The King of Pigs

This full-on anime feature paints a terrifying portrait of life as a put-upon nerd in a regular Korean high school. What happened to businessman Kyung-min and his struggling writer pal Jong-Suk back in their classroom days has lived with them ever since, as a cagey reunion prompts painful flashbacks revealing their traumatic treatment as subhuman ‘pigs’ by the ruling clique. Salvation may be at hand when the schoolboy geeks befriend sinister loner Chul, but is his ferocious vengeance really the answer? Yeon Sang-ho’s debut is intense from the get-go, unstinting in its violence and scathing about the cruel hierarchies which it implies are endemic in Korean society, not just its schools. There’s real pain and anger here, yet the hysterical carnage eventually proves counter-productive, as if Yeon put the hammer down too soon and can’t sustain the same fever pitch. Visually, it goes for etched simplicity, bolstered by appropriately shouty performances: the result is forthrightly in-your-face, culturally fascinating, but a tough watch.

Release details

Rated: 15
Release date: Friday January 25 2013
Duration: 97 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Sang-ho Yeon
Cast: Kkobbi Kim
Jung-se Oh
Ik-Joon Yang
Kim Hye-Na
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