October 2012’s HOWL CON was the only successful werewolf fan convention in North America (“successful” defined as “it actually happened and people had fun”), and after taking some time off, it’s back on and better than ever. HOWL CON 2015 is happening February 7-8, 2015 in Vancouver, WA, and I’m happy to say that Tandye and I will be attending as guests.
We will be joining an impressive lineup that includes author Carrie Vaughn, Underworld: Evolution moldmaker George Willis, Werewolf: the Apocalypse game designers Satyros Phil Brucato & Jason Andrew, and many more (including a kickass musical guest I can’t say anything about, but which will be announced this Wednesday).
Registration is open now. Weekend passes are $40, but if you act fast you can get in for $30. If you have ideas for programming or content, you can submit them directly to the planners, who may turn you down if your idea is to “fill the lobby with slavering wolf-beasts”. There’s also an art show being coordinated by Kigai Holt, and of course the lynchpin of any good convention, the Dealer Room. I’ll be in there a lot. You should come say hi!
In November 2011 I shared details about a crowdfunding campaign for Having a Drink, a 15-minute werewolf film by Randy Smith. Now I’m happy to share with you the finished film, which you can watch in its entirety on Youtube. It’s also available for purchase on DVD and Blu-ray for the insanely low price of $3 and $5 CDN, respectively – perfect as a stocking stuffer for any werewolf fans you might be shopping for this Christmas. Here’s the trailer:
Bloody Disgusting has some new exclusive photos from Adrian Garcia Bogliano’s werewolf movie Late Phases, including a direct look at the beast itself. The werewolf was designed by Face Off season 4 contestant David Greathouse, who’s also credited as a “creature suit performer” in the film. It looks appropriately scary with that blood and matted fur, but I can’t help but think the deep creases in the face and the relatively small teeth give this werewolf an oddly reptilian look. Still, nice work by David – this is one movie I’m definitely looking forward to seeing!
Today, Make-Up Artist magazine showcases Dave Elsey’s werewolf makeup for Wolves, the just-released werewolf film by David Hayter. Despite Wolves‘s “relatively modest budget”, Elsey and his team put a lot of time and effort into the design and execution of their werewolf makeups, and the article takes a close look at each wolfed-out character.
Elsey certainly knows how to bring werewolves to life through practical makeup, having won an Oscar for his work with Rick Baker on 2010’s The Wolfman. Initially hesitant to take on another werewolf film, he was drawn in by the prospect of designing a conventionally attractive female werewolf. He and his team spent a lot of time finding ways to integrate each actor’s human features into the werewolf designs, from facial hair to scars and tattoos, and they did a lot of considered hair work, some of which I have already snarked on.
The final make-ups the four main werewolf characters included three large facial pieces that were pre-punched with fur, hands that were tipped with soft urethane claws and a body/muscle suit underneath. “We did as much of the hair work as we possibly could before we glued the pieces on,” notes Elsey, “but we still laid tons of fur on the actors while they were in the chair, including all the refined stuff that goes up their cheeks and transitions into their cheekbones. All of that is laid on, because it was too difficult and delicate to do that beforehand.
Check out the article for more, including a lot of great photos (which you can see at a much larger size if you right-click and open in a new tab).
With the capering skeleton of Halloween locked away for another 11 months and the silhouette of Santa pawing at your frosty windows, you may be wondering the same thing I am: how can I get some werewolf horror up in this wintery weather? French director Fabien Delage and production companies Fright House Pictures and Redwood Creek Films have your answer: survival-horror film Cold Ground, which is the subject of an Indiegogo campaign to raise $12,000 USD to cover production costs.
The campaign describes the film as “Blair Witch meets the Descent in the snow” with “a distinctive 70s flair reminiscent of the Texas Chainsaw Massacre”. It will “deal with cattle mutilations, extreme environment survival as well as cryptozoology and the deadliest secrets of Nature”. Conspicuously absent from their marketing materials is any mention of “loup-garou” or “werewolf”, but one look at the poster or the footage from the campaign and it’s pretty clear what’s going on.
Cold Ground is scheduled for a January 2015 shoot in the French Alps, with creature design and gore effects by American company Dapper Cadaver and French makeup artist David Scherer. The campaign and its supporting materials have the look of an outfit that knows what it’s doing – the cast is solid, the budget is modest but sensible, and director Delage already has award-winning short film The Wild Diaries and ongoing TV series Dead Crossroads to his credit.
