As Werewolf News previously reported, there are werewolves in the horror anthology Scare Package, a Shudder Original that got some festival play last year before making its streaming debut in June ahead of its release on home video last month. And as a horror anthology with six individual segments and a time-consuming wraparound story that morphs into a seventh — which is by far the longest — this package has so little time to devote to its werewolf story that the actual werewolves in it amount to little more than afterthoughts.
Befitting its home on a horror streaming service, Scare Package goes all in on over-the-top gore leavened with goofy dialogue and a heaping portion of meta humor, especially in the opening segment about a creatively frustrated “cold opener” who wants to be a real character without understanding the implications of that in the genre he works in. When this turns out to be a script called “Cold Open” that the passenger in a car is telling the driver about and the driver’s response is “I just don’t know about all the meta stuff, you know,” that’s a fairly clear indication that the rest of the film will be more of the same.
Ranging from the obvious to the ridiculous to the nonsensical, the segments in Scare Package are a mixed bag, many of them playing around with multiple genre tropes while repeatedly returning to the same, familiar slasher beats that were thoroughly beaten to death during its ’80s heyday. One of the few that doesn’t go there is “M.I.S.T.,E.R.” because director Noah Segan and his co-writer Frank Garcia-Hejl have their sights set elsewhere.
It starts unpromisingly enough in a bar where a patron (played by Segan) is having his ear bent by a cliche-spouting bartender. Retreating to the men’s room, he spies a flyer put up by a group calling itself Men in Serious Turmoil, Establishing Rights! Investigating further, Segan tracks the group down to a pet shop where they meet in the back room after hours to air out their petty grievances with women. Eager to hook their latest recruit, the group’s leader (played by Garcia-Hejl) invites Segan to join them that night at a secluded location where they can be as masculine as they want to be, but he has other things in mind.
Suffice it to say, if you’ve ever wanted to see hateful MRA types transform (some of them only partially) into werewolves and get killed off in quick succession in a variety of ways (as one of the film’s creators says on the commentary, “So much of this movie was coming up with interesting ways to kill people”), this nine-minute short should scratch that itch. Just don’t expect its conclusion, which takes a wild swing into a completely different subgenre, to be remotely satisfying. Chasing “M.I.S.T.,E.R.” with a self-proclaimed “post-modern feminist slasher revenge body horror” film was probably a good call, but the most consistently amusing segment in the whole film is the Fourth of July-themed “The Night He Came Back Again! Part IV – The Final Kill.” One segment can’t redeem an entire anthology, though.