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This incredibly odd little picture (which I saw as Pigs) almost defies description. Mark Lawrence made the film as a vehicle for his daughter, Toni, with Jesse Vint appearing as a favor. Toni is Lynn Webster (referred to at the end, for some unexplained reason, as Lynn Hart), whose history of madness and patricide is relayed in less than five minutes. This loopy Linda Lovelace-lookalike then escapes the nut barn in a stolen Volkswagen and nurse's uniform. She ends up at a middle-of-nowhere cafe, working for Zambrini (Marc), who robs graves and feeds the corpses to his bloodthirsty pigs. When our busty, batty heroine is reminded of abusive rapist Daddy, she grabs the nearest sharp object and starts hacking. Zambrini and his pigs cover for her. The sheriff (Vint) mostly stands around looking puzzled.
Pigs is an absolute wonder to behold--jerky editing, leering camerawork, pointless characters, a funky soundtrack ("Somebody's waitin' for you/Somewhere down the road/Keep on drivin'...") that starts and stops of its own accord, an obvious double for Toni at the end...and somehow it all works brilliantly! It's like some bizarre hallucination from the brain of the disturbed heroine. Pigs squeal like rusty vaults being forced open, Lynn go-gos next to the jukebox, old women look scared--doesn't matter why. The acid-trip plot and cheap, over-saturated color give it a kind of creepy-beautiful tone reminiscent of an underground art film, with a perfect atmosphere of backwoods isolation. The Lawrences are terrific, particularly the appealing Toni, and the supporting players are quite convincing. The music makes me wish for a soundtrack LP. If a film ever had Cult Classic stamped all over it, it's this one.
As a director, Mr. Lawrence had some good ideas to make some creepy, uneasy scenes to watch, but the version I watched (called PIGS) was very choppy and sloppy from an editing standpoint and the camera seems to enjoy shooting things in pitch black darkness. That's low-budget for you, but there's still something charming about this otherwise standard '70s exploitation fare. And any movie that has Marc Lawrence in it is, by default, going to have something going for it.
This film is pretty bad; many scenes just don't make sense and some of them seem to come out of nowhere. On the plus side, a lot of the dopey characters are fun to watch (especially Zambrini), and the movie has a bizarre, dreamy (and sometimes nightmarish) quality throughout. The scene where Toni Lawrence hears loud pig squeals and then runs screaming through a field for what seems like an eternity is probably the best example of the weird, out-of-nowhere sequences that continuously crop up. Unprofessional filmaking at its best!
Familiar character actor Marc Lawrence made his directorial debut (and as 'F.A. Foss,' also his screenplay debut) with this very cheap and dark-looking, but fairly well-acted and sometimes creepy, low-budget backwoods horror flick. It laid unreleased for about 12 years, but I've seen worse.
Enjoyable soup-kitchen quickie with a groovy bubblegum pop intro, PIGS is plenteous with off-base appeal, and is a moderately more proficient contribution than the standard hireling-level picture of its day.