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.

Book Review: “The Werewolf Filmography: 300+ Movies” by Bryan Senn

Craig J. Clark — May. 10th 2017

As the foremost authority on werewolf movies ’round these parts, it naturally fell to me to review Bryan Senn’s The Werewolf Filmography, the first attempt at a comprehensive overview of the subject since Stephen Jones published The Illustrated Werewolf Movie Guide back in 1996. (Senn dismisses Jones’s book in his introduction, claiming “its brevity and haphazardness makes it far from definitive and of limited use,” but it’s still worth tracking down and hanging onto for its generous sampling of photos, posters, and lobby cards, many of them in color.) Where Jones muddies the waters by including any and all films in which someone is transformed into an animal — resulting in annoyances like every filmed version of Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake ballet getting a capsule review — Senn’s bent is more lycan-centric. In fact, of the “300+ Movies” trumpeted in the book’s subtitle, only 158 are covered in the main section, with the rest being relegated to the chapters on “Pseudowolves” (a slippery designation that feels arbitrary at times) and “Other Were-Beasts” (a less crowded and more self-explanatory field).

In his introduction, Senn cuts right to the heart of the matter. “Why write a book on werewolf cinema,” he reasonably asks, “if the majority of the films are, shall we say, less than classic?” The answer, of course, is to highlight the good and the great while steering people away from the bad and “the howlingly ugly.” To this end, Senn employs a five-moon rating system (similar to the one used by Jones, albeit without the fancy graphics) that isn’t nearly so bottom-heavy as one might expect based on the genre’s track record. True, it’s possible to count the five-moon movies on one claw (for the record, they are The Wolf Man, The Howling, An American Werewolf in London, Dog Soldiers, and Game of Werewolves), and there are only two that get four-and-a-half (Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein and Ginger Snaps), but those are neatly balanced out by the four half-moon movies and the three turkeys that come away with zero. (Happily, I have not seen any of the latter, and based on Senn’s recommendation, will continue to avoid them.) That leaves the majority in the one-to-four-moon range, with a fairly even distribution reflecting the range in quality therein.

To be fair, Senn tosses more than a few curve balls into the works. While he takes Hammer’s The Curse of the Werewolf down a peg with a two-and-a-half-moon review, questioning its “classic” status in the process, he doles out four moons to the likes of Silver Bullet, the 2011 Red Riding Hood, and Wolves, none of which impressed me that much when I saw them. He does, on the other hand, recognize that Rise of the Lycans is the best entry in the Underworld series, and is unafraid to call out dreck like Night Shadow, The Rats Are Coming! The Werewolves Are Here!, Red: Werewolf Hunter, and Teen Wolf Too. That last write-up contains one of several typos that managed to sneak past Senn’s editor, though, when star Jason Bateman is accidentally called “Justin.” (See also: the “Pseudowolf” entry on The Brothers Grimm, which misspells Peter Stormare’s name twice before getting it right in the very next paragraph.) Most damning of all, though, is the way the back cover lists the wrong year (2011) for Dog Soldiers, an error compounded by its inclusion in McFarland’s online listing for the book.

Other idiosyncracies abound. While it’s understandable that Senn would want to partition off films where werewolves only appear in supporting roles or, say, a single segment of an omnibus film, relegating Paul Naschy’s The Beast and the Magic Sword and Licántropo and other Spanish-language werewolf films to the “Pseudowolves” chapter merely because they never received an official release in the U.S. seems short-sighted, especially since Senn’s write-ups for them are often as long and detailed as his “full-fledged” werewolf film reviews. He’s also heavily reliant on quotes from the filmmakers — many of them culled from other sources, although some hail from interviews Senn personally conducted — and given to repeating himself to pad the entries out. And while it’s nice to have an appendix listing the films in chronological order (since the text arranges them alphabetically), it would have been nice to have another one that breaks them down by rating for easy reference.

