Director Michael S. Rodriguez Pulls a Delightful and Grindhouse-ish Sleight of Hand with “Day of the Pigs”

The squeal of a pig (shades of John Boorman’s Deliverance) kicks things off in Day of the Pigs, a new film from director Michael S. Rodriguez. From that moment on, it’s a nonstop runaway rollercoaster ride from hell in this short –twelve minutes long, give or take a few seconds – crackerjack of a cinematic calling card.

 So, what the hell is a movie called Day of the Pigs precisely about, you might be asking yourself right now. The easy answer is that this story from the accomplished director of Last American Horror Show is a mashup of a couple of different genres; supernatural grindhouse and a crime caper, both of which has their own respective audience. The short of it is that two masked criminals have just scored a major haul from an unfortunate bank. This coup has not come without its difficulties, however: The two men are down a member of their gang who was summarily dispatched during the bank robbery. The on the lam duo makes trails to a ranch where they entertain the notion of absconding with a car and vamoosing to Mexico, Billy the Kid style. At the ranch they meet two women who turn out to be witches at which point what seems to be a simple enough Tarantino heist-flick turns into the ultimate paean to the Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez joint, From Dusk Till Dawn, right down to the introduction of his characters on stylized title cards.

 Director and writer Rodriguez along with fellow scribe Raul Cantu packs a ton of information into the slim running time and it’s a good credit to him and his ensemble of actors that they nail a visceral feeling during the hectic proceedings, bringing new meaning to economical and tightly paced storytelling. There’s not a wasted moment on the screen and that’s a good thing. This one captures the utter and total wonkiness of David Lapham’s American comic book series Stray Bullets and leaves you woozy and gasping for air. The filmmaking is that assured and confident and makes me want to see more from Rodriguez and his merry band of pranksters. It is quite easy to envision Day of the Pigs as a feature length film with even more craziness, even more insanity and terror and, yes, laughs. About the latter: There’s some real sly humor going on with this one. Don’t believe me? Check out the brief glimpse of some of the wall art that decorates the ranch house of the two ne’er-do-well witches. Little touches like this elevates Day of the Pigs into something different, something special.

Check out the trailer for Day of the Pigs and tell ‘em Vents sent you!

About Ryan Vandergriff

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