“Here comes the fuzz”
Director: Lowell Dean
Cast: Leo Fafard, Amy Matysio, Sarah Lind
Synopsis: As a series of strange and violent events begin to occur, an alcoholic policeman realizes that he has been turned into a werewolf as part of a larger plan.
Even if that exploitation title hadn’t tipped us off, we know that Wolfcop isn’t going to be any ordinary movie when we see its ‘hero’ twice unloading the contents of his stomach in the first twenty minutes. It’s a film aimed at lovers of cheap exploitation which finds it impossible to maintain its straight face for more than half-an-hour, and which would clearly rather explore such bizarre ideas as a werewolf cop taking time out to severely pimp up his patrol car before heading off to ‘kick ass.’ WolfCop is comic book movie-making, but its story is culled from the pages of something like DC’s Midnight Tales comic books rather than any of Stan Lee’s work.
Leo Fafard, who spends more of his time behind the camera as a generator operator than in front of it, gives a decent account of himself as Lou Garou (Geddit? I didn’t. It’s a play on the French word for werewolf, apparently), a small-town cop with a big-time drinking problem, which is why he tends to throw up so often. Lou spends his shifts flirting with barmaid Jessica (the luscious Sarah Lind) in the local bar while he drinks himself half-senseless, and leaves his colleague Tina (Amy Matysio) to shoulder most of the work. He can’t hide in the bar for his entire shift, however, and his long-suffering boss assigns him to investigate complaints of kids playing at satanic rituals in local woodland. After travelling to the woods at night, Lou wakes up in bed the morning after with no recollection of how he got there, and finds the shape of a pentagram carved into his chest. While the first incident might be nothing new, the second definitely is and Lou suffers worrying disjointed flashbacks throughout the day as he investigates the murder of a candidate for the position of local mayor whose body was found in the woods with his throat slashed.
WolfCop isn’t a great movie – it’s not even a particularly good one – but it does have a few things going for it. Fafard is a likably inept hero, and Lowell Dean, who both wrote and directed, at least takes the time to provide him with a believable back story that eventually ties in with the events unfolding on screen. The transformation scenes are surprisingly good for a B-movie. Instead of the remoulding of bone structure to which we’ve grown accustomed since An American Werewolf in London, we see Garou’s skin split apart like the Hulk’s shirt to reveal the wolf within. And, as far as I’m aware, WolfCop can proudly claim to be the first movie to ever show us a man’s penis bulging hideously before sprouting fur as he undergoes his first transformation. It’s a dubious honour, but I’m sure Dean will take what he can get.
Sadly, the film grows increasingly silly after Garou undergoes his first transformation. He’s aided in his investigation into why he’s suddenly become a werewolf by a weak but obligatory ‘eccentric’ sidekick named Willie (Jonathan Cherry), whose wry one-liners are consistently unfunny. As well as the obligatory comic-relief sidekick, there’s the obligatory sex scene which is also probably a first, in that I don’t recall a movie in which a normal human female has willingly participated in the deed with a fully-transformed werewolf. It’s a little disturbing, to be honest, and feels like a semi-desperate attempt to somehow shoehorn a pair of naked breasts into the picture. It also pads out the running time to a near-respectable 79 minutes.
Ultimately, it’s WolfCop’s ultra-low budget that does the greatest harm. Most of the budget seems to have been spent on Lou’s first transformation scene, which is way too good for a movie this cheap, and apart from this scene (and, for some of us, every appearance of the gorgeous Lind) WolfCop is otherwise visually dull. The big joke is that Lou’s a better cop when he’s a werewolf than when he’s a human drunk, but ironically the rest of the movie just isn’t silly enough to blend in with these ‘werewolf cop on the prowl’ scenes.
(Reviewed 1st June 2015)