Director Chad Ferrin recently told Fangoria that he wants to make an old-school werewolf movie that’s like “Sam Peckinpah doing THE THING with a dash of Sergio Corbucci”. That sounds fine to me. But Chad, what sort of a ride will it be? “It will be a bloody, violent, horrific ride through the Old West,” Chad says, “and I will pour my soul into every frame to ensure that it stands proudly amongst my two favorite genres.” Well, great! You sound really excited about this. Can you tell me more about the story? Oh, look, here’s the summary of David Chirchirillo’s script:
“Winter, 1864. William Singer and his young brother Henry, along with four other Confederate POWs, escape from a Union prison camp just outside of Chicago. The ragged band soon find refuge aboard a moving locomotive, only to wake the next morning, the train stopped and the passengers brutally butchered by what appears to have been a wild animal. Trekking through the frozen wasteland, the rebels discover that ‘wild animal’ is no animal at all, but a pack of Native American shapeshifting werewolves with an insatiable hunger for human flesh. Relentlessly tracked by the Union Army, hunted by werewolves, trapped within the bitter cold with no food, no water and nowhere to go, they soon discover the hell they left is nothing compared to the horrors all around them.”
Chad, David, you’ve sold me. I want to see this movie. I will see this movie. What, pray tell, are you calling it?
“Dances With Werewolves”?
Okay, well, I’m still excited, but I’m not going to lie: that is a terrible title, and I really hope you plan to change it. Surely you’ve got backers, executive producers and the like, who really believe in the integrity of your vision. They’ve got to be just as emotionally invested in the project as you are, and they’d want you to choose a title that’s as bad-ass as the premise, right? They care about the art of it. Say, here’s executive producer and Hannover House CEO Eric Parkinson, talking with Bloody-Disgusting. Let’s see what he has to say– I’m sure it’ll be inspirational.
“The legend of Native American warriors transforming themselves into enormously powerful wolves is centuries old, but it’s a concept that for many audiences was only recently re-introduced through the successful ‘Twilight’ series of books and films. We think that screenwriter David Chirchirillo has skillfully crafted a commercial thriller around this legend, and that Rohan, Chad and the entire production team will make a terrific movie from this property.”
In all seriousness, this movie sounds really good, but I hope that 1) they change the title to something that doesn’t evoke images of Kevin Costner in a wolf mascot costume, and 2) people who use terms like “commercial”, “property” and “the successful ‘Twilight’ series” stick to signing cheques and stay the hell away from the creative process.
Allow me to once again recommend High Moon, the ongoing “supernatural shenanigans in the Old West” comic saga by David Gallaher and Steve Ellis. It’s pretty much the top-rated series running on Zuda Comics, and with over 60 pages of excellent art and a creative, engaging story, it shows no signs of slowing down. Check it out!
Summer 2008 is a good time for werewolf comics and graphic novels! The latest one to drop is Strangeways: Murder Moon, written by Matt Maxwell and illustrated by Luis Guaragna. It’s a western, set shortly after the civil war. A plot summary from the Strangeways blog:
It’s 1868, and former army officer Seth Collins seeks to escape the horrors of the Civil War by traveling the frontier. Answering an urgent letter from his estranged sister, Collins finds himself under attack by a strange creature that is neither man nor wolf. When his friend and partner Webster is accused of being the beast, Collins must track down the real threat. But which will kill him first: the Wolf, or the secret that the sheriff of Silver Hand is trying to keep buried?
If you’re interested, you can meet the werewolf and check out the effectively grungy and dark art style in this free PDF preview of chapter one.