A mashup of elements from "Razorback," "Deliverance" and other rural-peril faves, "Pig Hunt" proves an enjoyably offbeat hybrid horror exercise.

A mashup of elements from “Razorback,” “Deliverance” and other rural-peril faves, “Pig Hunt” proves an enjoyably offbeat hybrid horror exercise. Helmer Jim Isaac’s first indie production, following several compromised studio efforts including sci-fi slasher “Jason X,” amplifies the quirkiness of Robert and Zach Anderson’s screenplay by unpredictably mixing disparate pacing, tones, humor and brute action. Sum isn’t entirely satisfying, and the current marketplace preference for formulaic scare pics won’t help B.O. But fans tired of rote remakes and ripoffs will appreciate the pic’s idiosyncrasy. It’s currently playing limited theatrical gigs while in search of a wider distribution deal.

Four twentysomething buds, led by John (Travis Aaron Wade), leave San Francisco for a weekend of game hunting in rural Mendocino County, though the guys-only plan goes south when John’s g.f. Brooks (Tina Huang) — who turns out to be the group’s sharpest shooter — insists on coming along.

After being warned about an improbable 3,000-lb. “Pigfoot” (aka “the Ripper”) roaming wild, they acquire uninvited company in the form of two local yokels who have an apparent score to settle with John.

City-slicks-vs.-hicks tension soon gets ugly, resulting in full-on war waged by the large, inbred Tibbs clan against the panicked visitors. Meanwhile, carnivorous Hogzilla turns out to be no mythical beastie.

A local “hippie commune” consisting of one charismatic male (Bryonn Bain) and his sizable harem of Amazonian babes further adds to the eventual mayhem, which doesn’t explode until halfway through the pic’s runtime.

Slow start has its own rewards in atmosphere and slyly offbeat rhythms; when the porcine stool finally hits the fan, the action (especially that taking place chez Tibbs) is no-holds-barred muscular. Given the welcome sense that the story might lunge in any direction at any time, however, the final payoff (which involves some not-very-convincing creature effects) is a little less kicky than one might have hoped.

Perfs are enthusiastic, tech and design contribs above-average.

Score by Les Claypool of Primus adds to hipster cachet; he and blues mouth harpist Charlie Musselwhite contribute cameo roles.

Pig Hunt

Production

An Up Cal Entertainment, Epic Pictures presentation. Produced by Robert Mailer Anderson, Jim Isaac. Executive producers, Anderson, Nicola Miner, Chris James, Doug Stewart, Diana Stewart, Daniel Lurie, Rebecca Prowda. Directed by Jim Isaac. Screenplay, Robert Mailer Anderson, Zach Anderson.

Crew

Camera (Super 16-to-35mm), Adam Kane; editors, Graham Wilcox, Sean Barton; music, Les Claypool; production designer, Geoffrey Kirkland; art director, Garrett Lowe; set decorator, Kris Boxell; costume designer, Aggie Rodgers; sound (Dolby SR), Fred Runner, Todd Beckett; sound designer, Andy Newell; special makeup/creature effects, Kerner Optical; assistant director, Greg Simmons; second unit director, Justin Sundquist; casting, Nancy Hayes. Reviewed on DVD, San Francisco, March 30, 2009. Running time: 100 MIN.

With

Travis Aaron Wade, Tina Huang, Howard Johnson Jr., Trevor Bullock, Rajiv Shah, Jason Foster, Nick Tagas, Bryonn Bain, Christina McKay, Charlie Musselwhite, Les Claypool, Marissa Igrasci, Lainie Grainger, Luis Saguar.

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