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 Review archive:  # a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z

Pig/1334(DVD/ Blu Ray) - Pig/1334(DVD/ Blu Ray) [Cult Epics - 2013]

Pig & 1334 are two very arty & surreal  horror films- connected with the life & death of Christian Death singer & avant-industrial sound artistís Rozz Williams. Here is a duel (Blu-ray & DVD) format release of the films that comes in a numbered edition.

The two films featured here are fairly short & extremely experimental, though rich in both symbolism, often cryptic meaning- and above all an tangible feeling of unease, fear, and psychological horror.  Both films are directed & co-written by Dutch filmmaker- living in the US Nico B.  Pig is from 1989, and comes in at twenty three minutes. And 1334 is from 2012 and comes in at seventeen minutes.

The double disc release comes in a blu-ray case, which features a number card slip sleeve- taking in a blending of uneasy imagery such as swastikas, snakes, skulls, and a weird white bondage mask. The set comes with a 18 page booklet- this takes in texts about each film, reprinted scripts, related imagery- coming off more like unhinged art booklet, instead of your standard movie inlay/ booklet.

On the discs that are sadly no extras, but I guess in a way that deepens the feel of mystery, uncertainly, and fearful surrealism/ symbolism that is abound in both films. More often than not commentaries & extras with films often lessen the impact films key scene, take one out of the reality of the work, and sometimes changes ones initial emotional impact on a scene- for example after listening to how the Alien egg scene was created on the first Alien film, itís never had the same impact on me.

So first up we have Pig- the 1989 film is in black & white, and really this give the whole thing a time-less feeling, meaning it could have been made at a time between the late 60ís/ 2000ís.  The film opens with a faceless man putting a selection of items inside a suitcase, from here the man drives off into the desert. From this point onwards the film drops into itís own strange, distinctive & horrifying universe- which is soundtrack by slow-mo, lo-fi, dread heavy industrial ambient music/ soundscaping. The film loosely tells of a man been kidnapped, stripped, and bizarre tortured. But added around this we have a truck-load of bizarre imagery, symbolism, and a real feeling off-kilter nightmarish-ness. To try & unpick, analyse, and describe what is fully going on here seems more than a little fruitless, as this is most definitely a film you have to experience your self complete unprepared & blind, then you can have you own thoughts on exactly what itís all about, or is not about. Rozz Williams is playing to kidnapper, but really you never really see any faces to fully identify anyone long enough. All in all in itís a most unsettling, dread-filled, and puzzling bit of experimental film making.

Lastly of course we have 2012ís 1334- and really this deepens the mystery & oddness of the first film, though on the whole I found it less successful as a stand-alone piece of experimental cinema. The silent film, and mostly black & white film, brings together a enactment of Rozz Williams Suicide(recorded in his actually department in the late 90's), Plague Doctor's mask, inversed images, couples arguing, selected symbolic imagery and some sort of vague ghost story. The films structure is loser than Pig, and really I think that lessens the whole impact of the work; but it never the less it does work in the context of Pig & Mr Williams real/untimely death.

The glossy inlay booklet nicely balances giving you information about the films, and hinting on the films meaning- yet never spoon feeds you, letting you still decide what it all means.

Thereís little doubt that Pig is one of the most notorious & known films of the experimental horror genre, and itís not purely because of Mr Williams involvement. There is something tangible unease &  subtle frighten about the film, that is difficult to pin down/ quantify. As discussed above 1334, had less impact on me, but itís a worthy companion piece to Pig, and the addition of the liner note/ art booklet makes the whole thing more desirable.  So if you are a fan of dark avant/ experimental film this DVD/ blu ray really is something you need to have in your collection.

Rating: 3 out of 5Rating: 3 out of 5Rating: 3 out of 5Rating: 3 out of 5Rating: 3 out of 5

Roger Batty
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