Lack of werewolf in “Rampage” trailer chomps my heart, just like this giant wolf chomps a helicopter

A. Quinton — Nov. 16th 2017

They made a movie about the video game Rampage. That’s right, the one where you take on the role of a giant 8-bit ape, lizard or werewolf and fuck up skyscrapers while tiny helicopters shoot at you. They put Rock “The Dwayne” Johnson in it, playing his usual charming self. They shot it in Vancouver, my home city, and pretended it’s Chicago. They asked Jeffrey Dean Morgan to come along and channel his Walking Dead character in a suit. They just released a trailer that features a Smashing Pumpkins song.

Friends, this whole thing is a casserole I can’t make heads or tails of. The one thing I knew for sure was that I was going to get to see a giant werewolf named Ralph crushing digitally composited office towers on the Vancouver waterfront, and that it was going to be beautiful spectacle. Now my dreams have been dashed, just like a digitally composited office tower on the Vancouver waterfront. There is a wolf, and it is big, but it contains no “were”. He’s not Ralph, the canonical Rampage werewolf. It’s just a giant spiky CG wolf that really hates helicopters.

Oh well.

Thanks to @EvilViergacht for tweeting about this!

Game Review: “Hunter’s Moon” for Android

A. Quinton — Nov. 15th 2017

Last week I wrote about Hunter’s Moon – an endless runner game by Seb Woodland – but without an Android device of my own, I’ve unable to play the game, a generally-accepted prerequisite for writing a review of the game. Leave that to Werewolf News reader, Werewolves Versus contributor and friend Juan C. Moreno, who shared his thoughts in the Werewolf News Slack group (want an invite? hit me up). Here’s Juan’s take on Hunter’s Moon:

I downloaded the Hunter’s Moon infinite runner game this weekend and it’s definitely a fun little time-spender. The controls and mechanics are pretty simple (tapping makes you jump or double jump) and anyone familiar with runner sidescrollers will know what to do from a few tries. It took me a few attempts to keep from falling into the trap-filled forest below and meeting a spiky end. When you finally get the hang of dodging traps and leaping over rooftops, you get to duel a werewolf (tap up to block, tap down to attack) who can dodge and attack as well.

The first time you fall victim to a trap or take a paw to the face, you can watch an ad to get a free resurrection and try the section again. Subsequent revivals can be bought for a bit of the gold coins you can collect as you run and defeat werewolves.

Falling into the forest of misery is tense and exciting since the traps are more frustrating than any creatures of the night. However, survive enough traps and defeat a wolf (which is harder in the dark forest because their attacks are harder to see coming) and you can return to the lovely rooftops. That’s a cool idea, and it works well.

There are power ups to give the hunter some help, although I only know how to use one, and you can only use it once for 100 coins before you need to buy it again. Overall, it’s a fun game with a great gothic atmosphere I would love to see more of! If the creator wants to add more or make more games in this setting, I will definitely leap at the chance to try them out!

Want to play it yourself? Click around here. Wish you could play as a werewolf? Seb knows – and even thought about making a “play as a werewolf” game as an earlier project – and as I mentioned in my previous post, the best way to motivate a creator to make more stuff is to support the stuff they’ve already made.

Thanks again to Juan for the review!

“Typecast” werewolf loses it on set in the best Kickstarter video I’ve seen

A. Quinton — Nov. 13th 2017

I’m very excited about this Kickstarter campaign for Typecast, an 8-episode horror-comedy web series from creators Ben Paddon (PortsCenter, Boomer’s Day Off) and Werewolf New friend Mac Beauvais (Hit Girl, The Gloaming) about a trio of monsters tired of being boxed into unfulfilling careers.

An ambitious web series to be sure, we decided to take the struggling/disenfranchised actor trope and turn it on its head by imagining a world where all the creepy crawlies you’ve ever seen on the screen were played by actual monsters. If you need the elevator pitch (that’s Hollywood-speak for please compare your stuff to other people’s stuff), it’s a bit of Being Human meets Extras.

We’ve written a first season arc consisting of 8 episodes, all aiming to be around 6-10 minutes in length, telling the story of these actors and their journey. We want to deliver the best quality possible, and that requires great locations, crew, catering and, of course, some truly monstrous makeup.

They’re looking to raise $52,000 to pay for the production (including copious practical makeup effects by Michael Spatola) and they’re well on their way, with $4,615 as of this post and 28 days to go. Rewards include thanks in the credits, HD downloads of the episodes, Full Moon Flakes / “Moony the Werewolf” cereal box art and fan club merch (including perfume!), and even a chance to be made up as a monstrous extra.

