Category: Pop Culture

Vampires, werewolves, female CEOs, tight rubber pants and plasticine: a video

A. Quinton — May. 2nd 2018

There’s a great new animation making the rounds that explores the age-old battle between vampires and werewolves from some novel new angles.

To quote @EvilViergacht, who sent me the link, VvWW contains “Werewolves, hairy female werewolves, vampires in rubber pants, and butts.” That list has a near-perfect overlap with the terms people are searching for when they arrive here at Werewolf News, but this video presents a more cogent analysis of those subjects than I ever could. See for yourself:

safetyhammer (who goes by No-One Suspected the Cat on Facebook) did the animation, writing and voice work, and the incomparable Trudy Cooper (who also makes the comic Oglaf – maybe the most NSFW site I’ve ever linked to, but very good also) did the artwork.

By the way, I agree with every assertion made in this video, and you can quote me.

Great werewolf transformation in Google Cloud / NCAA micro-advert

A. Quinton — Mar. 13th 2018

Friend of the site John Dillard sent me this blink-and-you’ll-miss-it video ad for Google Cloud, featuring an animated werewolf transformation and a pertinent bit of college basketball trivia. It’s onscreen for less than two seconds but I think it’s a perfect transformation scene. The only way it could be improved is if the lycanthropic basketball player’s jersey number was “42” instead of “4”.

“Dust” introduces werewolves, vampires, cashews & terrifying dolls to The Adventure Zone canon

A. Quinton — Mar. 3rd 2018

Do you know what The Adventure Zone is?

If you answered “no” but you like great audio storytelling, may I suggest jumping in at the setup episode for this current arc? It’s a long-running actual play roleplaying podcast by a family of funny, thoughtful and inclusive writers/actors. If you start at the link above, no prior knowledge of the show is required.

After the conclusion of their years-long main arc, “Balance”, the McElroy boys (Justin, Travis and Griffin of MBMBaM fame) and their dad (Clint) are taking turns running short 5- or 6-episode campaigns as a way to narrow down their next long-form story. This is the second-to-last mini-arc, and as much as I’m looking forward to a longer adventure, each of these has been superb (Clint even made me like “tights and fights” superheroes with “Commitment“).

If you are familiar with The Adventure Zone, then you probably already know that Travis’s new arc “Dust” just started, and it’s high in lycanthrope content. The western / supernatural crime procedural continues TAZ’s trend of storytelling excellence. Griffin plays Errol Ryehouse, a permanently-half-transformed werewolf. He’s an excitable politician who leans into his semi-lycanthrope status with enthusiasm as he strives to protect his neighbourhood from crime, vampires, and bad zoning laws. There’s also Gandy Dancer (an orphaned magic user played by Clint) and Augustus Parsons (an asshole and cashew magnate ghost played by Justin). The story so far involves a murder investigation that starts at midnight and which must be concluded by 8 a.m. the next morning, lest the werewolves and vampires of the territory take matters into their own hands.

The first episode of gameplay came out March 1st and it’s really, really good. Future episodes will arrive every Thursday around 11am Pacific. You can subscribe in Apple Podcasts, or in the podcast app of your choice using the direct feed.

Trying to enumerate why The Adventure Zone deserves your attention – especially if you’re not usually into roleplaying podcasts, roleplaying, or podcasts – is too big a job for me to tackle in a single blog post. The show packs a ton of story into each episode, making it hard to provide an overview that remains both comprehensive and interesting to people who aren’t already listening. All I can do is recommend it as ardently and sincerely as any other thing I’ve posted about on this web site in the past 10 years: please listen to The Adventure Zone.

To close out this post, here’s a tiny sample of Twitter fan art depicting Errol, Gandy and Augustus. #TheZoneCast fans are prolific (there were over 40 pieces of art of these characters posted in the eight days since the arc started) and I love popping into that hashtag every now and then to see how characters are being portrayed.

The Onion: “Gruesome Werewolf Slayings” moves cities to outlaw hollow-point silver bullets

A. Quinton — Feb. 12th 2018

Exactly one month after an article about a local asshole who has a better reputation as a werewolf than as a human, the Onion is back at it again with another werewolf post.

“There is simply no place on our streets for ammunition with the destructive capability to blow off a werewolf’s entire head in one blast,” said Austin Mayor Steve Adler, who was moved to champion the bill after the brutal December slaying of beloved physical education teacher and nightwalking loup-garou Davis Johnstone.

The short article is great satire and refreshingly pro-werewolf, but the accompanying image (rather graphic, despite being a stock composite) is funny and weirdly heartbreaking in a way The Onion has mastered.

The Onion: “Townsfolk Strongly Prefer Man’s Werewolf Incarnation”

A. Quinton — Jan. 12th 2018

According to locals, blacksmith Hans Meyer sucks real bad, and everyone wishes he would just remain a terrifying human-wolf hybrid.

“We may lose a few sheep or cattle every month, but it’s worth it to get a break from that guy’s constant bitching,” said candlemaker Fritz Hermann, adding that at least when Meyer is a werewolf he doesn’t have that annoying laugh.

I love The Onion so much.

Birth.Movies.Death on The Amicus Vault Of Horror: “The Beast Must Die!”

