Apr 21, 2011

Long Pigs

Collecting buzz during certain festivals and garnering a heap of awards, Long Pigs is a "mockumentary" fit to the design of Man Bites Dog, directed by two amateur filmmakers, Chris Power and Nathan Hynes. Following a cannibal during many of his exploits, not much is known about the characters within the film other than what is supplied over the course of dialog. The two hopeful documentarians created this "found footage" we have before us. Supplementing not just casual shadow to the serial killer but also interviews with members of the police force, families of Anthony McAlistar's victims, and the ramblings of a radio jockey, Long Pigs is an independent Canadian horror film that stretches what low-budget found footage has to offer. Throughout the runtime, Long Pigs makes it very apparent that the brain-trust isn't within the gore but the interactions with the characters and the ending that we all foresee coming. In fact, the scenes of violence we're gifted with are anything but exploitative, rather, short and shocking. One scene that comes to mind is Anthony's slinging of a victim and demonstrating the "Gein configuration" that was also graphically utilized in Marian Dora's Cannibal. A time lapsed dissection of a hanging corpse is set to The Nutcracker Suite, a poor choice of music that only hampers the effect of butchery and is one of the few drawbacks of Long Pigs that can't be attested to budgetary restraints. 

As a recurring theme in films favoring cannibalism as an arch, Long Pigs' Anthony McAlistar too realizes the accessible whore being the easiest form of cuisine, especially with time being not of luxury. This was also given a degree of insight in the recent Mexican cannibal film - We Are What We Are. As with that same film, Long Pigs digresses the art of selection with victims that aren't exactly a high point of society, sans the little girl who was abducted prior. After picking up a hefty heifer off the street corner, the talk radio host chimes in with his two cents concerning the rash of vanishing prostitutes. Going in Long Pigs, you can toss your Pretty Woman dreams out the window as there is no classy whores to be found within. Although not the topic nor main prey of the film, there are enough connotations behind Anthony's cleaning of the streets to guarantee a reaction from whiny articulate women. Again pleasuring the genre of documentary, we're given plenty of face time from Anthony McAlistar while he discusses the politics of cannibalism, bringing up many insightful arguments. What is consistent with culinary arts and the psychological reaction to self-prepared dishes is that they always taste better created with your own hands. Would this not remain constant with the product of cooking human flesh? The hunger they feel isn't too inhuman, is it?

Long Pigs may be the biggest independent surprise I've experienced in quite some time. The acting is exemplary and the filmmaking style, although cheap and cost-effective, benefits the overall tone of this dark and lurid comedy. The cannibalistic musings of our lead topic outperform most other films that attend to this "found footage" trend that has began popping up recently in various corners of horror. Inspired by select segments from Faces of Death and Man Bites Dog, Long Pigs is a healthy dose of slaughter and drama, stripped of artistry but with the inclusion of a wonderful character actor. Intelligent and barbaric to boot, this is pseudo-snuff done correctly - an inspired sketch for other filmmakers to take pointers from. If anything deserves to be critical upon, it would be the admittance of various other forms of storytelling, namely the random personalities being interviewed. While necessary, it causes the pacing of Long Pigs to collect and temporarily halt the process of progress. As is, this macabre tale of a cannibal in hiding, seething above the city streets, a sociable chameleon, is a wonderful work of low budget horror filmmaking and is worthy of most praise it may receive. What makes this film even better is the addition of beef jerky with a limited pressing of the DVD. A modern example of creativity boosting a product.


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