Two would-be filmmakers set out to make a documentary about Anthony McAlistar, a cannibalistic serial killer. They follow Anthony along every step of the way as he kills, butchers, and eats his victims.
When the trailer for "Long Pigs" first hit the scene people were already dismissing the movie as being another flick trying to cash in on movies like "Blair Witch Project" or "Paranormal Activity". There were even some who were calling it a rip-off of the "August Underground" series. Basic assumptions from the trailer are understandable, it is a faux-documentary after all, but really there is more to the movie than that. If I had to compare it to anything there is only one movie that comes to mind and that is "Man Bites Dog".
Yes, this movie could have gone the cheap and easy way and been nothing more than another faux-snuff movie to appeal to the gore fans and make a quick headline of being a shock title. But "Long Pigs" clearly wanted to be more than that and is more than that; it wants to shock the viewers with realism instead of gore gags. The movie is about two would-be filmmakers following around a cannibalistic serial killer while including interviews of investigators and psychiatrists. Play the interviews against the actions of our killer, Anthony McAlistar to demonstrate that what we believe a killer is, may not actually be true.
This is what makes "Long Pigs" stand out; it doesn't go for the cheap thrill-ride of being a shock flick. It wants to get under your skin by portraying what a killer could be and is. It isn't necessarily the eccentric schizo writing things on the wall with their own feces; it’s the person next door. Or in this case, the guy next door. The one we don't suspect, the quite one who blends into the crowd which is what makes it so frightening. It's the person we don't see coming. "Long Pigs" gets to you with this idea of it being the common man and then shakes you up as you watch this Anthony McAlistar character act nonchalant about what he is doing. While not exactly blowing your mind with psycho-killer philosophy the things he does and the things he says kind of brings cannibalism into a different light. Maybe because the actor portraying Anthony is able to sell this cold and frightening killer so well, it makes what he says that much more thought provoking. By questioning how we as a society look at our food and treat what we believe to be inferior creatures. Would it be or is it so wrong that if a person is stronger than another to be able to kill them and eat them if we choose to? This is how we view the animal kingdom so why does it change for people? Naturally, our upbringing and understanding of laws and morality tells us this is wrong, but to watch a person who doesn't see it the same way keeps you glued to the movie.
Because the movie chooses to focus on the character Anthony it doesn't dwell on the killings and butchering of the people often. There are several people killed but it is done in a much more realistic manner in that Anthony uses what will get the job done, most of which was a pistol with a silencer. For the butchering, you only get to watch him prepare two people throughout the entire movie. While disappointing to those who want gore it goes back to the movie getting to the viewer simply by the character and not so much his actions. You watch and get to listen to him treat these people as nothing but meat to be served for food while having the charisma of a cooking show host.
"Long Pigs" works so well because it doesn't dwell on the violence but on the people. While it is able to show Anthony as this cold blooded killer is able to do some truly unthinkable acts without batting an eyelash at it. It also points a finger at the "filmmakers" of the movie, like how "Cannibal Holocaust" asked us who are the real savages. "Long Pigs" asks us who is the psychopath, Anthony or these two men who are looking to profit and gain notoriety by exploiting the killer and the victims. In one of movie's more effective moments, we find out Anthony at one point killed and ate a child (a young girl) to see if "the meat" can be different merely by age. Once the filmmakers learn about this they go and interview the young girl's father and shows the callous and cold hearted nature of these two. It goes to show this is what is done and what lengths people will go to for a story in the world of media.
Going back to what I said earlier, if I had to compare "Long Pigs" to any movie it would have to be"Man Bites Dog". The two movies are so much alike I would say "Long Pigs" is the low-budget equivalent of "Man Bites Dog". I don't mean that in a bad way at all but that's the best way to describe it. The movie effectively shows the twisted world and views of a killer who truly believes that there isn't anything wrong with what he is doing. The movie also takes a look at the type of people that we believe are serial killers and the contradictions that come with those ideas of who and what these people are. As well as looking at the roles these killers play in our society, how we as a race view the natural order of where the strong survive and the weak are killed. Our order on the food chain and our obsession with the media. "Long Pigs" is definitely a must see for those who are looking to get more out of their horror movies.