Tuesday, June 17, 2014

WolfCop: Here Comes the Fuzz!

Lou Garou (Leo Fafard) is a small town cop who drinks too much and hasn't taken his job seriously in years. Instead of patrolling the streets, he spends most of his time at the Tooth & Nail, boozing it up while flirting with the bartender (Sarah Lind). Thanks to Lou's indifference, thugs and drug dealers essentially have free rein, despite the best efforts of his overachieving coworker (Amy Matysio).

After investigating a routine call to break up a party in the woods, Lou wakes up the next morning with no recollection of what happened afterwards--and discovers that a pentagram has been carved into his chest. With the help of his friend Willie (Jonathan Cherry), Lou tries to piece together the events of that fateful night.

Turns out he's become an unwitting pawn in a secret occult ritual that has taken place every thirty-two years. And under the light of next the full moon, both Lou and the hamlet of Woodhaven will forever be changed.

Writer/Director Lowell Dean has successfully created a retro throwback to horror comedies from the 1980s; with a title like "WolfCop," you pretty much know what to expect from this independent Canadian feature. It's an almost self-aware horror/comedy for adults, and a welcomed change from the gore-laden American fodder that usually splatters across our screens. WolfCop doesn't have enough scares to be considered true horror, nor enough humour to be a flat-out comedy; yet it's an enjoyable amalgam of both that is clearly made for fans of the genre.

There's a lot of blood, violence, and other visceral horror to be had in WolfCop, but it's almost always played for humour--which is a good thing, because sometimes the intentionally-funny stuff falls a little flat. Yet fans of werewolf movies won't be disappointed; the practical special effects are outstanding, and even cringe-worthy at times (in a good way). Those who are tired of CGI horrors will be impressed by what Dean and monster-maker Emersen Ziffle have come up with. You'll be hooked by the first werewolf transformation scene, which is bloody believable and looks incredibly painful.

The script is peppered with standard werewolf lore, as well as nods to fables such as Little Red Riding Hood and The Three Little Pigs. Rural life is skewered with reckless abandon, for drinking and shooting guns are the most popular pastimes in Woodhaven. I should note that I will never again be able to listen to Gowan's "Moonlight Desire" without thinking of this movie--it's part of a gratuitous sex scene that has forever been seared into memory (whether I like it or not).

WolfCop is currently seeing limited theatrical release across Canada, thanks to The CineCoup Film Accelerator, which provides production financing and a guaranteed release in Cineplex theatres. Considering how few homegrown films are actually shown in our own theatres, Canadians should jump at the chance to see this one on the big screen. Not to mention this could be the birth of a franchise; a sequel has already been commissioned, thanks to two successful buyer screenings at the Cannes Film Festival.

So look for the further adventures of Lou Garou, the alcoholic, half man/half wolf police officer, coming in 2015! In the meantime, be sure to check out WolfCop at a Cineplex near you--because the more we support Canadian films on the big screen, the more likely it is that other homegrown features will be given the chance for a theatrical run in Canada.

Here's the trailer:


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