Hehehehe!!! Yep…. I can just hear Carolyn now…. “Miyuki? Where in heck did you manage to find another killer pig movie?”
Surprisingly…. for an American made horror film that’s nearly 2 years old, your Favorite Catgirl only managed to run across this on on it’s Region 2 UK DVD release just a week or so ago. I’ve been unable to confirm it was even ever released here in the good ol’ US of A… but it’s certainly found it’s way everywhere else lately, from Germany, the UK, and even in a Region 3 release in Thailand.
Our synopsis goes like this: “When rugged country boy John takes his city raised friends on a weekend trip back to his deceased uncle’s remote ranch to hunt wild pigs, it seems like a typical “guys getaway with guns” – despite the presence of John’s sexy girlfriend Brooks. But as John and his crew trek deeper into the marijuana filled hills of Northern California, they find a wilderness laced with rednecks, lots of high powered weaponry, and a killer cult of machete toting hippie beauties, only to learn the awful truth about his late uncle’s death and the truth behind the local legend of “The Ripper” — a murderous 3000 pound man-eating wild boar!”
Now Neko’s seen killer Aussie piggies….. killer Korean pork on a rampage….. so am I ready for some good ol’ American “Pig-foot” action? More importantly…. is Carolyn? (Hehehehe!! At least this one is in English….)
Since all you gentle visitors here at the Litterbox probably are “Killer Pig movie” fans too, you best not waste any more time them. Let’s “Read On”, shall we?
Killer pigs….. Ever since “Razorback” waaaay back in 1984, people have known that the humble pig was definitely a serious contender in the exploitation genre of “When Animals Attack”…. so it should come as no surprise that there’s another deadly oinker out there creating yet more bloody mayhem. I seem to have missed this one somehow back when it was first made, but thanks to the recent Region 2 UK release, I’m all set now. Ordinarily… when a movie like this skips theatrical release and then turns up on overseas DVD release first, it’s a sure sign of major “craptastic” film making at it’s best… or would that be at it’s worst? In any event… this lil’ Catgirl has never let that stand in the way of getting my vicarious “Bad movie” fix before, so why start now?
This one starts out as former hick and “good ol’ boy” John Hickman (played by Travis Aaron Wade) is preparing to leave for a weekend hunting trip with his city bred buddies Ben, Wayne and Quincy (played by Howard Johnson, Jr, Rajiv Shah, and Trevor Bullock respectively). So it’s off to the wilds of Northern California where he grew up in his deceased uncle’s old cabin….. definitely your typical drunken male bonding… with guns… except for one small item he forgot to tell the guys. His girlfriend Brooks (played by Tina Huang) isn’t too keen on him going unless she can go along too. Needless to say…. the guys aren’t happy about that at all.
Yep… sounds like a pretty familiar plot so far, and it’s got all the usual standard elements you’d expect… with one major difference. Usually our male lead in a story like this is hunky and brooding… with some sort of tragic past that makes him a sympathetic character despite his somewhat questionable tastes in best friends. Unfortunately for “Pig Hunt”, our hero John just isn’t that appealing…. in fact I took a rather quick dislike to him almost immediately. Strangely enough… his girlfriend Brooks is the character I became interested in. She’s a pretty, smart, tough, resilient Asian girl who’s waaaay out of her jerk of a boyfriend’s league. If she’s got any flaw, it’s the fact that she’s in love with a total tool like John’s character at all…… Sigh. But it’s true that some girls do fall for those superficially attractive “bad boys”, and that’s how this relationship comes across to me anyway.
Once we leave the city, it isn’t long before our lil’ group manages to find their way to the incredibly rural wilderness where the majority of our story takes place. One stop later at a quaint little country store and our city boobs know the local story of “The Ripper”… the biggest baddest 3000 pound pig to ever roam the forest in search of hunters stupid enough to intrude on his domain. Oh…. and they find out all about John’s late alcoholic uncle too… and his Moby Dick sized obsession with the Ripper, an obsession that just might have led to his grisly death…. if he didn’t shoot himself in a drunken fit as John has always believed. Given this cute story… our boys stock up on beer and plan to bag themselves some big pig for a trophy.
But…. before they leave, they meet Cimi (played by Cimi Ahluwalia), the leader of a cult-like hippie commune and a couple of the veritable horde of drugged out white women that follow him. He’s one voodoo priest lookin’ scary guy with a big ol’ kukri and nearly ends up getting in a dust up with John and the guys after teasing Brooks with a rattlesnake. You just know we’re gonna see him and the girls again….
