Director and Writer Nap Bishop brings forth a creation based on cryptozoology concerning a HogMaul from a small rural Pennsylvania town, in Abrams County that has a creature dating back to early 1950s, responsible for many individuals’ disappearances and unsolved murders. These urban legends find themselves more and more in no to low budget horror films, and this creature appears more as a disfigured man, than a creature, hence less than the Jersey Devil, from the infamous Pine Barrens of New Jersey and more to a Jason Voorhees, but instead of just disfigurement, the HogMaul has a pig’s head.

Nap’s film filters itself into the horror-comedy genre, a tricky genre, however, when a lack of budget puts major constraints on one’s production, this area becomes more advantageous to explore, and this script brings many elements of inside horror trivia into play. The screenplay reminds the audience of the tongue and cheek style of Kevin Williamson’s Scream, yet the effect herein presents more of a shotgun spread disbursement with a mixture of redneck stereotyping that mixes the horror trivia with lowbrow humor.  The film’s character bring their own qualities to the film and pleasure for the horror hounds in the audience, with some of the names referring to other horror film classics, such as Dewey (Chris Beck), Karen White (Gabrielle Bodroghy) and Deputy Steve Christie (Harry Gannon). The classic horror characters refer, as one should know to Dewey in Scream (1996) and Karen White as Carrie White in Carrie (1976) and the Deputy as Steve Christy in Friday the 13th (1980), if one missed this reference, time to view the film again. HogMaul played by Sean Hockensmith, does not steal the show, rather Lola Chericola who portrays Maxine Wren, does, with nutty and very bizarre mannerism that actually starts to overtake scenes and distracts from the other lesser characters.

The icon of for this horror film shows a hog’s head with two sledgehammers behind it, which is refreshing, and keeps the actual look of this creature feature hidden from the audience, and yet identifies his weapon of killing. The hog’s head mask, a slightly more frequent appearance in the horror genre of late, with such films as the Saw franchise, Squeal [2008] from director Tony Swansey that, and the legendary Motel Hell [1980]. A hog, for the most part seems harmless, however it is an omnivore, capable of eating and consuming anything place front of itself, similar to the human species, our gluttony for food, or other pleasures, and the relentless desire to gorge dispelling fear and disgust to all in sight. This HogMaul does just that, a curse upon the land, fear to all whom travel and hunt in the woods, that a creature hunts there too; except no feeding frenzy appears in the film, rather just the killing, and some nice suggestive splatter scenes for one to enjoy. The reason for lack of more gore, likely hints to the lack of finances for special effects, even practical effects, nevertheless special tricks to ‘MacGyver’ it play part into the film, as is the case with many low budget films.

Nap confirmed, in previous interviews, and to me, at a Monster Mania Convention in Cherry Hill, New Jersey, the film’s title is a play on words to the to those familiar this the southern-eastern area of Pennsylvania as it refers to a sensitive meal. The meal, known as Pig’s Stomach, consists of sausages mixed vegetables and thoroughly cooked in the stomach of a pig, according to All Recipes. The soundtrack, while sometimes overlooked in low budgeted horror films, cannot be for this flick, as the music contains several genres of music tastes, with two standout tracks, the first “I Wanna Kill Everything” and then “Footjob Gang Bang”. The meaning of the first track obviously a highly motivate killing track, the second, impossible to describe, it a friendly manner, needless to state, buy the soundtrack and play it while roasting a pig – no offense to HogMaul.

The downside of HogMaul, aside from the lack of gallons of blood spillage, comes from the two largest elements in film sound and lighting, and the sound levels vary immensely, sometimes ranging too loud for a scene to far too low for some of the dialogue. The last thing a horror fanatic wants to do during a movie – keep adjusting the sound, it just detracts from the hilarious enjoyment of a horror-comedy, and has one missing the horror movie references. As for the lighting, most horror films pride themselves with darkness to hide issues, herein the film contains many daylight shots, and perhaps due to the fact, the set is actually a forest, costs of night shooting perhaps hinder this aspect. HogMaul is a film that can find itself on Syfy on a Saturday afternoon, therefore if one enjoys very lowbrow humor, mixed with no budget filmmaking then here is a film for your next pig roast.

This review was originally published in April 2014 on the now defunct Rogue Cinema website.

IMDb Rating: 5.8/10

Baron’s Rating: 5.5/10