A. Quinton — Jan. 6th 2018

Birth.Movies.Death has an interesting review of The Beast Must Die. Writer Jacob Knight speaks more highly of the 1974 exploitation film than Craig J. Clark did in his Full Moon Features review, although both writers noted the laggy pacing and “it’s just a dog” werewolf effects. The film is getting a new release on January 16th as part of the Amicus Collection, where it will join And Now The Screaming Starts and Asylum on Blu-ray for the first time.

Yes, the basic concept behind The Beast Must Die! (’74) is one Amicus’ most ingeniously exploitive: an Agatha Christie riff (call it Ten Little Lycanthropes), combining the racial tension of Blaxploitation with the modern updates of monster movies the studio had made its calling card over the last decade, competing with Hammer Studios for supreme dominance of the ’70s British horror market. Soon, six associates will arrive at Newcliffe’s home, all with various shady backstories. One of the them is a werewolf, and when the full moon rises that evening, the noble hunter assures us all that the beast must die.

This strikes me as one of those werewolf films that everyone assumes every other werewolf fan has seen, but I missed it growing up, when it aired on channels we didn’t get, far after I was supposed to be in bed. Now that I can just watch it at home at my leisure, I might need to cross this off my list, although I might opt for the more affordable stand-alone DVD release from 2006.

The conclusion of Craig J. Clark’s Full Moon Features review nearly encapsulates the reason I haven’t bumped this film higher up my list:

The biggest disappointment, though, is when the monster is revealed to be a big, black German shepherd. That’s not a beast that needs to die. It probably just wants to go walkies.

Sponsor: Nodnash The Ugly Werewolf

A. Quinton — Oct. 24th 2017

I’d like to express my gratitude and deep admiration for Nodnash The Ugly Werewolf, host of a podcast that’s not afraid to confront the reality of murder clowns, toilet vipers or that scene at the end of Teen Wolf where the guy in the bleachers maybe pulls his pants down.

He’s also sponsoring Werewolf News for the entire month of October, so in a fiduciary sense I’m obligated to tell you again that he hosts a very enjoyable podcast that streams live on Youtube every Friday at 8PM Pacific and that is also on iTunes and Podbean for your subscribing convenience. However! No amount of money could compel me to say that Nodnash is a stylish, funny, kind boon to the werewolf fan community, and the only person I would trust to organize a successful werewolf pizza bash at the last moment on Super Bowl weekend. Nope – I’m saying those things because I think they’re true, and I’m glad to know him.

Now come and join the Snak Pak!

Werewolves in Podcasts this Week

A. Quinton — Oct. 20th 2017

I consume more podcasts than any other media, and this week I was delighted to find two of my favourite shows discussing werewolves.

First up is a Sawbones episode about every werewolf’s best friend, the full moon. Sawbones is a medical history podcast that examines all the “odd, weird, wrong, dumb and just gross” things humans have done to themselves and each other in the name of medicine. In this latest episode, hosts Dr. Sydnee McElroy and her husband Justin explore the full moon’s connection to lunacy, rumours of crowded hospital ERs, and – of course – lycanthropy.

The moon is more than just a big hunk of cheese. Actually, it’s not even really cheese. Did you think it was cheese? Wow, you know less about the moon that we thought. Dr. Sydnee and Justin’s history of all the things we blame the moon for is going to be extra super educational for you, huh?

Sawbones is one of my favourite podcasts and I’m so glad they took a short break from dunking on Pliny the Elder to discuss that big white orb.

Next up (and currently paused in my earbuds while I type this) is Lore episode 71, “Silver Lining”, in which writer / producer / narrator Aaron Mahnke visits the werewolves of 18th century France.

We’ve conquered much of our world, but even with all of our great cities and urban sprawl, there are still shadows on the edge. And it’s in the shadows that the greatest threats still exist—creatures from our darkest nightmares that threaten our feeling of safety. Which has led some to strike out into the dark and hunt them.

Lore is a phenomenal show about the true-life roots of monster myths and scary stories. This month it debuts in a new form – an Amazon Prime Video series that combines “dramatic scenes, animation, archive and narration” to re-visit classic episodes of the podcast. The fifth video in the series is an adaptation of Lore’s first werewolf-themed episode “The Beast Within”, which I wrote about in 2015. I’m not a Prime subscriber so I’m not sure how or when I’ll get to watch this, but the key art alone (the featured image on this post) makes me pretty sure I’ll love it when I do see it.

Thanks to @Somnilux and @colonelnemo for equipping me with advance Lore knowledge!

Funko made the perfect Fruit Brute werewolf Pop & I can’t have it

A. Quinton — May. 19th 2017

Good: Funko made a vinyl Pop! werewolf figure that isn’t based on a dull or safe-for-network-TV design. The Fruit Brute Pop combines three of my favourite things: an excellent werewolf design, a retro mascot, and nostalgia for the weirdly-branded food of the early 1980s. The fangs, the spoon, the stripy complementary colour coveralls – this one would sit front and center on my desk.

Bad: Funko boxed the Fruit Brute in with another cereal mascot, Yummy Mummy, then deigned to make only 2,500 of the sets. They sold out pretty much instantly. If you want one you’ll have to scour eBay and pay some “””collector””” a massive markup.

Details and photo via Bloody Disgusting since the Funko product page is now just a 404. You did it bad, Funko. You did a bad job.

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.