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WOLFCOP (2014)

Directed by Lowell Dean
Written by Lowell Dean
Starring Leo Fafard, Amy Matysio, Jonathan Cherry, Sarah Lind, Aidan Devine, Corinne Conley, Jesse Moss, James Whittingham, Ryland Alexander
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Much has been said by myself and others at this site leading up to the release of WOLFCOP. For me, every pic and clip I saw from the film looked altogether fun and cool. But you never know. Having not seen the film, I could have been the victim of a coolly edited trailer and precise pics and it wouldn’t be the first time I was fooled by an ad campaign that a movie was better than it actually was. When I had a chance to see WOLFCOP over the weekend, I approached with caution, having been burned before, but with hope that it would be as cool as it seemed.

I’m so happy to report that I wasn’t disappointed. WOLFCOP is not the scariest of films. It’s not the best acted or best directed, though those are pretty strong and evidence that writer/director Lowell Dean knows how to work within budgetary parameters as well as stretch the dollar in areas worth stretching. But what WOLFCOP is is fun, through and through.

Reminiscent of HOBO WITH A SHOTGUN, which has a title that is not only fun but a film that delivers that fun, WOLFCOP backs the fun truck up and unloads. Beginning with a likable loser of a star in Lou (Leo Fafard), a down and out police deputy drunk more than he is sober and barely clinging to his job, the story follows Lou as he discovers the existence of a cult and falls victim to their witchy rituals, finding himself cursed with the mark of the beast and forced to get all wolfy as the moon grows full (which in this film seems to happen around 10:01PM). But though Lou’s wolfy state is monstrous, it’s only the tip of the iceberg in seedy and evil behavior that is spreading in his small town. It’s up to Wolfcop and his plucky fellow officer Tina (the beautiful Amy Matysio, who recently was seen in space with Christian Slater in the sci fi snoozer STRANDED) to take on the scores of baddies.

The cast of WOLFCOP, though made of relative unknowns, is solid. Leo Fafard is great as the drunken cop who seems to be fueled by alcohol. His sunken eyes and lackadaisical posture suggests a cop on his last leg. While not a lot of explanation went into why Lou has staggered down this path bathed in booze, his immediate reaction and sudden acceptance of the curse is pretty fun to see. Stronger here is Matysio as Tina, Lou’s fellow police officer. She is the brains and experience on the unit, picking up the slack often left by Lou and surprised at his new lease on life once the curse takes hold.

But with this being a werewolf movie, let’s get down to what’s important—the effects. And the effects in WOLFCOP are spectacular. The spectacle of the transformation is always an important factor in every werewolf film. Here, they choose to go the route where Lou actually tears through his skin in order to transform. It’s a gory mess with lots of tearing flesh, oozing, pussing, and gore everywhere. The furry appendages actually burst through the skin as it melts away in clumps. It’s no AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON, but it is memorable and somewhat different (especially with the shit CG werewolves we’ve been getting lately). The carnage Wolfcop lets loose is also impressive and limps are lopped off, claws slice through flesh like tissue paper, and in the most memorable scene, a man’s face is ripped off and he runs around as a screaming skull until he bleeds out. All of these effects appear to be pretty practical and well done.

If there’s a silver bullet weakening WOLFCOP it’s the rather generic villains who end up getting more interesting towards the end, but so much time is spent having Wolfcop getting used to his transformation (and then more time is dedicated to a gratuitous and hilarious lovemaking scene) that the villains feel rather cardboard in the end. I also think more time could have been dedicated to Wolfcop’s initial crawl into the bottle and why that is. But as I said before, the real focus here is the transformation into the wolf, so there’s not a lot of time left for these details.

But what we get is a whole lot of fun. From the goofy yet cool Wolfcopmobile to the outstanding effects to some pretty fancy character work from the leads, WOLFCOP is a film too fun to miss and should please folks who like a little humor injected into their classic horror tropes.

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