Sunday, February 16, 2014

Werewolves Are NOT the New Zombies

Tyler Hoechlin of MTV's "Teen Wolf"
In the pantheon of Horror archetypes,Werewolf used to rank just below Vampire. Since a little black and white horror movie in 1968, werewolves have been knocked down a peg or two. Obviously, all three are insanely popular in genre TV. MTV's "Teen Wolf" (which I gave up on last season) and SyFy's "Being Human" and their new series "Bitten" prove that. They have been less successful on the big screen, of late. I don't know anyone who actually likes the Underworld movies and don't understand why they keep getting made and Benicio Del Toro's 2010 effort to reinvigorate yet another Universal Monsters franchise (The Wolfman) failed miserably and season one of producer/director Eli Roth's "Hemlock Grove" for Netflicks was a total bore. 

Personally, I can name only two werewolf movies in the last 30 years that were actually up to snuff. The first is director Joe Dante's (Mad Max; Gremlins) almost brilliantly realized 1981 version of Gary Brandner's novel The Howling. Featuring the first real physical werewolf transformation on film (thanks to Rob Bottin) and a very funny script by John Sayles, the movie ultimately fails when Dee Wallace (as a TV reporter) has an on-camera transformation, resulting in something that looks more like an over-sized Pekingese than a vicious killer.

Of course, probably the best werewolf movie ever made is John Landis' An American Werewolf in London. Scary, funny and romantic, Landis' movie set a bar which has yet to be met.

Runners up: Neil Jordan's very dark re-telling of 'Little Red Riding Hood,' The Company of Wolves and Christoph Gans' 2001 Brotherhood of the Wolf

Unfortunately, despite the presence of the eye-candy that is Jason Momoa, the upcoming French-made Wolves doesn't look likely to bring the subgenre back.

Personally... Cats are way scarier (and sexier):

More, anon.

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