Category: Pop Culture
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.
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!
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?
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.
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.
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.
A. Quinton — Apr. 7th 2017
“Watch how the various features of the LG G6 can enrich your life”, the commercial‘s description encourages us. We are then shown some use cases for the phone. Most are practical, pedestrian – it’s waterproof, you can take it running or skydiving, you can play games on it – but then we see a curious and compelling feature: you can turn into a werewolf while holding it, and you absolutely will not drop it.
Sprout as much fur as you want, change orientation while it happens, switch your grip style from “sturdy” to “dainty” – if you are a lycanthrope, you simply will not be able to let this phone slip from your grasp.
Thank you for considering the werewolf segment of your customer base, LG, and thank you to Juan C. Moreno for the link.
A. Quinton — Mar. 16th 2017
If you don’t remember this block-smashing action-packed toy from your childhood, you probably weren’t alive in the 80’s.
If you do remember it, you’re probably suspended upside down in the purple and green kaleidoscope haze of the Purgatory Zone, that infinite glowing haunted house that binds the world of the living to the realm of the infinite. You are therefore probably not alive at all.
(yes I recognize that Lonewolf appears to be a human wearing a wolf-head on his own head, but I am asking you to come with me on a journey of imagination wherein he becomes a werewolf [still wearing that wolf-with-eyepatch-hat] who crushes blocks make out of silver-plated lunar rock with his bare claws)
This fever-dream of a commercial is the product of award-winning director and VFX artist Mike Diva – whose work I just realized I have been seeing everywhere for years. He ripped it from “an old VHS” he “found at the cemetery”. Check his Twitter and YouTube channel for more of the neon good stuff.
Thanks to teenypuddin for the link!
A. Quinton — Feb. 14th 2017
The latest episode of the excellent podcast Lore examines a cryptozoological phenomenon near and dear to the hearts of midwest werewolf fans: the Beast of Bray Road.
Our connection to animals is ancient, intimate, and complex. Humans have worshiped them, sacrificed them, lived with them, and been buried with them. But folklore from all over the world hints at a darker connection, and it just might be true.
In under 30 minutes, writer/producer Aaron Mahnke explores the facts and speculations surrounding multiple wolf-human-hybrid sightings near Elkhorn, Wisconsin, and the impact the sightings have had on the town – including local election campaigns and cookie production.
Lore covered werewolves more generally in its phenomenal third episode.
A. Quinton — Jan. 19th 2017
If you were attending the now-defunct Howl Con in Portland, OR on Saturday February 4th and Sunday the 5th and now find yourself without a way to hang out with werewolf people, may I humbly present you with two alternatives.
In the Portland area:
Friend of the site Nodnash is proposing a drop-in werewolf hangout at Portland’s Sizzle Pie West (926 W Burnside St) on the evenings of the 4th and 5th. The 5th is Super Bowl Sunday, so it might be a little crowded, but there’s lots to do in the area. Specifics are still coming together, so follow Nodnash for the latest.
Feb 4th+5th evenings! SizzlePie West! Werewolf meetup, art jam, and shenanigans! Pizza! Beer! Roaming! Hunting of man! Consumption of flesh!
— The Ugly Werewolf (@nodnash) January 19, 2017
On Saturday the 4th, starting at around 1PM, Tandye and I (plus a few people who’ve already RSVP’d) will be at lelem’ Arts & Cultural Cafe in Fort Langley. That’s about 45 minutes west of Vancouver proper. We’ll be there for the afternoon, hanging out with any other werewolfy people who show up, and who knows what the evening will bring?
The plan is to make it an art jam, so bring your art stuff if you have any, but we may have games and other stuff going on, too. The cafe is rad, with great food and lots of space to sit and chat, and there’s lots to see and explore in Fort Langley – it’s right on the Fraser River, with a beautiful riverwalk trail, forests, and cool shops. Come on out if you’re in the area! As with the Portland plan, the details are subject to change, so follow me on Twitter for any updates (or @ me if you have questions, need directions, are crossing a border, etc).
See you around, werewolf people!