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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

Pig Pen [Blu-ray]


(Jason M. Koch, 2016)


More interesting Independent or modest budgeted films on Blu-ray reviewed (click review buttons to also see comparisons where applicable):


Review by Gary Tooze



Theatrical: Dire Wit Films

Video: Dire Wit Films



Region: FREE (as verified by the Oppo Blu-ray player)

Runtime: 1:23:09.458

Disc Size: 24,630,028,420 bytes

Feature Size: 19,992,084,480 bytes

Video Bitrate: 30.18 Mbps

Chapters: 7

Case: Standard Blu-ray case

Release date: February 14th, 2017



Aspect ratio: 2.35:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video



Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps

Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps






Director Commentary
Making Of... (27:46)
Two Deleted Scenes (0:17 / 0:57)

Trailer (2:04)





Description: A runaway returns for revenge - Forced to fend for himself on the streets, 13-year-old Zack has just been pushed out of his dysfunctional home by Wayne, his mother's sadistic boyfriend. When the two are brought back together by a murder, only one will survive this bloody tale of revenge.


Only 13 of age, Zack (Lucas Koch) is still rather young ... but his life is hell already, especially after Wayne (Vito Trigo) has moved in with his welfare dependent mum (Nicolette le Faye), a bully if there ever was one who knows how to play her addictions to keep her with him despite the fact that he tends to abuse her and make her into his prostitute, in Zack's full sight. Eventually, Wayne throws Zack out of the house, telling him he has to come home with 50 bucks, otherwise nothing doing, but gives him the "good" advice to just sell his body. Now this is something Zack just can't do, so he tries to fend for himself, but only with limited success - and then a compassionate motorist picks up the boy, and Zack convinces him to drive him and his mum out of town - but when he sneaks into their home to fetch mum, he finds Wayne has turned it into hell in the meantime ... but what's way worse, Wayne's still in, and he's been waiting for Zack...

Excerpt from SearchMyTrash located HERE



The Film:

Every year there is that one indie release that really grabs me. That movie that strikes an emotional chord, that feels both cinematic and intimate. In 2014 it was Found, last year it was Androgynym and this year it is Jason Koch’s Pig Pen. This film is a masterful example of “true to life” horror, telling a grim story of poverty and the toils of boyhood. This departure from traditional horror is refreshing and really shows the signs of a maturing artist who is not interested in being kept to one genre. Pig Pen is a moving, but intensely ugly film that is just as much a thriller as it is a coming-of-age tale.

The story follows a thirteen year old boy who has recently been kicked out of his home by his mother’s maniacal boyfriend. We see him trying to survive the harsh world of inner-city Baltimore. He is forced to shoplift for food and find a way back home to protect his mother. What unfolds is a voyage of vagrancy and revenge that will ultimately end in blood (lots of blood).

Excerpt from Mondo McLaren located HERE


Image :    NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.

Pig Pen, on Blu-ray from Dire Wit Films, looks true to its modest productions standards. The image is clear and really only, occasionally, hindered only by inferior lighting looking greenish. I thought the visuals were decent with some very dark scenes that exported no, egregious, digital noise, showcasing some depth and, overall, it was consistent in terms of video. This single-layered Blu-ray, gives this Indie film a very watchable 1080P presentation.


















Audio :

Only a lossy Dolby track that does the job in exporting the film's dialogue and effects. The audio suits the video and nothing is lessened in interpreting the message of the film. There are no subtitles offered and my Oppo has identified it as being region FREE.


Extras :

The Blu-ray includes a director commentary that I only briefly indulged in but seemed frank, light and off-the-cuff, a 1/2 hour making of piece... , there are 2 short deleted scenes and a trailer.



Pig Pen is a superior, encouraging, and touching Indie effort - perhaps a little, unnecessarily, ham-fisted at times, but DVDBeaver like to support films that challenge and take chances. I hope to see more films from Jason Koch in the future. This Blu-ray package is a recommendation to any who appreciate this genre. Even not being initially keen on the subject matter - I found this had value and it impacted me. Don't be afraid to give this a spin.

Gary Tooze

March 31st, 2017

About the Reviewer: Hello, fellow Beavers! I have been interested in film since I viewed a Chaplin festival on PBS when I was around 9 years old. I credit DVD with expanding my horizons to fill an almost ravenous desire to seek out new film experiences. I currently own approximately 9500 DVDs and have reviewed over 5000 myself. I appreciate my discussion Listserv for furthering my film education and inspiring me to continue running DVDBeaver. Plus a healthy thanks to those who donate and use our Amazon links.

Although I never wanted to become one of those guys who focused 'too much' on image and sound quality - I find HD is swiftly pushing me in that direction.

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Gary W. Tooze






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