Trade your current dystopia for one featuring werewolves with “Apex Predator” by S.M. Douglas

A. Quinton — Dec. 2nd 2016

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Here’s some holiday reading direct from the “You Might Like…” category of things I haven’t checked yet but want to: horror author S.M. Douglas‘s new werewolf novel Apex Predator.

It combines classic occult story assets like “secrets from WWII-era Europe” and “mythical evil on the verge of remaking the world” with a fictional dystopian present day that seems increasingly non-fictional as 2016 staggers to its miserable conclusion. But I digress! A summary from Douglas herself:

In a world destabilized by soaring inequality, climate change, and war the deaths of several high profile bankers leave national security experts scrambling for answers. A disgruntled and discredited FBI Agent striving to bring to justice the corrupt individuals responsible for wrecking his community is instead ordered to protect these same Wall Street power brokers. In the postindustrial wasteland of a bankrupt Detroit he stumbles onto a lead capable of not just cracking the case, but with potentially explosive ramifications for the future of mankind. Meanwhile, a team of historians investigating a mysterious Second World War era mass grave make a startling discovery in a medieval village located deep within a foreboding Ukrainian valley. Brought together, they face an ancient terror in a global adventure that forces them to confront the tragic history of Eastern Europe’s blood lands. There they struggle to reconcile their findings with the evidence that a mythic evil is possibly real, and murderously intent on keeping its existence a secret until able to set in motion events that could change human history.

To be frank, this sounds like exactly the kind of thing I want to read right now, so I’m going to order a paperback copy from Amazon as soon as I’m done writing this post. Aspiring metal bands, please contact Douglas directly to negotiate the rights to name your group “Eastern Europe’s Blood Lands”.

Max Landis to write & direct remake of his father’s “An American Werewolf in London”

A. Quinton — Dec. 1st 2016

Max Landis

It had to happen eventually! As reported in early November by Deadline Hollywood, John Landis’s An American Werewolf in London – generally considered to be the gold standard of werewolf movies – is now officially set to get a remake. Things are still in the paperwork phase, but one thing’s for sure: Landis’s son Max will write and direct.

Max Landis is a filmmaker, writer, and producer in his own right, and he’s already taken a swing at a small but crucial part of An American Werewolf in London. In 2015 he and Homemade Movies collaborated on a deliberately shoe-string-budget shot-for-shot remake of the famous AWIL transformation scene.

I have mixed feeling about this. Personal issues aside (I’ve never interacted with Max Landis but he was a real dick to some friends of mine), I didn’t much like American Ultra or Chronicle, both of which Landis wrote. But more recently, he’s been involved in two small screen adaptations of works I really enjoy – the Douglas Adams Dirk Gently books, for which he wrote a BBC America / Netflix series, and Kris Straub’s Candle Cove / Ichor Falls stories, which he executive-produced as Channel Zero for Syfy. I haven’t seen those adaptations yet, but they’ve both received favourable reviews, and it has to mean something that this AWIL remake is the third thing in a row he’s involved with that I also happen to be super into.

An American Werewolf in London is a film that doesn’t need a remake, but then, what film really does? And if someone’s going to adapt AWIL, let it be someone who has a familial connection to the original’s legacy. As with so many other nascent werewolf films, I’ll keep my expectations low and my hopes high.

 

The Lost November

A. Quinton — Dec. 1st 2016

Hello again for the first time in a month (holy) and a half (shit)! Something happened in November that meant I got to (and had to) write the draft for a novel. I’m sorry for the long unexplained absence, and I’m grateful to Craig J. Clark for keeping things alive with not one but two great Full Moon Features.

Nobody likes to read these sheepish “I’m back” posts, so instead of this, why not read the post that’s going to follow it in like 30 seconds? There’s lots to catch up on, so let’s get back to that good werewolf stuff!

Full Moon Features: Bad Moon (1996)

Craig J. Clark — Nov. 13th 2016

Bad Moon

Compared to the ’80s, which was rather a boom time for werewolf cinema, the ’90s were considerably leaner, and with one or two notable exceptions, the films produced that decade much less memorable. Case in point: 1996’s Bad Moon, which was released 20 years ago this month, coming between the ludicrous Project: Metalbeast (which, I shit you not, is about a secret military plan to create armored werewolves) and An American Werewolf in Paris (a misbegotten sequel I still have no intention of wasting my time on). Tellingly, neither of those cast-offs have been released in souped-up editions by Scream Factory, but Bad Moon has, so that’s a definite point in its favor. Plus, the thing’s only 79 minutes long. How torturous can it be?

The answer is not very torturous at all. Bad Moon is not a good film by any stretch of the imagination, but it’s ridiculous enough to be laughable for long stretches of time — even when the filmmakers are trying to play it straight. It was written for the screen and directed by Eric Red, who deserves an award for adapting a novel called Thor and not filling it with references to Norse mythology. Rather, Thor is an überprotective German shepherd owned by lawyer Janet (Mariel Hemingway) and lovable moppet Brett (Mason Gamble), who have moved to the Pacific Northwest to get away from the big, bad city. What they end up doing is moving next door to the big, bad wolf when Hemingway’s brother Ted (Michael Paré) returns from the jungle, where he was attacked by a werewolf, and takes up residence in their backyard. Thor knows what’s what, though, and does what any dog would do to protect the family.

