Angela Quinton is a writer, designer and web developer from Canada. She's also a colossal werewolf nerd who wrote her first werewolf story on her mom's typewriter at age 11. When not writing code or geeking out over werewolf stuff, Angela runs trails, spots trains, and throws rocks at the Pacific Ocean. She lives near Vancouver, Canada, with their lovely and tolerant wife, three feline malcontents and an increasingly terrible dachshund.
Friend of the site and proprietor of Horrorgasm J.C. Cooksey recently sent me a nuisance in the mail. This nuisance has a name – Creep – and he will not stop destroying ornaments and eating the cat’s food. I’ve captured him in a closet full of wrapping paper, which should give me just enough time to finish writing this post.
Creep arrived as part of the Creep in the Corner plush and book bundle. Accompanying him is a charming and colourful book that describes his origin (he has a lot of werewolf DNA, hence his presence in my house) and an array of stickers and acrylic charms bearing his face. Despite now living in what I would call a “monster-positive environment”, he has an innate need to be the polar opposite of his conceptual nemesis. The book describes this in detail, and I wish I had read it before I turned him loose.
Cooksey is the sort of creator that I aspire to be. She’s an artist, a writer, she curates horror-themed events in California, and now she’s attempting to monster-ify the western world’s most inescapable holiday. She’s taken the phrase “just add werewolves” (or werewolf-related creatures) and weaponized it in a manner perfectly calculated to delight your impressionable 8-year-old niece or nephew.
Consider gifting this Creep to your friends and family this season, both as a nice thing to do, and as a form of cultural counter-programming. Cooksey did it to me, and I have made peace with the fact that her generosity means at least a month of chewed-up Christmas light strands and shredded eggnog cartons in the fridge.
Werewolf movies are generally bad. Movies based on video games are generally extremely bad. These things are known. What, then, am I to make of Werewolves Within, an upcoming werewolf movie based on a 2016 Ubisoft PlayStation VR game of the same name?
The film, written by Mishna Wolff (I’m Down) and directed by [Josh] Ruben, centers on the small town of Beaverfield as a proposed gas pipeline creates divisions within the town and a snowstorm traps its residents together inside the local inn, with newly arrived forest ranger Finn and postal worker Cecily teaming up to try and keep the peace and uncover the truth behind a mysterious creature that has begun terrorizing the community.
“A bunch of people all trapped somewhere while one of them, secretly a malevolent force, kills them off one at a time” is such a well-worn trope that there’s literally a party game about it, which inspired the video game that inspired this movie. It’s a whodunnit framework used approximately one million times in werewolf media, most recently to poor effect in The Beast Within. Even Timothy Dalton had a turn at it in a Tales from the Crypt episode. As a basis for a screenplay, its only narrative hooks are “guess who the werewolf is” (it’s always the least-likely person) and “will the werewolf prevail” (no). It’s formulaic to a fault. The success or failure of such a film rests on the shoulders of its characters, who have to be charming and interesting enough to make a weary werewolf-loving audience care. If you would like to know how often I think this is successful, please re-read the first sentence of this post.
Imagine my surprise, then, when the teaser trailer for Werewolves Within reveals a bunch of distinctly rendered oddballs, all running around clutching guns and screaming while their dogs get eaten, and their friends get mauled in bed. I want to see these people get eaten (or eat other people). Of course, I want to see the werewolf (or werewolves) triumph at the end, but this time, the journey to my likely disappointment seems like it’ll be fun.
Speaking of the werewolves, what do they look like here? True to form, each shot in the trailer cuts away just before the werewolf is revealed, but the game is obvious in its commitment to the bipedal monster design we know and love. Hopefully, the film follows suit. In the meantime, those of us who freeze-frame trailers in search of a beastly money shot might derive some satisfaction from the film’s teaser poster.
“This movie is an homage to my love for Hot Fuzz, the Coen Brothers, and Arachnophobia,” writes Ruben. As references go, these sound promising. The trailer for Werewolves Within does not promise a lycanthropic Knives Out, but it does show a high level of self-awareness and delight at its own premise. If it turns out to be at least as entertaining as Timothy Dalton’s big surprise at the end of Werewolf Concerto, I’ll be happy.
Werewolves Within premieres in theatres on June 25th, followed by a VOD and digital release on July 2nd.
After a year of being cooped up, everyone with an Etsy shop has gone bonkers. These 10 items, all discovered and sent to me by my wife Tandye, explore a broad range of Etsy’s increasingly wild “werewolf zone”.
There’s only one werewolf in the pattern of these monster oven mitts, but he’s being taken for a walk by a little witch girl. You can’t argue with that. Don’t even try.