With its hefty $55 price tag and sturdy hardback binding, The Werewolf Filmography is an impressive, if imperfect, addition to McFarland’s stable of horror reference books, and can be ordered directly from the publisher (www.mcfarlandpub.com, 800-253-2187) [or Amazon – ed.]. It won’t take long for it to go out of date, though, since, as Senn points out in his introduction, more than half of the werewolf films he covers have been produced since the turn of the millennium, with more being churned out all the time. Some of them may turn out to be winners (I’ve got high hopes for Another WolfCop, to give one example), but lycan-lovers will always need help separating the wheat from the chaff. With luck, a second edition where Senn does just that won’t be long in coming.

“Reverend Lowe” – a “Cycle of the Werewolf” print by Steve Mardo

A. Quinton — May. 8th 2017

More werewolf art for your walls! Gallery 1988 hosting a Stephen King art tribute, featuring dozens of exhibits inspired by the horror author’s works. Here’s the one werewolf-related piece I spotted: “Reverend Lowe” by Steve Mardo. The framed original has sold, but you can still get one of the 20 signed prints for yourself.

digital print
11 x 14 inches
signed and numbered, limited edition of 20

inspired by Cycle of the Werewolf

If you’re in Los Angeles you can see the exhibit in person through May 27th at GALLERY1988, 7308 Melrose Ave.

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.

Well, they did it again, commissioning Canadian artist Matt Ryan to create the lycanthropic entry in “a line-up of awesome new horror posters”. Writes Matt:

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.

5-page preview, 4 covers & publication details for “The Howling: Revenge of the Werewolf Queen”

A. Quinton — May. 4th 2017

Space Goat Productions has shared publication details, cover art and five preview pages from the first issue of their upcoming comic series “The Howling: Revenge of the Werewolf Queen”.

The Howling: Revenge of the Werewolf Queen #1 picks up where the cult-classic 1981 film left off: Three weeks have passed since Chris Halloran revealed on national TV that werewolves walk among us. No one believed him. Now Marsha Quist has returned for revenge–and now there is no colony to hold back her blood lust. For fans of Evil Dead 2, The Walking Dead, and Silver Bullet.

When news broke late last year that Space Goat had secured the rights to produce a canonical comic series tied to the The Howling film franchise, I got good vibes about the project on the grounds that it had a great title, a talented writer, a killer cover, and a tacit acknowledgement that the story would be derived from one of the good Howling films.

Now that we’re getting close to the July publication date, preview pages and review copies are making the rounds, and I’m relieved that my good vibes were accurate. This looks hot as hell. Check out these five pages from this first issue, then keep scrolling for publication details and a look at the alternate covers.

THE HOWLING: REVENGE OF THE WEREWOLF QUEEN #1 (of 4)

SKU: HWLG0101
UPC: 711099797381 00111 (Covers A & B)
UPC: 711099797381 00121 (Cover C)
UPC: 711099797381 00131 (Cover D)
Price: $3.99
Rating: Teen+
Writer: Micky Neilson
Art: Jason Johnson (A), Milan Parvanov (C)
Cover: Kevin West (A), Yvel Guichet (A, C), Carlos Eduardo (A), Chris Summers (B), Anton Kokarev (B), Bill Sienkeiwicz (D)
Genre: Action & Adventure, Horror
Publication Date: July 2017
Format: Comic Book, FC
Page Count: 32 pages

Crowdsourced werewolf movie “Bonehill Road” seems very successful and a little weird

A. Quinton — May. 3rd 2017

The crowdfunding campaign for Bonehill Road, a “fun, scary old school style monster flick” from Todd Sheets, has a week to go and it’s 429% funded.

Bonehill Road is my newest film.  It is an homage to classic monster films like The Howling and An American Werewolf In London.  In some ways, it is a throwback to the films we grew up with… the real horror movies that we all love so much, and in another way it is a modern horror flick that uses old school techniques, including Practical Monster Effects.  NO CGI at all here.  Our goal is to make an exciting, scary monster movie with some really cool werewolves.  Every dime will be put into the monsters.  This whole campaign is ALL about the werewolves.  We have our base Budget and distribution is already in place, we just need extra funds for our creature effects.  If we are lucky enough to go OVER the budget listed here, we will use every dime for more effects and production costs.  No salaries are ever taken by me, the director.  EVERY dime will be put on screen, so the more money we have, the better.  This budget listed was our BARE MINIMUM for extra creature stuff.  But if we go OVER what was listed, that is simply amazing and it will  mean MORE Monsters, MORE special effects, MORE stunts… a bigger and better movie!!!!!

