Wednesday, April 1, 2015

I saw Wolfcop...

Lowell Dean has accomplished what many writer/directors have tried in vain: concoct a genuine cult movie. Though "Wolfcop'"s status is yet in its infancy, the current consensus seems to confirm that this will be one to remember (and revisit) in years to come.

The film succeeds, in one sense, because it doesn't try to be anything more than it is: a horror comedy with superheroic garnish. Also, despite its obvious absurdity, "Wolfcop" weaves a well constructed tale of redemption and rebirth. 

The story focuses on a hapless deputy named Lou Garou, portrayed by Leo Fafard. Garou is alcoholic and as such, often lax in his duties, but in a general way, he's a likable gent and perhaps if not for his immoral confines, he'd become something more than he is. As it stands, he just needs to embrace the proper cause and it seems, some mystical persuasion to pursue it. 

Most of Woodhaven's citizens are lax and self-centered. The mayor (Corinne Conley) appears content to let crime flourish, and the sheriff (Aidan Devine) acts less than insightful; while an enigmatic, meth-pushing kingpin (Jesse Moss) consistently dispatches his henchmen, the Pinkies (who don sinister pig masks) to rob local businesses. 

On the surface, Garou's partner, Tina Walsh (Amy Matysio) is decent to him, as is his pal, Willie Higgins (Jonathan Cherry). Even the attractive barmaid, Jessica (Sarah Lind) offers flirtatious support, at least at first, but as the story unfolds, Garou learns that nothing is as it seems, and alas, some folks aren't as trustworthy as he's believed. 

Garou's misadventure begins when he's ordered to investigate some alleged shenanigans in the woods, only then to find the mayor's competitor (Ryland Alexander) slaughtered. Garou is knocked unconscious and awakes at home with a pentagram carved into his chest. It appears he's been chosen for transformation by a shape-shifting, saurian sect, which plans to use his altered blood to ensure its metamorphic longevity.

Gorou's transformation not only wakens his bestial side, but a righteous one, as well. Sure, he still drinks profusely and devours an overabundance of donuts, but these vices only act as beneficial flaws toward making him a monstrous, crime-fighting machine.

In RoboCop/Savage Dragon/Toxic Avenger style, he starts to clean up Woodhaven and in doing so, discovers the source of the corruption and faces it head on, in a feisty lunar-eclipse showdown, which like the melees that come prior, oozes of over-the-top violence and gore. 

Emersen Liffle's effects are top-notch, as is the werewolf design, which makes Wolfcop's fuzzy persona reminiscent of X-Men's Beast. 

Actually, DC or Marvel would be wise to publish a comic-book adaptation of the film. (Heck, Wolfcop even has his own Wolf-moblie, and if that doesn't make him an official superhero, I don't know what does.) Nonetheless, to be faithful to the source, a paneled adaptation should be adult-oriented, since "Wolfcop" is as sexually charged (albeit in a goofy way) as it is gruesome. 

Even if the latter doesn't happen, we're promised a sequel at film's end, and if it goes over as well as this initial entry, it looks like we're set for a low-budget franchise: not a half-bad prospect in my book. Unleash a hardy howl at the moon, folks! Looks like we're witnessing pop-cultural history in the making!

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