Ol’ Zack has a real humdinger of a home life; his mother gobbles pills like some sort of drug based Pac-man, and her boyfriend Wayne is a rough neck hustler…a hustler that sends Zack out on the streets to acquire extra cash when he falls into a right shit mood. Well it doesn’t take our hero long to realize that Wayne has got to go; and when the duo is reunited over a murder (as so many folks are), things get a smidge brutal.
First things first, Pig Pen really caught your’s cruelly off guard a bit. I was expecting a bloody revenge picture, and hoo-boy did I get one (more on that in a bit)…but there was a big ol’ veneer of emotion covering this story like a shellac of feels. You really can’t help to root for Zack as he is beleaguered by such shit heels at all turns, and when things go south his turn from slacker to psycho is believable, even when the actor that portrays him, Lucas Koch, gets a little dodgy here and there in his performance (but make no mistake, this dude is a solid actor, he’s just a tad green). Speaking of acting, Vito Trigo as Wayne is absolutely out of control. He is so beyond intense that you actually get uncomfortable when he is on the screen…which of course is the biggest compliment you can pay to someone that is portraying such a horrendous turd of a character.
As mentioned above, there are a few impressive sprays of red sauce splashed across the screen as this one unspools. I think you gorehounds out there will be well and duly impressed by what is on display here and there, and I have to mention all of this is accomplished with practical wizardry (like it damn well should be…yeah, I’m shaking my fist at the sky, why do you ask?)
As for negatives, as stated there are some hit or miss moments in the ol’ acting department, but nothing that would make you switch this off by any means (although I am ultra-forgiving when it comes to that type of thing in an independent picture), and this is a low budget flick and it looks like one, so those of you that like things extra shiny may be a bit disappointed (though I felt it added grit and an almost documentary feel to the proceedings).
If you dig on revenge pictures with unlikely “heroes” and sadistic adversaries (Blue Ruin springs to mind), then Pig Pen will be right up your alley; it’s emotional, violent, and grim (like any given Tuesday the Crypt o’ XIII) and deserves some love from you lot!