Writer/Director Lowell Dean brings a warm and fuzzy sense of nostalgia back to the horror genre with his epic passion project, “WolfCop.”
Lowell Dean re-traces horror to its bloody and practical-effects driven roots with “WolfCop.” The one thing that Dean does so right that other filmmakers within the genre often get so wrong is enabling the were-film to be self-aware. The movie is about an alcoholic dead-beat Cop turned alcohol fueled werewolf with a penchant for a particular brand of tooth and claw peacekeeping… and it knows it!
Influenced by modern masters of film like Sam Raimi and Peter Jackson, it’s no wonder that Dean is able to bring a rich yet self-aware Werewolf film to market and make it work. With homages to “Teen Wolf” and the 1980’s cinematic horror scene as a whole, “WolfCop” will leave you howling with its witty dialogue and gratifyingly grotesque squeam-scenes.
When it comes to casting, the audience could not ask for better. Leo Fafard is “WolfCop.” His look, his mannerisms, his down right dis-regard for anything and anyone makes me ‘lycan’ even more (har har… see what I did there). Judging by his fully immersive performance one would never guess that Fafard is one of the greener cast members. Spending most of his time behind the scenes rather than in-front of the camera, it’s impressive that “WolfCop” is Fafard’s first lead role. In my opinion his performance perfectly blended humor and seriousness, never becoming cloyingly campy.
No law enforcement story is complete without the quintessential partner, and Amy Matysio’s Tina gives us that and so much more. Matysio was definitely a standout in the film bringing the overachieving, sometimes submissive, but always suspicious Tina to life with pinch of mystery and hearty helping of humor. One of the more veteran players, Matysio has flexed her comedic bone before in bigger budget projects such as “Just Friends,” along side Amy Smart, Anna Farris and Ryan Reynolds. Matysio’s comfort on-screen adds to the rich absurdity of Dean’s waggish humor.
Now for the cherry on top, or should I say Jonathan Cherry. No “Wolf… Cop” is complete without a prowling buddy and Cherry’s Willie is just that buddy! Willie is really the standout in terms of infusing a comedic undertone to a rabidly amusing overtone of wolf-rage. A particular barnyard beatdown comes to mind that vividly depicts just that. Let’s just say you’ll lose your head over it… maybe even your face… I’ve already said too much.
Then there is Sarah Lind’s Jessica, the sultry bar tender that would make any man, part wolf or not, howl to the moon and claw for her affection. Lind definitely brings the sexy back with her more-than-meets-the-eye damsel in distress act. Don’t be fooled, she is not just a pretty face for the camera, Lind brings a certain sense of mystery and depth with her seemingly vapid shot slinging bar maiden.
With an one-of-a-kind script and able-minded cast in tow, Dean is able to infuse a strong sense of setting. By employing so many unique details like radio announcers, to political proceedings to off-beat purveyors of fried pastries and libations, Dean is able to not only able to bring this small three officer town to life, but also instill a sense of history all within a 79 minute runtime.
Given the use of practical special effects over CGI and numerous tributes to were-films since past, Dean’s affinity for the 1980’s tongue and cheek horror genre is abundantly apparent. Even with a budget of around One Million Dollars (puts pinky to lip), Dean is able to give audiences a multi-location cinematic piece littered with all the gore and situational humor one can ask for (if not more).
“WolfCop” may be on an indie budget but it delivers with blockbuster sized cinematography, stomach-churning gore and a fresh take on the little things that made many generations of movie-goers love the horror genre in the first place. The limited budget may have been a blessing, because not one shot of “WolfCop” gets wasted. Each transformation scene has it’s own highlights and each battle has its own surprise move, so to speak. Never a dull moment.
I personally watched “WolfCop” two times within 48 hours, and I have to admit that enjoyed it even more the second time around. This movie is riddled with so much fromage-filled nuance that once seen, it cannot be unseen or forgotten. Dean brings the setting to life with a rich and textured landscape for the talented ensemble cast to flex their ferocious funny-bones while delivering delightful squeam scenes time and again.
- Entertainment Value
Lowell Dean re-traces horror to its bloody and practical-effects driven roots with “WolfCop.” The one thing that Dean does so right that other filmmakers within the genre often get so wrong is enabling the were-film to be self-aware. The movie is about an alcoholic dead-beat Cop turned alcohol fueled werewolf with a penchant for a particular brand of tooth and claw peacekeeping... and it knows it! A must see for lovers of horror films both new and old.