“It was a big f-cking Wolfcop!”
Werewolves don’t get enough credit, and there’s plenty to explore and exploit when it comes to the werewolf genre. While zombie films have saturated the independent and studio market, it’s refreshing to see someone try to do something fun with werewolves. With that comes a higher tolerance for quality, making something like ‘Wolfcop’ an easy watch simply because there’s not a lot of other films like it. And let’s be honest, if you’re watching a film called ‘Wolfcop’, you probably won’t mind that it’s a little rough around the edges.
This low budget Canadian production spends a little too much time with its lore and connecting character histories, which leaves little time for Wolfcop deputy Lou Garou (Leo Fafard), to do as much Wolfcop stuff as I would have liked to see him do. Disappointingly, its not so much about him being a loose canon werewolf cop, but more about a bigger story that unfolds during the handful of werewolf transformations throughout the film, and his role in the occult group that mysteriously occupies the small town of Woodhaven.
“Hey, you got any books on Devil worship?”
The direction and editing can be slightly distracting at times, even though the quick cuts and multiple angles appear to be a failed effort to give the dialog scenes an energy boost they didn’t need. Although the presentation of ‘Wolfcop’ may not be it’s strongest suit, the dialog is often decent enough and the film is really well paced. We get a transformation scene about every 20 minutes, with the film clocking in at a brisk hour and 20 minutes.
The music in the film leaves something to be desired, but the practical effects are really solid and the transformation scenes are great. In fact, the first shot of the first transformation scene in ‘Wolfcop’ may potentially forever be remembered in cinema history as one of the most over the top and hilarious werewolf transformation scenes. Other than that, the transformations are standard fare but the practical fx are really well done by modern independent horror film standards. There are some noticeable CGI fx throughout the film, which does distract and make ‘Wolfcop’ feel a little SyFy Channel-ish at times. Weak CGI is often the norm when watching low-budget horror films, but that still doesn’t mean it’s okay.
I enjoyed my time watching ‘Wolfcop’, as it always kept me waiting to see what would happen after the next transformation scene. Unfortunately, screenwriter and director Lowell Dean seemed to feel the need to craft a large back story for ‘Wolfcop,’ but the story isn’t good enough to make up for the lack of Wolfcop-on-patrol action. Hopefully the (already greenlit) sequel will give us more of Wolfcop serving and protecting since the stage has been set with this first film, but it’s not like anyone needed an intricate back story for someone called “Wolfcop” anyway.
‘Wolfcop’ is an action-horror-comedy, and the comedy aspect can be hit or miss at times, although sidekick Willie (Johnathan Cherry) does a great job of providing much of the comedic relief. There’s also enough dumb wolf puns and nods to werewolves throughout the movie, as well as some great one liners to keep even the scenes that are sans-werewolf light and fun.
Canadians should be proud of ‘Wolfcop’, and although it’s a bit closer to a SyFy original movie than a true throwback film, it’s still a pretty good time and is worthy of standing next to ‘Hobo With A Shotgun’ if you’re in the mood for a modern Canadian exploitation cinema export.
For those interested in checking the film out, here’s the release schedule for ‘Wolfcop’ on home video.
- February 24th, 2015: ‘Wolfcop’ hits VOD on the Xbox Live Marketplace.
- March 10th, 2015: General VOD and DVD release with the Blu-ray only available at Best Buy.
- May 12th, 2015: The Blu-ray will be available at other retailers at this time, including Amazon.