Werewolf Playing Cards
Writes the artist: “I spent my time in quarantine developing my very own set of playing cards. The Kings are Werewolves, the Queens are Vampires, the Jacks are Villagers.” Enough said!
Tabletop Shadow Puppet Theatre
This portable multi-piece shadow puppet theatre has 17 characters and a dozen backgrounds – enough to re-enact many of the classic fairytales. If you brought this into my house, many of those stories would receive shocking re-interpretations that involve the Wolf having dinner.
I want to say right at the top: this is a very cool hand-made 31cm-tall posable werewolf figurine. Great fur, cool face, and I even like the big fluffy tail, which is unusual for me. But it is billed as “anatomically correct”, which means it does have a penis. I don’t know why you would include that level of accuracy in a figurine while only putting four fingers on each of its hands, but here we are. And there it is.
Oleana the Werewolf Queen
This is another 3D-printed werewolf miniature, but unlike the one at the top of this list, she’s calm and composed. According to her description, if you fuck with her friends, she won’t stop until you’re dead. I respect all of this, even if I do think a werewolf holding a weapon is like wearing two hats at once.
Werewolf Nerd Gold Enamel Pin
Last but certainly not least, here is a 4cm x 4cm hard enamel lapel pin that appears to have my face on it. It’s not actually me, but as an aspirational werewolf with perpetually worried eyebrows and nerdy frames, I feel well-represented. Of all the werewolf objets d’art in this post, this is the only one to currently reside in my Etsy shopping cart, and I am going to wrap up this post so I can go finish the purchase.
Sometimes you just want a new t-shirt that supports your lycanthropic brothers, sisters, and non-binary comrades. Anarchogoth provides “ad hoccultism for the esoteric prole” and his store has a variety of killer designs that espouse “black on black on black on black flag and against all authority”. Of particular interest to me, and probably to you: Industrial Werewolves Of The World.
“You have nothing to lose but your humanity” reads the product page, and it’s a phrase that makes my shaggy heart sing. The design is available on a variety of products if you don’t need a shirt. Purchases support what seems like a very cool art/design project, as well as the IWW and other excellent causes.
Last week, NECA’s Twitter account (hi, Randy) posted a photo of what looks like a collectible figure version of the Kessler-wolf from An American Werewolf in London. The accompanying text is from a relevant Creedence Clearwater Revival song. You know the one.
AWiL figures are cursed, and not in the fun “grow claws” kind of way. As Bloody Disgusting reports, this isn’t the first AWiL werewolf figure to be teased by a collectible company, but none of the other figures ever made it to market. NECA certainly has the chops to do a good job making and packaging the figure, but can they get it into the hands of customers?
NECA is known for producing high-quality figures from beloved horror and sci-fi franchises, but lately, they’ve also gained a reputation for accepting pre-orders through toy sellers, and then just kinda missing their projected release dates. Often by months, with no official acknowledgement. As with so many delayed or cancelled things, Covid is likely to blame, but no one likes waiting in silence for a thing they bought while simultaneously being teased with new things to buy. I have friends who are still waiting for figures that were ordered in 2020, and I’m checking daily for a shipping notification on a figure that was meant to be out in January or February.
When can people buy this NECA American Werewolf in London figure? What will it cost? How big is it? Will other characters from the film appear as figures as well? No one knows, and frankly, I’m not going to hold my breath waiting for more info. You can ask Randy about it, and if he’s had a good breakfast, he might respond.
The main thing this time around is the emphasis on practical effects to realize the wolfman and the wolfman-associated carnage. “There won’t be any CGI in this film,” the campaign page promises. “EVERY EFFECT WILL BE PRACTICAL!! This includes over FOUR transformation scenes: each more horrifying than the last.”
The design and implementation of the werewolf effects are displayed prominently in the campaign video and still images, and I will say, under the copious amounts of glycerine drool, I like what I see.
Walpurgis Night is a “loving tribute and reimagining” of the Waldemar Daninsky story.
A wealthy couple, Imre and Justine, are visiting the deep forests of Romania and find themselves at the mercy of Waldemar Daninsky, THE WEREWOLF. The wolf terrorizes the countryside, killing anyone in its path. But Waldemar desperately seeks a cure to his lycanthropy. After a horrific tragedy strikes, Waldemar and Justine travel to London to seek the help from of Dr. Jekyll’s grandson. But when the full moon rises… The werewolf becomes loose in London! Justine and Jekyll must quickly find a way to end this horrible curse.
