An American film titled The Pig Farmer, whose promotional art invites audiences to “meet history’s worst serial killer,” appears to be inspired by the crimes of Canadian murderer Robert Pickton.
The film, which stars Fast and Furious mainstay Tyrese Gibson as a police officer, is being sold for international distribution this week at the European Film Market (EFM), one of the top sales and development hubs of the global film industry, which runs concurrently with the Berlinale film festival in Germany.
The feature directorial debut of long-time stunt performer Andy Armstrong, The Pig Farmer stars Gibson, Theo Rossi (Sons of Anarchy) and Katherine Moennig (Ray Donovan). Character actor Ronnie Gene Blevins (The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It) co-stars as a stringy-haired, overall-clad killer who the film’s credits name as Squealer. Shooting took place last year in New Mexico.
The Pig Farmer’s logline, courtesy of VMI Worldwide, which is handling international sales of the film outside the U.S. and Canada at the EFM, promises a thriller that chronicles what happens when “a local cop and an overzealous social worker follow clues on missing persons cases around town.” The film’s heroes eventually make “stomach-churning discoveries … on a pig farm, where the town butcher has been slaughtering more than livestock.”
Production of the film was first announced this past May, under the title Squealer. In his statement to trade press at the time, Armstrong said that “this spectacularly brutal story is actually inspired by real events. Therefore all darkness and violence in the movie is firmly grounded in reality, yet leans heavily into each character’s personal eccentricities.”
There is no direct mention of Pickton in The Pig Farmer’s promotional materials at the EFM, where the completed film is being screened for international buyers.
Representatives for VMI said that all Canadian media queries would need to go through the film’s North American distributor. That company, which has yet to officially announce the film’s acquisition and is not being named, did not immediately return requests for comment from The Globe and Mail.
Pickton is serving a life sentence in a maximum-security prison near Agassiz, B.C., for the second-degree murders of six women. The remains or DNA of 33 women were found on his farm in Port Coquitlam, east of Vancouver, and he told an undercover police officer that he killed a total of 49.