When band members are stranded on a country road, excitement of their first tour is diminished by the horrors of a science experiment gone awry. Their pig-human hybrid mutant captors have many horrors in store but true revulsion does not descend until daylight when the extent of their work is revealed.
This film deals with pig/men hybrids. That’s not so much a spoiler, as the face of one such unfortunate is on all packaging. Unfortunately, with this being a very low-budget project, the pig make-up isn’t really its best feature, and so the decision to highlight it on DVD covers is questionable. The creatures are much better when seen in shadows, or obscured by objects etc. And their high pitched, porcine squeal is horrifying – indeed, it has to be to rise above the shrill screams of the 6 mostly appalling young people that get caught up in the machinations.
The performances are enthusiastic, the characters’ arguments are explosive and often amusing. But that doesn’t deter the viewer wanting to see most of them despatched by the mutants. Incidentally, there are only cursory explanations as to why these creatures exist – their deformity seems limited to their faces, as their bodies and hands seem entirely human.
What makes up the story is the same as in many other films of this nature. There are no real surprises. Director Tony Swansey makes a good job of communicating the utter despair of the totally degraded crew, and the fact that Travis (Stephen Dean) in particular never, for one moment, stops reminding us how reprehensible he is makes us yearn for something unmentionable to happen to him. When such a thing does occur (in this case, having his mouth sewn up with a guitar string), I defy anyone not to feel a certain degree of relief.
I enjoy watching ‘Squeal’ for what it is. It doesn’t take itself too seriously (although it plays mainly as a straight, brutal horror), and there is a moment after the end credits that amuses, as one pig hybrid puts on a magic show for two corpses, propped up. At the end, he pulls their dead faces into grins and cheers at his own cleverness.