Sunday, October 14, 2012

Killer Short: "Slaughter Among Pigs" (2010)

Some of the cast and crew behind "Killer Shorts" return with a not-half-bad little film.

Dick (Josh Mathis) is taking anti-depressants and abusing LSD. He has a dead-end job, and bums around with friends Seth (Nick Mathis) and Jeremy (Perry Lunsford). One night, Dick drops acid and hallucinates, waking to find Steven (Alan Harris) in his apartment. Steven claims he heard Dick calling for help and broke in, and Dick semi-believes him. Unfortunately, Dick's mind trip continues through the film, as Steven shows up at odd times, as do different characters wearing a creepy pig mask. Dick (and the viewer) must sort out what is real, and what is in Dick's brain.

Writer/director Nick Mathis improves upon Faux Pas Films' earlier "Killer Shorts." While that film had a nice idea but was technically a mess, "Slaughter Among Pigs" is different. It is shot mostly in black and white and runs just over half an hour, and it held my interest.

While leading actor Josh Mathis is a bit stiff and monotonal, he is extra creepy in the gory finale. Alan Harris isn't your average villain, but he has a nice screen presence. The rest of the supporting cast all do well.

The film was produced in Tennessee...isn't it sad that so many Hollywood films are shot elsewhere that when something is shot on location in our country, it now looks exotic and different? The technical aspects of the film are much better, with most of the dialogue being hearable, and the simple gore effects working. Mathis does a nice job editing the scenes together, and I found many of his camera angles interesting. The script itself tries too hard to make a point about humanity, or the lack thereof, but I found everything explained pretty well by the end of the film.

"Slaughter Among Pigs" (a fantastic title) is an average microbudget diversion, and recommendable enough. (* * *) out of five stars.