Category: Film, Television & Music
A. Quinton — Jun. 23rd 2017
I would be doing my 10-year-old self a grave disservice by not posting about the fact that the current season of Nickelodeon’s animated Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles series will contain a four-episode storyline involving zombies, vampires and werewolves.
I haven’t watched a TMNT show since the original 1987 – 1996 series so I have no idea what’s going on in this CG version that started in 2012, but I’m pleased to see in the season 5 trailer below that Usagi Yojimbo is still around, Donatello (the best turtle) is still a nerd, and that the Turtles are still somehow effectively disguising their 4-foot-tall mutant reptile bodies with trench coats and hats.
This four-episode run starts on August 13, 2017 with episode 8 (The Curse of Savanti Romero). I don’t know what level of werewolf content will be present, other than “there is one in the trailer” and “it’s mad at Donatello”, but 35-year-old me will be observing this conjunction of two of 10-year-old me’s formative fandom obsessions with a bowl of Cinnamon Toast Crunch.
Parting thought: apparently Raphael becomes a vampire for a little while during these episodes. That’s not great, but at least it’s not Leonardo, for whom vampirism would mean a downgrade from “the worst Turtle” to “supermassive black hole of lameness”.
A. Quinton — Jun. 23rd 2017
Wrestler, movie star, singer, Instagram darling, potential US presidential candidate – Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson can do anything he wants. Now he might want to be a werewolf, which is fine by me! According to The Hollywood Reporter, rumours are circulating that Johnson may be under consideration for the title role in the upcoming “Wolfman” reboot that comprises one of the pillars of Universal’s “Dark Universe” franchise. There’s been no new information about the reboot itself since the initial rumours in 2015, but the possibility of that big charming beastly man portraying Larry Talbot is the first thing I’ve heard about the Wolfman reboot that’s made me interested.
Thanks to Tandye for the image accompanying this post!
A. Quinton — Jun. 18th 2017
Serbian artist Dušan Marković recently posted his amazing cover art for Australian power metal band Night Legion‘s debut album. The cover of “Blood Wolf Coven” depicts lead vocalist Vo Simpson leading the rest of the band, who have turned into a squad of incredibly bad-ass werewolves. Below are some detail shots from the Night Legion Facebook page. Click any of them for the full piece on Dušan’s DeviantArt page.
Friend of Werewolf News (and amazing artist in his own right) Viergacht called it “the most epic werewolf metal album cover”, and I agree! These beasts perfectly embody my ideal werewolf aesthetic. That seems to be Dušan’s style – he’s painted at least one other group of werewolves in this style and I think I’m in love.
I wish I could tell you more about Night Legion and Blood Wolf Coven, but their online presence is kind of weird – there’s no release date other than “2017” for the album on their Facebook page or web site, and you can only hear their music in sample videos for the spring tour that just ended. If you’re into melodic power metal, check them out!
Craig J. Clark — Jun. 8th 2017
Long in the works and nearly as long making it to home video after its first public screening three years ago, the big-screen adaptation of Mitch Hyman’s cult comic book Bubba the Redneck Werewolf is finally available to be seen by all manner of lycanthrope lovers. It must be said, however, that it will be most appreciated by those with a high tolerance for bad jokes, puns, and sight gags. In fact, viewers will know right away whether Bubba is the werewolf for them based on its bouncy, countrified theme song, which plays over the opening credits.
“His teeth are long, his claws are sharp, he’s a beast in moon and sun,” goes one lyric. “If this defies your precious science, well, you might wanna cut and run.” Science aside, Bubba is not your traditional werewolf since his transformation is one-way only with no return to his human form in sight. He’s even played by two actors — Chris Stephens when he’s human, which only lasts for about 15 minutes, and Fred Lass after he wolfs out (a transition that disappointingly happens off-screen). This comes about when the hapless Bubba, in an effort to win back his one-time high-school sweetheart Bobbie Jo (Malone Thomas), makes a deal with The Devil (gleefully played by Hyman), who arrives in the hick town of Broken Taint (in Cracker County, Florida) in all his red-skinned, horned glory. “I wanna be strong and powerful,” Bubba confides in him. “I wanna be a macho man with hair on my chest and hair on my head.” And that is precisely what The Devil delivers — along with a four-slice toaster and smokeless ashtray as a bonus for signing away his soul.
When Bubba awakens the next morning and sees himself in the mirror, his response isn’t far from how many werewolf aficionados would probably react. “Holy shit,” he says, admiring his fangs, claws, and fur. “I’m a werewolf. I’m a fucking werewolf,” pausing before adding, “Awesome!” Unfortunately, just about everybody else in town makes spectacularly bad deals with The Devil, who has a lawyer’s knack for finding loopholes in contracts and taking full advantage of them. Accordingly, they take up residence in Bubba’s favorite watering hole and petition him to kill the fiend and release them from their self-inflicted torments. The trouble is Bubba likes his new identity, especially since it causes Bobbie Jo to toss her new beau aside and swoon for him in a big way, so he’ll need to have all his wits about him when he finally confronts the horned one, and he doesn’t have too many to start with. “I made you and I can destroy you just as easily,” says The Devil, a line given extra weight since it’s spoken by Bubba’s actual creator.
