The best werewolf plush I’ve ever seen is now on Kickstarter

A. Quinton — Aug. 28th 2016

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Let’s not mince words: Chloe Borders has designed the best plush werewolf I’ve ever seen, and I want him. This boy is so grumpy, cute and well-designed that I want three, in fact, and the only thing standing in my way is a 35-day Kickstarter campaign.

Writes Chloe (@ZennyBleats on Twitter):

For my first ever Kickstarter, and designed plush, I’d like to introduce the werewolf! The werewolf is 10 inches tall and made from soft minky fabric… All rewards are exclusive to this Kickstarter, so if you pledge, you can say you own something that’s one of a kind!

Chloe has a goal of $11,000 USD and she’s raised over 10% of that in the first few hours. Much like the other plush animal Kickstarter I’ve recently pledged to, this campaign is not bogged down with a ton of gimmicky extras. You can garnish your pledge with some werewolf stickers and/or buttons if you want, and there are some glow-in-the-dark stretch goals, but every pledge level above $5 is focussed on getting one (or more) of these boys into your house (and mine)!

Click over to the Kickstarter campaign for a look at the extras, and for your chance to get one of these werewolf plushes for an early-bird discount!

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Turn into a werewolf whether you want to or not with your own Cursed Ring of Hircine

A. Quinton — Aug. 27th 2016

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Hircine’s Ring is an artifact from Bethesda’s game Skyrim that gives the wearer a 10% chance to turn into a werewolf. If that sounds like something you wish you had, good news! Now you can walk around in real life with an expectant gleam in your eye (and on your finger). Bethesda’s online store is selling a replica of the Ring for $95, which is pretty cheap for something that randomly induces a lycanthropic transformation.

The real-life Hircine’s Ring is handmade in (ironic) solid sterling silver by RockLove Jewelry, presumably in limited quantities, since it’s already sold out in some sizes and close to selling out in others. It’s a little too ornate for my taste, but I’d wear one on each finger if it got results.

Thanks to SerivaTiger and Somnilux for the link!

“Werewolves Versus: Music” available for preorder, comes with advance MP3

A. Quinton — Aug. 26th 2016

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wv03-advance-mp3The third issue of the digital “werewolves battle everything” magazine I edit, Werewolves Versus, is now available for pre-order! WEREWOLVES VERSUS MUSIC comes out on Tuesday, August 30th. It features over 150 pages of brand-new, never-before-seen werewolf stories, comics, art and essays, and a killer cover by Lew “Viergacht” Delport.

Like every WV issue before and after it, it’ll be pay-what-you-want, including $0, but right now I’m trying something new: if you pre-order it now for a minimum price of $1, you get an instant advance download of “As the Sun Sets”, the song my friend Colin Janz wrote as a contribution. Here’s how Colin describes the song:

This song is based on a character who built himself while I was writing. Every full moon, he transforms; however, he never remembers anything about his transformation, only that it happens. On full moon nights he travels to a grassy hill above his forested town, far away from people, to watch the light fade. But instead of succumbing to a torturous, violent experience, everything becomes hazy, peaceful and quiet, as if he was falling asleep to the sound of wind and morning songbirds.

Check out WEREWOLVES VERSUS MUSIC, or the previous two issues! All paid purchases of Werewolves Versus directly benefit its contributors and support the creation of future issues.

Monster Legacy lovingly dissects the “American Werewolf in London” transformation

A. Quinton — Aug. 25th 2016

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I want to show the pain. I want him to be able to move around, he’s gonna pull his clothes off, we’re gonna see the whole body change — so figure out how to do that.

– John Landis describing the AWIL transformation to Rick Baker

John Landis’s An American Werewolf in London is 35 years old this week, and its showcase werewolf transformation scene is still regarded by werewolf fans as the best ever shown on film. Leave it to the invaluable and tireless minds of Monster Legacy to write a 4,000-word essay on the concept, design, planning and execution of that transformation scene, and then support that essay with an enormous photo gallery.

