Saturday, November 26, 2011

Werewolf Week: War Wolves

Either make an art film or make a werewolf movie!  You could argue that many good Directors- i.e. John Landis, Joe Dante- can mix in other aspects like humor and satire into a werewolf movie with success.  However, crappy Directors- i.e. Michael Worth- cannot.  Today's film is War Wolves, a movie I watched nearly a year or so ago and gave up on.  Why?  Well, it's pretty damn boring, especially when you consider it's a film about soldiers turned into werewolves who are hunted by former soldiers.  Worth- who also stars- manages to suck all of the energy out of this idea, but tries to cover it with artsy crap.  I'll get into more of that later, but I'd rather talk about the 'stars' of the film.  No doubt to help funding, the movie features a bunch of C-List actors who at one point were quite famous.  Adrienne Barbeau, John Saxon, Martin Kove, Art LaFleur and Tim Thomerson are all here, albeit in fairly-small roles.  Their appearances here are usually the best parts of the film, although it's not saying much.  To see why it took me two tries to endure this movie, read on...
To really sink things in, this movie begins with a quote from the Bible.  There's nothing wrong with the quote, but it's used in such a pretentious way here!
After a little 'get to know them' filler, the group of soldiers go into a village and get attacked by Werewolves.  Did I say Werewolves?  They're basically just Rage-Virus Zombies, but I guess that's close enough for the movie.
In one of her few scenes, Barbeau plays a Counselor helping our hero/Director deal with his PTSD.  The fact that he's slowly turning into a Lycanthrope doesn't help.  Oh yeah, she is obsessed with conspiracy theories, aliens and Bigfoot.  Sigh.
Our hero ends up in the sights of two former soldiers (Thomerson and Saxon) who are trying to stop all of the people turned that day.  They're missing the pack of three female Werewolves, but let's focus all of our screen time on the Director instead!
In the scene that really killed me, one of the lady Werewolves is run over and her body taken to a bar.  She's naked, but the film never gives you the slightest glimpse of her, even when she's killing everyone along with her pack.  Why make this scene then?!?
We get a Trancers reunion of sort when Art LaFleur shows up as one of the people in the support group.  Him and Tim share only one quick scene together, rendering his whole part- entirely-pointless.
All of this- eventually- builds up to a finale of sorts back at the Church where the counseling group meets.  Thanks, TV Movie budget!  Speaking of which...
Yeah, these make-up jobs are hysterical!  Why can't they be in the movie more often?  Because you might actually enjoy it- duh!
In The End, a bunch of people die and our hero embraces his animal side...or something.  All I know is that John Saxon narrates while they show us two Wolves leave across the desert.  Hurray?  Boo?  The End.
Wake me up when someone transforms!  The plot of this movie is one that should work.  As you may have inferred from my intro, it does not.  The movie put me to sleep at least twice.  Who needs Ambien when you have...a Werewolf movie?  How surprising is that?!?  This movie features no real Werewolf action, terrible pacing and just continuous bouts of randomness.  For example, Tim's character is always making Lists- what a weirdo- and making small-talk with people.  Throw in the bizarre scenes of the counseling group, Barbeau's conspiracy theories and you've got some weird-ass shit.  The thing is that none of these things are really funny, no matter how insistent they are.  This all serves to fill up time that could be used for real action and character development.  This movie is just dull and pointless.  Is there a message?  Maybe, but good luck digging it out. Is there any actual transformation?  No.  For all my complaints about Howling V's lack of on-screen action, we at least got flashes of a full suit.  This movie- a bunch of people with silly noses on.  What a shame!
Up next, November comes to an end with a three-part look at the works of Russell Mulcahy.  First up, an HBO version of Cape Fear, only with gaping plot holes, Jesse Ventura and, of course, sword-fighting.  Stay tuned...

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