Category: Film, Television & Music
A. Quinton — Sep. 28th 2016
Here’s a first look at the upcoming 1:4 “The Howling” werewolf statue from PCS Collectibles, fresh out of their email newsletter (which I almost deleted out-of-hand because it led with another Street Fighter II statue instead of this beauty).
If there was a “Mount Rushmore” of cinematic werewolves, three portraits would be carved into it: Larry Talbot by Jack Pierce, David Kessler by Rick Baker and Eddie Quist by Rob Bottin. The first two have been merchandised in the past, but now, for the first time ever, PCS Collectibles is proud to present a 1:4 scale statue of Bottin’s seminal creature work from The Howling.
This gorgeous 24″ polystone statue captures Eddie Quist at his best, and will be available for pre-order at 3PM PST on Monday, October 10th. It’ll come in two versions, both priced at $474.99 USD:
- the retail version, which will be limited to an unknown quantity, available through channels like Diamond and Sideshow Collectibles.
- the PCS exclusive, limited to 300 pieces, available only through the PCS web site, and apparently exactly the same as the retail version except for the addition of a second, swappable head.
Here’s a (weirdly composited?) image from PCS showing the statue’s scale. Bloody Disgusting has an “exclusive” photo from an alternate angle, too. This thing looks incredible!
A. Quinton — Sep. 22nd 2016
Elizabeth Ho and Alastair Duncan star in Prey, a short horror movie by Matt Yang King and top 15 semi-finalist in the You Offend Me You Offend My Family channel’s “Interpretations 2.0” contest. The two main rules of the contest seem to be “maximum 3 minute length” and “interpret this tiny four-line script we’ve given you”.
You probably don’t need all that context to enjoy the great practical werewolf transformation makeup and effects! I particularly like the close-ups on the hands and the fur growth.
Thanks to Somnilux for the link.
Craig J. Clark — Sep. 15th 2016
In all the years I’ve been watching werewolf movies, I don’t think I’ve ever come across a sorrier example of the genre than the 2006 schlocker Curse of the Wolf, which went direct to video ten years ago this month. In fact, it may very well be the worst werewolf film I’ve ever seen, eclipsing even the amateur-hour likes of Night Shadow and Werewolf: The Devil’s Hound, which I didn’t think was possible. Like the latter, Curse of the Wolf was shot on cruddy-looking video and used cheap-ass werewolf makeup, and like the former, it was built around the skills of a martial artist. In this case, though, there are multiple martial artists in the cast, and one of them was also the writer, director, and fight choreographer, which explains the preponderance of hand-to-claw combat scenes.
When it isn’t focused on the fisticuffs, the action revolves around Dakota (Renee Porada), the most reluctant member of a sad little five-person wolf pack who breaks away when she figures out how to medically suppress her transformation. This doesn’t sit well with her would-be mate James (Alex Bolla, who wears shiny shirts so he can be readily identified even in wolf form), but pack leader Michael (Todd Humes, who overacts something fierce) decides to let her go for the time being. And offered up as a study in contrasts are the other two members of the pack: sexpot Harley (Katie Russell, who owns the film’s first gratuitous nude scene) and repulsive, blue-haired fat slob Franklin (Brian “Blue Meanie” Heffron, who spends an entire scene clad only in a pair of pee-stained and skidmarked briefs, which makes the fart sounds laid over top of it superfluous).
Jumping forward six months, the story finds Dakota working at a veterinary clinic, which gives her access to the drugs she needs, and palling around with co-worker Sam (Kylie Deneen), whom she rescues from a gang of would-be rapists who are subsequently slaughtered by Franklin while he’s out following Dakota’s scent. Per the homicide detective interviewed on the news about it the next day, “One victim suffered gash wounds over 50% of his body. Looks like he was mauled by a bear, for God sakes. There were chunks of these potato heads all over the place, and drugs everywhere. What could have done that in this area? No idea, but one thing’s for sure: We’ll get the bastards.” This turns out to be a load of hot air, though, since we never see this cop again, or any other police officer for that matter.
