Based on a true story, Pig Killer is a dramatization of the life of notorious serial killer and rapist, Robert “Willy” Pickton. With a story following such an abomination, there was never any doubt that this “Crappy World Films” movie was going to be a blood-soaked romp of carnage and death and Pig Killer certainly lives up to expectations on that count.
The Real “Pig Killer” – The Story of Robert Pickton
Robert Pickton began his early years working on a farm under the iron fist of his mother (Louise Pickton), while his father had very little to do with his upbringing. Forced to work long hours, Robert’s school life soon began to take a downwards spiral. To make matters worse, he had no friends or wasn’t popular with girls due to the stench of dead meat and pig muck that emanated from his very skin. It’s also reported that he used to hide in pig carcasses in order to avoid his father or kids at school.
The Pig Killer and his Illegal Raves
Pickton later set up a “charity”, The Piggy Palace Good Times Society that, on the surface, was set up to provide entertainment to worthy causes but was used as a guise for illegal raves at his slaughterhouse that were frequented by biker gangs, known outlaws and local sex workers. Here, Pickton readily plied his revelers with drugs and alcohol.
In February of 2002, Pickton’s farm was descended upon by the local police force. Initially, the police were looking for firearms but secured a second warrant due to some grizzly findings. Further investigation uncovered the belongings of 33 women who were reported to be missing. Police forensics managed to deduce that Pickton was killing these poor women before butchering them and throwing pieces of them into a grinder to make swill for his pigs.
Originally arrested for two murders, by the time the cases went to trial in 2005, another 24 victims were added to his ghastly death toll. Pickton was sentenced to life in prison with no possibility of parole for 25 years. The other charges were dropped, due to the courts already sentencing him to a maximum period in jail.
The Pig Killer Movie isn’t Entirely Accurate
Due to Pig Killer being based on real events it was given that some of the victim’s names were changed; however, this isn’t the only part of the movie that doesn’t fit in with the gruesome facts. If you’re a true crime enthusiast, you will likely pick up on these as the movie plays out its macabre premise.
Things would have been changed to add more drama (as if that was needed in a case such as this) or to help the story flow, which is more than understandable. With that being said, the over-the-top gore and shaky special effects are still in abundance. Pig Killer heavily relies on prosthetics (gratuitous erect penis shots) and it really shows. It’s a sad miss because with a little more imagination and modern technique, the movie would turn even the strongest of stomachs.
Jake Busey Deserves a Special Mention for his Portrayal of the Pig Killer
Having not seen Busey in much since the likes of the great The Frighteners (1996) and Starship Troopers (the following year), I was pleasantly surprised to see him back in work and making a movie. The seasoned actor perfectly portrays Pickton as the childhood-traumatized monster he grew to be. There’s scenes where he shows a gentle nature that give the viewer some sort of empathy for the character. To do so would be tough at the best of times but to do so while playing such a vile man would have taken a practiced talent that Busey so plainly has.
Pig Killer Summary
With it’s sometimes laughable special effects, Pig Killer will probably put people off quickly. However, with a decent, mostly-true-to-life story, the laughter will soon abate. Pig Killer is a cheap but interesting journey into the life of Canada’s most prolific serial killer.