Exclusive: “Blind Liberty” teaser from “Joe Dante Presents American She-Wolf”

A. Quinton — Aug. 18th 2016

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Another full moon has risen, and with it comes a Werewolf News exclusive! It’s “Blind Liberty” by Orlando Arocena, August’s teaser for the upcoming premiere issue of Joe Dante Presents: American She-Wolf.

The issue is a one-shot co-created and co-written by Kris Millsap and Lance Dobbins. Pencils, ink and colour are by Ario Murti, and Keenan Reed lettered it. I had a chance to read it earlier this summer, and even in greyscale pencils it was nasty, rip-your-face-off fun. The partially-transformed lady portrayed in Orlando’s teaser image represents her country very enthusiastically.

Ario’s character designs are great, and I wasn’t the only one who really liked the look of this particular American She-Wolf. In a recent email to me about the comic, Kris had this to say about Joe Dante’s reaction:

When I showed Joe the first round of pencils, his exact words were “THAT is the werewolf we wanted on The Howling!”

If that’s not the gold standard endorsement for werewolf aesthetics, I don’t know what is! If you’re near Paris in October, you have a chance to share your own werewolf opinions with Joe in person – he’ll be at Paris Comic Con.

This one-shot will be available digitally this autumn, and even more American She-Wolf will hit the shelves in 2017. For more information, keep an eye on the Caption Comics site.

Full Moon Features: I Was a Teenage Werewolf (1957) and I Was a Teenage Werebear (2011)

Craig J. Clark — Aug. 17th 2016

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Of all the werewolf movies that have yet to come out on DVD — and at this late date, there aren’t too many that haven’t — the most bewildering case has to be AIP’s I Was a Teenage Werewolf, a slavering beast that was first unleashed in 1957. It’s the kind of film where even if you haven’t seen it, you at least know of it, and there are many people who, almost six decades after its release, continue to seek it out. Amazon has multiple listings for the 1993 VHS release, which can be bought new in the original shrink wrap for the low, low price of $75, but on DVD it is decidedly M.I.A. Heck, even the 1997 Mystery Science Theater 3000 episode in which Mike and the Bots savaged it has yet to surface on home video, a sure sign that someone, somewhere is sitting on the property, hoping for a huge payday that has thus far been far from forthcoming.

Anyway, I Was a Teenage Werewolf is a typical AIP quickie, perfunctorily directed by Gene Fowler, Jr., but when it proved to be wildly profitable they rushed several follow-ups — including I Was a Teenage Frankenstein, which was released less than five months later — into production. Even Roger Corman’s Teenage Cave Man from 1958 could be said to be one of its progeny since it was shot as Prehistoric World before AIP changed the title. As for the film itself, it probably would have faded into obscurity if not for Michael Landon’s subsequent fame and his feral performance as tortured teen Tony Rivers (with more than a little James Dean in his DNA) who becomes the title character under the questionable care of hypnotherapist Dr. Alfred Brandon (Whit Bissell), who somehow believes that regressing mankind to a bestial state is preferable to having angry young men pick fights without provocation and throw milk bottles around.

As the film opens, Landon is involved in just such a tussle with a fellow student (Tony Marshall) who merely slapped him in the shoulder. This is enough to get the attention of kindly police detective Donovan (Barney Phillips) who recommends he see a psychiatrist about his anger management problem, but Tony isn’t having any part of it. Even Arlene, the nice girl he’s going with (Yvonne Lime), can’t convince him that he needs help, but after one too many blow-ups he’s placed in the care of Dr. Brandon, who injects him with an experimental serum and, using hypnosis, regresses him back to a time when all people were werewolves or something. (You remember that from your history books, right?) Brandon’s assistant (Joseph Mell) is skeptical about what this will accomplish (“You call it progress to hurl back the human race to its savage beginnings?” he quite reasonably asks), but the proof of the pudding’s in the eating, and soon enough Tony is sprouting fur and fangs and chowing down on his classmates.

