New this week on DVD from MVD Visual!
Directed by Bev Land
Written by Bev Land, Michael Mordler
Starring Vanessa Angel, Parker Croft, Rebekah Graf, Jake Lockett, Presley Melson, Gail O’Grady, Kalia Prescott, Alina Puscau, Dania Ramirez, Craig Tate

Always looking for a decent werewolf flick find, I was eager to check out LYCAN from its blood red cover and image of a screaming person who one would assume is changing into a werewolf. But instead of the usual moon-howling toothy and clawed werewolf, LYCAN plays out as a refreshing take on lycanthropy that really screws itself by trying to be hip and trendy.

A group of college journalism students are given a field assignment by their gorgeous teacher (played by Vanessa Angel) to track down a local story and investigate it. While one of the students suggests investigating a wrongly accused man’s case and saving him from death row, he is quickly shut up by the group when they stumble across a curse of a local werewolf sighting. Intrigued, the group decides that is more cooler tale to track down, so they saddle up on horses, pack their gear, and head to the last place the beast was spotted. The group consists of a jock (who smartly brings a gun), the pothead (who brings the weed, the jokes, and roofies), the hot chick and her pledge (who plan on getting laid), the black guy (who forgot his sense of humor and urge to party), and the shy girl Isabella (who brings a whole lot of baggage…the emotional kind, played by Dania Ramirez from X-MEN 3: THE LAST STAND). Soon the group loses their horses and someone or something is killing them one by one. What first looks like an animal attack, the deaths of their group looks to be at the hands of a real live werewolf.

LYCAN is a film that feels more like THE HOWLING than any other film I’ve seen in recent memory as it delves into the animalistic side in all of us. Reminiscent of such vampire films as the recent THE TRANSFIGURATION, MIDNIGHT SON, and even VAMPIRE’S KISS, this is a film about someone who BELIEVES they are a werewolf, though they might not necessarily grow hair everywhere and sprout fangs and claws. I love this concept as it is one that is rarely explored in werewolf films. While I will leave the identity of the killer to be found out by those who dare watch this film, it’s pretty obvious from frame one who the killer is and when the killer shows it’s bone clawed hands (the killer wears claws sort of like Wolverine from the X-Men), things get feral in a potent and gory way.

The acting is decent and there are some pretty funny moments as the campers hate one another as they were randomly chosen for this assignment together. There is gore a plenty and lots of cool werewolf on werewolf/werewolf on human/wolf on human action of the splattery kind. The big fight between two werewolves is pretty epic as well. What isn’t epic is the soundtrack. The film is undercut by a truly awful pop rock soundtrack that does nothing but waste time and distract from the story itself. While this sort of thing was done to much greater effect with Sean Spillaine’s music set to Lucky McKee’s THE WOMAN, here it just distracts as the music is just plain awful from start to finish.

But if you’re able to ignore the bad pop rock music, you’re in for a wolfy good time with LYCAN—a bloody and unique take on werewolves.