This project has generated a lot of interest from Werewolf News readers and grindhouse horror fans in general. I can definitely see the appeal of practical creature effects, and there’s no doubt that Sheets has made his bones in the world of low-budget monster movies, but I don’t know if this project is for me.

They’re leaning heavily into the practical effects, which the campaign updates say are being handled by GDS-Fx. The GDS-Fx Facebook page has lots of photos showing the two masks that have been created so far, and they look appropriately grotesque. Curiously, the campaign also shows (uncredited) photos of pre-made werewolf suits, including a $1,700 Midnight Studios FX werewolf suit with the caption “this is one of the Werewolf suits we will be getting with YOUR help!!!” They obviously want as many werewolves as possible in the film, which, hell yeah, but it seems strange to have them all look so different.

Then there’s the fact that they’re leading off with unlicensed Narnia concept art, there’s no plot summary or story cues mentioned anywhere, and they’re making a character’s non-humanity (“a very cool TRANSFORMATION scene of a WOMAN into a Werewolf!!!”) a stretch goal. The whole concept seems a little… unfinished.

Nevertheless, I’m all for more werewolf movies, and I wish Sheets and his crew all the best.

Full Moon Features: Neowolf (2010)

Craig J. Clark — Apr. 10th 2017

Having run the Howling series for The A.V. Club last year, I have witnessed the depths to which a werewolf movie can sink — namely, to the gaping abyss that is 1995’s The Howling: New Moon Rising. This is why I can be inclined to go easier on an aggressively mediocre one like 2010’s Neowolf than I previously would have. Made by French director Yvan Gauthier, who was so proud of the finished product he chose to be credited as Alan Smythe (not Smithee as the IMDb incorrectly states), and based on an original story by producer Alessandro Di Gaetano (of Project: Metalbeast infamy), Neowolf is the kind of film that opens with an anonymous couple leaving a club to have sex in the parking lot only for them to be interrupted by a very hairy creature (guess what) which slaughters them both. Then, and only then, do Di Gaetano and co-writer Michael January bother to introduce their protagonist.

That would be Tony (Michael Frascino), an aspiring rock singer/songwriter driving cross-country to get back together with his girlfriend Rosemary (Heidi Johanningmeier), a college student whose studies in Gothic literature and botany come in handy when she begins to suspect her wayward boy with the wandering eye has fallen in with the titular band of ravenous werewolves. Of course, it takes a while for this to happen because it takes a while for anything to happen in Neowolf with the notable exception of Gauthier’s (or his editor’s) rush to get to the sex scenes, of which there are three within the first half hour.

It’s during the third one that Tony is bitten by Neowolf groupie Paula (Megan Pepin) because if Eurotrash bandleader Vince (Agim Kaba) had done it that would have been a little too gay, and when he comes to the next morning in his motel room with an enormous hickey on his neck and evidence of their tryst on his phone, Rosemary springs into action, Googling Neowolf because “something weird’s going on” and “the energy wasn’t normal.” Her best friend Kevin (weak comic relief Ryan Ross) is skeptical, but she hits the jackpot when she finds What Neowolf Doesn’t Want You to Know.com, a website put up by Romanians for Truth which asks, “Is it a coincidence that the band’s tour has been followed by a long line of mysterious killings or something more heinous?” Also, Vince apparently “only looks Pretty on the outside,” which is funny because I think he looks much hotter after he wolfs out (as far as anybody does in this movie, which isn’t very).

Coming to the only logical conclusion — that her strung-out-looking boyfriend is in danger of becoming a creature of the night — Rosemary consults with her literature professor (Sevy Di Cione), whose accent is such that he referred to “Dr. Jakyll and Mr. Hyde” in his first lecture, and nursery owner and self-proclaimed “crazy old loon” Mrs. Belakov (a slumming Veronica Cartwright), who conveniently grows wolfsbane (referenced in every story Rosemary can find about “werewolfs,” as she calls them) and resolves to help save her boyfriend. Kevin, alas, isn’t able to pitch in because he becomes werewolf chow when Vince gets a little bite-y while going down on him, a cringe-worthy moment that simultaneously brings to mind Wes Craven’s The Last House on the Left and Lowell Dean’s WolfCop. And it all wraps up with an unearned tragic ending stolen wholesale from David Cronenberg’s The Fly. Okay, I’ve convinced myself. Neowolf is beyond mediocre. It’s actively terrible.