Something similar occurs in “I Was a Teenage Werebear,” Tim Sullivan’s contribution to the 2011 horror/comedy anthology Chillerama. In it, closeted gay teen Ricky (Sean Paul Lockhart) finds out why he isn’t interested in his hot girlfriend Peggy Lou (Gabby West) when he’s bitten in the rear by leather-jacketed tough Talon (Anton Troy), forever dooming him to become a fur-faced leather bear whenever his libido rises. (Doesn’t sound so bad to me.) It takes a while for Ricky to come to terms with his new sexual identity, though, even after Nurse Maleva (Lin Shaye, channeling Maria Ouspenskaya) helpfully clues him in by reciting “Even a boy who thinks he’s straight, yet shaves his balls by night, may become a werebear when the hormones rage and the latent ways take flight.” Oh, and did I mention the whole thing takes the form of a beach musical set in Malibu, circa 1962? (Sample song titles: “Love Bit Me on the Ass” and “Do the Werebear (And Let the Werebear Do You.”) What’s most refreshing about it is that Sullivan ends on a note of tolerance and acceptance, which is in sharp contrast to Tony Rivers’s ultimate fate.

Time to replace the copy of “An American Werewolf in London” the shadowy figure gave you

A. Quinton — Aug. 11th 2016

An American Werewolf in London

Whenever someone become a werewolf fan – within seconds of that tiny little full moon rising in their heart – someone in a suit knocks on their door and gives them their official copy of “An American Werewolf in London”.

Sometimes these mysterious agents are men or women, and sometimes they’re featureless shadows. They never speak, never make physical contact with anyone, and cannot be followed for more than 30 feet before they vanish down an alley or around a hedge. They just press a copy of John Landis’s seminal 1981 werewolf movie into your hands, nod, and are gone. It happens to all of us.

If it happened to you in the 80’s, as it did to me, they gave you a VHS copy. Most of you probably have a DVD version, and I’ve heard rumours that a few folks in the early 90’s got LaserDiscs. The format doesn’t matter, though – it’s the experience. You say to yourself “hey, I really like werewolves”, and an otherworldly entity appears within seconds to give you a physical copy of a film that hasn’t been bested in 35 years. It’s uncanny, undeniable, universal, Universal.

That encounter on your doorstep is one of the threads that binds you and the rest of the world’s werewolf fans together; that copy of “An American Werewolf in London” is a physical manifestation of your enthusiasm for werewolf movies, maybe even for werewolves in general.

You can probably see it from where you’re sitting right now, can’t you? That sacred copy of AWiL? Well, my friend, I want you to get it down from that shelf, take another look at that classically understated cover – and then throw it in the fucking trash. It’s garbage now.

Universal is releasing a “restored” 35th anniversary Blu-ray version on September 27th 2016. Does this version have any new bonus content not already available on the 2009 “Full Moon Edition” Blu-ray? No. Does that matter? No. The besuited spectres on our doorsteps didn’t hand over blooper reels or production still galleries, they gave us the gold standard of lycanthropic cinema, and that is the resource this new edition claims to enhance, with a NEW RESTORATION of the film”. No one in the public sphere seems to know anything about how this edition was restored, but hopefully it’ll be an improvement on the “gaussian blur + sharpen filter every frame” transfer of the Full Moon edition.

In the end, it doesn’t matter. If you’re a werewolf fan, you have a copy of this film whether you like it or not. Doesn’t it behoove us to have the best-looking copy available? Don’t we want to keep those mysterious dark visitors on our porches happy? I say “yes, please God, yes.”

Also, the new cover art is dope.

Thanks to everyone who shared news of this upcoming release with me.

An American Werewolf in London Restored Blu-Ray

 

Shout! Factory releases “Bad Moon” and “The Boy Who Cried Werewolf” Blu-rays

A. Quinton — Aug. 6th 2016

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If you hate wearing shorts and being in the sun, and you’d rather spend the pinnacle of summer sitting in the dark, watching some shiny new editions of werewolf movies, I won’t judge you. Neither will Shout! Factory, who are actively enabling this kind of behaviour. Just a week or two ago they released new Blu-ray editions of 1973’s The Boy Who Cried Werewolf and 1996’s Bad Moon.

