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October 9, 2011

Movie Review: The Pig Farm (2011)

Call it morbid obsession or just a keen interest in true crime, as a Canadian citizen I’ve been waiting a long time to see a documentary about Canada’s most infamous and established serial killer.
The first documentary ever to be made on notorious Canadian pig farmer/serial killer Robert “Willie” Pickton, The Pig Farm is as informative as it is downright disturbing. Featuring re-enactments of the events surrounding Pickton’s arrest, and heart-wrenching interviews with former employees of his farm and a few of the surviving women who had first-hand encounters with him, The Pig Farm, like Pickton himself, lures you in and binds you to your seat for what will likely be the most unsettling docu-viewing experience of a lifetime.

Buy The Pig Farm on DVD

Pickton speaks in a mousey, redneck voice as he describes his childhood, his life on the farm and his day to day routine in audio interview clips peppered throughout the running time—providing viewers with that visceral, frightening sense of reality.

Apart from the grotesque details, actress Renee Olbert speaks of a more human side of the prostitute-killing monster in her role as one of Pickton’s real-life best friends, Gina Houston. Her version of Pickton juxtaposes the killer that we’ve all gotten to know and loathe through the media’s interpretation of him. The two are portrayed as exact opposites, where Houston’s version is a kind, gentle-hearted and good humoured man that went out of his way to help his friends, and the Pickton that we all know from news reporters is an inhumane beast in disguise who fed on the souls of the poverty-stricken, drug addicted sex trade workers of British Columbia.

As of October of 2002, when Pickton's murder charges reached a staggering 15 (that number rising throughout the following years as the trial proceeded), the Pickton case became the largest serial killer investigation in Canadian History.

A modern day Ed Gein, Robert Pickton is a curious portrayal of the duality of man. There is much to be read about him. If you’ve got an interest in true crime, I suggest looking into it.

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