I’m not a big fan of found footage films, but this one seems like it’s got a solid foundation, some wicked-looking (probable) werewolves and a ton of snow. Have a look at the backer rewards (there’s some neat stuff in there) and contribute if you can!
Here’s a little something to bolster the spirits of anyone bummed out by the Worgen-less Warcraft movie. French cosplayers Shoko & Jérôme collaborated on this Worgen cosplay in 2010, for the Cataclysm expansion launch in Paris. From Shoko’s description on their Facebook gallery for the costume:
Jerôme made the foam base, the legs system, the fur. I made the coating, painting, effects on fur, the resin eyes and gems, teeth and claws.
You can see more photos of this great cosplay in that gallery, and more of their excellent genre-spanning work in their photostream and on Cosplay.com.
Photo credit: Red Nova
It has long been a source of anguish for me that the film adaptation of World of Warcraft is being shot in my town, and even has a production codename based on the neighbourhood where I work. It makes me writhe with anxiety to think that literally minutes away from where I sit for 40 hours a week, there might be a warehouse or a closed set in which someone is doing insanely cool shit while wearing a practical Worgen suit. The fact that these things are purposely executed in a way that keeps nitwits like me (and our cameras) off the set seems like a poor excuse, especially for someone running a web site called “Werewolf News”. The Underworld films were shot here too, and yet I’ve never seen a Lycan suit in person. If I was a cop I’d have to turn in my damn badge.
This is why I’m less bothered than you might think by the news out of BlizzCon that the World of Warcraft film will be based on the original 1994 game, which contains zero (0) Worgen. There will be orcs, of course. Probably trolls and goblins as well, and I believe some of the heavier Horde units rode around on giant wolves, but as long been established on this web site, giant wolves are 1) not very interesting and 2) definitely not werewolves.
That doesn’t mean we’ll never see tailless bipedal werewolf people in a Warcraft film. If this first film succeeds at the 2016 box office (and how could it not? Films based on video game franchises always do well), it’s likely that they’ll expand the scope of any sequels to include plots and characters from more recent entries in the game’s universe. The introduction of the Worgen race was a major point of the Cataclysm expansion, so it’s not unreasonable to think they’ll have a presence in a future Warcraft film. For now, however, the big screen will remain Worgen-less, which is disappointing, but which also means I can stop hyperventilating whenever I see a film crew setting up on the edge of a wooded area.
Hey, friends! I’m working on an update to the features and layout of this site – changes that will make it easier for me to share all the great werewolf stuff that’s out there. There will be less clutter, fewer ads, and (regrettably) no comments section on posts. I’m not overjoyed about that last – I’ve made some good friends in the comments – but it’s a necessary simplification. I hope those readers who want to share their thoughts will get ahold of me on Twitter.
Here are two bits of fluff for a post-full-moon-hangover Friday afternoon.
The Easterner, which is the “independent, student-run news site of Eastern Washington University”, has posted an opinion piece that attempts to pinpoint which creatures is more efficient at killing: the vampire, or the werewolf. Opinion Editor Larry Ty Holmes decides to compare the most extreme examples of each monster: Bram Stoker’s Dracula, and the Underworld lycans. It’s a short piece that runs out of gas before reaching a solid conclusion, and I get the feeling it was started before Halloween and only just published Thursday to get it out of the “drafts” folder, but I enjoyed the accompanying artwork by EWU senior Lauren Campbell.
PAX Australia 2014 just ended, and as is their wont, the Penny Arcade guys documented the week with a few recent comics. This time it involves exposing Sydney to the full Halloween experience via a monster-spewing portal. The episode concludes with a werewolf who has to confront the imperturbability of a populace used to living in a country positively brimming with poisonous creatures. I always like seeing Mike draw werewolves, and I can confirm from firsthand experience that Aussies are the most hardcore people on the planet.
Happy Happy Halloween! is your reminder from animator Julia “Hiro” Andersson that Halloween never ends, especially when you can keep its spirit alive by riffing on a sappy tune like “Happy Happy Christmas” in a face-shreddingly cute animated short. The blood from a ritually sacrificed rabbit helps, too. Via Wolf Monsters.