Befitting its comic-book origins, the action in Bubba is frequently cartoonish and over-the-top. Director Brendan Jackson Rogers (who also appears as Bubba’s idiot cousin Clovis in addition to producing, operating the camera, and being one of the film’s editors) embraces this with his reliance on digital effects for a lot of the signage, explosions, blood sprays, and projectile vomit. Meanwhile, screenwriter Stephen Biro wallows in all manner of verbal humor, much of it of the cornball variety. This reaches its nadir in the interminable “Where Is Hu?” routine, which won’t be causing Abbott and Costello fans to lose any sleep. And the less said about the montage in which Bubba goes fishing and bowling, plays video games, and catches a Frisbee in his mouth (a moment that recalls a similar sequence in Teen Wolf Too), the better.
It would be a mistake to judge this film too harshly, though. Bubba the Redneck Werewolf — at least in its cinematic form — was always meant to be lowbrow entertainment, so as long as one approaches it on that level, it’s possible to find things to enjoy about it. Plus, it’s barely 80 minutes long, so it doesn’t have enough time to wear out its welcome. That counts for a lot.
A. Quinton — May. 25th 2017
The Star Wars werewolf connection hinges entirely on special effects legend Rick Baker deciding to use some of his off-the-shelf creature masks during re-shoots of the Episode IV cantina scene in 1977. Among those masks was a werewolf Baker had created on his own in 1973. As with seemingly everyone else in that cantina, the werewolf extra gained an official name – Lak Sivrak – and an elaborate backstory full of intrigue, romance, tragedy, sacrifice, most of which was told through Star Wars comic books.
Then in 2012, Disney consigned everything about the character except his name and species to Legends, the phantom zone for all retroactively non-canonical Star Wars artifacts. And that was it for poor Lak until earlier this week, when Baker set about re-casting a new mask from that original 1973 mold.
He posted four photos of his work – which I’ve embedded below – on his Instagram feed. The quality of his design and work is astonishing, and consider that he did all of this in three days.
The hashtags and reminiscences in Baker’s comments make this seem like an observance of the film’s release anniversary – Star Wars hit theatres 40 years ago today –but it could also be a coincidence. Baker seems like the kind of person who’d resurrect a 43-year-old mold and then and pour, pull, paint, hair and trim a new mask on a lark – simply because he loves doing this sort of thing (and happens to be really, really, really fucking good at it).
A. Quinton — May. 24th 2017
How do you write a worthy sequel to a (cult) classic werewolf movie that spawned a rogues gallery of generally putrid follow-ups? In the first issue of the officially licensed The Howling: Revenge of the Werewolf Queen comic series from Space Goat, writer Micky Neilson (no stranger to werewolf stories) doubles down on all the things that made The Howling a werewolf icon: creeping dread, brutal gore, characters making implausible but entertaining decisions, and multiple full-frontal werewolf transformations. The result is an experience so satisfying that it simultaneously redeems and obviates the seven other films in the series. This is the new Howling canon.
Werewolf Queen picks up just a few weeks after TV reporter Karen White’s dramatic revelation at the conclusion of The Howling. The first issue divides its time between Karen’s colleague Chris Halloran, who’s charged with murder, out on bail and having a hard time sleeping – and the titular werewolf queen Marsha Quist, who escaped the Colony with at least a few of her werewolf “brothers” and is now on the hunt for a valuable artifact.
Neilson’s script cleverly recaps the film’s conclusion for newcomers (and the forgetful) by serving it as part of Chris’s sweaty apartment-bound paranoia and confusion. The general public is either skeptical of or indifferent to the newly-revealed existence of werewolves, but Chris knows they’re dangerously real. He’d be happy to discuss the subject with the police or his KDHB co-workers, if only they would stop dying mysteriously.
Marsha, meanwhile, pays a visit to Vera, an antiques dealer whose stodgy outfit and shitty attitude made her my instant Comic Book Avatar of 2017. Vera deals in more than just antiques, and Marsha has some uncomfortable questions about one of these illicit transactions. This leads to a chase scene, a lovingly-rendered werewolf transformation and an accompanying monologue that all add up to pure horror cheese.
It’s good, the cheese. It’s very good. The last few pages of the issue would border on satirical nonsense both in setting and in content if it weren’t for the fact that it’s all so fucking fun. Any horror fan could look at the setup and predict the conclusion, right down to the jump scares, and what makes that such a delight is that Neilson and artist Jason Johnson know you know what’s going on.
