Craig J. Clark — Jul. 26th 2018
Just as the 1987 Richard Dreyfuss/Emilio Estevez buddy-cop comedy Stakeout begat Another Stakeout in 1993, adding Rosie O’Donnell to the mix for some reason, lowbrow Canadian horror-comedy WolfCop has sired Another WolfCop, which premiered as a work-in-progress at Austin’s Fantastic Fest in 2016 before making its proper debut one year ago at the Fantasia International Film Festival in Montreal. To make up for its Rosie O’Donnell deficit, returning writer/director Lowell Dean cast an uncredited Kevin Smith in a glorified cameo as Bubba Rich, the interim mayor of Woodhaven, which is still reeling from the severe power vacuum it suffered following the events of the first film. Dean even contrives to let Smith perform his scenes in a hockey jersey since the supernatural threat facing Woodhaven in the sequel is personified by transparently evil tycoon Sydney Swallows (Yannick Bisson), whose plan to reopen the town’s long-defunct brewery (the ominously named Darkstar) and hockey arena smacks of Brewmeister Smith’s world-domination scheme in the 1983 Bob and Doug McKenzie vehicle Strange Brew.
Unlike that film, Another WolfCop skips the Hamlet allusions, and even eschews the fairy-tale references that littered the first film. It does, however, appear to take a page out of the Bubba the Redneck Werewolf playbook by having Leo Fafard’s Lou Garou hole up at the town animal shelter on the nights of the full moon. Even so, his hairy alter ego (which has become the “official” mascot of Liquor Donuts, naturally) is in the habit of defying recently installed police chief Tina (Amy Matysio) by going out on patrol whenever the mood strikes him. As a matter of fact, WolfCop is introduced in hot pursuit of four miscreants in a truck (three of them played by members of Canadian film collective Astron-6) making a special delivery to Swallows that turns out to be Lou’s buddy Willie (Jonathan Cherry), who was merely being impersonated by one of the Shifters in the first film. Willie’s return to the fold is not without complications, though, as he has been seeded with an alien that spends a good part of the film sticking out of his torso like Kuato from Total Recall.
In addition to the alien-impregnation plot, which is reminiscent of the Roger Corman-produced Carnosaur from 1993, Swallows throws in a cyborg named Frank (Alden Adair) for good measure and sends it on a killing spree at the local strip club to draw WolfCop out. Frank’s defeat comes at a cost, though, prompting Willie to drive the injured Lou all the way to Regina so he can get patched up by Willie’s estranged sister Kat (Serena Miller), who has just the thing for him: a piece of moon rock from one of the Apollo missions. This not only does the trick, it leads to Another WolfCop’s requisite bestial sex scene, in which the roles are reversed this time. The moon dust also comes in handy since Lou needs all the help he can get for his showdown with Swallows at the Darkstar Arena, where the whole shebang comes to a head — and the film ends with a bang.
This probably goes without saying, but fans of the first WolfCop will find plenty to like in Another WolfCop, from the hard-rocking score by Shooting Guns to Emerson Ziffle’s gruseome makeup effects to the committed performances by Fafard, Matysio, Cherry, et al. And they will likely greet the closing promise of WolfCop’s return with a cheer. If I may, I humbly suggest Dean and company consider sending Lou Garou (and whoever wants to tag along with him) overseas next time. How does A Canadian WolfCop in London sound?
A. Quinton — Jul. 24th 2018
Together with his dysfunctional, mismatched family of monsters, Phil Graves, an alchemical engineer recently turned unpredictably shifting werewolf, must race across dimensions to collect a set of magical mirrors in order to stop a chronal vampire from devouring the space-time continuum and destroying reality. But can the family hold together even as reality falls apart?
The Family Graves is a book for anyone who loves monsters, family, and unabashedly fun comics! Although spooky, it’s more heroic than horror, combining big sci-fi adventure with a love of classic monster movies to create lots of supernatural action.
Timothy was kind enough to share the first issue with me, and I really enjoyed it. (You can read a 10-page preview of the issue’s middle act here, but fair warning – Phil doesn’t wolf out in these pages.) The logline proffered was “The Munsters meets The Fantastic Four, with a dash of Locke & Key”, but my impression was more like “The Incredibles, if Bob Parr was a self-absorbed tech billionaire werewolf whose monster family tolerates his sci-fi bullshit while consistently outclassing him.” Phil, you need to spend less time looking at your floating orange screens and more time with your family and / or as a werewolf. And figure out your damn bloodwork!
The art has all the flash and colour of a superhero comic, but the monstrous aspects of the cast’s designs are rendered with an eye for creature-based horror, and there were a few little details that made me smile every time I saw them. There’s something very funny and good about a zombie infant with perpetual bags under his eyes.
