A Special Interview with the Creators and Star from Long Pigs!
by: Heather Henshaw
A while back I came across a film by the name of Long Pigs not to be mixed up with a different film called Long Pig. I had befriended Chris and later Anthony we talked for some time before I actually got a copy of the film. Finally I got a copy and put it in. I fell in love with the film I mean I just dropped dead over how well it was done. So I got to chatting with the guys Director Chris Power and Anthony Alviano (both very great guys) here are some stuff we have chatted about. Sit back have a bowl of stew and read what these guys have to say:
LNHH: The name of your film is called Long Pigs can you tell us a little about that term and how you ended up naming you’re film that?
Chris Power: “Long Pig” is the culinary term for the human corpse, which depending on where you do your research has a couple different origins – but if you were cooking with human you wouldn’t say, “people stew” but rather “long pig stew”. Basically we’re all long pigs!
LNHH: How did you choose your cast? Anthony does an amazing job. He seems like he did not even have to really act; he just had to be himself. How did you ever get someone to play Lucy at that?
CP: Well Nathan and I knew we were writing the movie for Anthony, which was an artistic bonus – so we played to his characteristics. Finding the rest of the (non-union) cast was much more difficult. Elisa Moolecherry did our casting and spent literally months seeing thousands of actors – which is the boring secret to casting I think: You gotta keep seeing people until you find the right actor – don’t just hire your friends.
Anthony Alviano: Chris and Nathan told me they thought of me specifically in the role which was flattering, and I think I understood exactly what they where going for in terms of the character playing with the audience’s idea of reality. I always thought the most interesting thing about the idea was to make it as naturalistic as possible, so I thought I should just play the part like your next-door neighbor. I really did want people to question whether it was fictional movie or a real documentary.
CP: Finding someone to play Lucy (played by Barb Walsh) was a bit of a nightmare due to the demands of the character. Casting came down to two women each amazing in their own way – ultimately our first choice ended up dislocating her knee and Barb stepped in. After she was convinced we weren’t making a porno she was a real trooper.
LNHH: How did you guys meet each other and go from there on this film?
AA: I’ve known Chris (Power) since high school and was in one of his early shorts – later on they were going to do another short when the idea Long Pigs came up.
CP: Anthony was ahead of me in high school so we never really hung out that much, but he was clearly one of the “stars” of our high school drama department, which put on a major show each year. So when we met I was playing four one-minute parts while Anthony was in every scene getting huge laughs. When I ran my very first 16mm film through a bolex, I asked Anthony to appear and of course he did an awesome job.
LNHH: There was a scene in Long Pigs that was a fairly uncomfortable one for Anthony; how did you deal with the scene of Barbara Walsh (Lucy the Prostitute)? I know she had to hang upside down at least three times naked for it.
AA: I was far more concerned with Barb than anything else, A lot of my sweatyness and rapid breathing in that scene comes from me really wanting it to be over with as quickly as possible. It comes off like I’m excited.
CP: Yeah that was not a wonderful shooting experience, but Barb pulled us through and was the hero of that scene for sure. It’s tough asking someone to do something you’d never ever do yourself… like hand upside down bare-ass naked.
LNHH: Anthony being a role of a serial killer did you do any research and was there a specific killer you based McAlistar after?
AA: I did do research on numerous serial killers but the character wasn’t based on any one historical person.
CP: We had a giant binder of research but it certainly wasn’t our “bible” – all proper kudos for the creation of that character goes to Anthony.
LNHH: I know the budget was not all that big but how did you pull it off? The FX were simply amazing.
CP: I tell our sad but epic SFX tale a lot:
SFX part 1: We initially went with a SFX supervisor who was more inexperienced, but assured us he was up to the task of creating our “Lucy body”. After avoiding showing us the results until we were on set, we were horrified to be presented a wrinkled, totally unusable piece that looked more like a giant baked ham – total cost/waste $4000.
SFX part 2: After that fiasco we contacted a prominent female SFX supervisor in the city who took the script and agreed to a scheduled meeting. We showed up early for the meeting in the middle of the afternoon to find their SFX shop completely closed – nobody home - no answer from any phone number. We only found out by chance many months later that the owner of the shop had read the script for Long Pigs and deemed it “so horrible it should never be produced”.
SFX part 3: Finally we found Chris Bridges! (Cue the angel’s chorus!!!) Not only is he the most talented man we’ve ever met in the industry but also he’s also the nicest! Chris and Tony Labatt delivered in spades for this film under the worst physical and financial circumstances. We could speak forever about this genius - who literally saved our film.
