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.
In retrospect, I probably should have saved The Wolf of Snow Hollow for this month’s Snow Moon, but there’s enough snow in the Colorado-set Lone Wolf to pick up the slack. Released at the end of a decade that delivered a bumper crop of iconic werewolf movies, it’s a film made with a great deal of enthusiasm, if not a lot of skill, with most of the supporting players delivering broad, community theater-level performances and the leads running the gamut from robotic to wildly overacting.
The premise is that the town of Fairview has been beset by a rash of gruesome killings that the police have blamed on a pack of wild dogs, but the viewer knows it’s a werewolf from the start. Right after the cheap-looking opening titles, there’s a scene of a couple making out in a car on a wintry night that ends with the guy (who’s drunk, so he has it coming to him) going off in a huff and being slaughtered by a monster that gets an extreme close-up so there’s no doubt whatsoever about its existence. The girl who left him out in the cold, by the way, is Julie (first-billed Dyann Brown), who doesn’t find out the fate of her would-be paramour until the Neighborhood Watch meeting that’s crashed by his distraught father. “How could a pack of wild dogs do this?” he wails, and top cop Sgt. Patrickson (James Ault) doesn’t have a good answer because there have been two other, equally baffling killings in the interim and he’s done little more than berate detective Cominski (Michael Parker) over his inability to get to the bottom of things.
One of the characters screenwriter Michael Krueger presents as a potential suspect is recent Chicago transplant Eddie (Jamie Newcomb), the lead singer of an unnamed bar band that performs hard-rocking songs with generic titles like “Let It Rock,” “Rock You All Night,” and “Raised on Rock ‘n’ Roll,” but the most germane one is “Misunderstood” because Eddie sure is. Since his parents were mysteriously killed, he’s moved in with his Aunt Trudy and Uncle Jack, who browbeat him for staying out late, violating his parole, and not going to school where he’s taking a course in computer programming along with every other major character. These include put-upon nerd Joel (Kevin Hart — no, not that one), stuck-up mean girl Deirdre (Ann Douglas), and her eye-rolling sidekick Colleen (Siren), plus the sundry ski-jacketed preppies who periodically have their throats torn out.
As suddenly as the attacks start, though, they cease for an entire month, after which Joel uses his ace computer-modeling skills (“We’re not talking another WarGames here, are we?” Julie asks when he proposes hacking into the police department’s computer) to figure out that they all coincide with the full moon. This can lead to the only one conclusion and it’s one he takes seriously enough to melt down his father’s silver sports trophies to make silver bullets off-screen. (“Hey, look,” he quips. “This isn’t Michael J. Fox we’re dealing with here.”) Meanwhile, Eddie is less than heartbroken when Uncle Jack has his heart ripped out, one of many gruesome practical effects the film is littered with. By the time director John Callas gets around to his big transformation scene, though (after limiting sightings of the werewolf to half-second inserts during its attacks), all this does is reveal just how rubbery it is. Conversely, the most effective scenes are the ones where we only see the creature’s shadow as it creeps up walls and looms in the background. Definitely a case where less would have been more.
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.
Eight for Silver is a new film written and directed by Sean Ellis. Described in its promo material as a “gruesome gothic spin on werewolf lore”, word from friends and reviewers is that it may be that rarest of creatures: a werewolf movie… with an actual, cool-looking werewolf… that’s also a good movie.
In the late nineteenth century, brutal land baron Seamus Laurent (Alistair Petrie) slaughters a Roma clan, unleashing a curse on his family and village. In the days that follow, the townspeople are plagued by nightmares, Seamus’s son Edward (Max Mackintosh) goes missing, and a boy is found murdered. The locals suspect a wild animal, but visiting pathologist John McBride (Boyd Holbrook) warns of a more sinister presence lurking in the woods.
Unfortunately, I have not seen Eight for Silver (other than a few screengrabs and a story synopsis provided in private by a friend), and as of this post, there’s no way for anyone else in the public to see it, either. It premiered at the 2021 Sundance Film Festival, where it was on the schedule for a mere two screenings, accessible only to American audiences with $15 and the ability to sit down and watch the stream at the appointed time. There appears to be no press material other than what’s on the Sundance page – not even a trailer or poster. That it’s made such an impact on Werewolf Twitter despite the narrow window of visibility says much about its qualities!
I hope it picks up some awards and a North American distributor so those of us without a time machine and a VPN can buy or rent it. I complain a lot about the dearth of decent werewolf films, and I’m looking forward to supporting the seemingly great ones when they come along.
If you saw one of the screenings – or if you didn’t but you don’t care about some moderate spoilers – this 30-minute Q&A with Ellis, Alistair Petrie, and Kelly Reilly is worth a watch. Topics include the design decisions behind the werewolf, the decision to go with practical effects, the lucky breaks with location, English accents, film influences, nursery rhymes, and “why weren’t the werewolves hot?”
January brings with it the Wolf Moon, so it’s appropriate that this month’s Full Moon Feature is The Wolf of Snow Hollow, which is set in a Utah ski resort town experiencing a sudden upswing in what appear to be werewolf attacks. (The subject gets danced around at first, but once the w-word is invoked 28 minutes in, it’s never far from anyone’s lips.) As if that wasn’t bad enough, Snow Hollow’s sheriff (played by Robert Forster in his final screen role) is in his “last quarter” due to a heart murmur, which the department is trying to keep the public in the dark about, and his son is feeling the stress of being his heir apparent, which is bad news for the hard-won sobriety he’s all but guaranteed to lose before all is said and done.
Following the standard introduction of a couple of vacationing city slickers renting a cabin in the woods only for one of them to be horrifically mutilated by something off-screen that leaves a giant paw print behind in the fresh snow, writer/director Jim Cummings goes about introducing his protagonist, John Marshall (who happens to be played by Cummings), leading an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting. “If you can just focus and not let the monsters inside of you come out, if you can just concentrate on the 12 Steps,” he says shortly before losing his concentration and trailing off, a signal that he’s a man with a lot on his plate. In addition to keeping his father’s failing health under wraps, John is also taking charge of his college-bound daughter and worrying about the onset of ski season, the sole reason for Snow Hollow’s existence. (The Wolf of Snow Hollow takes place around Christmas, but this amounts to little more than window dressing.) As the unsolved murders pile up, though, and John becomes an unwelcome presence at successive funeral services, his grip on the situation and his sanity rapidly unravels.
All in all, this is not a bad set-up for a werewolf story, and Forster lends gravity to the role of the ailing sheriff, giving Cummings someone solid to play off of. The problem is most of the time Cummings’s performance is overwrought, his character’s hair-trigger temper causing him to mistake shouting at the top of his lungs and throwing things at people for shows of strength. Cummings also intercuts his werewolf attacks with the subsequent investigations, which catch John at his most frazzled and disorganized. Next to him, Riki Lindhome’s patient detective looks like Snow Hollow’s most capable and dependable law enforcement officer by default.
I’m probably making The Wolf of Snow Hollow sound worse than it is, but I’d be more inclined to give it a break if Cummings had a better handle on the mystery aspect. Since he tips his hand early on by showing the second attack being carried out by a hulking wolf creature, the only question that remains is who the monster is when there isn’t a full moon out, and one obvious red herring aside, the viewer isn’t presented with any likely (or even unlikely) suspects. And when John does show up on the killer’s doorstep, the realization that Cummings has lifted his climax straight out of The Silence of the Lambs doesn’t make it go down any easier.