Story-wise, I was more engaged than I expected to be, as a person who doesn’t really get into superhero comics. I was especially happy to find no explanation for why the immediate Graves family contains so diverse a cast of monsters (werewolf, gorgon, siren, merman and zombie). They’re monsters, and that’s fine. I don’t need an origin story for characters I’ve just met. Whatever happened to them doesn’t seem to be unique, either. There are plenty of supernatural creatures in background roles, which lends a pleasantly brisk in media res feeling to the story’s world.
The first issue comes out in real, tangible form on September 19th (order it from your local shop with Diamond code JUL182141). You can get all four issues right now from Source Point Press, or digitally from Comixology and DriveThruComics.
A. Quinton — Jul. 20th 2018
If you’re at San Diego Comic Con this weekend and you have no taste and cash to waste, why not line up at the “Boodega Monstore” (701 Eighth Ave, San Diego, CA 9210) for a chance to buy a Super7 / Saucony / Universal Monsters triple-co-branded “The Wolf Man” shoe?
Combining high cost ($95), artificial scarcity (only 12 pairs per size [7 through 13] exist), and zero werewolf design aesthetics other than colours referenced from a character who debuted in a black and white film, this shoe is presumably precision-crafted to appeal to sneakerheads (maybe) and Universal Monsters fans who don’t have to justify their expenditures to anyone.
Saucony makes good gear, or so I’m told, so they’ll probably be comfortable shoes to wear, but these things are utterly unremarkable in appearance, particularly in comparison to the other Universal Monster shoes (thank you, Daily Dead) at the Boodega pop-up shop. At least the other shoes have some graphical elements. These have all the visual appeal of an overripe avocado. The high price and the artificial scarcity are in keeping with the nature of SDCC collectibles, I guess, but I just can’t imagine anyone getting excited to line up for what seems like a deeply cynical cash-grab.
I’m mad about the shoes. What an overpriced waste of an opportunity to do something new, fun and interesting with the dorkiest werewolf intellectual property ever.
A. Quinton — Jul. 19th 2018
Bobcat Goldthwait’s new truTV series, Bobcat Goldthwait’s Misfits & Monsters, started airing last week. Last night’s episode, “Face in the Car Lot”, takes place four decades ago but satirizes the political climate of present-day America. David Koechner plays Del Wainwright, a good ol’ boy who ends up on track to become the next president of the United States, despite having some significant skeletons in his closet.
If you missed it, like I did, you can watch it right on the truTV web site, which is where this synopsis is from:
Set in the 70’s, an uncouth car salesman with no political experience leads the presidential race, while a determined journalist is out to prove that he’s an actual monster.
Watch journalist Regina Bailey get some real dirt on Koechner in this clip, which features a very acceptable CG werewolf transformation and a great looking practical costume for the post-change shots.
A. Quinton — Jul. 17th 2018
From what I understand of the game mechanics, which is very little (this is the most I have thought about Magic since the afternoon in 1995 when my uncle tried and failed to get me interested), this card’s two sides represent the same person. Even if you’re clueless about the game, the identical background foliage and the discarded cowl in the nighttime / werewolf image are lovely clues. Therefore what we’re seeing in the completed images are this mysterious woman’s binary states of existence: “I am cool with birds” and “I absolutely fucking hate birds”.
Thanks to friend of the site (and wonderful artist in his own right) Doruk Golcu for posting this video.
A. Quinton — Jul. 17th 2018
I’ve been listening through the backlog of Sawbones, a informative and darkly funny medical history podcast hosted by Dr. Sydnee McElroy and her husband Justin. Last year they talked about the full moon and its connection to clinical weirdness, including werewolves, but way back in 2015 the show got even more lycan-specific. In the episode “Aah, Real Monsters!” Sydnee and guest host Rileigh Smirl (Sydnee’s younger sister, subbing for Justin and crushing it) discuss “the Halloween diseases” – werewolfism and vampirism.
This isn’t just a recounting of the Wikipedia entries for hypertrichosis and ergot poisoning. In typical Sawbones fashion, Sydnee presents an insightful and cogent history of lycanthropy and porphyria – including a surprisingly compassionate recap of Peter Stumpp‘s story. Rileigh provides enthusiastic and delightfully pro-werewolf colour commentary, and influences the episode’s vibe in such a way that “having a real disease” comes off as a bad situation, but “being a Halloween monster” is extremely good. That’s as fine a Sawbones conclusion as any they’ve reached in all the episodes I’ve heard.
A. Quinton — Jul. 13th 2018
Everyone else in the world seems to be hyped about the World Cup, but for the past four days, the only football chatter I saw online was about was the new would-be mascot for Lobos BUAP, a team in Mexico’s Liga MX.
Photos and videos of this absolute lad started circulating on Twitter earlier this week. Without researching its provenance – I don’t know Spanish and I just assumed it was a cool Underworld Lycan / Dog Soldiers mashup costume someone wore to a convention – I tweeted a dumb quip and moved on. Then word started spreading on Twitter and in the media that this was actually a controversial new mascot for Lobas BUAP, whose previous mascot designs had been a bit more conventional.