Here’s the pitch video, which starts off with a proof-of-concept mini-episode featuring a fantastic, profanity-laced on-set freak-out from werewolf Abby (played wonderfully by Beauvais).

I’m hyped about this project – it’s got a great cast and crew from top to bottom and I want very much for it to succeed, so check it out!

Hunt werewolves in free Android game “Hunter’s Moon”

A. Quinton — Nov. 10th 2017

Got an Android device? Great! Then you can play this new game Hunter’s Moon in the warm glow of your Galaxy or Pixel while I stand outside in the rain with my iPhone 7, pawing forlornly at the window. From the Google Play page:

Take on the role of a lone werewolf hunter. Leap across the rooftops of an ancient city in this infinite runner, and use your sword to vanquish the evil werewolves who await you. Collect gold along the way, always aiming to improve your score. Don’t fall into the forest below, or you’ll have to navigate a gauntlet of deadly traps.

This makes me think of Blood of the Werewolf and Altered Beast, except here you play as a human (or at least, as a non-werewolf) instead of a pissed-off werewolf mom or undead therianthrope wizzen fwum yo gwabe. Your dude’s whole deal, as depicted by the lovely pixel art animation in the trailer, is 1) running, 2) slashing at werewolves, and 3) wearing wide-brimmed hats.

Bristle at the idea of hunting werewolves instead of being one? Relax, the developer has you in mind. “I hope in the future to add some sort of powerup,” they wrote me, “where your character actually becomes a werewolf.”

Hunter’s Moon is free to play and supported by in-game advertising, which I mention specifically because it was developed by one person, which is bad-ass and worthy of support. Think of it this way: every ad you tap on gets you a little closer to the dev investing the time to add that “be a werewolf in the game” feature, and also gets them one step closer to dinner at the best restaurant in western Canada. Gosh, I miss the bread there.

It’s worth mentioning that the developer, Seb Woodland, also wrote all of the music in the game, which you can check out (along with a bunch of other music) at Seb’s Bandcamp page.

I don’t generally express strong opinions about which mobile phone platform is “best”, but I have to admit I’ve been shooting my iPhone dirty looks as I write this post.

Full Moon Features: Lycan (2017)

Craig J. Clark — Nov. 3rd 2017

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: Some college students head into the woods under some flimsy pretext and get picked off one by one by a POV camera that knows the terrain better than them. In the new indie Lycan, the pretext is that the six students are working on a group project where their vaguely defined assignment is to “recreate a moment of history,” and between the title and the fact that the landmark they’re looking for (on horseback, no less) is the supposed grave of the Werewolf of Talbot County (get it?), it’s reasonable to assume that whatever is stalking them is a werewolf. Then again, the opening title does specify that it’s “A FILM Based on a TRUE LEGEND,” so the chances of anybody in it actually sprouting fur and fangs before going on their co-ed killing spree land squarely between slim and none, and slim isn’t liking its chances.

Set in the year 1986 for no discernible reason (although it does allow writer/director Bev Land and co-writer Michael Mordler to shoehorn in references to Sixteen Candles and Mr. T with impunity), the film announces its intentions with two solid minutes of a naked, overweight farmer having vigorous sex with a prostitute, followed by his discovery that something has killed his chickens and his dog and is about to do the same to both of them. On the other side of the opening titles, a history prof with a prickly sense of humor (played by Vanessa Angel, previously known to me as the Soviet snow bunny Dan Aykroyd cozies up to in Spies Like Us) sets things in motion by throwing six Breakfast Club types into one group and addressing them all by name so the viewer knows which characters they’ll be following and what their defining traits are.

The one that doesn’t fit into the John Hughes mold is Kenny (Parker Croft), the Bolex camera-toting horndog pothead whose character seems modeled more on Jamie Kennedy in Wes Craven’s Scream than, say, Judd Nelson’s “criminal” Bender. As for the others, Irving (Craig Tate) is definitely the overachieving “brain” of the group, putting him in Anthony Michael Hall’s shoes. Baseball player Blake (Jake Lockett) is the Emilio Estevez “athlete” equivalent. Stuck-up rich girl Blair (Rebekah Graf) and her dutiful sorority pledge Chrissy (Kalia Prescott) have to split the Molly Ringwald “princess” role between them. (Blair even makes multiple references to the debutante party she doesn’t want to miss.) And bringing up the rear is social outcast Isabella (Dania Ramirez, also one of the film’s producers and a contributor to its story), who’s working the Ally Sheedy “basket case” angle something fierce but needs more than a simple makeover to fit in.

