“Who Needs The Moon?” part 4: an antihero beyond redemption

August 22, 2014 by in Books & Comics

Who Needs The Moon? issue 4The next instalment of Todd McCullough‘s stellar horror graphic novel “Who Needs the Moon?” is now available via Gumroad (and comiXology pretty soon, I would guess). This is the fourth issue, the midpoint of the story, and the most horrifying entry yet. It describes a high point in McCullough’s storytelling ability so far, and a low point in our time with the werewolf protagonist Ethan. I read it two days ago and my skin still crawls to think of it.

From the first issue it’s been made clear that Ethan is haunted (literally) by the consequences of his actions, but as a reader it’s been tempting to write those actions off as the behaviour of an out-of-control “Past Ethan”. He’s been a werewolf for a while, and the capable, methodical, sometimes charming guy we know now is certainly capable of keeping his bestial impulses in check, right? Wrong. This issue reveals with shocking clarity just how little control Ethan has over his monstrous side, and now I’m starting to feel like the ghosts pursuing Ethan and demanding his death might have the right idea.

This issue disturbed me in a way I haven’t felt about anything I’ve shared on this site. McCullough found it difficult to write, and it’s a credit to his vision and storytelling abilities that it feels like the next step in a pitch-black downward spiral instead of an abrupt left-turn into gratuitous depravity. I still maintain that this is the best graphic novel series I’ve ever read, and I urge you to buy it immediately (it’s a pay what you want scenario on Gumroad so you literally have no excuse not to). Just… be careful.

Edit: check out this interview with McCullough on Pipedream Comics for more on the story’s background and a look at the real-life challenges he and his family are facing. This is why it’s so important to support the people who make the things you love.


Little Red & werewolf go on killing spree in music video for The Griswolds’ “Beware the Dog”

August 21, 2014 by in Film, Television & Music

Australian indie rock band The Griswolds release their first full-length album Be Impressive on August 25th (or 26th, depending on where you live), and the video for the single “Beware The Dog” is gory, goofy and a lot of fun!

The song is a breezy, summery romp that fits well with the band’s self-described “tequila-inspired party pop” aesthetic (though the lyrics actually seem to chronicle the dissolution of a friendship). The video follows Little Red Riding Hood and her special friend as they go on a murderous rampage, complete with dismemberments, an angry mob and a huge werewolf in a tiny motorcycle sidecar. The werewolf suit is impressive, and the number of rubbery flying limbs and the quantities of fake blood getting poured on the ground approach Monty Python levels of extremely silly gore. If you enjoyed it as much as I did, support the band by picking up Be Impressive from iTunes, Amazon or their own shop.


Check out indie horror comedy short “She-Wolf Of The Woods”

August 13, 2014 by in Crowdsourced Projects, Film, Television & Music

She-Wolf Of The Woods

This Werewolf Wednesday, I want to share with you She-Wolf Of The Woods, an independent horror comedy short film by UK filmmaker Adriana Polito. Adriana spent £3,000 ($5,000 USD) of her own money to write, direct and produce the  “homage to horror films and popular culture from the 70s, 80s and 90s”, and she’s made it available to stream or download for an extremely reasonable £2 – £3 ($3.40 – $5 USD). Here’s the synopsis from the web site:

Our short film, SHE-WOLF OF THE WOODS is an extraction from one of the story strands in our feature film of the same name. In it, we take a glimpse into the world of Amy Shields, a beautiful and unlikely forest ranger. Amy is a She-Wolf’s apprentice and has a taste for flesh. She likes her women for fun and her men for food. Bound to her master through an ancient curse, Amy spends her days scouting the Scottish Highlands for loners and fulfilling her ritualistic duties in the ways of the hunt.

And here’s the trailer via Distrify, which also has integrated streaming and download options.

I’m no film expert (that’s Craig’s deal) but this looks like it was put together on a much higher budget than the cost of a used car, and it shows the vision and confidence of someone who should be sending out for coffee while hunkered down in an editing bay, not making coffees for cranky commuters. I’ve purchased the HD version and will be watching it post-haste. I encourage you to do the same!


Universal’s “Halloween Horror Nights” maze to feature An American Werewolf in London

August 11, 2014 by in Film, Television & Music, Pop Culture

universal-maze-awilAccording to The Hollywood Reporter, Universal has decided to incorporate an elaborate An American Werewolf in London maze into their yearly Halloween Horror Nights event.

