Vote for “Timber”, a Storyhive project that pits lumberjacks against werewolves

A. Quinton — Feb. 5th 2018

Want to help bring a new werewolf web series to life? Starting today and running through Friday the 9th, werewolf fans can visit the Storyhive campaign page for “Timber” to cast one vote per day (no registration required). Those votes will comprise a large part of the decision-making process that will award 15 projects $50,000 each to fund a full series.

“Timber” is being pitched as “Lumberjacks Vs Werewolves” by its creative team. Here’s the synopsis:

In 1920’s Canada a doctor visits her estranged brother while he is working at a lumber camp. When she gets there she is shocked to learn that the lumberjacks are hiding the dark secret that werewolves are real, and she must discover who is and isn’t infected before it’s too late.

I’m writing this post on the 4th, before the big push for votes starts, and there’s already a ton of video and production stills on Timber’s Storyhive page and Facebook page. Watch the pilot episode below!

I asked Peter Kominek, one of the experienced filmmakers behind the project, about their plans for the werewolf design. I’m always interested to hear how the werewolf for a given project is going to be built, and here’s what he wrote me:

Our werewolf is going to walk on all fours, it is going to be a ferocious beast/hell hound rather than a wolfman type werewolf. Our intention is to make it hairy, and if possible have the face be completely hairy/flocked, unlike a lot of other movies. We are going to have arm extensions and make an animatronic head. There will probably also be a separate puppet head for maximum chomping. Our instagram has a couple sketches from our designer up on it, and there is also a short video about the history of our project.

“Maximum chomping”. Those two words alone are worth the 10 seconds it’ll take you to cast a vote.

Update 12:27: this post previously incorrectly stated that Timber was in the running for a $10k prize to fund a pilot; in fact, it has already won that prize and is now in the final phase of the competition.

Full Moon Features: Good Manners (2017)

Craig J. Clark — Jan. 30th 2018

Further proof that the most creative and inventive werewolf movies are being made outside the U.S. right now, Brazil’s Good Manners isn’t the first werewolf film to come out of that country — 1972’s O Homem Lobo has it beat by 45 years — but it’s the first one I’ve seen. (The second will be coming to Full Moon Features in the not-too-distant future.) Written and directed by Juliana Rojas and Marco Dutra, Good Manners (original title: As Boas Maneiras) is a bit of a shapeshifter itself since its story cycles through a number of different genres, beginning with a social-realist drama about a financially strapped woman with no references and no work experience who gets hired as a live-in nanny for a single mother-to-be who’s still months away from giving birth. She just needs somebody to help with the cooking and cleaning and shopping and everything else she’s never had to do for herself.

The novice nanny, who trained as a nurse but had to abandon her studies to take care of an ailing grandmother, is Clara (Isabél Zuaa), and her employer, who moved into a spacious condo in downtown Säo Paulo after being cut off by her family and dumped by her fiancé, is Ana (Marjorie Estiano). At first, things are a bit bumpy between then, but Clara puts up with Ana’s spoiled and sometimes erratic behavior because, well, she needs the job. Then she figures out (which the help of a nifty lunar-themed calendar) that Ana’s behavior becomes especially erratic around the full moon, culminating in the scene where Ana goes out sleepwalking one night and eats a stray cat. (This is after her doctor has told her to cut out meat, a directive the baby growing inside her is clearly not on board with.)

Slowly but surely, Good Manners edges into horror territory (while also taking detours into lesbian romance and, strangely enough, the musical) in scenes like this and the one where Ana comes on to Clara, only to bite her lip and leave deep scratches in her shoulder. As for the identity of the baby’s father, which presumably would explain a lot, this is revealed through a series of drawings as Ana recounts the night she was seduced by a stranger who subsequently turned into a beast and fled when she shot it with her gun. His progeny, meanwhile, prematurely claws its way out of Ana’s belly one full moon and is, I must confess, cute as the dickens. The newborn pup is brought to life by a sophisticated puppet, but when the story jumps forward seven years, the transformed Joel (Miguel Lobo — yes, that’s the kid’s name) is entirely a CGI creation. Rojas and Dutra withhold his feral form until the film’s final act, but before that they do show the aftermaths of his nights in the “little bedroom” adjoining his own where Clara chains him to the wall. (Instead of reverting completely to human form, he still retains a coat of thick hairs that have to be shaved off and sharp fingernails that must be trimmed before he can return to school.) And it’s not until after Joel has killed one of his classmates (and makes the news) that the word “werewolf” is even spoken, but there’s never any doubt about what he is — or his father was.