Unsurprisingly, Isabella is the character we learn the most about, including that she lives on a farm with an older woman she calls “mama” (Gail O’Grady, who made her screen debut as “Victim in VW” in the pilot for the ’80s Werewolf TV series) who isn’t her real mother, she takes medicine for some unspecified condition, she sleeps in the barn, and she has a fairy tramp stamp (which is tastefully revealed by Land, who incidentally is also Ramirez’s husband). Furthermore, when the group sets up camp for the night, she repurposes her own childhood trauma by relating how her actual parents were slaughtered in the very same woods when she was eleven as a campfire story, which none of the others pick up on. Soon after the party turns in (with Irving having been drugged by Kenny, who intended to roofie Chrissy), one of them is dragged out of their tent by something with enormous claws and the game is afoot (or aclaw, as it were).

Even in the light of day, the boobs falls prey to various traps, with one getting his foot caught in a coyote trap, another stepping in one that leaves him hanging upside-down from a tree, and a third falling into a pit (and pulling the fourth down into it with him). Finally, the survivors make it to Isabella’s house, where they’re greeted by a couple of not-terribly-intimidating-looking wolves and their number is further reduced by a booby-trapped piano. (Don’t ask.) There follows one of the most blatantly foreshadowed reveals ever, a poorly choreographed fight to the death, and an unnecessary flash-forward to the present day, when Kenny’s Bolex is happened upon by a little girl. Based on the footage he got and the condition it will be in after being out in the elements for three-plus decades, I don’t foresee anyone making a Blair Witch-type feature out of it.

Now’s your chance to get this “Mordeō” werewolf & vampire art book

A. Quinton — Oct. 27th 2017

Here’s a Kickstarter project that I think is well worth the help it needs to reach its goal.

[Mordeō is] An original illustration artbook dedicated to vampires and werewolves. A total of 36 artists had the opportunity to depict such creatures in different ways, from historical and classic examples to more modern interpretations of the species. The book will be 6 x 9 in in size, 50+ full colour pages in total, printed in a hardcover bound book and stamped with gold foil in the front.

With five days to go and $5,000 CAD raised so far, I think this book is still very much in the “feasible” zone. Pledge a buck if you can spare it and you like the idea, or pledge more to get a copy of the book, original art, some postcards, patches, and beautiful glow-in-the-dark enamel pins. You can also follow the project’s development (and maybe get in on some give-aways) on the Mordeō Twitter account and Tumblr site.

Here’s a list of the artists involved:

Andy Lee / annerdraws / arurelius / Asundances / CINAMONCUNE / Daniela Viçoso / DOXOlove / Erion Makuo / Eva Lynch / Faye / Fiend / Grace Zhu / Hanna Schroy / hawberries / JAUNE / JuHi / Karehng / Kel / Kiyami Omotayo / KLsloth / Lane / Margo Sikes / Mell / Milo Johnston / Mric / Noble Demons / P-RO / phi / POP / Rauviel / Ronnie G / sangcoon / Stephanie Escalona Morales / Tabita / Wrathes / Xaien

And here’s a mockup of the book cover and a look at some of the extras, including those gorgeous pins.

SleepyOni craftily transforms an old-school toy into Leonard The Loup-Garou

A. Quinton — Oct. 25th 2017

Illustrator, maker-of-things, and skull enthusiast SleepyOni has done the best thing anyone can possibly do with a non-werewolf toy or game: he lycanthrope-ized it through skill and craft. Watch as he deconstructs a “Cool Ghoul” magnet-and-metal-filings toy and then designs, prints, trims and re-assembles it into the far-superior “Leonard The Loup-Garou”.

Wherein I disassemble a classic toy from my childhood and make it weird. Well, weirder.

Found a whole series of Wooly-Willy-style toys at Ye Place Of Work, all themed for Halloween. BUT THERE WAS NO WEREWOLF. Such an injustice could not be left to stand, as werewolves are very clearly one of the best monsters.

Via SleepyOni’s very good Tumblr. Check out his web site, Instagram and YouTube channel for more of his work!

Sponsor: Nodnash The Ugly Werewolf

A. Quinton — Oct. 24th 2017

I’d like to express my gratitude and deep admiration for Nodnash The Ugly Werewolf, host of a podcast that’s not afraid to confront the reality of murder clowns, toilet vipers or that scene at the end of Teen Wolf where the guy in the bleachers maybe pulls his pants down.

