Originally shot in 2009 as a 45 minute film consisting of three linked but self contained chapters, the makers of Swine have raised the funds to film two more chapters and bring it to feature length. The result is an interesting if oddly structured film, it’s almost like watching episodes of a tv show back to back.
The film is set after the collapse of civilization and deals with a rebel force, Vox Populi who are fighting a distant and corrupt empire, (why does this sound familiar?). The villains are meant to resemble the Roman Empire, their legions, (yes they are called legions), being decimated by the local forces, their commanders debauched, corrupt and in at least one case in their position due to nepotism.
The first two episodes focus mostly on the direct struggle between the two forces, and consist of standard action film heroics mostly done in the style of the heroes all being crack shots and bullet proof while the military that has conquered the rest of the world can’t hit anything except occasionally each other. Thankfully the later episodes move away from this and into a much more interesting area, the internal struggles and betrayals within Vox Populi itself. By the end of the film it actually comes to resemble a nice old school Italian Western with all the greed, scheming and double crosses. The desert setting and soundtrack add to this feel greatly.
The film is very professionally done with a lot of attention to detail. The weapons look realistic although they are, in one of the few futuristic touches, energy weapons of some kind. The vehicles are all standard modern day trucks, jeeps etc which makes for a strange contrast. The film makers also take full advantage of deserted buildings and even what looks like an abandoned village to create their post apocalypse future. Another scene is shot in a scrapyard featuring a junked helicopter and other military looking vehicles. It also looks like some military reenactment groups were involved due to some of the functional hardware involved. The result is production values and a look far above most DIY and even some SyFy end of the world films.
The film is well shot and edited, all the tech work on the film is done well. The only possible complaint is that some of the acting is weak, but on a film like this, with as big a cast as it has that is to be expected. The film is full of interesting characters with some equally interesting motivations, and in a surprise for this genre, much of the cast is female.
I saw this via a screener as the film is currently playing festivals and looking for distribution. It recently took several awards at Zed Fest which is hopefully a good omen for it. It certainly deserves to get picked up as it’s a lot better than much of the post holocaust stuff getting a release these days. See it if you get the chance.