Long Pigs

Year: 2010
Director: Chris Power & Nathan Hynes
Cast: Anthony Alviano, Paul Fowles, Shane Harbinson, Roger King, John Terranova

A duo of wannabe filmmakers decide to make the ultimate documentary by following a serial killing cannibal named Anthony during his routine hunts for food.

Mockumentaries are an interesting sub-genre. One one hand, filmmakers may be inspired by the micro-budgets, but uber-success, of films like The Blair Witch Project and Paranormal Activity as inspiration to catch their big break into the film industry. However, for every Blair Witch and Paranormal Activity there is Strawberry Estates and St. Francisville Experiment. While filming a mockumentary style film may seem like a easy task, it actually is much more difficult to pull off than most filmmakers may anticipate because when a film is presenting footage that is suppose to be "actual" it has to look real in every aspect. This is where Long Pigs gets it right. Everything presented is completely believable and the actors never seem like they are acting. The casual, carefree manner in which they interact with each other is highly effective and never rings phony. And while the lifestyle and subject manner presented in the film may be hard for some to believe or stomach, it is presented in such a matter-of-fact style that it is, at times, easy to forget that the film isn't a true documentary.

certainly remains a taboo subject and what makes Long Pigs so engaging and effective is that it never transcends into the gorefest that many would expect; that is not to say there isn't gore--there is--and quite realistic and disturbing gore at that. Instead, the focus is on creating a though-provoking statement on our current culinary lifestyles. When Anthony, who is actually more relatable and likable than he should be, declares "how can something that is so wrong taste so good!" he is echoing the exact sentiments declared by big game hunters and rabid meat-eaters in response to criticism by animal rights fanatics. For Anthony, killing humans for food is no different than slaughtering cattle for a meal. The nonchalant way he goes about and describes butchering his victims IS disturbing, but again, is presented not for the sake of showing blood and guts, but for a much more insightful purpose. Those who proclaim to be die-hard carnivores may feel the film is taking a swipe at them. Perhaps it is, but more logically is that it is making them actually think about cannibalism in a manner in which they aren't accustomed. Though the film is completely engrossing for most of its running the film lacks an exciting climax and, in fact, the climax is easily predictable for those who have seen the handful of other "documentary following a serial killer" films. Still, Long Pigs tries to be somewhat original in its execution of this ending and the final minutes of the film which involve an on-air interview with a radio host are brilliant.

Utterly disturbing and thought-provoking, Long Pigs is a must see horror film and easily trumps any horror film that has opened in wide-release this year. It easily set the bar higher for what a mockumentary horror film should be.

Fright Meter Grade:

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