ scenario of his Mormon character in porno.

The disc itself is an Orgazmo fan’s dream, with more material than most sane people would want to sit through in one go. The only really disappointing thing about the collection of supplemental material assembled for this release is the poor quality of the second and third commentary tracks. Even so, it seems harsh to criticise this particular aspect when everything else is so damn funny. The icing on the cake has to be the audio-visual quality of the disc, which pretty good considering the low-budget origins of the material, and a damn sight better than any version of the film I’ve seen before. If all of this isn’t enough to convince you, there’s even the added bonus of the longer ‘unrated’ cut of the movie. Take it from me—buy it, watch it, and laugh your arse off.


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