Film Review: HIGH ON THE HOG (2019)

HIGH ON THE HOG *** USA 2019 Dir: Tony Walsh. 85 mins

An incredibly potent strain of weed has hit the city causing mass hysteria and a fair few violent deaths. Federal agents are on the case and are targeting a small town farmer who is growing weed on his families farm to make ends meet and sending it to the city to sell. Big Daddy (Sid Haig) is actually a kind man, respects his papa and takes in abused women, all he wants to do is be left alone alone to grow his weed and reap the rewards with his lovely ladies Lenore (Fiona Domenica), Lola (Brenda Whitehead),  Laura (Siarra T. Mong) and mute farmhand Jimmy (Adam Budron) he will do everything it takes to protect the people he loves. This is much more of a crime/thriller movie than a horror but it is shot with a fantastic 70’s Grindhouse style with very short grainy scenes, choppy segments and some trippy plasticine models. There is a fair bit of violence and some detail in the gore which is effective but they do some off screen kills with the use of “missing scene” notices. The story is interrupted by toasted (and for some reason) topless radio DJ Mary Jane (Ellie Church) for weed obsessed radio station KUSH Radio who cuts in to bring updates on the weed deaths and more then a few stoned platitudes. If it wasn’t for the crazy camera work and the soundtrack this might be in danger of dragging things out a bit but luckily with the cartoony aspects and well thought out animations this injects a lot of life into the story. The cast are a great mix and the majority of them were entertaining. There is a part of the story that involves an undercover agent but I found her character rather poor which weakened the impact for me.  Joe Estevez is great as the bad tempered cop Agent Dick. I’m thinking this was filmed a number of years ago as Haig is looking a lot healthier then he has in recent times and it also features Robert Z’Dar as the town’s Mayor. With plenty of weed smoking, nudity and some hilarious dialogue it is an interesting watch, it doesn’t really challenge you or require much thought to watch but it is enjoyable.

Review by Sarah Budd

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