Category: Film, Television & Music
A. Quinton — Jan. 30th 2017
There are three days left to help nudge the Indiegogo campaign for Concept Media‘s indie werewolf movie “Betsy” across the finish line. Written by Shawn Burkett (who also directs) and Ayse Howard, the film boasts a great visual identity, a solid cast, and a… well, not a stunning plot, based on the synopsis, but you never know.
The story follows a young woman “Betsy/Kelci C. Magel” who survived a violent attack while leaving work [according to an older synopsis she’s an escort – AQ]. After a month Betsy has relocated to a new town with her friend “Kayte/Marylee Osborne”.
A new town. New friends. A fresh start. However, as the full moon gets closer something begins clawing it’s way into her new life.
The film’s core budget was covered by a prior crowdfunding effort; this campaign is looking to raise an extra $1,000 to help pay for better costumes, practical effects and cast/crew expenses. As of this post, they’ve raised $878. They’re not asking for a lot, and they plan to shoot in late February and get it into festivals by May, so they’re not wasting time, either. Check out the campaign and the Betsy Facebook page for more info.
Thanks to Michael P and Somnilux for the links!
A. Quinton — Jan. 27th 2017
Here’s Open Mic Night by SCAD student Kaili Myers. This is an animatic (so expect scratch audio and camera movement arrows) depicting a guitar-slinging lady who works up the courage to get on stage, then puts on a performance much different than anyone was expecting.
I’m absolutely in love with this werewolf design. Kaili’s done great work here, and I look forward to seeing (and sharing) the final animation! Thanks to friend of the site @Somnilux for the link.
A. Quinton — Jan. 16th 2017
George Caltsoudas is a graphic artist who spent nine months applying his bold and colourful vision to the creation of iconic posters for every episode of Batman: The Animated Series season 1. Not because he was commissioned by Warner Bros. Animation or DC, but because he just felt like it.
That’s sixty-five individual pieces of art, each one perfectly capturing the brooding, timeless Art Deco production design of the show.
A gallery of the whole collection flew by on my Twitter timeline and I dove in immediately, partly because B:TAS was one of my favourite shows growing up, and partly because I wanted to see what George put together for episode 43: “Moon of the Wolf”. I wasn’t disappointed! Check out the whole series (and a lot more great artwork) on George’s Tumblr.
Craig J. Clark — Jan. 11th 2017
It’s increasingly rare for a werewolf film to actually be out in theaters when the moon is full, but as the one that’s currently playing on 3070 screens across this great nation is Underworld: Blood Wars — and I gave myself permission to skip any further films in that dreary franchise after the last one — I have chosen to devote this month’s column to another, decidedly more worthy, werewolf movie sequel.
Released in 2004, Ginger Snaps 2: Unleashed came along four years after its Scream Factory-approved predecessor and found editor Brett Sullivan stepping into the director’s chair. It also sees surviving Fitzgerald sister Brigitte (Emily Perkins) barely keeping her nascent lycanthropy at bay while staying two steps ahead of a persistent male werewolf (dubbed The Beast in the closing credits) that’s looking to answer the call of the wild. On top of that, she’s periodically visited by the ghost of her dead sister Ginger (Katharine Isabelle), who may in fact only be a figment of her imagination. Either way, Ginger’s appearance generally signals that things are going south for Brigitte in one way or another, as they do early on when she winds up in a rehab facility and is denied the monkshood extract she’s been using to keep the beast within her in check.
The primary setting for the first half of the film, the hospital is where Brigitte runs afoul of administrator Alice (Janet Kidder), who works overtime to convince her charges she’s been where they are, and orderly Tyler (Eric Johnson), who takes advantage of the more vulnerable patients. It’s also where she makes the acquaintance of Ghost (future Orphan Black star Tatiana Maslany), a chirpy eight-year-old who seems to have the run of the place and arranges for the two of them to escape together. Their destination: Ghost’s grandmother’s off-the-grid cabin, where Brigitte finds out what it’s like to jump out of a frying pan and into the fire. Considering she’s gradually turning into a creature that’s covered in hair (a welcome design change from the first film), that’s obviously less than ideal.
A. Quinton — Jan. 9th 2017
Dances With Werewolves is a feature-length film made on a music video budget by a dedicated schlockmeister whose recent writing credits include titles like “Countess Dracula’s Orgy of Blood” and “The Mummy’s Kiss: 2nd Dynasty”. Its main selling point: it’s the last screen role of Angus Scrimm, the guy who played The Tall Man in Phantasm. I thought I kept my expectations sufficiently low going into the trailer, but they deployed that howl sound effect (you know the one) in the first three seconds, and things got worse from there. By the end I felt a lot like this promo photo of Scrimm.
If you want to watch this, cool, I guess: Bloody Disgusting says Santa Fe’s Jean Cocteau Cinema will screen it on January 27th. I’d rather watch this other film by the same name, though, if it ever gets out of development hell.
A. Quinton — Jan. 5th 2017
Sold me on the clip, that is. I still don’t want to see Blood Wars.
A. Quinton — Dec. 14th 2016
Space Goat Productions has just announced an officially licensed comic book and board game(!) based on The Howling werewolf film universe.
Not all of that colourful franchise is particularly worthy of adaptation or expansion, but don’t worry: the four-issue The Howling: Revenge of the Werewolf Queen will take place directly after the events of the first film. Given that title and the events of the second film, Howling II: Your Sister is a Werewolf, we might be in for some backstory on a certain powerful werewolf lady.
