Jake Busey gets a showcase role as Canadian serial killer Robert ‘Willy’ Pickton – who seems to prefer being called Piggy – a hog farmer who branched out into holding illegal raves on the property he co-owned with his brother David (Lew Temple) but also found time to murder 49 women. The fact about the case that sticks in the mind is saved for a post-credits sequence – Pickton was convicted because he bragged to an undercover cop (James Russo) in jail about his score and wished he could have finished off the final girl type who escaped him just so he could have an even fifty to his murder tally.
Writer-director Chad Ferrin doesn’t hold back on the lurid stuff – we see Pickton dismember corpses and feed them to his pigs (especially prize hog Baltasar) and other gruesome details (like the effect of having a hypo full of industrial cleaner injected into the eye), plus near-hardcore sequences as he remembers having sex with his mother (porn star Ginger Lynn Allen) while raping and killing current victims (Bai Ling is an early casualty). Intercut are scenes focusing on strung-out Wendy Eastman (Kate Patel), who comes from a wealthy but troubled background – she survives an overdose but still doesn’t get her life back on track, and indeed has such a poor sense of personal danger that she chats up Pickton in a bar and accompanies him back to his ranch … where, in almost farcical fashion, he is called away from the murder scene to deal with legal hassles about land sales and cease and desist orders about the raves and a weird hanger-on steps in and makes a botch of stabbing the girl, who escapes and runs in her underwear through the thin crowd as the music starting. It’s not exactly tasteful, which is probably the point.
Busey’s Pickton is canny enough to turn on some charm, despite the piggy smell everyone mentions, and probably thinks of himself as a criminal mastermind – in the end, he gets caught thanks to his own arrogance and he’d have gotten away with it longer if he didn’t also want to keep the pig-themed parties going.