Movie Review: High on the Hog (2019)

April 29, 2019

Written by DanXIII

Daniel XIII; the result of an arcane ritual involving a King Diamond album, a box of Count Chocula, and a copy of Swank magazine, is a screenwriter, actor, artist, and reviewer of fright flicks…Who hates ya baby?

Big Daddy (the legendary Sid Haig) is a farmin’ man by trade, and his prize crop? The best weed in the continental U.S. of A.! Of course that kind of quality causes plenty of buzz, and soon Agent Dick (Joe Estevez) is on the case to make sure Daddy and his and his adopted family; the comely crew comprised of Laura (Siarra T. Mong), Lola (Brenda Whitehead), and Lenore (Fiona Domenica) go down right quick…especially when word gets out that Daddy’s product is making folks go completely insane. Will B>D. be able to protect his livelihood from the DEA comin’ to get him, or will his entire operation go up in smoke?

Let’s start with what works in High on the Hog‘s favor (and I have to tell ya; it’s one short list). First of all, Haig and Estevez give it their all and are fun to watch (and it was cool to see a posthumous appearance by genre icon Robert Z’Dar), and the images presented are often saturated with color and add the the tripped out vibe the filmmakers were going for (as did the super cool hallucination sequences). Moving on…

Holy balls was this narrative a fucking mess. Is High on the Hog about Big Daddy and his girl gang, or is it about the Agents hunting him down…or wait, is the film about the townie teens trying to score their next high? Let me tell ya the film couldn’t decide, and none of the aspects emerge as being prominent…so the film just sort of chugs along heading absolutely nowhere.

Not helping matters is the overly stylized, janky editing that tries to evoke some sort of grindhouse aesthetic but comes across as art school, try-hard trash (though the various animated effects utilized were well done and heaps of fun when they appear). I wish film makers would realize that real grindhouse films looked they way they did due to misuse of the prints, lousy projectors, and at times straight up filmmaker incompetence…this is what produced the faults and texture that just appears ultra-forced when faked.

Finally, there is a constant interruption to the story courtesy of a radio DJ character (Ellie Church) who appears just to utter the most groan-inducing weed “jokes” and references imaginable.

If you are a die-hard Haig aficionado, or just need one last hurrah from Z’Dar in your life then by all-means give High on the Hog a go…otherwise puff, puff, pass on this one.

 

 

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