No this isn’t a Bruce Lee film. This is a South Korean giant wild killer pig movie – “another one?”, I hear you sigh.
When the self proclaimed “crimeless village” of Sameri in South Korea is beset by a 500kg 6 foot tall killer boar it’s fair to say the locals are unprepared and largely incapable of handling the beastie. After all, all bar one of the cops are a bunch of lazy idiots, the new guy arrived in town that day and the local citizens would win a “Crazy-off” with the 90s TV town of Twin Peaks hands down.
Locals start falling off the map and reappearing as various limbs and fragments of body-parts, newly interred corpses are summarily exhumed, and buses full of curious city folk show up to pick the local organic produce – but are really there to get Chaw-gnawed.
So outside help is sourced, including experienced and renowned hunters, a pack of dogs, and some skylarking adventure seekers. The locals want the thing dead, the hunters want trophies and a bunch of greenies just want everyone to get along. The hunt goes on and a large pig is taken down – ce-le-brate good times… Come on?
Nope, it turns out that the big fat beast wasn’t Oprah on another of her around the world publicity stunts but the psycho killer pig’s missus.
Now: it’s personal.
As tends to happen in these film a rag tag bunch of disparate individuals forms to take on Porky high in the mountains that flank the village, each with their own specialty, motivation and story to tell – usually late at night around a campfire in a moment of surprising vulnerability.
Now this is a big scary animal movie so I can’t finish without discussing the big scary animal, and this is where Chaw really disappoints. In a few scenes Chaw is a guy(s) in a suit and in close ups and confined spaces it looks like a puppet. Both of these efforts were acceptable… in long shots and action sequences however Chaw was 100% distracting CGP – Computer Generated Pork. The size and weight of Chaw seemed to vary greatly in shot to shot, he had no obvious momentum or force when he was changing direction or running, and in certain scenes he just looked damned… cuddly.
In the early going they were wise to minimise the sightings and onscreen depiction of Chaw, towards the end when he was all over the shop I almost laughed every time he appeared onscreen – especially when he morphed into cuddly-wuddly piggy-wiggy for some shots.
Chaw has no real gore at all to speak of, most of the deaths appear offscreen and the only real evidence aside from muffled screams and quick cutaways are the random body parts alluded to earlier. There is way too much exposition and unnecessary character development for what is essentially a silly B flick with an audience only demanding “get to the killer pig!”, leaving us with a 90 minute film that unfortunately takes two hours to watch.
In this way it reminded me of The Host from a couple years back, but while that film supplied a carefully rendered, original beastie as the primary threat Chaw is only able to proffer a size changing, largely unreal – and often fluffy! – giant pork chop.
Final Rating – 6 / 10. For most lovers of slightly obscure cinema “South Korean killer pig” flick is a big enough hook to initiate a search for the video shop card – it sure was for me. But Chaw is one little piggie that should have stayed home.