Alternative Cinema // 2011 // 81 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge Paul Pritchard // August 23rd, 2012
Get Off His Land Or Else!
Simon Robertson (Sam Qualiana) is the new kid in town, and so naturally worries about fitting in. However, fitting in is the least of Simon's worries, as he learns that his new town lives in the shadow of Porkchop (Rob Cobb), a hulking killer in a pig mask, who terrorized the town years ago and amassed a body count that would make Michael Myers envious.
Simon soon falls in with local girl Meg (Angela Pritchett), and the two quickly enter into a relationship. When mutilated bodies begin turning up in the local woods, it becomes clear that Porkchop has returned. Still, a sadistic killer isn't enough to stop teens from partying, and so when Meg and Simon host a party and invite the coolest kids in school, the stage is set for a night of premarital sex, underage drinking, and bodily dismemberment.
Porkchop II: Rise of the Rind opens with the least erotic lesbian love scene ever committed to film, and never really recovers from it.
Porkchop II: Rise of the Rind, a.k.a. Porkchops, suffers due to fundamental flaws that are compounded by some astoundingly poor decision-making. Take, for example, the first meeting of lead characters Simon and Meg. For reasons that are completely unknown -- though if I were pressed on the matter I'd say it's an ill-informed attempt to add a little quirkiness to the picture -- the two inexplicably burst into song. It doesn't last for long, admittedly, and peters out like all bad ideas. Just like an establishing shot around the midway point where the cameraman appears to take a tumble, it's there for all to see and suffer.
Despite its obvious debt to The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, the appearance of the eponymous Porkchop still makes for a suitably grim image. With his crudely patched together pigskin mask and dirty overalls, Porkchop lumbers around menacingly enough, but is never allowed the screen time necessary to truly make an impact. Keeping your killerâ€™s screen time to a minimum is normally a good idea, but Porkchop is by far the best aspect of the film, and so the movie suffers for his absence. Every other character, in fact every single facet of what little plot there is, is simply setup for the next kill. Had the kills shown some invention, then perhaps Porkchop II could have been fun, but this isn't mediocre, it's just poor. Besides a fairly impressive impaling, the rest of the kills are delivered with little thought to their execution. Making this worse is the fact that the first half of the movie is relatively kill-free and moves at a snailâ€™s pace.
Porkchop II very much aspires toward comedy-horror, but the screenplay is weak and the humor just isn't there. It seems unfair to criticize the cast, as their enthusiasm is obvious, but their delivery decidedly lacking.
For a micro-budgeted horror, Porkchop II has been given a good DVD release. The disc sports a sharp 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer, which -- due to much of the film taking place during daylight hours -- is bright and packing strong colors. The Dolby 2.0 Stereo track is reasonable, with dialogue occasionally a little muffled, but nothing too excessive. For bonus features, we get a commentary from writer/director Eamon Hardiman and an assortment of cast members, plus a behind-the-scenes featurette which runs just under an hour, and is made up of interviews and cast members getting ready to shoot a scene.
Porkchop II: Rise of the Rind is a small independent production that clearly has a lot of heart put into it by all involved. That said: a poor film is still a poor film, and nobody needs to lose 80 minutes of their life watching something so uninspired.
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Scales of Justice
Studio: Alternative Cinema
* 1.78:1 Anamorphic
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)
Running Time: 81 Minutes
Release Year: 2011
MPAA Rating: Not Rated