The thing is, it ultimately doesn’t matter who Joel’s father is because he was never in the picture to begin with — much like Rojas and Dutra radically frame their story’s first half so no men are ever seen (although some are heard, chiefly Ana’s doctor). This way, the first clear sighting of one — the father of one of Joel’s classmates — is as much a shock to the viewer as it is to the young boy who has more questions about his parentage than Clara is prepared to answer. This is why it’s so easy to believe her when she tells him, “Everything I do, I do it to protect you.” Right or wrong, she’s only doing what she thinks is best for him, but let’s be honest. Keeping the kid on a strict vegetarian diet was always destined to fail.

Preview “Only the End of the World Again” (or, Werewolves Vs the Cthulhu Mythos)

A. Quinton — Jan. 26th 2018

Here’s a strange new graphic novel from Dark Horse Books to get your claws or tentacles on: a deluxe re-lease of Neil Gaiman’s “Only the End of the World Again”. Originally published in the late 1990s as a serialized story, Gaiman’s homage to Lovecraft and Roger Zelazny was adapted into a comic by P. Craig Russell, with art by Troy Nixey and colours by Matthew Hollingsworth. This 154-page hardcover edition contains the original comic and a ton of supplemental material.

From the Hugo, Bram Stoker, Locus, World Fantasy, and Nebula award-winning, and New York Times bestselling writer Neil Gaiman (American Gods), this fantasy story blends the worlds of H.P. Lovecraft and Roger Zelazny. This new edition of Only the End of the World Again features a brand new cover, in a new deluxe hardcover format; with bonus material including high res scans of the inks and layouts.

The story features an adjustor, Lawrence Talbot who recently sets up shop in Innsmouth only to discover that the world may be ending and that the instrument of destruction is a werewolf.

100 pages of bonus content for a 54-page comic seems like a fair bit of padding to me, but I can’t deny the appeal of a werewolf + Innsmouth mashup. This review from Adventures in Poor Taste makes it sound like a worthy investment for fans of lycanthropes or the Deep Ones alike. You can pre-order it on Amazon for an early February delivery, or find it in your local comics shop right now!

Here’s the cover again, plus the first five pages:

Weekly Werewolf Art: Untitled by Devon Bragg

A. Quinton — Jan. 22nd 2018

This week’s featured artwork is by “freelance Illustrator, Avid dog petter, French Fry muncher and Dr. Pepper addict” Devon Bragg.

This stark depiction of a pierced, struggling, half-transformed werewolf lacks a title through which one might understand Bragg’s exact intent, freeing you, the viewer, to have it represent anything you like: your struggle against a cruel world, the strength to change yourself against all odds, the blood you’ve shed for others, or your modest collection of arrows and spears.

You can find more of Bragg’s phenomenal work on Tumblr, Instagram and Behance.

http://devside-art.tumblr.com/post/166307462441/going-through-a-bit-of-a-rough-patch-but-hey

Make some “Evil Friends” with Tatum Howlett’s nasty new werewolf comic

A. Quinton — Jan. 22nd 2018

This self-published comic by Tatum Howlett contains gratuitous murders, two counts of reckless driving (drunk; werewolf transformation) and some very cool werewolf designs. You can download a PDF for any price you want, including free, but I recommend that you pay at least a dollar for it because c’mon. C’mon.

a full, black & white, 31-page comic about werewolves and subtle nihilism!

you can download the .pdf for $0 or as many as u think it deserves, i’m not worried about it. just read it bro!!!!

Nice work, Tatum. You definitely captured my experience as an aspiring novelist – I too constantly check the fridge instead of working on the manuscript.

Werewolf woman versus zombie Templars in “Ascension of the Blind Dead!” comic

A. Quinton — Jan. 21st 2018

David Zuzelo is a writer who did some comics work in the 2000s and early 2010s and then virtually disappeared, leaving behind a constellation of un-updated horror, pulp and exploitation media blogs. I was worried that perhaps something bad had happened, but nope, he’s still around and still clearly getting energized by pulp comics and cinema. He doesn’t seem to be writing or doing much in the way of public work these days, so I’m not going to link to his current haunt out of respect for his privacy. Instead, I’m going to share some pages from Ascension of the Blind Dead!, a gory, seven-page comic which he and artist Billy George published in the 2010 zombie anthology Zombie Terrors.

