Friday, April 14, 2017

PIG PEN (2016) (DVD Review)

PIG PEN (2016)
Label: Dire Wit Films 
Rating: Unrated 
Duration: 85 Minutes
Audio: English Dolby digital 2.0 Stereo 
Video: Anamorphic widescreen (2.35:1) 
Director: Jason Koch
Cast: Lucas Koch, Vito Trigo

Synopsis: Forced to fend for himself on the streets, 13-year-old Zack has just been pushed out of his dysfunctional home by Wayne, his mother's sadistic boyfriend. When the two are brought back together by a murder, only one will survive this bloody tale of revenge. PIG PEN is a harrowing and relentless vision that follows its fringe dwelling characters down a spiral of intensifying and almost unwatchable violence and desperation. 

Whew, strap yourself in for a dire, gut-punch dose of reality based horror, this is some stuff stuff right here. Zack (Lucas Koch)is a young teenager, who goes by the nickname Pig Pen, living with his Oxy-addicted mom (Nicolette le Faye, WNUF Halloween Special), whose boyfriend Wayne (Vito Trigo, Return to Nuke 'Em High Volume 1) keeps her doped up while pimping her out to his friends.  Wayne is a real sick douchebag of a human, eventually he kicks Zack out onto the streets, telling him he cannot return unless he brings $50, with the advice to pimp himself out on the streets.

Zack hits the dirty streets of Baltimore, left to fend for himself, and were treated to some down and dirty urban street living, where he encounters menacing dope dealers, pedohiles, and street urchins. Along the way he meets a few good people who give him an assist and advice, but they are few and far between, this is a downward spiral of a tale, and there's no chance of this finishing up on a positive note.

As the story unfolds were treated to some flashbacks, we glimpse a bit of Zack's life with his mom before things got so bad, before Wayne came into the picture, but you see the writing on the wall early on, and these walls are covered in blood, no happy ending folks. 

Zack as played by Koch is good, an awkward skate kid, seemingly numbed by the endless stream of depravity that has washed over him, he;s quiet, he keeps it inside, but there's a rage burning, he hates Wayne, he hates to see his mother shamed and abused in his hand, and eventually you know something awful will happen... and boy does it, damn, this thing is unrelenting. 

Audio/Video: Pig Pen arrives on DVD from Dire wit Film in anamorphic widescreen (2.35:1) looking modest - this is a low-budget movie and the cinematography and lighting looked to have been limited, but it looks good considering the seemingly lo-fi roots. The main issues are softness and poor lighting and contrast, which seem to go hand in hand, most of the scenes are dark, and the lack of proper lighting gives it a murky look. Audio on the disc comes by way of a stereo Dolby Digital track, which handles the dialogue, effects and Paul Joyce (Father's Day) score well, there are no subtitle options. The only extra on the disc is a 2 minute trailer for the film. 

The movie takes a while to get going, it takes its sweet time allowing you to get a noseful of the urine drenched street life, and the final string of violence is a sight to behold with some truly teeth-gritting damage being inflicted. I would strongly recommend this to fans of Ryan Nicholson's Collar (2014) and Harmony Korine's Gummo (1997), this is a brutal-downer of an ugly film. 3/5