LG G6 commercial shows a smartphone that werewolves can never, ever drop

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.

Listen to this great performance of werewolf screenplay “The Hounds of House Rearden” on Black List Table Reads

A. Quinton — Apr. 3rd 2017

Last week friend of the site / New Orleans legend @colonelnemo sent me a link to “The Hounds of House Rearden”, the latest episode of the Black List Table Reads podcast on Earwolf. It’s a live-action performance of a werewolf movie script, and an excellent way to pass an amount of time equal to, say, what it would take to assemble two IKEA Kallax shelf units.

Black List Table Reads “takes the best and most exciting screenplays Hollywood hasn’t yet made, and turns them into movies, for your ears”. The scripts are selected by host, narrator (and Black List founder) Franklin Leonard. Each monthly table read is recorded as a group performance by “a rotating cast of talented actors” and then supplemented with audio cues, sounds effects and music. The result is a feature-length audio experience they call an “earmovie”.

“The Hounds of House Rearden” was my first earmovie, and I was impressed. The cast (listed below & pictured even further below) did an excellent job, particularly Cooper Thornton and Greg Itzin. The sound effects and foley work were top notch, rendering the werewolf transformations (spoiler: there are many) and gruesome dismemberments (ditto) effectively. Check this killer poster designed by Erika Deoudes that went up with the podcast post. Details like that have nothing to do with the audio experience but demonstrate the level of care and attention to detail that went into the episode.

The screenplay itself was not bad, as potential werewolf movies go. It started off strong, with a nice antagonistic father-son dynamic and quick pacing, but lost momentum by introducing a few too many dudes with trope-y sub-plots – one of which had me wondering when Mushu was going to appear. There’s a ton of good werewolf action, though, and the identity of the titular Hounds caught me by surprise. I couldn’t find anything else by its screenwriter, Sean Geraghty, but he wrote a better werewolf action-horror movie than some others I could name that made it all the way to the screen.

Subscribe to Black List Table Reads on iTunes or Overcast, or find other links to this specific episode here.

“The Hounds of Rearden” written by Sean Geraghty. It stars Cooper Thornton (Peter), James Callis (Sir Julius/Cortez), Greg Itzin (Sen. Warren/Hunter), Charles Shaughnessy (Cromwell/Clark), Sachin Bhatt (Raj/Ranger #1), Gregg Daniel (Leopold), Andrew Roa (Johnny Napoleon), Ben Lawson (Hastings/Collins), Laura Kai Chen (Khan), and Franklin Leonard (Narrator).

We might catch a glimpse of Werewolf Pennywise in the “IT” teaser trailer

A. Quinton — Mar. 29th 2017

The first teaser trailer for director Andrés Muschietti’s film adaptation of Stephen King’s novel IT is out, and in addition to exceeding all of my expectations, it shows a tiny bit of possible Canonical Werewolf Content.

The story’s eponymous, eternal villain has many forms, all of which are derived from the fears of children. Its most famous appearance is that of Pennywise the clown (whose look in this new film I am very into), but in two of the book’s scenes, It assumes the form of a werewolf. The 1990 miniseries condensed those appearances into a single new scene, but this new film appears to be a more faithful adaptation.

The teaser includes a short scene at 1:55 set in what looks like an abandoned house (which is where one of the book’s werewolf scenes takes place). In it, members of the Losers’ Club cower from Pennywise, whose flexing hand shreds the tips of its glove to reveal dark, clawed, very werewolf-like fingers. This might not be the scene I’m thinking of – in the book only one of the Losers’ Club is present – but assuming it is, I am very much looking forward to seeing Werewolf Pennywise.

This adaptation of IT will span two films. The first is in theatres September 8th. You can watch the teaser below.