Film Review: Pig Hunt (2008)

SYNOPSIS:

When John takes his San Francisco friends to his deceased uncle’s remote ranch to hunt wild pigs, it seems like a typical guys weekend with guns – despite the presence of John’s sexy girlfriend Brooks. But as John and his crew trek deeper into the forest, they begin tracking the awful truth about his uncle’s demise and the legend of The Ripper — a murderous three-thousand-pound black boar! Their pursuit leads them through fields of marijuana and into the muddy landscape of Big Wallow, involving high-powered weaponry, the violent and unpredictable Tibbs Brothers, massacred emus, a machete-toting Hippie Stranger, vengeful rednecks, and throat-slitting Cult Girls who grow dope by day and worship a Giant Killer Pig by night. By the time the pig hunt is done, no one is innocent – or unscathed. Not for the faint of heart, PIG HUNT is a darkly comic horror film that combines the best of DELIVERANCE, JAWS, and DINER, but remains uniquely Nor-Cal in its tone and scope. It is cinematic punkabilly – fresh, shocking, unforgettable!

REVIEW:

I think I was just intrigued enough to check this one out based on the title alone. Of course killer pigs seem like something easily rectified for a plot point though the film has alot more to the story than just that. A group of friends who think a hunting trip in the wilderness is a good idea set out to do just that. Most of them serving time together in the Marines are well familiar with the art of combat. John Hickman (Travis Aaron Wade) the collected-head one of the bunch, leads the pack by directing them all to his uncle’s old residence out in the boonies. Along for the ride is his hot girlfriend Brooks (Tina Huang) and his friends Ben and Quincy. The location is buried deep in the neck of the woods that also is a breeding ground for wild pig. Pig being the main hunt, this seems like the right place to be. Along the way though they have to deal with some of the redneck locals who John has a history growing up with.

Upon arrival, the house is pretty much in ruins spattered with graffiti and the leftover skulls of his uncle’s pig kills littered about the yard like a haunted house freak show. The Hickman ranch was run by his deceased uncle who suffered the fate of a wild pig accident. The story goes that he ended his own life, but the suspicion points to suicide while being attacked by a legendary killer pig they call the Ripper. Like most of these stories, the pig is rumored in urban mythology who is reported to be over 3000 lbs. That size for a wild pig even in these parts though is unheard of. So the pig story is combined with tags such as “Hogzilla, “Hogfoot” and so on. Locals who support this theory have wasted no time in leaving “Death walks on all fours” signs about the forest.

Now before we get too far into assuming this is “just” another killer pig movie, it’s not. In fact the prolonged final appearance of the “ripper” isn’t revealed till the 3rd act which is a nice use of tension buildup. I was reminded of the 80’s film, “Prophecy” which travled down a similar path using monolithic beasts.

Much of the film follows suite in the same way “Predator” did. With most of the film being set into the wilderness, director James Isaac relies on tension and drama within the team who bicker, showoff and encounter alot of false alarms in their hunt for game. As the carcases stack up….. the evidence begins to point to larger prey.

2 of John’s former red next buddies Ricky and Jake show up to enlist in the hunting activities. A bit primitive and hardcore in there thinking eventually tragedy strikes during a confrontation. This though begins the 2nd element of the film. Which in in fact is the vengeance of redneck relatives against the city folks. Complete with Road Warrior style vehicles and adornments they provide an even greater battle than that of wild pigs on the loose.

Finally we get to the 3rd element of the film which happens to include a cult of naked all female new ager hippies tucked away deep in the thicket of it. Pot smoking, incense burning and also crazy as hell these ladies are both beautiful and corrupted….a nice touch and turn of scenery.

In all, the film is a pretty good run of sequences. The horror aspect is definitely present with pig kills, folks getting eaten and alot of murdering psychos running about. The filmmakers took the time to evolve the story into more than it had to be and that’s the shining star in this production. Pig hunt has got it all, action, weirdness and a slight nod to old school horror production storytelling. Check it out!

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