At last they make it to John’s uncle’s cabin…. a crazy abandoned place that looks like it was decorated in early “Texas Chainsaw Massacre” meets “Hannibal Lecter”. Neko hasn’t seen that many animal bits used as home decor in many a year I’ll tell ya… It’s soooo bad, our heroes don’t even stay in the cabin, opting instead to pitch tents in the front yard. Next day… a couple of John’s old local “friends”, Jake and Ricky show up. Talk about vicious inbred redneck hicks…. these two make the hillbilly cast of “Deliverance” look like Harvard alumni. Somehow they manage to get our boys to let them guide the group on their hunt even though Brooks is starting to get the idea they should all just high tail it back to LA.
But we wouldn’t have much of a movie if we let that happen now would we?
Our little group sets out for the “Big Wallow”…. which is just the sort of place it sounds like…. and the wild boar said to inhabit that neck of the woods. Here’s where our little camping trip goes soooo sooo bad. Along with the hogs, there a gigantic secret crop of marijuana and the inevitable accidental shooting occurs….. (Well.. OK… maybe not so accidental a shooting……) leaving one of our dumb-ass crazy homicidal country boys dead as a doorknob. Seen “Deliverance”? Then you know what’s just gotta follow…. Yep, an all out war between our little group and the deadly rednecks (Who apparently are big fans of the “Road Warrior” too…. Never seen quite that many goofy lookin’ hillbillies riding dune buggies and motorcycles in my life!!). Of particular note here is my personal favorite vicious dumb redneck who just can’t set out in hot pursuit of vengeance without first donning his gas mask before riding off on his motorcycle….. He had me laughing sooooo hard I almost choked on my popcorn. Here the story gets violent, bloody and oh so personal. But…. still no real “Giant Piggy” action!!
Yep…. up to now our film has been teasing us. There’s been a couple of tense moments, a hunter getting gobbled up in the very beginning, and a horse being beheaded by a gigantic “something” but no real “Razorback” style moments of horror. Thank goodness Ben gets shot and wounded by the rednecks…. it lets him stumble his way to the hippy commune where the harem of fanatic hippy chicks can take care of his wounds with a little TLC right before setting him up as a sacrifice to their God of the Wilderness, the Ripper!!
Not much movie left to go, (and by now not a whole lot of cast either) so it’s really not all that surprising when the war between our cityfolk and rednecks spills over into the insanity of Cimi and his crazy cult of pig worshiping hippy girls…. There’s plenty of body-count as the three groups start killing each other off in lots of terribly violent ways. Eventually it’s down to just John, Brooks, and Cimi….. Oh, yeah…. and one big mutant hog from Hell. Think you know how it ends? Well…. Ok…. you’d be right. No surprise, our girl Brooks and her boyfriend make it…. (Although Neko was sorta hoping he’d end up Pig Food giving Brooks the opening she needed to waste the Ripper at the climax… Oh well. Can’t have everything.) Roll those credits!!
How does this one stack up? Surprisingly well, actually. Despite the problem of having a basically unlikeable group of protagonists, the overall story has all the right elements to make for a simple evening of crazy bloody fun. Luckily I really did like Tina Huang as Brooks…. without her to root for, “Pig Hunt” probably wouldn’t have been worth watching as there is actually very little “Pig-zilla” fun and games. The effects, stunt work and action sequences are all well done, making it at least work on the level of a simple action film. As a horror film though, it’s a bit of a let down, with no real suspenseful moments to remember overall and a lack of screen time for our giant hog. Like the Aussie “Razorback”, our big piggy in this one is actually giant robot critter, but here it gives the film an “old school” horror movie charm that the recent overabundance of CGI films have somehow forgotten.
Neko ended up enjoying “Pig Hunt” 0verall despite these few quibbles and I give it 3 “Meows” out of 5 for doing most of the exploitation elements of the genre justice and giving me a decent heroine to root for even if I soooo wished her love interest dead. The UK Region 2 PAL disc is spartan, but acceptable. Hopefully it’ll pop up on Region 1 as well, giving US fans a chance to see it without having to import it from overseas.
Is there a Trailer? Do giant killer pigs poop in the woods? Hehehehe!!