Fantasia Review: WOLFCOP

9912357Canada has been cranking out some impressive horror films lately, and WOLFCOP is no exception.  In a genre over-saturated with zombies and found footage, it was a refreshing change of pace for an independent horror film to channel one of the most treasured subgenres; werewolf flicks.  The title alone lets audiences know that they’re in for an hour and a half of horror/comedy fun, but it also led me to assume the film was going to be a lot campier than it actually is.  My brain immediately thought this was going to be the love-child of PRESIDENT WOLFMAN and BIO-COP.  Pair that with the marketing campaign of the bright 80s font, and I was prepared for a rip-roaring good time.  While WOLFCOP is not nearly as campy as I had anticipated, it’s still a really fun experience.

Written and directed by Lowell Dean, WOLFCOP tells the story of alcoholic cop Lou Garou and his series of drunken black outs.  While it’s somewhat customary for Lou to wake up in unfamiliar surroundings as a result of his drunken adventures, he recently has found himself in a rather strange predicament.  After investigating a disturbance on a night shift, Lou finds himself the victim of some sort of occultist ritual.  The next morning he finds his senses are heightened, the crime scenes he’s investigating are feeling a little too familiar, and full moons are transforming him into a rabid werewolf.  Juggling his duty to serve and protect while maintaining his wolf outs a secret, Lou Garou is forced to either marry his two worlds…or risk letting it destroy him.

Admittedly, I was a little disappointed that WOLFCOP wasn’t the tongue-in-cheek comedy I wanted it to be, but that doesn’t mean I didn’t enjoy myself.  My only hang up is that it took WOLFCOP a little too long to get to where it truly shined, but when it got there, it really delivered.  The camera work reminded me of a glossier version of the late-night films they used to play on Cinemax, and I’m paying that comparison as a compliment.  Nothing about WOLFCOP felt like a summer blockbuster, and it made it all the more enjoyable.  Story wise, there’s nothing monumentally new about the concept, but Lowell is pretty damn creative with his werewolf mythos.  While nothing ever made me laugh out loud, a good amount of the jokes made me breathe heavily out of my nose on more than one occasion.  The actors are decent enough and I absolutely loved the casting of Jesse Moss (GINGER SNAPS) as the gang leader, but I’m not sure if Leo Fafard had the physical comedic strength to pull off the Wolf Cop’s monster suit.  He wasn’t bad by any means, but monster suits aren’t easy to perform in so I applaud Fafard’s efforts.  Speaking of the monster suit, Emersen Ziffle’s creation is a thing of beauty.  A fully practical werewolf transformation with a practical non-CGI werewolf was not only impressive, but superbly crafted.  A lot of independent filmmakers avoid the werewolf subgenre because they fear creating the transformation, but WOLFCOP‘s transformation reminded me of a less sexy TRICK ‘R TREAT transformation, but without any digitizing.  The practical fx are more than worth the price of a DVD or VOD rental alone.WOLFCOP also successfully mocks a lot of small town culture without ever winking at the camera.  Whether it’s the town’s yearly “Drink ‘N Shoot” event or the chain of mini-marts called “Liquor Donuts,” these obvious jokes are played straight by everyone involved and it makes it that much funnier.  That alone is a sign of an excellent director.  CineCoup recently announced a sequel was in the works and I’m hoping the balls-out awesomeness of the film’s final 1/3rd will roll over into the entirety of the sequel.  Ultimately, WOLFCOP is a hell of a fun time and hopefully will send more work Lowell Dean’s way.

 

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  1. […] wonderful readers. Lowell Dean’s hilarious and VERY entertaining film just hit DVD/Bluray (review) and what better way to get you fright fanatics excited to check it out, than two interviews, one […]



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