On March 10th, Anchor Bay released a new Blu-Ray of one of the oddest films of 2014. Let’s take a look at WolfCop on Blu-Ray.
It’s not unusual for alcoholic cop Lou Garou to black out and wake up in unfamiliar surroundings, but lately things have taken a strange turn. Crime scenes seem oddly familiar. Lou’s senses are heightened, and when the full moon is out, he’s a rage-fueled werewolf. WOLFCOP is one cop’s quest to become a better man…One transformation at a time. At least that’s what Anchor Bay says.
I would say that WolfCop is like if Joe Dante & Tarantino got together to make Teen Wolf. That should give you the best understanding of what this ride is going to give you. From the outset, it looks to be your typical low budget horror film. The cinematography is not the same as the usual Hollywood fare, the editing could be tweaked here and there and some of the supporting performances are at times stilted, but who cares? This is a balls-out kind of movie.
If you go into WolfCop expecting to see the latest opus from some slick Hollywood team, you are in for a rude awakening. This is not one of those films, nor should it try to be. Instead you see the seams and frayed bits around the edges as you watch minute by minute. This rawness adds to the overall love of the project. You can see from every moment of this film that the production has put their soul into making the best damn movie they can. All of which is centered around star Leo Fafard in the title role. When human, he goes by the equally awesome name of Deputy Lou Garou. Even the his name is joke. I love it. Fafard is excellent in conveying the shitty life Lou has in Woodhaven. All he does is drink and get laid while coasting through his day to day life in the small town. He goes out to the woods one night to look into a disturbance call and much to his disbelief, is turned into a werewolf. However unlike the Universal classic The Wolf Man, Lou doesn’t just mope around. Instead he embraces the change and becomes a better cop. What’s not to love?
Writer/Director Lowell Dean makes his film his way, crafting a vision for these characters that revels in it’s own unabashed gore and humour. It harkens back to the horror films of the 70’s & 80’s when they still had fun along with the gore. One of the things missing from the current crop of horror films is the mix of comedy with the gore. I’m not talking about Shaun of the Dead, which was a comedy first with horror added to it. I’m talking films like the other recent Anchor Bay film Housebound or like the classic Nightmare on Elm Street series. Making movies that told horrific, gory stories but were not without comedy to make them work.
Look back at Joe Dante’s Gremlins, which most people view as a kids’ movie today. Back when it came out, it played the gore and frights for all they were worth and it worked. Films like Fright Night and Lost Boys are other great examples. You get what I’m saying. These films have been missing since those golden years of the 80’s. I really hope this is an area that Dean continues to explore as he moves forward with his career. At the end of the film, they do make a nice nod to the past by having a title card that says look for WolfCop II coming 2015. Whether it happens or not is anyone’s guess but I really hope it does. I want to see more of this world.
The disc itself is a pleasant surprise after the last few releases on Blu-ray from Anchor Bay. Here we are treated to a nice selection of extras for the film. There’s a commentary track with director Lowell Dean and special effects artist Emersen Ziffle. It’s very cool to have some thoughts from the guy who made the practical effects for the film. It also includes a Behind the Scenes featurette, music video, outtakes, trailers and The Birth of WolfCop. That’s a pretty decent set of extras for a low budget indie film, all of which are fun and entertaining to check out.
The transfer itself looks pretty clean with most of my concerns coming from looks to be how the film was shot and not the transfer itself. It’s more of an issue with new technology rather than anything else. It’s hard to not see the digital cameras at work without doing significant post processing. Still the colours look great as do the blacks in most of the film. The sound was coming through a Dolby TrueHD 5.1 spec giving it a nice audibility throughout.
Overall the disc presentation is quite nice and worth the price. My only complaint with the packaging is that I wish they had chosen to use the original artwork for the cover instead of another photoshop image. Still, it has a solid polished look to the case.
Obviously I liked WolfCop and will recommend it to anyone who asks. Sure, some people may balk at the campy nature of the the horror/comedy elements, but they are wrong. This is quite a smartly put together little film that deserves to be seen. It’s in stores now, so go get a copy and enjoy the ridiculous adventures of a half man, half wolf that is all cop!
Rating: BUY IT!
If you’re gonna geek out, GEEK HARD!