They’ve been given a chance to revive a languishing franchise, and they’re already laying the groundwork for a direction that doesn’t involve Christopher Lee selling bad dialogue or werewolf castle orgies, but first they’re going to take a little detour through a literal horror funhouse. That’s what you came for, isn’t it? Arcane McGuffins, dress-shredding wolf-outs, snub-nosed revolvers, rotary telephones, gratuitous beheadings and all the best fashion of 1981? This stuff is a blast, and it’s this sense of smirking dangerous fun that makes this issue (and hopefully the rest of the series) work so well.
Available through comiXology right now (edit: as of June 16 2017 the issue is missing from Comixology. I’ve asked Space Goat to update me on its availability and will revise this post when I hear back) and in print on May 31st.
THE HOWLING: REVENGE OF THE WEREWOLF QUEEN #1 (of 4)
UPC: 711099797381 00111 (Covers A & B)
UPC: 711099797381 00121 (Cover C)
UPC: 711099797381 00131 (Cover D)
Writer: Micky Neilson
Art: Jason Johnson (A), Milen Parvanov (C)
Letterer: Taylor Esposito
Cover: Kevin West (A), Yvel Guichet (A, C), Carlos Eduardo (A), Chris Summers (B), Anton Kokarev (B), Bill Sienkeiwicz (D)
A. Quinton — May. 18th 2017
Thanks to JD for (retweeting?) the link (I think?)!
A. Quinton — May. 12th 2017
Continuing its mission to release every 1980’s film – no matter how cult or cheesy – as a super-deluxe Blu-ray, Shout! Factory is now taking pre-orders for collector’s editions of Teen Wolf and Teen Wolf Too. They’ll be released August 8th in the United States and Canada and can be ordered directly from Shout! Factory or through Amazon (TW, TWT).
No on-disc extras have been announced yet, but Shout! Factory is known for developing extravagant bonus content for their re-releases, so I have high hopes. They’re setting the bar high with these two new lovingly-painted covers. I’m not sure who the artist is – I see the initials PS – but they crushed it, especially that Michael J. Fox version.
Edit: commenter Sykes let me know that the artist is Paul Shipper.
May is the month of werewolf cakes! Check out this prize-winning “American Werewolf in London” creation
A. Quinton — May. 11th 2017
Werewolf News reader Jacob Bellingham shared a photo he took (and a link to a Dread Central article about) this prize-winning An American Werewolf In London-themed cake. Created by Karen Mitchell of Sugarlicious Cakes by Karen, it won a silver medal in the Decorative Exhibit category of the 2017 Cake International competition in London in April.
The level of detail on this thing is incredible, from the bloodwork to the details on the box. Check out the Sugarlicious photo gallery for more, including some close-ups.
Jacob’s family runs Little Brown Fairy Cake, who took home a Bronze in the same competition with the excellent Penguin cake pictured below. Despite looking like one of the least-tasty DC villains, it’s all edible, even the monocle. I told Jacob this in confidence but I think I’m a big enough person to admit it to the world, regardless of what it might do to my werewolf fan credibility: the David Kessler cake is impressive, but I kind of prefer the Penguin cake. What can I say? I like the prospect of eating Danny DeVito’s head, and of course, I didn’t have to travel to London to see (or eat) the best werewolf cake ever – it was right here in my kitchen in 2012.
Get Matt Ryan’s Mondo “American Werewolf in London” poster today if you’re in Texas, or online later if you’re not
A. Quinton — May. 5th 2017
Mondo’s got this thing where they commission great artists to make incredible posters, then sell 95% of the stock at an event in Texas and let those of us elsewhere (say, Vancouver) fight for the remaining 5% online.
There hasn’t been many “alternative” posters created for An American Werewolf in London. I think that was what initially drew me in wanting to create something for it for the Mondo fam. I’m usually drawn towards posters that dont have too many pre-existing pieces of print work under their belt. It means the subject matter hasnt been played out and/or over saturated.
I love the look of the Shaftesbury Memorial Fountain and wanted to subtly illustrate the famous Rick Baker Werewolf into the fountain itself, so at first glance perhaps you dont even see it. Just some ornate aspect to the fountain. Originally my idea was to keep the wolf even more hideen and smaller in scale, then I hit the “fuck it” button. I also wanted the poster to sort of trick the eye into almost thinking its an 1800’s period piece in its look and rendering of the fountain but then have the glow of tacky retro neon signage…dating it firmly in the 80’s.
Pictured below is the “regular” edition. Visit Matt’s site to see the Glow In the Dark variant, featuring “a more reto, sun-bleached-black-brown color palette”.
Your best shot at getting one of these 24″ x 36″ beauties is to attend Texas Frightmare Weekend, starting pretty much right this instant and running through Sunday the 7th – Mondo will be selling these and other horror posters at booths 160-162. If you’re not in the Dallas–Fort Worth area this weekend, keep an eye on the Mondo web site poster collection, which is where any extras will pop up.
Thanks to Craig J. Clark for the link.
Edit: I just saw Matt did this frankly gorgeous Silver Bullet screen print (with metallic inks!) as a private commission. This exists somewhere in the world and it’s impossible to obtain without some combination of graft and teleportation. Fuck.