Saturday, January 17, 2015

In short: WolfCop (2014)

Right, spoilers.

Every 32 years, there’s weird shit happening in an otherwise sleepy US small town. Alcoholic and worst cop ever Lou Garou (Leo Fafard) has rather a bad time of it, for he finds himself victim of a ritual that turns him into a werewolf. His transformation is part of the ass-backwards plan of the shapeshifting reptile people secretly running the town who snuff werewolf blood harvested at the time of a solar eclipse. To keep things handled as easy as possible, they usually turn the least capable people they can get their hands on into their blood donator werewolves, but in Lou’s case, something – possibly thanks to all the alcohol he’s marinated his innards in – goes very wrong and he turns into some sort of super werewolf who just happens to be a much better – though decapitation-happy – cop than the original human.

But will his stupid wolf powers, his wolf mobile (don’t ask), and the help of the only sane person in town, his decidedly more competent colleague Tina (Amy Matysio), be enough to thwart the shapeshifters’ vague evil plans?

I’m generally not too fond of the whole “instant cult film” approach to filmmaking, but I did find myself somewhat charmed by Lowell Dean’s WolfCop. Probably because it does work as an actual horror comedy and not only as an exercise in ironic winking at its audience (something I generally react to with eye-rolling, annoyed muttering and the shaking of fists). Now, it’s not the deepest of comedies, and not every joke is a hit but I really appreciate how most of the humour here is based on setting up a ridiculous situation and then following it with the appropriate logic, which is to say, the logic of the ridiculous, an approach that does at the very least provide the film with an absurd sort of coherence.

From time to time, the film even hits pay dirt, deserving some hearty chuckles for scenes like our hero’s invention of what I can only call the Wolfmobile, or a wolfman/woman sex scene filmed exactly like you’d have found it in 90s action cinema, just that one of the participants is a werewolf in a sheriff deputy’s uniform. As I said, it’s not deep, but it certainly has its moments. WolfCop also gets bonus brownie points for its pleasant use of Tina, who doesn’t suddenly turn from competent to helpless for the film’s finale so our hero has somebody to rescue; instead there’s a lot of female lead and male lead rescuing each other going on. Mainstream movies could learn something from that.

And if that is not enough to entertain you for 80 minutes, there are many spirited practical gore effects, a wolfman get-up that is as silly as it is expressive, and basically never a dull moment.

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