What I'm Watching: WolfCop
Well. That's one heck of a title, eh? Put that one up there with Snakes on a Plane and Hobo With a Shotgun that gleefully declares exactly what it's about and you need to know nothing more about it beyond the title.
Quite frankly, I am a sucker for movies with titles like that. They are just so on the knows, and dripping in fun and winking at the audience, daring us to watch them. Which was exactly the vibe WolfCop gave me, and come on. A cop who turns into a werewolf? I was on board from the word go.
Also, I reviewed a little movie awhile ago called 13 Eerie, that I mostly enjoyed, and I noticed hey! They were both made by the same people! So yeah, I was even more on board with that. Lowell Dean showed he was very genre savvy in that movie, knew the tropes, how to use them and abuse them, and he brings a lot of that same sensibility to WolfCop. So I followed and waited patiently, and finally ordered the DVD as soon as it became available.
Even though y'all know what the movie is kinda about already, allow me my usual plot breakdown. WolfCop follows the adventures of Lou Garou, an absolute loser and boredline failure of a cop. With a very on the nose name, yes. If you know your werewolf lore, you recognise it immediately. And it at once makes me scrunch of my face in pain, and makes me smile, because no one has done it yet.
ANYways, Lou would rather be down at the bar getting drunk than doing any actual work, and fortunately he lives in a nice, quiet town where nothing ever happens. Well, that is, until a mayoral candidate winds up dead in woods one night, the same night Lou was dragged out into the woods and put through some arcane ritual for some equally arcane purposes.
So it falls to Lou to pull his head out of the bottle and find the killers, if for no other reason than to find out what the heck happened to him that night.
As I'm sure you've figured out already, and Lou finds out the next night...he's become a werewolf! And even though he's now a wolf, he remains undeniably Lou, and somehow is arguably even a better Lou, a better cop. And let me tell you, Leo Fafard does a great job as Lou. You absolutely buy this guy as this broken wreck of a man, who lost his father at a young age, knows he's a loser, but still has that spark in his eye when he is at long last called to action, and the only person who CAN act.
I've seen a few reviews talking about how this movie has no plot, but that's okay, because you're here for the fun wolfcoppiness of it all, and quite frankly, that's BS. I mean, yes, we ARE here for the wolves and the blood and the camp and the borderline grindhouse feeling of the movie. However, this movie absolutely does have a plot, and I rather enjoyed it. It's a multilayered mystery. It's not just why is Lou a wolf, it's who made him a wolf, it's WHY they made him a wolf, what this has to do with the town's history, and there's mysteries you don't even KNOW are mysteries until they're revealed. Every time you think the answers are right there in front of you, the movie pulls the rug out from underneath you. It kept me guessing up until the final act, and had at least one major gut punch that I did NOT see coming whatsoever.
The best part of the mystery in this story is just how fair the movie's creators played with the audience. Upon multiple viewings, you see the clues, you see the tiny moments, the costumes, and so many more hints. They knew what they were doing, they set things up, and it wasn't all just shock and awe to swerve the audience. Every beat was laid out before it hit, and it was most satisfying.
All of which isn't to say this is a perfect movie. The cheese factor is pretty high, and that could be a plus, or turn people off. I was all in though, so definitely a plus for me. There were also a few tiny moments of juvenile humour that made me roll my eyes more than anything else, like WolfCop taking a piss on a guy. Yes yes, dogs marking their territory, but that's not how it came off. I also could've done with less wolfdick, but oh well. These were both very brief and a tiny portion of the overall story, but did toss me out of the moment when they occurred.
This movie was made by fans of the genre, clearly, with lots of references, lots of thought behind it, and they spent a lot of time laying the groundwork for some pretty interesting backstory and mythology that's all their own. It's not often that a movie can have a story that clocks in under 80 minutes that so efficiently builds its own universe, and wraps up the story, while leaving that space for more. It leaves you wanting more, but also gives you that whole story, so you don't feel unsatisfied.
And I haven't even touched on the *good* humour yet. This movie is quite funny, with that knowing wink at the audience, and I had more than a few laughs. Also, there's just some plain awesome moments, and cheers did arise. Especially when WolfCop gets his car.
The chemistry between Lou and Willie (Played amazingly by (Jonathan Cherry) is great, and is the heart of the movie. They have such an easy, effortless way about them, and the jokes bouncing from one to the other and back is just spot on.
I absolutely loved WolfCop, and while this movie ain't gonna win any awards, and it's quite cheesy, it is cheesy in all the right ways. This is just a fun, guilty pleasure of a movie, that has a more than a few moments that elevate it even beyond that. Go in with a sense of fun, and expecting just a good, fun time, and you should come out loving this too.
It's called WolfCop for Corman's sake. You know what you're in for the moment you pick up the disc's case. Roll with it, and love it. I came here for the absurdity, and was not disappointed, even getting more of a movie than I expected.
With 13 Eerie and now WolfCop, Lowell Dean has quickly become a creator I will keep my eyes on.