WolfCop DVD Review
Written by Richelle Charkot
DVD released by Image Entertainment
Written and directed by Lowell Dean
2014, Region A, 79 minutes, Not Rated
DVD released on March 10th, 2015
Leo Fafard as Wolfcop/Lou Garou
Amy Matysio as Tina
Sarah Lind as Jessica
Corinne Conley as Mayor Bradley
Jonathan Cherry as Willie Higgins
What I find so heartwarming about the horror genre lays directly within any appeal to fiction; the escapism. Oftentimes writers or filmmakers in the genre are equipped with such a childlike fascination of monsters and fantasy that it can only be charming, which is exactly the emotion evoked as one watches Lowell Dean’s WolfCop. This is an unexpectedly fair paced film considering the nature of B-movies going directly for the gore as quickly as possible, with less emphasis on flashy action scenes (although it still has many to speak of), and more emphasis on its narrative. Although the trailers for WolfCop might suggest that this is a plot-hole laden bad movie, yet still equipped with the B-movie suspension of disbelief that frequent viewers have come to accept, it is anything but. This film reads less like a schlock picture and more like a movie adaptation of a twisted hero comic book, and it is well worth the viewing.
Officer Lou Garou is Woodhaven’s worst cop. He spends the majority of his shifts drifting in between drunk and hungover, and generally makes no attempts to get in the way of his type A partner at work, Tina. During one particular night shift, Lou investigates a disturbance at the edge of town, and after blacking out like he is wont to do, he wakes up the next morning with a pentagram carved into his chest, and the sheer inability to shave due to some rapid hair growth. With his newfound lupine abilities, Garou sets out to right the wrongs of the crime ridden Woodhaven, all while trying to figure out who or what cursed him to his new form as half wolf, half cop.
Lowell Dean has written and directed a loveable action film with a compelling story that takes the time to introduce characters and lay out a complete plot, which gives room for sequels and further inclusions into pop culture. But fans of guts and glory can rest assured that WolfCop is still rife with disgusting and realistic practical effects thanks to artist Emersen Ziffle. Being a seasoned watcher of gore, I am always impressed when I find myself wincing yet still laughing at something on screen, and Lou’s first transformation is worthy of just such a reaction. Alongside multiple scenes of violence used as a method of humour, kudos is due for Jonathan Cherry, as he steals every scene as the town oddball, Willie, who follows the WolfCop for the majority of the film. The delivery of his ridiculous dialogue is worthy of multiple moments of honest laughter, and is a great, goofy offset to the stern loser Lou Garou.
WolfCop is very clearly a labour of love by Dean and his crew. While some films of its ilk feel as though they are rushed projects that attempt to piggyback on prior successful bad-for-the-sake-of-bad movies, this film, although still outrageous, is far more carefully executed than its schlocky title suggests.
Video and Audio:
The 1:78:1 widescreen appears slightly darker than expected, as the narrative begs for something bright and graphic. Having seen this film vibrant and bold on the big screen as well as this DVD, the two simply don’t compare.
Dolby Digital 5:1 soundtrack remains even and consistent throughout the duration of the movie.
The film commentary on this disc is with writer/director Lowell Dean and makeup special effects artist Emersen Ziffle. Dean and Ziffle are funny and erudite to listen to. This commentary is a treat for those interested in filmmaking and writing, as it is inspiring to hear someone talk about the beginning seeds of their project while looking at the final draft.
There is a feature called “The Birth of WolfCop”, which is comprised of several small videos that detail CineCoup, how WolfCop was funded. Although the mini-features about CineCoup are perhaps more relevant to Canadian filmmakers, it is interesting to see the film’s progress from beginning to end, and how devoted Dean and his crew were to making WolfCop a reality. Included in the features are the mission videos that were made for the CineCoup campaign, which are funny and charming, making it easy to see why the feature became a success.
There is a WolfCop music video of a song called “Henry” by Rah Rah, which follows a Wolfman and his unexpected love affair with the most beautiful girl at the bar. It is a fun and silly video with the appropriate amount of camp.
The film outtakes are also included, which especially highlight how silly Amy Matysio and Jonathan Cherry got on set between incoherent rambling and playing with a prosthetic penis.
There are several trailers on this disc, including the theatrical trailer, the original concept trailer, the SkyDive promo trailer, and a shout-out from the Trailer Park Boys. The shout-out is definitely worth the watch, as the boys are as abrasive and hilarious as they always are.