The comic series will be written by two-time New York Times best-selling author Micky Neilson, whose lycanthropic work you might already be familiar with: he wrote the Warcraft comic series Curse of the Worgen and the werewolf novel The Turning, previously mentioned here on Werewolf News.
The comic’s line art will be handled by veteran Jason Johnson, who says he’ll “bring this story to life like only a true werewolf connoisseur can”. If the teaser image accompanying this post is any indication, uh, yes, dude, I believe you will.
The Howling: Revenge of the Werewolf Queen comes out in Summer 2017. No details on the board game yet, but if it involves quoting lines from the film series, I’m gonna win every single round with this gem.
Keep an eye on Space Goat and the very web site you’re reading right now for more details.
Craig J. Clark — Dec. 12th 2016
As film historian Tom Weaver points out on his commentary, much of the werewolf mythology we take for granted today was codified in Curt Siodmak’s screenplay for The Wolf Man and further refined by the sequels that followed. Happily, Weaver’s informative commentary track is one of the many special features Universal ported over from its previous releases to the Complete Legacy Collection, which got a DVD release in 2014 and has been upgraded to Blu-ray just in time for the original’s 75th anniversary.
Since its general release on December 12, 1941, and home-video bow four decades later, The Wolf Man has been trotted out many times by Universal in multiple formats — VHS, laserdisc, DVD, Blu-ray. What makes the Complete Legacy Collection special is it collects the entire Lawrence Talbot saga in one set for the first time. If you bought the previous Legacy Collection released in 2004, all you got was The Wolf Man and its sequel, Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man, plus 1935’s unrelated Werewolf of London and 1946’s worthless She-Wolf of London. If you wanted to find out what happened to Larry after he threw down with the Monster, you also had to get the Frankenstein Legacy Collection (for House of Frankenstein, which also came as part of a double feature with Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man) and the Dracula one (for the otherwise unavailable House of Dracula). And that’s not even taking into account 1948’s Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein, for which Universal brought back all its heavy hitters from the undead.
The point is, in the DVD era you had to shell out for a lot of extraneous content if all you wanted to do was follow Lon Chaney, Jr. from first bite to monster-mash finale. Now there’s no need to jump through so many hoops and, with any luck, this Blu-ray release, which also comes with the Abbott and Costello title, will be definitive. And best of all, it isn’t sullied by the behind-the-scenes featurette on Stephen Sommers’s Van Helsing, which the initial trio of Legacy Collections were put out in tandem with. As much as Universal likes to repackage its horror classics, at least it knows well enough what to excise from later editions.
A. Quinton — Dec. 6th 2016
My all-time favourite podcast is a long-running weekly goof-fest that the AV Club just awarded “most likely to lift your spirits” in their Favorite Podcasts of 2016 list. On My Brother, My Brother and Me, brothers Griffin, Justin, and Travis McElroy take listener questions (and questions culled from the sewers of Yahoo Answers) and “turn them alchemy-like into wisdom” – wisdom that every episode’s opening disclaimer explicitly warns you not to follow. I could spend another five paragraphs extolling the virtues of MBMBaM, its hosts and its fandom, but there’s a werewolf-related point I want to get to, so I’ll just say that the show has provided me with hundreds of hours of delight, including some of the funniest riffs I’ve ever heard, and that it’s worth your time.
To the werewolf point: I’m a completionist, so I’m working my way through the show’s back catalog. A Yahoo Answers segment from 2013’s episode 166 caught my attention this morning, just as I was finishing a run, and I’d like to share it with you.
The question, posted by Yahoo Answers user Ryker:
Werewolf question.WEREWOLVES ONLY?
my friend says that i might have been born a werewolf. iv’e always thought of myself to have an inner wolf. im just starting to physically shift. but i have no memory of when i shift and how to control it.someone please help.WEREWOLVES ONLY
The Brothers McElroy give this person’s quandary the thoughtful consideration it deserves, touching on Griffin’s minuscule werewolf heritage, the dangers of owning a pet when you think you might be going through a change, and the speciesist nature of the question itself.
I get questions like this emailed to me regularly. I generally answer with a polite reminder that werewolves are 1) cool and 2) not real. It’s nice to hear three non-werewolf-nerds wrestle with it. Justin’s comment about Siri is especially apropos – when I first heard the question I took a screenshot of my phone to capture the segment’s timestamp for this post, and look at the fucking reminder that had just appeared.
A. Quinton — Dec. 5th 2016
In 2014 I reported that game company Sega and ad agency Hakuhodo DY Group were launching Stories International, a joint venture to produce film and TV shows based on Sega’s video game properties. Classic werewolf / were-bear / wear-tiger / were-dragon beat-em-up Altered Beast was among the game franchises mentioned at the time.
Today, as reported by Variety, Stories International has teamed up with Walking Dead and Dirk Gently production company Circle of Confusion to produce adaptations of ‘Altered Beast’ and ‘Streets of Rage'”.
From the Stories press release:
STORIES INTERNATIONAL has partnered with Circle of Confusion, executive producers of “The Walking Dead”, to produce filmed entertainment adaptations of “Altered Beast” and “Streets of Rage”, based on the respective SEGA video game franchises, and will explore opportunities for both titles in film and television.
We’re still at the “big companies agreeing to work with each other” stage, but it’s encouraging to see the production gigs going to a company that really seems to know what it’s doing.