Instead, we’re plunged into a lopsided conflict between Michael’s pack and magnanimous club owner Logan (top-billed Lanny Poffo), who offers Dakota his protection. This extends to the services of his long-haired right-hand man Stick (writer/director Len Kabasinski, credited as Leon South) and clothing-averse weapons experts Ivy (Darian Caine) and Star (Pamela Sutch), who go with Dakota to stake out the house where the pack is holding Dan (Dennis Carver), whose relationship to her is rather nebulous. Even so, it’s more explicable than the scene where Ivy takes a bath while listening to a song called “Teetah the Cat Lady” which I swear I’m not making up. I’m also not lying when I say this film has one of the most deliriously incoherent final melees ever committed to magnetic tape, which is topped only by the credits for Kabasinski’s “spiritual advisor” and “snack guru,” who shockingly enough aren’t one and the same person.
Editor’s note: the cover art for Curse of the Wolf is so discomfitingly gross / bad / that I’m too embarrassed to display it directly on the site. You can see it here if you think you want to, but you don’t want to.
A. Quinton — Sep. 7th 2016
The international trailer for “Underworld: Blood Wars” came out today. It features lots of footage from the previous four films in the series, and from the looks of things, a lot of recycled ideas from those films, too.
- High-stakes, low-investment plot about finally ending the war between vampires and werewolves, for real this time
- Powerful new villain with long hair
- Coloured contact lenses and very white teeth
- Grim pronouncements uttered in aristocratic accents
- Weightless acrobatic fights
- Quick cuts away from shadowy CG werewolves
- Ubiquitous blue filter over everything
The only thing I had no trouble distinguishing from the flashback footage was Kate Beckinsale’s updated appearance as Selene, featuring two-tone hair and a big comfy coat she can deploy as an evasive manoeuvre during combat.
“Underworld: Blood Wars” comes out January 2017. With respect to everyone who worked on this – particularly the technical crews – please, stop. Speaking as a representative of what I have to assume is a primary target demographic, I don’t want this. Nobody I know does. Spend your time and effort elsewhere.
A. Quinton — Sep. 5th 2016
Nodnash, AKA The Ugly Werewolf, invited me to help kick off the second season of his self-titled werewolf-centric podcast in an episode called “Interview With the News”. My suggested title of “An egg allergy, a $6 haircut, and lycanthropy: Scott Problems” was not accepted because I never actually suggested it, but I think we can make it the unofficial secondary title.
On this episode, Nodnash and I cover all kinds of werewolf topics, including tails, Howl Con 2017, and a conceptually dubious Bad Dragon product [link NSFW, discussion only slightly tasteless]. We also do a deep dive on the 1985 Michael J. Fox masterpiece Teen Wolf, for which I took over two typed pages of notes. Did we like it? You’ll have to listen to the episode to find out.
I love listening to podcasts, and it’s always a trippy honour when I get invited to be on one – especially one this fun. My thanks to Nodnash for having me on!
A. Quinton — Sep. 2nd 2016
If you’re attending Dragoncon in Atlanta, GA, I have your 4PM appointment for today locked down. Unmanned Media‘s Blaine Moir and J. Taylor will be screening their excellent werewolf short End of the Road in the “Horror 1: Monsters & Mayhem” block of the convention’s film festival.
After the screening, Moir and Taylor be doing a Q&A. If I was there my first question would be “when can we expect to see more Travis Coles because he rules“, but you might like to ask about their next project “Bad Meat”, which will pit two famous kinds of monsters against each other. That I’m mentioning it should tell you what one of the monsters is. What they’ve told me about it sounds phenomenal, especially in light of how good EotR was. Stay tuned for more on “Bad Meat” soon!
A. Quinton — Aug. 26th 2016
The 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.
A. Quinton — Aug. 25th 2016
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.
A. Quinton — Aug. 18th 2016
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.
Craig J. Clark — Aug. 17th 2016
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.