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Case Number 24207: Small Claims Court

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Pigsty (Region 2)

Eureka Entertainment // 1969 // 98 Minutes // Unrated
Reviewed by Judge Paul Pritchard (Retired) // July 26th, 2012

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All Rise...

Judge Paul Pritchard really didn't care for this film. Tra-la-la.

The Charge

"I ate my father, I ate human flesh, and I quiver with joy."

The Case

With Pigsty (Porcile), Pier Paolo Pasolini delivers perhaps his most ponderous, self-indulgent, and ultimately disappointing film. To quote Peter Griffin (Family Guy), it "insists upon itself."

The two-pronged plot of Pigsty begins with a young man (Pierre Clementi) roaming the slopes of Mount Etna. We soon come to learn of this man's cannibalistic tendencies, as he joins up with another like-minded individual who he joins in an orgy of decapitations, rape, and the devouring of human flesh. The second story initially revolves around Julian Klotz (Jean-Pierre Leaud) and his would be fiancée, Ida (Anne Wiazemsky). Ida longs for Julian to propose marriage, but his indifference toward her suggests his passions lie elsewhere. Ida continually presses Julian, but he refuses to tell her who or what his true love is—though he does at least confide that the truth is so shocking that Ida would no doubt think him crazy. Meanwhile, Julian's father, Mr, Klotz (Alberto Lionello)—a former Nazi turned successful businessman—is paid a visit by a former friend turned rival named Herdhitze (Ugo Tognazzi). Following an initially cordial conversation, Herhitze abruptly changes tack as he reveals the truth about Julian.

I've nothing against Pasolini's work and only a short while ago gave glowing reviews for Accattone and The Gospel According to Matthew, but Pigsty is intolerable. Interminable conversations that seem to go round in circles, with nothing resembling a point, plague the second story, while the first story, while easy enough to follow, has even less to say for itself. The smug delivery of the cast does little but exasperate one's grievances further.

The great shame of all this is that Pigsty is beautifully shot. The scenes around Mount Etna are glorious, and capture its rare beauty. Pasolini's finest sequence is arguably a scene where Julian and Ida converse with each other whilst walking on either sides of a lake, which acts as both a physical and metaphorical symbol of their divide.

At least Eureka delivers on its end of the bargain, with a great-looking Pigsty (Region 2) DVD. The level of detail is surprising, and best highlighted in an early scene where a butterfly comes into view. The standard definition 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen image is sharp, with natural colors that show little sign of aging. The Dolby 2.0 mono soundtrack delivers clear dialogue. Perhaps in a sign that they too see this as one of Pasolini's lesser works, Eureka has not included any extras on this release.

To go on endlessly about Pigsty would be akin to committing the same crimes I've accused the film of. So, to keep it short and sweet, I shall summarize my dislike for this film by saying I'd rather watch Batman and Robin again than sit through this rot.

The Verdict


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Scales of Justice

Judgment: 48

Perp Profile

Studio: Eureka Entertainment
Video Formats:
• 1.85:1 Anamorphic
Audio Formats:
• Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono (Italian)
• English
Running Time: 98 Minutes
Release Year: 1969
MPAA Rating: Unrated
• Bad
• Classic
• Drama
• Foreign
• Mystery

Distinguishing Marks

• Trailer


• IMDb

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