Written by: George Pacheco on February 21st, 2013
Release Dates: USA, 1998 (Pig), USA, 2012 (1334)
Directors: Nico B., Rozz Williams (Pig), Nico B. (1334)
Writers: Rozz Williams, Nico B. (Pig), Nico B. (1334)
Cast: Rozz Williams, James Hollan (Pig), Dante White, Bill Oberst Jr. (1334)
BluRay released: January 29th, 2013
Approximate running times: 23 minutes (Pig), 17 minutes (1334)
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1 Full Frame / 1080 Progressive
Sound: Dolby Digital 5.1, Dolby Digital Stereo
BluRay Release: Cult Epics
Region Coding: Region Free
Retail Price: $34.98
This release of Pig and 1334 offers up some unfortunate credence to the statement that some individuals might be better off behind the scenes than a camera, as evidenced by these ponderous short films from Cult Epics founder and owner, Nico B.
The former is a short film from Christian Death founder Rozz Williams, a pioneer of the goth and death rock genres whose penchant for the macabre has been well documented over the course of an influential musical and artistic career. Unfortunately, Pig suffers from a severe lack of excitement, instead serving up a bargain basement Super 8 flick which possesses all the charm of an S&M home movie. Although the threadbare “plot” of Nico and Williams’ film attempts to exude an atmosphere of nihilism and depravity—something which is better achieved via the truly horrific cover art and packaging—this tale of a premeditated murder taking place in the middle of a desolate desert area succeeds only in presenting boredom and delusional pretension to the viewer, rather than anything truly frightening.
This lack of punch is really where Pig goes wrong, promising much yet failing to deliver the goods, with tedium serving as the film’s primary sin. The lack of any substantial sound, dialog or music doesn’t create the sort of tension Nico and Williams probably hoped, instead serving as a cure for insomnia as the murderous acts on screen head towards their inevitable conclusion.
1334 is an even shorter film, yet is slightly more successful in its attempt at linking the completion of Pig—which was Williams’ last artistic work before his suicide in 1998—with ghostly, paranormal visuals and atmosphere. As such, the cinematography and film editing of Nico B. leads up to some interesting shots, at the very least creating this feeling of unease and fear which was lacking in Pig.
Despite this marginal improvement, neither 1334 nor Pig come very recommended to any but the most obsessive of Rozz Williams fans. The recently released Bunny Game Blu-Ray succeeds in almost every way this film fails, juxtaposing true torture and pain against this sub-par approximation
Note: The images in this review are taken from the DVD included as part of this combo release.
This DVD and Blu-Ray combo pack from Cult Epics arrives with extensive packaging which is likely to offend a number of viewers, due to decidedly national socialist imagery normally associated with the neo/apocalyptic folk scene of Death In June. Although there is a disclaimer located on the back of the case, the copious swastikas which adorn both the outside sleeve and cover art aren’t likely to win many favors at retail locations.
The booklet included within the Blu Ray and DVD case is an indulgent approximation of the tome “Why God Permits Evil,” which is featured in the film Pig, and serves as the most interesting aspect of this release. Filled with Hieronymus Bosch imagery, text and production notes, the booklet sets up both films to deliver more substance than they actually do in the end, which is unfortunate.
Although there are specks of grain and grit included in the high definition transfer of Pig, this is likely the intention of the filmmakers, and not a judge of print quality. Overall, both films look crisp and clean, while the Dolby 2.0 stereo audio serves up minimalism with no noticeable error. Overall, Cult Epics earns high marks for their presentation of this release, even if the films themselves are sorely lacking.