Long Pigs (2007)
I remember reading about this film when it was first released and making the rounds at film festivals, back in 2007. It was a film that always piqued my curiosity but I could never find it locally, and so it disappeared to the back of my mind. That was until recently, when I randomly thought about it and and decided to once again try and seek it out. Thankfully, in the current time of unlimited internet and endless content available on multiple streaming services, I found it. But was it worth the 15 year wait? I will say this is certainly an interesting and compelling story, both written and directed by Chris Power. Although it does ultimately result in a slightly predictable conclusion, it’s difficult to imagine how a story like this could have ended any other way. One thing that I do take minor issue with in documentary style productions such as this is the cinematography. It is suggested that the film is being created by documentary film makers, yet the shakey camera work and lack of competent framing of a shot is something I struggle to digest. I understand it is a styling choice and not a lack of competence, I just always think it's a poor decision to make when trying to provide believability to your story and characters. This is a small issue that has no baring on the overall quality of the film. There are multiple back and forth interviews with behavioural analysts and FBI agents scattered in throughout that brings a level of authenticity to it. At times providing conflicting opinions regarding serial killers, referring to real life cases such as the likes of Ed Gein and Bundy. It also features a sub-plot that consists of an interview with one of the parents of a child victim that is quite harrowing to watch and serves for a genuine purpose in progressing the plot forward. It later comes in full circle in the closing act which I found to be a very clever use of this arc. Anthony, played by Canadian actor Anthony Alviano, does an extremely convincing job of portraying such an unsympathetic man going about his daily murder and cannibalism, as though it is just another day at the office. At one point indulging in a particularly vulgar conversation, regarding the difference in meat quality between an adult and child, as though it was nothing. It's a very disturbing persona. As an actor he seems to embody perfectly, maintaining a natural composure as he talks in great lengths about these acts as though it is just something everyone should be indulging in. Although we do get minor appearances from other multiple cast members, the majority of screen time is spent focused on Anthony and his story. In one particular scene we see Anthony hang up one of his victims in the basement and we see a time-lapse segment of the full dismemberment of the body from start to finish. This appears to all be done in one singular take, however, this couple of minutes scene took 13 hours to film. This prop corpse has been built in a specific order in so that it can be filmed and dissected in a way that still gives the illusion of being a real body. Something it does to a very high standard in my opinion. This one scene in particular is done by the incredibly talented effects artist Chris Bridges, who has worked on films such as Dawn of the Dead remake and 300. There is a very interesting behind-the-scene documentary on YouTube that is worth a watch to see how this scene was created, it's quite challenging to find but certainly worth it if like me you are a big fan of practical effects work. This isn't a unique premise, coming out just a year after 'Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon', a film that take a very similar storytelling approach - just to a much lighter and more comedic tone. Personally, I found this much darker and grittier take on the idea a lot more compelling. If you're a fan of the mockumentary style of film making and a fan of the horror genre then this film blend those two extremely well, in my opinion. It's not easy to find but if you manage to locate a copy, I strongly recommend giving it your time.