Werewolf films live and die by their transformation scenes. In the olden days, they were accomplished with the use of time-lapse photography (as in 1941’s The Wolf Man) or simple cutaways (as in 1935’s Werewolf of London, which is featured in this film). During the wolf’s ’80s resurgence the order of the day was in-camera make-up effects (which is why classics like The Howling and An American Werewolf in London continue to be revered today). By the ’90s, however, the standard was CGI “morphing,” which in the case of Bad Moon looks about as cheesy as you would expect. The werewolf itself isn’t half bad and Paré’s performance as its human side is reasonably credible, but one wishes the effects crew had skipped the part in-between.

Full Moon Features: Big Bad Wolf (2006)

Craig J. Clark — Oct. 15th 2016

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Faithful readers of this blog are well aware that 2006 was not a stellar year for werewolf films. Between the turgid Underworld: Evolution, the substandard The Feeding, and the abysmal Curse of the Wolf, it has a lot to overcome. Which is why it’s such a surprise that Big Bad Wolf, which came out ten years ago this month, kinda works. I know I wouldn’t have expected too much from a movie about a group of college kids who drive up to a cabin in the woods to party and fall victim to, as Netflix describes it, “a vicious werewolf that rapes, murders and cracks bad jokes.”

For one thing, it helps that writer/director Lance W. Dreesen dispenses with the “teens partying in the woods” angle after the first 30 minutes and concentrates on the cat and mouse between the two survivors — timid Derek (Trevor Duke) and tough girl Sam (Kimberly J. Brown) — and the man they suspect of being the werewolf, namely Derek’s stepfather Mitchell (Richard Tyson), whose last name is Toblat because Dreesen apparently didn’t feel like being too subtle about it. As it turns out, Derek’s estranged uncle Charlie (Christopher Shyer) has also had his suspicions about Mitchell ever since Derek’s father died from an animal attack while on a hunting expedition in Cameroon, but getting the proof they need is harder than it looks, especially since the wolf has a way of coming out whenever Mitchell is roused to anger or just plain aroused. This leads to some pretty awkward scenes for all concerned (and a bit more hand-wringing than is absolutely necessary when Sam has to resort to drastic measures to get the DNA sample they need), but all roads lead back to the cabin on Bear Mountain for the final showdown between man and beast.

Genre fans looking for some creative bloodletting won’t walk away from Big Bad Wolf disappointed (although there is one scene that may cause those of the male persuasion to cross their legs in discomfort). And there are a couple of nice cameos from Clint Howard (as the requisite local who warns the kids away from the cabin) and a noticeably paunchy David Naughton (as the sheriff who believes Derek and Sam are holding back, but doesn’t feel obligated to press them on the matter). If only Dreesen had resisted the temptation to have his furry villain quote from a certain story about a wolf and some little pigs…

Bernie Wrightson “Cycle of the Werewolf” Art Portfolio on Kickstarter

A. Quinton — Oct. 13th 2016

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Bernie Wrightson and Nakatomi, Inc are collaborating on a deluxe fine art portfolio of Wrightson’s artwork for Stephen King’s 1984 calendar-turned-book, Cycle of the Werewolf.

This Kickstarter project is to fund a high-quality artist edition collection of the full color illustrations from Cycle of the Werewolf as a print set, along with a book collecting the Black and White illustrations and never-before printed concept and process sketches.

This campaign is less than two days old and it’s already raised over $45,000 against a $12,000 goal, with many of its limited quantity higher-tier rewards quickly on the way to being sold out. Those extra rewards include a 2017 calendar, a 1984 calendar(!), a t-shirt, and a special boxed set of prints featuring a real (inert) silver bullet and original hand-drawn Cycle of the Werewolf art from Bernie’s archives. Some images of the 2017 calendar reward and Bernie’s concept sketches are below.

The campaign ends on November 11th, and Nakatomi, Inc is optimistic that they can have backer rewards in the mail in time for those 2017 calendars to be hung on walls by January 1st.

I resisted the PCS Howling statue pre-order, but my financial restraint has crumbled. Cycle of the Werewolf stands with An American Werewolf in London and The Real Ghostbusters Now Comics #5 as a catalyst for a young AQ’s werewolf fandom. I simply can’t ignore the chance to own such high-quality editions of this artwork.

Thanks to Doruk G. for telling me about this!

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Nashville werewolf fans: attend premiere screening of “Hair of the Dog” for free

A. Quinton — Oct. 12th 2016

If you’re in the Nashville area on October 24th, you’re invited to attend the premiere screening of “Hair of the Dog”, a short film about werewolves, addiction, and recovery.

I first heard about Hair of the Dog when its creator, Michael Butts, contacted me with some gross, funny and extremely well-done teasers last year. I loved what I saw so I’ve covered the project more than any other werewolf indie film (except for WolfCop), including an interview with Michael, posts on additional teasers and werewolf makeup, and a related music video by Sleep Nation. I’m happy to share a new Sleep Nation track named after the film’s old title, “I’m a Werewolf, But That’s Ok”, and I’m delighted that the project is nearing completion.