As near as I can figure, Ascension is a fan tribute and continuation of the 1970s Spanish-Portuguese horror film tetralogy. There are certainly a lot of eyeless zombie Templars here, but the focus is on a manipulative werewolf in search of an evil artifact. I won’t spoil the ending – you’ll need to head over to Zuzelo’s 2011 blog post to read the last three pages – but if he ever gets back into writing comics, I hope he continues with this story.

 

Is low budget found footage film “Wolf House” better than the sum of its parts?

A. Quinton — Jan. 20th 2018

I came across this 2016 found footage film from directors Matt D. Lord and Ken Cosentino while looking for recent werewolf films to add to the big list. I haven’t seen it yet and I wasn’t expecting to be interested, but after a little research, I’m intrigued.

The plot cooked up by writers Cosentino and Elizabeth Houlihan (synopsis below) sounds like a mashup of horror tropes way too ambitious for its purported $5,000 budget, and the trailer’s editing seems totally at odds with the vibe of the scenes it keeps interrupting, but the reviews tend to land in the “not bad” to “pretty good” range. The actors seem naturalistic and I’m pretty sure I can smell whatever’s in that blue tarp.

Wolf House is currently available on Amazon and Google Play. I’m not a fan of found footage movies (why are you filming your imminent death instead of RUNNING AWAY) but if this ever shows up on Netflix I might have to give it a shot.

Six friends on a camping trip think they have discovered, and killed, a sasquatch. But what they have actually unleashed is something more evil, more ancient and more deadly than they could ever imagine – an army of supernatural terrors that will hunt them until no one remains.

Weekly Werewolf Art: “Werewolf Heads” by Popuche

A. Quinton — Jan. 15th 2018

Popuche is an art student from France whose work focusses on sci-fi, cryptid and horror concepts. I particularly like her character and environment designs, and the organic warmth of her colour choices.

Her recent piece “Werewolf Heads” features the detached and mounted domepieces of fourteen of cinema’s most famous werewolves. It’s fascinating to see so many different werewolf designs presented in the same image, side-by-side. Depending on your point of view, the variety of aesthetics and scale either

  1. highlights the diversity of werewolf concepts, or
  2. underscores the reality that no one can agree what the hell these beasts are supposed to look like.

Check it out for yourself. Can you name them all without zooming in to read the tags? I got eleven out of fourteen.

Editor’s note: Weekly Werewolf Art is an old feature of Werewolf News that I’m hoping to bring back. I’ll be spotlighting werewolf art that I find interesting, technically great or otherwise noteworthy. Out of respect for the artists, I will never repost the original – only a cropped thumbnail, and an image embed where the source permits.

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.

Lycanthropy, motherhood collide in gothic Brazilian horror drama “Good Manners” (As Boas Maneiras)

A. Quinton — Jan. 11th 2018

When I asked folks on Twitter to let me know about any upcoming werewolf movies missing from my list, Full Moon Features writer Craig J. Clark sent in a link to Good Manners (“As Boas Maneiras” in its native Portuguese), a 2017 horror drama from writer / director team Marco Dutra and Juliana Rojas.

The film tells the story of Clara, a nurse from a São Paulo favela, who finds herself the adoptive mother of a werewolf child after his mother dies giving birth to him under a full moon. And that’s just the first act!

Reviews so far are unanimously positive. The Hollywood Reporter described it as “a hybrid of art house and genre cinema [that combines] sharp social commentary with grand guignol fantasy”.

The synopses, the reviews and even the poster position this as the sort of story I want more of – lycanthropy is integral to the story, but not necessarily the subject of the story.

I don’t read Portuguese so it’s hard for me to be sure, but I think Good Manners is currently in what I like to call “international festival limbo”. It screened at a variety of South American festivals in 2017, but it doesn’t yet seem to be slated for any 2018 appearances, and there are no details regarding international distribution. Keep an eye out for purchase / rental links here when that latter bit changes.

Edit: Indiana University Cinema has screenings scheduled for January 25th and 26th, if you can make it to Bloomington.

Further edit: Writer / director Marco Dutra commented on this very post to confirm the film had two US festival appearances, and that more are on the way!

In the meantime, here are some promo photos and a trailer. This film looks gorgeous and I can’t wait for it to traumatize me!