The campaign offers the usual range of rewards for backers, from tip jar to a copy of the completed film to a starring role. You can also get a “custom werewolf mask” or a “costume”, but I didn’t see any specifics about what those mean, exactly. Yoder’s a very talented monster maker, though, so I imagine the rewards will be pretty impressive.
I am excited at the prospect of practical effects, especially in the execution of werewolf creature design and transformation scenes. I am less excited that these effects are in service of another “tribute to monster films from the past”. I appreciate that it’s easier to focus on your show-stopping creature effects if you’re dropping them into a story where much of the narrative is ready-made, but I can guarantee that Paul Naschy references are not what most modern werewolf fans are looking for.
Then again, it’s clear from the El Hombre Lobo Kickstarter text that Yoder is a huge Naschy fan, and he firmly believes in the value of modernizing Waldemar Daninsky’s story. This campaign has already reached 115% of its funding goal in its first week, so the promise of “a disturbing new twist” to a story from 50 years ago is certainly appealing to some! I will likely back this for the sake of the creature effects. If you want to jump on board, the campaign will be running until March 17th.
When friend of the site Avery Guerra recently linked me to Bloody Disgusting’s recent post about “Teddy”, my first thought was “wow, that French horror film with the cool poster that I mentioned a few years ago is back in the news!” Gang, I posted about Teddy in January 2020. The pandemic has wrecked my sense of time, and all I can do now is rotate low-polygon models of werewolves in my mind and listen to podcasts.
I digress. That 13-month-old post is still up-to-date in terms of synopsis and background, but “Teddy” has gathered a few more awards and has expanded its marketing a little with twoteasers and a trailer. Its next appearance will be at EFM Berlin, which runs online March 1 – 5. I don’t see it on the screening schedule, but the “Screening Schedule is constantly updated… up until and during the market”, so if you somehow have EFM credentials, keep an eye out.
The trailer is basically a single scene from the film, and it was enough to make me write a second three-paragraph post about a film few people can actually see yet. The dialogue, the awkward characters, the shot composition… it looks like a werewolf movie by way of Napoleon Dynamite, and that makes me happy.
It’s been a while since I posted about my other big werewolf project, Werewolves Versus. I’m happy to announce that its ninth and penultimate issue, Werewolves Versus: Suburbia is now accepting submissions!
We want short stories, artwork, comics, and even songs about lycanthropes mowing lawns and relaxing in backyard pools, shopping in malls and corner stores, living in domestic bliss and sometimes in the reinforced cage in the basement.
The submission window closes June 1st, 2021. To find out how to participate, learn about compensation, or just to see what it’s all about, check out this document.
Werewolves Versus has been going strong since its first issue back in August 2015. Over the span of the series so far it’s showcased over a million words, and dozens upon dozens of images and comic pages by over a hundred creators. Of all the things I’ve worked on in my life, Werewolves Versus is the project I’m most proud of. If you haven’t already, I encourage you to check out the many issues currently available. If you’re a creator who loves werewolves, please consider checking out this call for submissions!
Horror apparel company Cavitycolors is celebrating the 40th anniversary of the classic werewolf horror film The Howling with a new line of licensed clothing. Have you ever dreamed of wearing Eddie Quist on your legs? Now, your dreams can become… reality.
This isn’t a review, because I – Angela – do not review anything anymore, I don’t really care for the whole World of Darkness setting, and I’m so mired in gaming’s yesteryears that I’m currently replaying The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time on my DS. Cyanide’s highly-anticipated action role-playing game is one of those werewolf artifacts that seemingly everyone is excited for, but which is so clearly Not For Me that all I can responsibly do is tell you that it’s out now, and you can buy it. It’s available for Windows, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X, and can be found on Amazon or your preferred digital retailer.
If you would like a review, I can safely point you to this video by Cannot Be Tamed, whose gameplay footage and assessment of the lore and mechanics lines up with the vibe I’d been getting over the past few months.
Would you care for an informed and nuanced editorial assessment of this game and its place in the historically rocky landscape of Werewolf: the Apocalypse video games? Keep an eye out for a guest post by a friend of the site and W:tA veteran. In the meantime, I’ll leave you with this take, which has all the nuance of a grouch (me) posting off the cuff on Discord (which is where it’s from):
It seems unwise to make a game in a lore-heavy setting and cut out all the interesting lore. If you’re going to do that for the sake of making the game more appealing to casual players, I think your best angle is to present the game as one where you get to be a cool scary werewolf who rips shit up. That approach requires that your werewolf have, like, a transformation scene, and combat that feels & looks visceral. You know, the things that might make a werewolf action horror game fun. I don’t see any of that either.