LNHH: I do want to talk about the FX on your film for a moment. You had Chris Bridges who has done many big films such as 300, Silent Hill, saw 3 and many other great films, how did you guys get him to agree to Long Pigs?
CP: We begged and cried! Here’s the story from the man himself:
Chris Bridges (special effects): One day Tony came in and mentioned that one of his friends was on a small film and that they were having problems with some effects they had hired out and could we maybe talk with the Directors. We did meet with Chris and Nathan - they even brought us the body the other effects guy made in hopes that maybe it could be salvaged. They made it clear they did not have much money left over from the original build, and I think I felt a little sorry for them, I mean the body they brought in looked like a baked ham. And so Tony and I agreed to help and remake the body - as cheaply as we could. The thing I liked about these guys is they didn’t try to hustle me with promises of getting paid on their next five films or anything. They were desperate and honest.
LNHH: With such a small crew how well did the filming go? Was there any horror story’s per say or did things go smooth during the making?
CP: Oh yeah, it was totally smooth sailing – no bumps at all – every day was like a trip to the beach… and if you believe that I just got an email from a Nigerian Prince who needs your help to clear his trust fund.
AA: – actually I can’t really think of anything that bad…
CP: How about the rotten meat?
AA: Oh right…
AA: Well, all the meat that we used for the effects was actually stored in the same freezer you see in the scene... but somewhere along the line it stopped working, and we’d forgotten to take the meat out. Before long you could really smell the stench of death down there.
LNHH: The fact that this is a horror movie do you guys like to watch horror movies or just prefer to make them and act in them?
CP: I’ve always been a fan – I think we love horror movies the same way little kids scream with delight as they go down the slide - even though they might be scared the first time. Three movies that messed with my head as a kid in particular: “The Thing” (1982), “Poltergeist”, and the original “Nightmare on Elm Street”. My old sketchbooks from that age are filled with gory scenes from those movies – my poor mom must’ve been worried...
AA: I’m not specifically a horror fan but I’ve always enjoyed the genre. From an actor’s point of view it definitely “fun” to work in horror, and it’s not like I’m up for any Johnny Depp roles or anything. Horror embraces actors who don’t have “leading man” looks.
LNHH: You guys have had an amazing amount of success on this film how was the first showing for you guys?
CP: Well the success is still yet to come I hope – financially anyhow. How was our world premiere you ask? Well, we got off the plane for our “World Premiere” to find us incorrectly listed in the main festival program for 10:00 AM instead of PM! We rallied our spirits and the four of us hustled our asses off handing out postcards with the correct time for over a week, and when the night of the premiere finally came around we were delighted to see a huge line up at the theater! Our efforts paid off!!!
(Insert slo-mo high fives over “Rocky” music)
Unfortunately that theater was also premiering 300 on the same night. We played to about 53 people including our parents – I distinctly remember a fellow filmmaker from New York who fell asleep and snored like a chainsaw with his head back and mouth wide open – good times…
Another festival had a packed house full of people laughing and loving the movie – with 10 minutes to go the film suddenly stops and begins to rewind… The projectionist gets the film back to the same place – it stops again. Basically the guy who had transferred the festival’s program tape had fallen asleep and not seen that the tape ran out before Long Pigs finished, With no other playable format the lights just came up and the crowd was apologetically asked to leave.
LNHH: What is in store for Long Pigs and both you and Anthony?
CP: Hopefully Long Pigs 2! And of course, scores of wild groupies for Anthony!
LNHH: Any last words for our readers?
AA: Thanks and keep sending in those recipes!
CP: I never thought in a million years we’d see Long Pigs being accepted by the horror community like it has been – so thank goodness for horror fans and thanks for the interest! Huge thanks to Late Night at the Horror Hotel for all their support!! Check these guys out!
To Read the Review of Long Pigs done by, both John cannon and Rob Dimension - Click Here!!!
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About Heather Henshaw - I absolutely love, live and breathe horror. I talk what I love and back what I say. I also write for a site called Cinema Head Cheese http://cinemaheadcheese.blogspot.com/ if you want to check it out as well. I just want to say many thanks to everyone for backing horror and the people who bring us the films. If it was not for you guys we would not write or enjoy the genre. We have become a family that I am proud to be a part of. Keep on being spooky y'all…Contact me at