I’m almost sure the werewolf comedy is a really small sub-genre. The only movies that come to mind is, first and foremost, Teen Wolf (1985) and then its sequel Teen Wolf Too (1987). I cannot think of any others, well, not until last night when I saw Wolfcop, so that makes three.
The first trailer they ever released didn’t do a damn thing for me, in fact it made the movie look really unwatchable, then months later a second one was released that it made it look just the opposite, but that’s what any good trailer will do, it’ll make any movie look awesome. Wolfcop spent last year playing at film festivals and most of the fanfare I read seemed pretty positive, which is most likely what got me to want to review it when it finally hit disc, and even though I had doubts about it, this flick totally surprised me.
It’s very rare when you find a movie trailer that doesn’t give away everything. From what I had seen previously seen my assumption on how this flick was going to play out was like this: man wondering in woods gets bit by a werewolf, man becomes a werewolf and since he’s also a cop comedy and bloody tragedy ensue. Half of that assumption was right, the latter half, but there were actually plot twists and characters twists I did not see coming, again all thanks to a couple of trailers that kept you assuming one thing when it was really something else. Bravo, I say, for keeping all that under wraps
And it all starts off with the opening credits that shows a montage of occult symbols and what you later find out is a moment from the past when these three, strange, archaically garbed figures are hunting someone down in the winter woods of Canada. More weird images; a ritual, perhaps; that man they were hunting becomes a werewolf and then he’s killed, or something. After those opening credits I had this feeling this was a movie I was going to severely like. I mean, to already be getting hit with the what-the-fuck bug? You can’t see me but I’m nodding my head in approval.
Leo Fafard plays officer Lou Garou . . . incidentally I can think of one other movie where that tip-of-the-hat-to-werewolf-mythology name, loup garou (French term for werewolf), is used. Full Eclipse (1993), another movie about werewolf cops, but one that isn’t a comedy and Bruce Payne plays the shape-shifting baddie, Adam Garou. Lou Garou is a drunk, he doesn’t take his police work seriously, and likes to spend as much time as possible at the local bar, the Tooth & Nail, lubricating his innards and if luck should have it, picking up a chick to take home. He kind of has a buddy, Willie Higgins (Jonathan Cherry), and he runs the local gun shop. Willie’s also into “weird stuff” like UFO’s, Bigfoot, etc. As of late he’s been having trouble with a bunch of teens fucking around in the woods at night behind the shop. Lou’s sent in to investigate and finds an occult symbol on a tree and a future politician hanging upside down and bleeding to death. Lou is knocked unconscious but we see split second signs some kind of ceremony took place. He then wakes up in his bed the next morning with a pentagram carved on his chest.
One of the things I liked about this flick was it didn’t take a bite from another werewolf to turn Garou into one. He was turned by this occult ceremony. As the story unfolds we learn there are these other creatures in existence, other shape-shifters who routinely use werewolf blood to keep themselves immortal but to get it they need to transform some poor bastard into a lycan, then terminally milk the fucker of his life fluid, where they snort it like cocaine.
Was Lou simply in the wrong place at the wrong time? One could think that until we find out Lou was ten when his police officer father went missing in the woods 32 years prior (remember the opening credits), yeah, he was turned and milked and now it’s just Lou’s turn, I guess, but this ceremony has to happen at the peak of this solar eclipse. The “milking,” I mean.
This movie gets real fun once Lou becomes a lycanthrope and his first transformation in the men’s room of the bar is a doozy. His dick is the first thing to go as he’s taking a piss. It starts shooting out blood, then the pain hits him, his dick bloats up and BAM! out pops a hairy wolf schlong. This is the third film I’ve seen where the dude doesn’t technically transform but more or less sheds his skin. The Company Of Wolves (1984) started this, and the skin shedding theme continues in the more recent Late Phases (2014), and now Wolfcop. I’m going to guess when you’re doing a low budget werewolf movie it’s probably extremely cost effective if the dude shed’s his skin rather than actually transforms. I’m all right with that since it gives the werewolf a creepy insect-like vibe.
The wolfman and the gore FX are really good. Yeah, there’s a healthy amount of gore courtesy of the Wolfcop, and an homage to a scene in Robocop (1987), where Murphy single-handedly destroys a drug den (intentional or unintentional, can’t tell at the moment, since I have yet to listen to the commentary), here Lou, in wolf form, busts up his town’s local drug den situated in a barn on the outskirts of town. After customizing his squad car, he crashes it into the barn and proceeds to dismember and tear the faces off of anyone who comes within reach while goons futilely pump non-silver bullets into him.
Jesse Moss plays the head shape-shifting bad guy. Another homage I will assume to werewolf cinema. He was Jason in Ginger Snaps (2000), the only victim of lycanthrope that got cured in that flick.
Amy Matsyio plays Tina a co-worker of Lou’s who’s just the opposite. She makes employee of the month every month. And Sarah Lind plays Jessica, the bartender at Lou’s favorite drinking hole, who also mysteriously lost a parent 32 years ago; she’s also a temporary love interest.
Image Entertainment streeted the DVD of Wolfcop back on March 10th, but the blu-ray isn’t scheduled to go wide here in the states until May 12th. If you can’t wait you can get it now from Best Buy (as it’s being marketed as a BB exclusive) and at Amazon Canada.
- Wolfcop Unleashed: Behind The Scenes Featurette (45:56)
- The Birth Of Wolfcop: Cinecoup—Year In Review (1:16); Cinecoup—Cineplex Promo (:54); Mission Videos 1-6 (#1—1:56, #2—2:07; #3—1:22, #4—1:35, #5—2:02, #6—3:04); Cinecoup—Banff Be Brave—Final Reveal (1:52)
- Film Outtakes (3:11)
- Film commentary with write/director, Lowell Dean and special effects artist, Emerson Ziffle
- Wolfcop Music Video (2:50)
- Trailers (4 of them)
- Special Thanks (1:01)
The best extras on here are the Wolfcop Unleashed doc, the commentary and the Film Outtakes. In Unleashed you’ll find all you need to know about the gestation, the filming and the filming of a human schlong transforming into a wolf schlong. There’s a scene in the outtakes that takes that whole schlong business to new heights when Tina finds Lou’s shed junk in the men’s room and adlibs a bunch of lines. Best one, “This is nuts,” as she holds it up for him to see. That scene should have been kept in. Director Lowell Dean does joke about a director’s cut.
The Birth Of Wolfcop covers how the movie got funded, which was through Canada’s Cinecoup contest. If you’re familiar with Project Greenlight here in the states, Cinecoup is kind of like that and these extras shows how Dean ended up taking home the top prize and thus getting his flick funded.
So if you in the mood to watch a movie about werewolf cops, seek out this one and the afroementioned Full Eclipse (1993), you’ll have a double barrel buttload of fun with these wolf boys in blue.