Visitors will enter at the Slaughtered Lamb, the English countryside pub where the film begins, and continue to the fog-shrouded moors where the werewolf attack occurs. The maze’s scenes will include the London Underground, an encounter with demon soldiers and the werewolf transformation for which Rick Baker won the first Academy Award for best makeup.

The AWIL-themed maze was a hit at the Universal Orlando Resort last year, and will be unique to Universal Studios Hollywood this year. Orlando visitors will have to be content with the features shared by both locations, including The Walking DeadFrom Dusk Till Dawn and AVP: Alien vs. Predator. Also, they will be in Florida, which is terrifying in its own right.

Halloween Horror Nights begins on September 19th at both locations and runs on select nights through November 1st. From what’s shown in the trailer below, it looks like a pretty awesome experience. Check the web site for more details.


Full Moon Features: Cry of the Werewolf

August 9, 2014 by in Film, Television & Music, Full Moon Features, Reviews

Cry of the WerewolfSeventy years ago this month, Columbia Pictures attempted to hop on the werewolf bandwagon with 1944′s Cry of the Werewolf while also throwing in a dash of Cat People (a recent hit for RKO) for good measure. Set in New Orleans — just like Paul Schrader’s Cat People remake — the film takes place in and around a museum dedicated to the paranormal which becomes a crime scene when an aged researcher (played by author Fritz Leiber) is killed to prevent him from revealing the secret resting place of a legendary werewolf. (I guess it’s not enough that the museum has taken over the house where she once lived.) The police have a number of suspects, but we know right from the start that it’s the handiwork of gypsy princess Nina Foch, the daughter of the werewolf in question and high priestess of her tribe, which has some unusual burial practices to say the least.

Foch is the star of the film, but we end up spending a great deal more time with Leiber’s son, a scientist played by block of wood Stephen Crane, who attempts to reconstruct his father’s notes with the help of his assistant, the heavily accented Osa Massen, whose Transylvanian heritage makes her gruff police lieutenant Barton MacLane’s prime suspect. When fingerprint evidence clears her, MacLane moves on to limping janitor Ivan Triesault (who’s also from the old country), conveniently forgetting that Leiber was the victim of a savage animal attack. (Where else but a werewolf movie would one see a newspaper headline like “Jury Probes Wolf Slaying Mystery”?) Then again, he does keep idiotic detective Robert Williams around, but I suspect that’s mostly so he can look intelligent in comparison.

Meanwhile, Crane conducts his own investigation, paying close attention to the customs of Foch’s tribe, which keeps its dead on ice eleven months out of the year before burying them in a secret gypsy burial ground. (Yes, it’s that kind of a movie.) Eventually this brings him face to muzzle with Foch in her lupine form, which director Henry Levin chooses to depict by bringing in an actual wolf and having it run around the set. Not exactly the most threatening creature around, but apparently it was cheaper than the alternative.

Incidentally, Cry of the Werewolf doesn’t appear to have been released on DVD (and likely never will be at this point), but used VHS copies can be found on Amazon, and it pops up on Turner Classic Movies from time to time if you’re patient enough. And if you’re impatient, it can also be found in its entirety on YouTube.

Up Next: A British film from the ’80s that poses the question: Are werewolves good company?


Three classic werewolf films get the Trailers From Hell! treatment

August 8, 2014 by in Film, Television & Music, Pop Culture

Nothing underscores the size and depth of the Internet for me like the realization that the cool new thing I just discovered is actually an entrenched and respected phenomenon. Did you know about Trailers From Hell? Were you aware that film director Joe Dante (yes him) and many of his filmmaker pals have been giving trailers for horror, sci-fi and cult movies a paternal sort of MST3K treatment since 2007? This was news to me, and I can only hope to undo my shame by sharing with you the three (3!) consecutive werewolf film trailers that received the TFH treatment this week.

First up is director John Landis (yes that’s correct) admiring the cinematography, sets and performances of Curse of the Werewolf.

Next is screenwriter Josh Olson, who confronts the danger of reviewing one of his boss’s films before identifying The Howling‘s greatest contribution to pop culture: criminalizing the smiley-face five years before Alan Moore did it.

Finally, writer and director Ti West has effusive praise for his favourite Michael J. Fox movie of all time – Teen Wolf.


