Pigs (1973) (Blu-ray/DVD Review)
Directed By: Marc Lawrence
Starring: Toni Lawrence, Jesse Vint, Catherine Ross
Rated: UR/Region O/1:85/1080p/Number of Discs 2
Available from Vinegar Syndrome
Lynn Webster is a mysterious and beautiful young woman with a deadly secret. After arriving in a secluded California town, she takes a job as a waitress for Zambrini (Marc Lawrence), an elderly former circus performer who runs a small cafe, complete with a pen of 12 hungry pigs. Local legend has it that his pigs only eat human flesh and that in order to satisfy their growing appetites, Zambrini has begun to murder drifters. Soon the sheriff (Jesse Vint) begins to get suspicious of the strange goings on at Zambrini’s farm and grows closer and closer to discovering the shocking truth of the pigs.
Pigs is perhaps one of the more underrated films that Troma ever released. Thankfully, we have the fine folks over at Vinegar Syndrome to give it the spotlight it deserved with a nifty Blu-ray release. One that they combined a number of prints to bring to us, so any inconsistencies we might have in the transfer I’m fully okay with seeing as how it is giving this film new life. As this movie opens we see a man feeding a body to the pigs and we notice that this body isn’t the first. The rest of the movie is pretty much spent making sense as to why. As that goes on a woman with a very hush-hush past shows up asking this guy for a job. We learn pretty quickly that both these people are nuts and we just wait to see how this will all end up. Pigs is a very solid film. It is one of those movies where you have just the right amount of violence and mystery to keep things interesting, even when we are actually doing a bit of slow-burn character development. From the main two characters I mentioned to the nosy old ladies who live nearby and swear they know what’s going on, this is a very character driven film and that is what really makes it work.
Going by the extras on this one we see that they had plans or at least at some point released this one with an exorcism aspect added to it calling it “Love Exorcism”. And then there was a time for exploitation things we’re added in and it was called “Daddy’s Girl”. I think all things considered the “Pigs” cut (or 13th Pig as the title screen says) is the best way to see this one and seems to reel things in enough to make it what it is. The pigs get to eat someone a number of times before this one is done and we often are asking ourselves just who is the craziest person in the film. If you’ve never seen Pigs before I think this a very solid flick that you’ll enjoy. It might have a Troma tag on it but it isn’t your typical Troma film or at least not in the sense you’re probably thinking. This Vinegar Syndrome release shows that.
– Newly scanned and restored in 2k from 35mm interpositive with select shots sourced from 35mm theatrical prints
– All extras on both Blu-ray and DVD.
– Featurette w/ actress Toni Lawrence
– Featurette w/ composer Charles Bernstein
– Audio interview w/ cinematographer Glenn Roland
– Promotional artwork gallery
– Alternate ‘Exorcism’ opening sequence
– Alternate ‘Daddy’s Girl’ opening sequence
– Alternate ‘Daddy’s Girl’ ending sequence
– PIGS original theatrical trailer
– LOVE EXORCISM theatrical trailer
– Reversible cover artwork by Chris Garofalo
– English SDH Subtitles
Quality of Transfer: 88%