JANUARY 16, 2008
I’ve just about had it up to here with Lion’s Gate’s blatant false advertising. While the non-zombie movie Rise of the Dead turned out to be so outstandingly fucked up that I was OK with the ruse, I am pretty annoyed that Werewolf: The Devil’s Hound is a goofy comedy and not the “gory and intense” movie the trailer tried to sell it as. Granted, the movie sucks either way, but they can at least sell it as a comedy if that’s what it actually is; I laugh at the notion that someone decides not to rent it because they think it will be too scary for them.
It seems that Connecticut is the bane of my existence. I’ve been in a sort of Cold War with the state for the past decade. The first time I ever drove through it, I got a speeding ticket for going, no lie, 68 in a 65. 240 bucks. A few years later I had a blowout courtesy of a rock in the road, and spent a good hour and a half on the side of the highway (no breakdown lane) waiting for AAA. Last month I was stranded there during a snowstorm and got another ticket for parking on the street during a storm (due to the fact that no off street parking was provided in the area I was in). Their drivers are also particularly bad; I have witnessed several driving 55 in the fast lane only to suddenly dart over 4 lanes to take an exit. So the fact that this movie seemingly revels in its CT origins didn’t help me get over the fact that this werewolf movie was more interested in an Eddie Deezen wannabe “hilariously” breaking props (the movie actually takes place in a movie pyrotechnics workshop) than telling an original story or having any sort of suspense.
Of course, even as a comedy the film is an utter failure, since it’s not funny, at least not to me, a man who doesn’t know the filmmakers or cast. Yes, I got a very strong sense that quite a few of the “comedic” moments are probably only funny to the filmmakers and their friends. I can’t quite explain it, but they just have that feel. They’re certainly not funny, at any rate. Why would a grown man pass the time in his own working location by dressing up as a ghost, running around and jumping off chairs? Why “Kwan with a K” speaking in horrendously matched German accented voice over during the finale? Why is the father kidnapped by UFOs at the end (complete with an anal probe joke – straight out of 1985!)? It’s not funny, it serves no storytelling purpose... it’s just dumb. But I’m sure they think it’s hilarious.
So is there anything positive to say about it? Sure. For an obviously WAY low budget affair, most of the effects (visual or practical) are decent, though the blood looks oddly pink in one scene. And the camerawork, while wholly ripped off from Evil Dead 2 and Shaun of the Dead, is frenetic, making the more boring scenes at least somewhat interesting to watch. Had it been shot on film instead of ugly DV (hopefully a budgetary limitation and not a personal choice) this would actually be a decent looking movie throughout (the script would still be worth less than piss, but hey).
Incidentally, the two funniest moments in the film (to me anyway) were wholly unintentional. In one, our Sam Rockwell-y hero goes to investigate a banging door. This is a horror movie staple, the door is usually an old screen door or something, banging in the wind. But here, the door is in fact a giant metal factory door, and it swings back and forth so unnaturally, I’m surprised they didn’t just show us the rope or guy actually making it move for another “joke”. In the other, a cop is discussing a victim who he believes has been run over, suggesting that the train “might have run her over a couple times”. Did it back up?
There’s only one special feature really, which is about the non-memorable music in the film. I guess if you liked the music it might be interesting. There’s also a commentary track which I shut off after 10 minutes, because it was boring as hell; the most interesting thing they divulged in that time is that the lead actor parted his hair differently in one shot (plus they say that Argento, Carpenter, and Romero were influences; none of which are even remotely apparent). They also claim that the film is part documentary simply because the shooting location really WAS a fireworks factory, but they don’t seem to be joking.
What say you?