Pig Hunt is a movie on the verge of kick-assery. With rampaging hillbillies, a trippy hippie cult and a car-sized hog, this backwoods horror film has all the ingredients for a great B-movie experience, and it has moments so exciting that they can only be described with made-up words.
The verge of kick-assery
Pig Hunt is a movie on the verge of kick-assery.
With rampaging hillbillies, a trippy hippie cult and a car-sized hog, this backwoods horror film has all the ingredients for a great B-movie experience, and it has moments so exciting that they can only be described with made-up words. Watching a dozen toothless, bloodthirsty rednecks chase down whiney 20-somethings while launching their dirt bikes off hills is just so triptacular.
Unfortunately, Pig Hunt never realizes its potential until the energetic and eccentric third act when we’re already worn down from an hour’s worth of tired fright-film clichés and lousy dialogue. No made-up adjectives are needed here, just one simple, yet 100-percent accurate descriptor: boring.
The movie, directed by James Isaac (Jason X) and scripted by rookies to the horror game Zack Anderson and Robert Mailer Anderson, follows a group of friends out to shoot themselves some wild hogs in Northern California. Yet, as they travel deep into the woods, they begin to hear rumors, and ominous squeals, of a 3,000-pound black boar, accurately dubbed “The Ripper.”
Cue scene after scene of the wannabe hunters slowly walking through the woods, shooting guns and speaking in expository and inane dialogue.
These scenes, and the obligatory pig POV shots, are supposed to build tension, but the only suspense I felt during the first hour was when I thought I had left my car door unlocked. When the thought of someone stealing the loose change out of your car is scarier than the supposed horror on screen, you know something has gone wrong.
But, what it lacks in scares, Pig Hunt makes up for in uniqueness.
When a group of inexperienced city folk are alone in the woods and a massive swine is on the loose, you probably have a pretty good idea what happens next, right? Wrong.
Thankfully, the movie sidesteps the obvious and avoids giving us a “hunters become the hunted” plot we’ve seen so many times before. The problem is the filmmakers forget to give us any sort of replacement plot until midway through the movie.
Warning: To do the movie justice I will have to reveal some slight spoilers.
John, the veteran and leader of the group (played well by Travis Aaron Wade), unwisely lets his slightly crazed white trash friends come along for the hunt. Bad idea. As we all know, high-powered weaponry and psychopaths rarely mix.
After discovering a pot-growing hippie cult, one of the rednecks is killed, setting the local hillbilly clan, led by a gap-toothed priest played by Les Claypool, into revenge mode. Yes, it’s that Les Claypool. He also provided tunes for the film.
It’s here that the movie goes wild and the audience wakes up. It’s B-movie heaven when everyone descends on the home of the giant-boar-worshiping, bare-chested hippies.
Despite the lackluster and befuddling plot (the film appears to attempt some sort of commentary on war … or maybe drugs … or maybe hunting…), Pig Hunt does work visually. The set design and visual effects are top-notch and great care obviously went into giving the film a cohesive visual feel throughout. Kudos to the director for paying so much attention to the details that many low-budget horror films ignore.
The film has many flaws, but I can’t quite tell you to stay away unless you absolutely despise cheesy horror flicks. It’s a tentative recommendation.
If you are one of those people who routinely peruse the horror section of the video store looking for something to spark your inner Fangoria fan, then Pig Hunt should get you going. Lord knows it’s better than 75 percent of the horror crap thrown at us every year, even if that’s not saying much.
After all, how many films can boast a redneck motorcycle chase and a machete-toting hippie? Just this and Casablanca.