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Bad Moon

Full, crescent, quarter… each is a Bad Moon for Ted Harrison. By day, he’s a photojournalist visiting family in the Pacific Northwest. By night, he transfigures into a horrific half-human – a werewolf. Dead men tell no tales, so Ted’s sure he alone knows about his vile double life. The secret, however, may be out. The family dog Thor, devoted to defending the household, has his suspicions.

This re-release is loaded with new and exclusive extras, including a director’s cut, a making-of featurette, and commentary tracks by director Eric Red and photojournalist/werewolf actor Michael Paré. Just the thing to replace my VHS copy. Available direct from Shout! Factory for $22.99 USD or even cheaper through Amazon.

 

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The Boy Who Cried Werewolf

Richie Bridgestone’s parents are getting a divorce, but that’s the least of his problems at the moment. Richie is hoping his parents will reconsider and on a visit to his father ’s secluded cabin, he witnesses his dad being attacked by a werewolf. Much like the tale of the boy who cried wolf, no one in the town will believe Richie’s claims that his father will change into a werewolf at the next full moon.

This one doesn’t come with a ton of extras, but it’s a new hi-def transfer, so you know those 70’s fashions will look crisp. This one’s also available direct from Shout! Factory for $22.99 USD or even cheaper through Amazon.

“Werewolf Airline Simulator 2016”: serve, cook and kill as a werewolf with a chainsaw

A. Quinton — Aug. 4th 2016

Thank you, PDX Werewolf. Without your post, I wouldn’t have learned about Werewolf Airline Simulator 2016 until I checked my “transportation hospitality simulation game” feed, which I only do on alternate Septembers.

werewolf-chainsawThis OS X / Windows game came out of April’s “Ludum Dare”, a thrice-yearly game jam in which “developers from around the world spend a weekend creating games based on a theme suggested by the community”. WAS 2016 features a bow-chicka-wow-ow musical score, infuriatingly callous passengers, and very nice, very 70s artwork. Its authors, the mysterious and unknowable Pestel Crew, describe the game thusly:

Werewolf Airline have chosen you to become a flight attendant of a first shapeshifter only flight crew. This is a great achievement for any shapeshifter and this is a great example for younger generation of shapeshifters that whatever they dream of, they can achieve it.
Try to keep all passengers happy and not get fired in the process. Use the powers of chainsaw werewolf, skating beaver and cute raccoon! Serve, cook and kill for the glory of Ludum Dare. Just one thing to remember, this is a non smoking flight.

I played this game for 10 minutes and I’m not very good at it, but I’m already looking forward to the new transformation modes in the 2017 update and the Merman Cruise Ship DLC.

Micky Neilson’s debut horror novel “The Turning” puts a strung-out werewolf on a cruise ship

A. Quinton — Aug. 1st 2016

Turning Cover

NY Times Bestselling Author Micky Neilson worked at Blizzard for over 20 years, guiding the narrative of the Warcraft universe and writing many of the related comic series, including Curse of the Worgen. Now he’s debuting The Turning, his first self-published horror novel.

Years ago Brandon Frye was bitten, cursed to transform into a primal killing machine under the light of the full moon… until he met Celine, who introduced him to experimental pills meant to suppress the turning. Now, after a terrible tragedy has taken Celine’s life, Brandon boards a cruise ship bound for Alaska, intending to venture into the cold white north and never return.

But when Brandon meets Ginny, he gains a second chance at love. Nevertheless, circumstances align against him: a storm is building, a hunter is on his trail, and the pills that are meant to prevent the turning… are about to trigger it.

If I may be reductive for a moment, “werewolf runs amok on a cruise ship” sounds delicious. I’m buried in production stuff for the next issue of Werewolves Versus, so I don’t have much leisure time for reading, but I chomped off the first 16 pages and it’s got everything I want at the start of a werewolf horror novel: a dive bar, a grisly death, and some excellent werewolf action. Neilson’s been wrangling Worgen for years, so I have high hopes for his modern-day, Earth-based werewolf tale.

The Turning ebook comes out tomorrow, August 2nd – you can pre-order (it in the next 11 hours) or buy it on Amazon.