I can’t make it to the premiere, but Michael’s given me the go-ahead to invite all of you! It’ll be standing room only, but you can get in for free. Say hi to Michael for me!

Malco Smyrna Cinema
100 Movie Row, Smyrna, TN 37167
Doors open at 6:30PM and the film will start at 7PM

PCS “The Howling” exclusive statue now available for pre-order

A. Quinton — Oct. 11th 2016

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That stunning two-foot-tall statue of The Howling‘s Eddie Quist from Pop Culture Shock is now available for pre-order from a variety of sources, but if you’re gonna get it, you’d be crazy not to get it direct from PCS. Their exclusive version has the same sticker price as other sites – $474.99 USD – but it comes with an alternate head (jaws closed, which is cool to see) and one of Eddie Quist’s smiley-face stickers. Plus, if you pay in full up front, you get 15% off.

Here are eight photos showing the werewolf statue’s different angles and details. For another 19(!) photos and more details, visit PCS. There are only 300 of this edition available, so act fast!

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53 werewolves from #Inktober’s first week

A. Quinton — Oct. 7th 2016

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Now that the 10th month of the year is upon us, it’s time for Inktober, the self-directed month-long art jam that illustrators, painters, doodlers and artists of all types undertake as a daily practice. There’s an official site, but no one in my Twitter feed adheres to its seasonally agnostic list of prompts.

Every participant I know uses Inktober as an excuse to get even deeper into the spirit of Halloween and seems to be referencing one of multiple shared spooky daily prompt guides. It’s like Draw A Werewolf Day, every day!

Collected here in one place are 53 pieces of werewolf art I found on Twitter and Instagram, selected from this Inktober’s first seven days. Enjoy, and make sure you let the artists know you like their work!

The feature image on this post is a cropped segment of a piece by Camille Alaras.

Lunch break #inktober doodle. Pretty #werewolf #ink #sketch

A photo posted by GameDev + Pixel Art (@titanium_melon) on


Day 3 transformation #inktober #ink #transformationtuesday #werewolf

A photo posted by Jordan Schwager (@schwagarts) on

Day 4 – #inktober #inktober2016 #werewolf

A photo posted by Daniel HDR – CCXP – mesa H38 (@danielhdr) on

4. Werewolf #inktober #drawlloween

A photo posted by @baronvonpupi on

Lonnie the Woofboy for #werewolfwednesday #NODDC #werewolf #wolfman #watercolor #inktober #october #halloween

A photo posted by Mike Perry (@nodicemike) on

Day 5 of #inktober – "Werewolf"! #inktober2016 #werewolf #drawlloween #drawing

A photo posted by Camille Alaras (@camillekaze) on

Day 5: Werewolf/sad #inktober #inktober2016 #werewolf

A photo posted by Dianna Cheng (@girlgeek) on

Wolfman (6/31) #inktober #drawlloween #drawlloween2016 #inktober2016 #wolfman

A photo posted by Matt Mims (@mattmims) on

Day 5 of #Inktober and #mabsdrawlloweenclub : Werewolf! Myla made a split-page transformation, and I made a cranky teenage were-girl.

A photo posted by Mica Angela Hendricks (@busymockingbird) on

"Where o where did my kibble go?" #sad #werewolf #inktober #inktober2016 #mabsdrawlloweenclub

A photo posted by Chris Kawagiwa (@sketchboy01) on

They made a comic called “Werewolves Vs. Dinosaurs” and it’s a lot of fun

A. Quinton — Oct. 5th 2016

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It might sound like the punchline of a “can you believe what kids are reading these days” joke, but Werewolves Vs. Dinosaurs is a real thing – a 32-page one-shot comic from American Mythology that you can buy with less than four dollars of your money and read on your screen. It’s written by mystery author Eric Dobson and painted by artist Chris Scalf (Star Wars, Godzilla). And it actually did originate from a story that started as a goof between a kid and his father.

Scalf explains in the press release posted by Horror Society’s Comic Crypt:

My son is a big rail fan and loves going on trips to distant towns to visit rail lines. I myself am a comic/sci-fi fan, I would always wonder out loud if there were in any comic shops in any of these towns… We kidded around about the need for my sci fi/monster interests to coincide with his train hobby in a comic book— something like “Werewolves in a train.” This led me to doing a mock pulp cover for said comic. Eric Dobson, a friend who is also a great writer, saw it, and wanted to write a story around it.

The story is not complicated, nor does it use the titular creatures to any particular effect – any two fearsome monsters would do, I think – but to expect more from it is to overlook its whimsical origins. Werewolves Vs. Dinosaurs is the ultimate “let’s pretend” bed time story for kids: the bad guys are literal men in black, the deaths are scary but bloodless, the Saturday morning cartoon mythology tops itself on every page, and the monsters are rendered in twice the details of their human prey.

Look. In this comic a werewolf puts a velociraptor in a headlock. If you can’t meet something like this halfway, you’re probably reading the wrong web site.