Pig Pen is not a horror film per se but does showcase a brutality that only humanity could muster– and that to me is more frightful than a chest bursting alien or a nightmare prowling clawed-man. Nonetheless, this film is incredibly bloody and gory for a drama/thriller. Filmed on the streets, Pig Pen follows thirteen year old Zack (Lucas Koch) who’s about to learn just how tough it is out there away from the supposed safe haven of home. But his home is not the sanctuary one would imagine for young Zack, who instead finds solace in his wandering loneliness. Practically a runaway teen, Zack– nicknamed Pig Pen (from the Peanuts comics, I presume)– avoids his tumultuous dysfunctional home where his pill popping mother Sandy (Nicolette le Faye) does the best she can in providing for her son, and her addiction. Crashing into this picture is hustler and drug-dealer Wayne (Vito Trigo) who provides both drugs and financial support for Sandy.
But as these things go, Wayne is an unhinged maniac with bottled sadism, and who threatens to burst at any moment. Zack prefers the streets, cruising around town on his skateboard and sleeping in the streets, rather than having to deal with her mom’s new boyfriend. Zack’s nomadic lifestyle reveals the environment to him, and the viewer, and it’s not pretty. His world is one of violence, a place where he witnesses murder in broad daylight and the beating of an older man left to die in the cold and darkness of night. Zack’s escape is limited as the streets present a familiar violent tendency, and one that he has seen at home. With Wayne invading his home, a series of unexpected events unfold and forces Zack to return to his home in hopes of taking back what was taken away from him.
Pig Pen is a phenomenal piece of independent filmmaking yielding some impressive performances from Lucas Koch, as the troubled teenager trapped in his own environment. Equally as powerful in their ability is Vito Trigo as the calculating and icy Wayne who is on the verge of lashing out at any moment, imposing his presence from scene to scene with a bold intensity.
Pig Pen is structured around the theme of violence breeding violence, and in this country, that seems to be the only language we understand lucidly. The film explores our environment as a breeding ground for our violent nature and one that trickles into the home. In short, Pig Pen is a gritty representation of the streets juxtaposed with an equally derelict domestic setting. Director and co-writer Jason M. Koch, (along with Mark Leake) masterfully explore melancholy and violence with a riveting score by Paul Joyce, matched with stark cinematography by John Grove and Stephen Rubac.
To learn more about Pig Pen check out Dire Wit Films official site and Official Facebook Page. Check out the trailer below.
Pig Pen releases in October with Pre-Orders available as of October 1st with orders shipping out mid-October.