Wolfcop (2014)

There must be something about living in a seemingly polite society that just makes creative types want to run with the most absurd, violent and offensive ideas possible.  I have seen this with stuff that comes out of Utah and, in general, the Mormon community.  The founders of the entire death rock sound, Theatre of Ice, were all brothers from an LDS family in the middle of nowhere in eastern Nevada, while a number of the best independent horror authors I know come from Salt Lake City and surrounding areas.  There is also Japan, where many of the sickest, most violent films represent a Japan that doesn't exist outside of a few directors' imaginations. 

Canada should be no surprise at all, since it already spawned David Cronenberg, one of the most well-known horror directors and renowned for many of his movies that feature bizarre and disturbing scenes of body horror.  Lowell Dean, who had already independently made the film Eerie 13, got the million dollars to make Wolfcop from a contest called CineCoup, in which young filmmakers enter trailers that are then voted on until one remains.  Cronenberg, on the other hand, was the center of controversy over receiving funds from the Canadian government to complete his debut film, ShiversIt goes to show how much things changed in 40 years, although the demented streak running through Wolfcop shows just how much things also stay the same.

Deputy Sheriff Lou Garou (Leo Fafard) is the worst police officer on the small force that patrols the town of Woodhaven.  Disrespected by almost everyone in town, he barely bothers to show up for his job and spends most of his time firmly planted on a barstool.  One night when answering a disturbance call he finds a man hung upside down from a tree, and is hit in the back of the head.  The next morning he wakes up with an upside-down pentagram carved in his chest.  

While this concerns him a bit it's probably not the worst thing he's awakened to, so he goes about his day until 10:00 pm rolls around at the local bar.  Intrigued by a come-on from bartender Jessica (Sarah Lind), Lou gets prepared for a little fun, but that changes as soon as he does - into a werewolf, who quickly dispatches a few shady characters who have shown up at the bar.  Later rescued by gun store owner Willie Higgins (Jonathan Cherry), Lou transforms again the next night and finds that, fueled by liquor and donuts, he is a one-man crime fighting machine, at least during the full moon.  Unfortunately, he was made for a purpose, and it was not to fight crime.  Suspicious of the behavior of a number of people in town, as well as the death of her and Lou's fathers years before, Sergeant Tina Walsh (Amy Matysio) soon discovers what is happening and sets out to save Lou and rid the town of an unwanted menace.

Dean wisely spent a good deal of the money he won creating great practical effects for the two major transformation scenes we see in the movie.  These are great, with the werewolf version of Lou literally popping out of his skin, punctuated by copious amounts of blood and slime flying everywhere - and an especially uncomfortable view of other parts of him transforming.  Like any good low budget horror film this also features a cool car, this time Lou's ancient police cruiser turned into a customized Wolfcop-mobile. 

Predictably none of this is taken too seriously.  The overcomplicated backstory does allude to the usual conspiracy theories that abound, largely in the United States, and I would have liked to have seen Lou dispatching more bad guys in a style like the first time we get to see Robocop in action.  It does have a lot more story than it needs or that it can sum up in its quick run time.  Leo Fafard is great in the role, even if at times Amy Matysio and, especially, Jonathan Cherry steal the limelight.  It does try too hard to shock or be different, but it succeeds in being an enjoyable movie, even if it doesn't exactly live up to the hyperbole on the poster. 

Wolfcop (2014)
Time: 79 minutes
Starring: Leo Fafard, Amy Matysio, Jonathan Cherry. Sarah Lind
Director: Lowell Dean 



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