I love this bit of editorializing from La Verdad [translated from Spanish]:
The primary objective of having a mascot is to capture the affinity of the little ones and to be able to interact with the fans in the stadiums, but the new Lobos BUAP team mascot has generated controversy due to its fear-giving aspect, having a height of almost two meters.
I can only speak for myself, but seeing a two-meter-tall werewolf roaming the crowd at a stadium when I was a little one would have made me a football fanatic for life.
News sources couldn’t pin down whether this horror-centric new design was a gimmick or a longer-term change established for the duration of Torneo Apertura 2018. That’s because the whole “new mascot” story was a misunderstanding that got blown out of proportion as football and pop culture sites repeated it. According to an article posted to Mileno today [translated from Spanish]:
The supposed werewolf mascot that went viral in social networks is nothing more than a project separate from the professional team, since its developers were only visiting the University Stadium.
The suit is actually a project by brothers Erick and Ivan Olarte, pictured above with their family. The latter is an architect who graduated from UAP, and he and his brother created the suit in their spare time for the sake of the challenge. The Olarte brothers have worn “Licaon” – as the suit is called – to a variety of events in the past few years, and while the media attention of the past week has been a wild experience, they are already setting their sites on their next project.
Disappointed? I am too, a little, but I also personally find “two brothers made a radical animatronic werewolf suit in their garage” a more exciting story than “football team tries to psych out its competitors by terrorizing fans”.
A. Quinton — Jul. 12th 2018
If you’re looking for some inspiration to snap you out of that “howling at the full moon” pose you always draw your werewolves in, this is an excellent free resource. If that’s not enough, a $2.99/month membership will let you see under this werewolf’s clothes (not like that, come on) or even under his fur and skin. Here’s a preview of some of his layers, courtesy of the Figurosity Twitter account.
— figurosity (@figurosity) July 12, 2018
There are many other models and poses on the site, too, but as my pals online say, “why not werewolves?”
A. Quinton — Jul. 11th 2018
The werewolf from the 2015 Goosebumps film is back for the upcoming sequel, Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween. He’s lower-resolution, true, but he’s still got his basketball shorts, and he still cannot get enough of the cold cases at the local grocery store. Extra lean ground beef and blackberry Liberte greek yogurt? He goes wild for the stuff. Check him out (and a bunch of other monsters too, I guess) in the trailer.
Know who’s definitely not back? Anyone from the cast of the first film (including, most regrettably, Jack Black), nor the writers and director who made the first film a weirdly polished nostalgia trip. The trailer gives Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween a kind of made-for-streaming-TV look, but then, it comes out in October, when I’ll watch just about anything with a goofy/spooky vibe to it. And I mean anything.
A. Quinton — Jul. 10th 2018
Inhumane is a feature-length werewolf film from writer/director Eric Winkler that, like so many other promising werewolf films, doesn’t quite exist yet. It’s currently in search of investment based on the strength of a teaser trailer, some cool concept art (see the image at the top of this post) a shorter version already in the can.
Lisa [Lindsay Lillig] runs a bookstore in her rural Missouri hometown. Assaulted at work by the town sheriff’s son, she reports the crime only to be victimized once more: The son and his cronies rape and beat Lisa, leaving her for dead in the woods.
Taking on superhuman abilities after being bitten by a werewolf, Lisa begins exacting brutal revenge on her attackers. Is she justified in her actions? Can she retain her humanity as she cedes more and more of herself to her animalistic ways?
Inhumane’s being pitched as “a female empowerment movie”, but a post-assault revenge tour sounds more like a grindhouse or exploitation film. That’s not an indictment, and there’s certainly a precedent for good films that merge the two, but I’m relieved that Winkler is involving Lillig and his wife / production partner (whose name I can’t find anywhere) in the writing and overall vibe of the film.
From an interview Eric did in May with Velvet Film and More:
We filmed a short version of the movie last Fall. Our lead actress lived in LA at the time (she’s since moved back home to KC), and she and her husband (he’s also an actor) were back in town for a wedding. We had them for two days. We filmed for 17 hours each day. Then we did some pickup shots. I found the filming process to be absolutely exhilarating. And I was in awe of the professionalism and talent of our crew. I’m so honored to even be associated with them! …the main goal has always been to make the full-length movie. Not unlike many independent films, we’re seeking the funds to do that. We currently have a rough cut of a teaser trailer finished, and it’s fantastic, even in rough cut form!
A version of that trailer (see below) was posted to the Inhumane web site, and while the name makes it seem like it might not be the final version, I’m already pretty impressed, particularly by the very nice kill towards the end. Here’s hoping Winkler and his team get a chance to put together a feature length cut that delivers the same kinds of delicious “fuck you” moments.