Sunday, 24 October 2010

Pig Hunt

Title: Pig Hunt
Director: James Isaac
Released: 2008
Staring: Travis Aaton Wade, Tina Huang, Howard Johnson Jr. Trevor Bullock, Rajiv Shah, Jason Foster, Nick Tagas, Phillip K. Torretto, Cimi Ahluwalia

Rating: 3.5 / 5

Plot: John (Wade) and his friends head up to his dead uncles ranch for a weekend of hunting, with the prospect of hunting a legendry three thousand pound boar known as “The Ripper”.

Review: While it is not my obvious intension to keep breaking from my ongoing A-Z of Asian cinema, I did however feel the urge to write about this movie while it was still fresh, especially with being off on vacation for the next week, I knew that I had to write about this film, while the memory is still fresh for “Pig Hunt” is certainly a strange little movie to say the least, which is thanks largely to it seemingly never being quite sure, as to what kind of movie it really wants to be, as it starts off as a giant killer pig movie in the same spirit of “Razorback” (1984), only to suddenly change to the psycho redneck movie, as it suddenly develops undertones of “Southern Comfort” (1981) when the group also manage to piss off the local rednecks, before deciding that a killer pig movie, with added crazed rednecks still might not be exciting enough and also throws in a pig worshiping cult and a healthy dose of naked hippy chicks for good measure, yet somehow Director Isaac has not only made this all blend together into one crazy ass ride, but also in a weird way manages to convince the audience to an extent that these are not just random plot threads thrown together because writers Robert Mailer Anderson and Zack Anderson couldn’t decide on what sort of movie they wanted write, but that it’s all part of the same movie and not just a bunch of cool ideas clumsily stuck together, but then Isaac is no stranger to random plotting especially seeing how he also directed one of my favourite entries in the Friday the 13th saga “Jason X” (2001) which not only seemed like something fresh for the long running series, but still remains one of the few sequels that is set in space which actually works and doesn’t feel like the writers just plain ran out of ideas.

Isaac shows some real skill here, now he's free from the medling of studio bosses and carefully ramps up the tension for the first half of the film, as the group hunt down the boar along with John’s former redneck buddies Jake (Foster) and Nick (Ricky) who are not only crude in their methods, but bring a greasy charm to the group, while also proving the setup for the crazed rednecks, who are introduced when the focus is suddenly shifted away from the hunt for “The Ripper”. Still Isaac plays the threat of the pig in a similar way to “Jaws” (1975) keeping his killer pig off screen until the finale, yet still giving us the occasional burst of gore rather than keeping everything from the audience which so many other films attempt to pull off, usually failing miserably as they leave the audience feeling cheated out on what they were hoping to see. Still it’s when the tension is ramped up to the max that Isaac for some reason then decides to switch the focus from the pig to the crazed rednecks, which to his credit Isaac still manages to keep the action flowing well, as the film suddenly becomes like a forest set version of Mad Max, as the rednecks pull out some of the randomness collection of vehicles I have seen since “Fair Game” (1986), with the ultimate being the crazed preachers dirt buggy complete with mounted crucifix! What follows is essentially a sequence of Mad Max style action, as the rural and urban worlds clash while serving to add an additional, if slightly unneeded threat to the group, as well as some fun vehicular action, rather than anything too important to the actual plot, with this random change in plotting leading to the even more random inclusion of the pig worshiping cult, who also have setup a home for themselves in these same woods.

Looking past the random plotting I did however find myself asking why a group of soldiers, couldn’t still manage to hit the broadside of barn door, with the exception of John who is given a hint of a darker back story, which is soon forgotten soon after it’s mentioned with the best shot of the whole group being his girlfriend Brooks (Huang). Now I don’t want to start making assumptions of their military training, but why even include the idea of them being soldiers on leave? Is the war that much of a draw for cinema goers that we feel the need to reference it in this way? I can’t be sure, but it’s certainly a clumsy piece of characterisation with only Quincy (Bullock), their civvie street friend coming of the most realistic, even if his role of the group punch line, soon steps over the line to the point, were you also feel sorry for the constant torment he is forced to endure throughout, especially when he receives no form of retribution here.

Gore wise there is certainly enough to keep your interest here, even bringing some original pieces to the field including a nasty boar induced kneecapping, with the bonus being that the majority of it is being created using old school effects, which is certainly welcome, especially with so much modern horror now being so CGI heavy and with such a limited budget being used here, it makes all the more satisfying not having to endure bargain basement CGI effects, which seem to constantly dog the majority of indie horror films. Still if you’re a pig lover, you might want to watch something else, as the pigs do find themselves on the receiving end of a large amount of this violence, the majority of which is plain shock value rather than anything to drive the plot along, with one of these scenes including a pig having it’s head sawn off, shortly after being shot.

It might be a random bag of ideas, but it still makes for a fun midnight movie and certainly attempts to bring something new to the table, even if it’s not quite sure which of it’s numerous plots it wants to follow more, as it blends various genres and styles, to create a pretty fun ride, with the gore and gratuitous nudity really only adding to the fun times. It might not be the greatest killer pig movie, an honour still reserved for “Razorback”, but it’s certainly a strong contender.


  1. I do really like the sound of this now, I'' have to gove it a watch, great post

  2. Yeah it's totally worth giving a watch, even though it won't be making a classic horror list any time soon, it still makes for a fun evenings viewing.


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