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1 review, 6 user ratings

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Pig Hunt
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by Jay Seaver

"Classic trash cinema for the twenty-first century."
3 stars

SCREENED AT THE 2008 FANTASIA FESTIVAL: It happens at least once at every festival: You get your tickets for the movie about people in the backwoods being menaced by a giant pig, and then during the introductions and Q&A, the filmmakers are keen to tell you how their movie is an allegory for America today and the war in Iraq (assuming, of course, that you frequent the sort of festival that has giant pig movies). It's a fine enough ambition, although not one that is able to make a decent giant pig movie into a GREAT giant pig movie.

We start with John Hickman (Travis Aaron Wade), an Iraq war veteran who is taking his friends Ben (Howard Johnson Jr.), Wade (Rajiv Shah), and Quincy (Trevor Bullock) to his uncle's old cabin for a hunting trip. They predictably razz him for also bringing his girlfriend Brooks (Tina Huang); Quincy's dog is also riding along. When they get there, they cross paths with brothers Jake (Jason Foster) and Ricky (Nick Tagas), who knew John before he was all citified, and look on his new friends with the expected disdain and hostility. Before we go hunting, they suggest, why not try grabbing some of the weed the local hippie commune/cult complex is growing? On the way there, they find some really large tracks, and...

It's a touch disingenuous to call Pig Hunt a giant pig movie, even though, yes, there is an enormous carnivorous pig. Excise the big from this movie, and you've still got a bunch of urbanites, hillbillies, and hippie cultists who really don't like each other in close proximity and ready to throw down. The pig gives the filmmakers some chance to ask the metaphorical question of whether these three different stripes of American can band together against an external danger or whether they're doomed to remain at each other's throats - and plot-wise, keep any of the sides from digging in and wearing the other down - but it's not really a memorable monster on its own. As nice as the animatronic pig is, I don't see many coming out of this hoping for Pig Hunt 2.

Not for the pig, and not for the humans. The hippie cultists are quite interchangeable, and while the backwoods types are a little less so, the two that show up first are the most memorable, mainly because they've got some sort of tie to John that a little time is spent on. Some of the city characters are a bit more memorable: Quincy is soft in every way imaginable, an overweight saucier who really has no business being on a hunting trip, but Trevor Bullock makes him charming as well as ridiculous. Ben is obnoxious, a gung-ho gun nut that I initially thought was a fellow vet but is, in fact, just a poser. The main guys, John and Brooks, are maybe a bit too clearly designed to be all things to all people: John is always reasonable, no matter which group of acquaintances he's dealing with, while Brooks is good at everything.

What the movie lacks in characterization, it makes up in energy. It gives you Les Claypool of Primus as the preacher who rallies the redneck troops, and throws the backwoods residents around on a whole bunch of homemade vehicles. There's a whole bunch of hot cult girls, and plenty of bloody action, whether it comes in the form of man versus man or man versus beast. As this is the sort of grindhouse movie that wears "no budget for CGI" as a badge of honor, the vicious multi-ton boar is achieved with practical effects, and looks pretty nice - by which I mean, of course, imposing and kind of nasty.

"Pig Hunt" isn't really a great movie in any way, but it's probably one of the more authentic grindhouse experiences in recent years because of it: It's overblown in the way the "classics" are, avoids self-reference and self-parody while still serving up the basic exploitation goods.

link directly to this review at https://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/review.php?movie=17625&reviewer=371
originally posted: 09/30/08 16:16:47
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OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2008 Fantasia Film Festiva For more in the 2008 Fantasia Film Festival series, click here.
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2009 Santa Cruz Film Festival For more in the 2009 Santa Cruz Film Festival series, click here.

User Comments

7/19/11 Josie Cotton is a goddess Today's throwback to 80's throwbacks to 50's monster movies (only with more gore). Fun! 4 stars
6/24/10 porfle The filmmakers had fun making it, I had fun watching it. 4 stars
9/22/09 Horror Nut Fun and unexpected! Great action! Some gore. 5 stars
5/28/09 Trent Rigger What a fun ride!, can't wait for the DVD release.... 4 stars
10/01/08 Mickey Pentecost In NorCal for NorCal. More action than horror. Great 21st Century terror! 5 stars
7/28/08 Tyler West Fun, smart action 5 stars
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  DVD: 28-Sep-2010



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