John’s uncle passed away recently, leaving him with a large chunk of land that him and his friends plan to use for a few days of camping and pig hunting. But their weekend of booze, boar and guns gets ruined rather quickly – and not just because John tainted the testosterone-laden circle jerk by bringing his hot girlfriend along with them. The further they get into the woods in hunt of their elusive prey, they find that there are a lot of really strange things in these neck of the woods. Along with the unpredictable, country-fried Tibbs brothers the hunting party also run into mutilated emus, homicidal rednecks, marijuana fields, naked Hippie Cult Girls with their machete wielding leader, and the local legend -a 3000 lb, man-eating black boar named The Ripper. Check out the trailer and my thoughts after the jump
I have really been looking forward to this one for a little while. I mean, you checked out the trailer, right? Sure, James Isaac’s Jason X may not have been a masterpiece, but I thought some of it was entertaining in a silly way and besides, it did have the liquid-nitrogen face smash. So I am at a total loss at what happened here. If you watched the trailer, or simply read the synopsis, you have to admit it sounds like a pretty good time. A film seemingly chock-full of hicksploitation bliss. City-slickers wanderin’ where they aught not be wanderin’ and bringing the vengeful wrath of a dozen homicidal hayseed’s down on their pampered heads. All the while, a giant pig is out there watching, waiting to eat off the screaming face of any one of them at any time. Hell, it even has Les Claypool contributing music along with playing the role of one of the rednecks named Preacher. It’s Deliverance meets Razorback, for God’s sake! It practically makes itself! So what happened?
Had they stuck with the basic premise of two groups duking it out in the woods while some Ham-Beast waited in the wings to dole out a bit of Swine Fu – maybe even having the survivors of the two warring factions band together to take out the monstrosity – then I have no doubt this could have been something spectacular. But that is not quite the direction Pig Hunt goes.
Things start rocky with a group of friends from San Francisco who are not particularly likable (even though Tina Huang is mighty tasty looking at times) and way too much time is spent exploring their relationships with each other. This consisted of awkward dialog and confusing relationship dynamics laden with character cliches. The only two of the group that are remotely worth watching are Jake (Jason Foster) and Ricky (Nick Tagas), two brothers local to the area who have scores to settle with John. They join up with the group with the promise of finding pigs and maybe even the legendary Ripper himself.
When Pig Hunt gets interesting is when the city kids finally run afoul of the local denizens after an act of deadly self-defense. They find themselves changed from hunter to hunted when the cornfed crew chases after them to serve some hillbilly justice. This portion was pretty damned good. You see a bit of this in the trailer and to be honest, this is when Pig Hunt is at its most enjoyable. It is when the film actually echoes the trailer and delivers a good chunk of the goods. It’s all shotguns, mud and blood with the Toothless Brigade making our poor San Franciscan’s run for their lives and culminating into two of the better scenes in the entire film. The skirmish is shot well, is violent and includes a bit of edge-of-your-seat type action. Then, just as quick as things started getting good, everything starts going downhill.
One of the biggest problems for me with Pig Hunt was the introduction of yet a third party of people living in the woods of Big Wallow. They consist of a group of hippies who look like models of Maxim’s back pages. They are deemed the Hippie Cult Girls on the official website and live in the woods growing and selling weed while raising emus for clothing and food. Their leader is a big, bald black man who walks around with a machete strapped to his back. The film spends quite a bit of time with this group, and they play an important part in the film – especially concerning the Ripper. It’s just too bad that it is just too goddamn stupid. I don’t mind quirky, off-kilter or oddball films. I love them when they are done right. But this plotline was just silly. I am surprised that their role in the film exists at all as everything they do in Pig Hunt could have been done by the backwood clan. This would have been a hell of a lot more entertaining to watch, especially since they are the only characters in the film worth watching, and a lot less dumb.
My other major gripe is with the Ripper himself. Sure, it is common knowledge – and common practice – to keep the monster in a horror movie hidden during the beginning. It keeps the viewer on their toes and builds up the anticipation leading to the final reveal. When done correctly it is amazingly effective. In the case of Pig Hunt, the Ripper was quite the disappointment. After all the buildup and the promise of a creature most ferocious, the legend was a big letdown. It’s just a giant pig head that you can see at the end of the trailer. Not much else is shown and you never get a clear shot of the actual pig. I’m usually happy when lower budget films do not go the CGI route, but damn, Syfy has better creatures than this. To be such a supposedly ferocious hogzilla, one that had ended the lives of many men, the Ripper sure didn’t do much to live up to the hype. I’m not gonna spoil anything, but let’s just say that Snuffalufagus may not have been as violent as the Ripper, but he moved just as fast and was definitely more disturbing looking.
The film is not a total disaster as like I said, there are a couple shining moments when dealing with the redneck rampage, but the sweet possibilities Pig Hunt had in its muddy hands were squandered. Throw in some standard horror movie trappings that will have most viewers fully aware of who will survive to the credits in the first 15 minutes and predicting the remaining 85, and you have a movie worth about 2-and-a-half stuck pigs.
Related articles by Zemanta
- Review: Rolling Vengeance – 8-Tons Of Car Crushing Revenge (dreamindemon.com)
- Review: Hatchet – Old School Slasher Goodness (dreamindemon.com)
- Review: Albino Farm – Hick Horror Of The Worst Kind (dreamindemon.com)
- Review: Orphan – There’s Something Wrong With This Movie (dreamindemon.com)