Sketchy dudes in camo & Bill Oberst Jr. with a knife: “Werewolf Rising” trailer & DVD release

August 7, 2014 by in Film, Television & Music

Werewolf Rising DVD CoverHere’s what I can tell you about the upcoming werewolf movie “Werewolf Rising”, courtesy of Shock Till You Drop’s haphazard “exclusive”.

  • It tells the story of a probably-less-helpless-than-she-seems woman, Emma, who returns to her deep-woods Arkansas family home for some “soul-searching”. If the trailer’s accurate, she’s interrupted by creepy guys wearing camouflage, a surprised and gentle-looking wolf, and… SOMETHING IN THE WOODS.
  • It’s written and directed by BC Furtney, and stars Bill Oberst Jr., Danielle Lozeau, Melissa Carnell and Irena Murphy. Bill Oberst Jr. owns, and I’ll watch him in anything, even if it’s a toothpaste commercial. Check him out in The Beast, an effective short werewolf horror film from 2012.
  • The trailer is surprisingly forthcoming with the werewolf effects, which seem comprised of a practical suit that looks 50% realistic, 80% interesting, and 0% like the werewolf on the DVD cover. I like them big ears, though.
  • The STYD article has the DVD release date as September 8th, but it also misspells Bill’s last name, so I’m more inclined to trust Amazon, which has it slated for an October 14th release.

October’s the perfect time for pulp: pumpkin guts and movies like this. Have a look at the trailer below, and pre-order it on Amazon for $11.99.


Hey America! Get ready for WolfCop

August 6, 2014 by in Film, Television & Music

wolfcop-america

As reported by Shock Till You Drop and corroborated through official channels, Canada’s favourite alcoholic werewolf lawman is headed south. Image Entertainment has secured U.S. distribution rights to Lowell Dean’s horror-comedy WolfCop, which means officer Lou Garou will soon be splattering gore, puke and other bodily fluids across the screens of theatres across America. No release date has been announced yet, but I’d wager the cost of Lou’s bar tab that it’ll be in theatres in time for Halloween.

And yes, I finally got a chance to see WolfCop myself, thanks to the Rio Theatre in Vancouver. The experience warrants a review post of its own, but suffice it to say, it was everything I expected, and more.


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Limited werewolf & fantasy creature art commissions from Viergacht

Fantastic monster / fantasy / creature artist and longtime friend of the site Viergacht has opened up a few commission slots!

I typically paint things like people, animals and monstery critters. Check around the gallery. Digital works will get you a print-quality file in whatever file format you prefer (tif, psd, png, etc.). If you want something you don’t see here, like an animated gif, con badge, tattoo design, whatever, feel free to email [viergacht at gmail dot com] and ask.

I’ve been the lucky recipient of several werewolfy Viergacht paintings thanks to my writing, my birthday and my participation in dumb speculation about “Back To The Future“. If you’d like some eerily realistic, biologically plausible monster art, now’s your chance!

Spooky Sleepover Kickstarter featuring “Dinner and a Werewolf”

August 5, 2014 by in Books & Comics, Crowdsourced Projects

Any pitch that opens with the line “A haunted toilet” is going to be good. “Spooky Sleepover” is a full-colour 72-page all-ages comic collection being Kickstarted by Dave Scheidt and Jess Smiley. It features three original stories written by Dave and illustrated by Jess: “The Terror of the Toilet”, “The Horribly Haunted Bike” and (yes, you guessed it) “Dinner and a Werewolf”. I’m a huge fan of Dave’s writing, and Jess’s art combines infectious energy with timeless, storybook colours. They’re collaborating on Spooky Sleepover because, as Dave puts it, “we like monsters, we like funny comics, we like writing stupid jokes.” Those are three of the best reasons to make a thing!

Spooky Sleepover - panelsJess and Dave are looking for $5,000 to have the books printed and in your hands before Halloween, and I know these guys are more than capable of pulling it off. Each has a lot of experience making books (Dave wrote Monster Dudes and Minimum Wage Mummy and Jess is the creator of Upside Down: A Vampire Tale and Rumpus on the Run). The backer rewards are super-focussed on getting the book to you, but some of the higher tiers include custom comics made just for you by the guys, and there’s a mysterious $50 “Trick-or-treat” pledge that will be announced on Thursday the 7th. If you want to get yourself a copy, you know what to do!