He’s also sponsoring Werewolf News for the entire month of October, so in a fiduciary sense I’m obligated to tell you again that he hosts a very enjoyable podcast that streams live on Youtube every Friday at 8PM Pacific and that is also on iTunes and Podbean for your subscribing convenience. However! No amount of money could compel me to say that Nodnash is a stylish, funny, kind boon to the werewolf fan community, and the only person I would trust to organize a successful werewolf pizza bash at the last moment on Super Bowl weekend. Nope – I’m saying those things because I think they’re true, and I’m glad to know him.

Now come and join the Snak Pak!

Werewolves in Podcasts this Week

A. Quinton — Oct. 20th 2017

I consume more podcasts than any other media, and this week I was delighted to find two of my favourite shows discussing werewolves.

First up is a Sawbones episode about every werewolf’s best friend, the full moon. Sawbones is a medical history podcast that examines all the “odd, weird, wrong, dumb and just gross” things humans have done to themselves and each other in the name of medicine. In this latest episode, hosts Dr. Sydnee McElroy and her husband Justin explore the full moon’s connection to lunacy, rumours of crowded hospital ERs, and – of course – lycanthropy.

The moon is more than just a big hunk of cheese. Actually, it’s not even really cheese. Did you think it was cheese? Wow, you know less about the moon that we thought. Dr. Sydnee and Justin’s history of all the things we blame the moon for is going to be extra super educational for you, huh?

Sawbones is one of my favourite podcasts and I’m so glad they took a short break from dunking on Pliny the Elder to discuss that big white orb.

Next up (and currently paused in my earbuds while I type this) is Lore episode 71, “Silver Lining”, in which writer / producer / narrator Aaron Mahnke visits the werewolves of 18th century France.

We’ve conquered much of our world, but even with all of our great cities and urban sprawl, there are still shadows on the edge. And it’s in the shadows that the greatest threats still exist—creatures from our darkest nightmares that threaten our feeling of safety. Which has led some to strike out into the dark and hunt them.

Lore is a phenomenal show about the true-life roots of monster myths and scary stories. This month it debuts in a new form – an Amazon Prime Video series that combines “dramatic scenes, animation, archive and narration” to re-visit classic episodes of the podcast. The fifth video in the series is an adaptation of Lore’s first werewolf-themed episode “The Beast Within”, which I wrote about in 2015. I’m not a Prime subscriber so I’m not sure how or when I’ll get to watch this, but the key art alone (the featured image on this post) makes me pretty sure I’ll love it when I do see it.

Thanks to @Somnilux and @colonelnemo for equipping me with advance Lore knowledge!

Here’s what “It” werewolf Pennywise would’ve looked like if “money people” hadn’t cut it

A. Quinton — Oct. 13th 2017

Werewolf News readers who’ve seen Andrés Muschietti’s stellar film adaptation of “It” know that it had one glaring omission, and now thanks to artist Carlos Huante we know why.

The tale’s eponymous monster wears a variety of shapes, each attuned to its prey’s deepest fears, its favourite (and most iconic) being that of Pennywise the Dancing Clown. In Stephen King’s novel and the 1990 made-for-TV adaptation, one of those shapes was that of a werewolf.

When the trailer for Muschietti’s film arrived earlier this year, I took a particular scene as solid evidence that we’d see another depiction of Werewolf Pennywise. Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case. Muschietti’s decision to slightly modernize the story’s setting included a revamp of It’s fear-based forms, leading to the absence of a few “classic monsters” (including the werewolf) and the introduction of some new ones. Effective, but kind of a bummer for werewolf fans.

Today, this Instagram post by artist Carlos Huante – who’s been designing creatures for Hollywood features for nearly three decades – revealed that Werewolf Pennywise was under consideration for the 2017 adaptation, but was ultimately excluded when “the money people shot it down”. The drawing is part of a set of commissions done in relation to Huante’s latest art book, Rasca, and shows what he might have pitched if the money people had decided to allocate some of the film’s USD $35 million budget to a lycanthrope with pom pom buttons.

I’d like to think that Huante’s vision of Werewolf Pennywise might still make an appearance in the second film, due out in 2019. Considering the first film’s astonishing box office success (USD $604.4 million and counting), I doubt funding will be an issue.

Special thanks to friend of Werewolf News (and kick-ass artist) Doruk Golcu for sharing the link with me!