I'm not trying to be a hero! I'M FIGHTING THE DRAGON!!

Posts Tagged ‘werewolves’

Late Phases

Friday, January 13th, 2017

a.k.a. LATE PHASES: NIGHT OF THE LONE WOLF

I know this has been said before, but LATE PHASES is kinda like GRAN TORINO with werewolves. By that I don’t mean there’s an old guy who’s racist against werewolves but befriends a young werewolf neighbor, although that would also be cool. What I mean is he’s a grouchy old war vet who is not so happy where age is leading him, has trouble getting along with his kid and is cynical about everything and gets to know the local pastor even though he doesn’t like religion. With werewolves.

He’s a ‘Nam vet instead of Korea, and he came back blind. His name is Ambrose McKinley, and he’s played by my new favorite actor Nick Damici (MULBERRY STREET, STAKE LAND I & II, WE ARE WHAT WE ARE, COLD IN JULY), looking kind of like Fred Ward and talking kind of like DeNiro. His son (Ethan Embry, CHEAP THRILLS) and more patient daughter-in-law (Erin Cummings, BITCH SLAP) help move him into a duplex in the retirement community of Crescent Bay. That very night a fuckin werewolf busts in and mauls his next door neighbor (Karen Lynn Gorney, SATURDAY NIGHT FEVER) and his guide dog Shadow. The police just tell him it’s from living near the woods, wild animals kill people all the time, be sure to keep your doors locked.

“Thanks for the peace of mind,” he deadpans. (read the rest of this shit…)

VERN has been reviewing movies since 1999 and is the author of the books SEAGALOGY: A STUDY OF THE ASS-KICKING FILMS OF STEVEN SEAGAL, YIPPEE KI-YAY MOVIEGOER!: WRITINGS ON BRUCE WILLIS, BADASS CINEMA AND OTHER IMPORTANT TOPICS and NIKETOWN: A NOVEL. His horror-action novel WORM ON A HOOK will arrive later this year.

Full Eclipse

Thursday, January 12th, 2017

For those of us disappointed that MOONLIGHT, although very good, was not about werewolves, here is a pretty okay wolfman movie to dig up. (You know, like a dog would dig up a bone or something.) It stars Mario Van Peebles, it’s directed by Anthony Hickox right after WARLOCK: THE ARMAGEDDON, and it’s written by Richard Christian Matheson (THREE O’CLOCK HIGH) & Michael Reaves (Super Friends).

I like that it combines werewolves with a straight up cop movie. It’s hard to classify as horror exactly, because the lycanthropy is treated more like super powers than monsters. In fact, they have Wolverine style claws and Magneto type helmets. But they are werewolves in a legit action movie complete with cliches about cops and their partners and one of them saying “I’m too old for this” and everything.

Even better, this came out the year America stole John Woo, and the style seems pretty influenced by him. Lots of leaping through the air to fire guns, slow motion, intense, lingering closeups. For the opening set piece Hickox revisits his HELLRAISER III: HELL ON EARTH idea of terror in a dance club full of big spooky body part sculptures, but with bullets and debris and people flying everywhere, usually with LAPD detective Max Dire (Van Peebles) dropping from above or jumping in the air or laying on the floor while shooting two guns. (read the rest of this shit…)

VERN has been reviewing movies since 1999 and is the author of the books SEAGALOGY: A STUDY OF THE ASS-KICKING FILMS OF STEVEN SEAGAL, YIPPEE KI-YAY MOVIEGOER!: WRITINGS ON BRUCE WILLIS, BADASS CINEMA AND OTHER IMPORTANT TOPICS and NIKETOWN: A NOVEL. His horror-action novel WORM ON A HOOK will arrive later this year.

Summer Movie Flashback: Van Helsing

Monday, August 19th, 2013

tn_vanhelsing

2004
2004

VAN HELSING is a pretty cool idea for a horror-adventure type movie. The slayer of Dracula continues his saga, a supernatural expert who goes on to encounter other classic monsters like Mr. Hyde, the Wolf Man (or some werewolves, anyway), Frankenstein’s monster, and probly Blacula if they had made a part two. To make it extra fun he’s not just a doctor like in the book, now he’s a badass in a Solomon Kane hat, with an eccentric friar as his Q/Lucius Fox, building him preposterous weapons that fire stakes like bullets or have spinning saw blades or whatever. And this Van Helsing likes to swing around on ropes. And he gets bit by a werewolf so before he turns he has super hopping powers, like all wolves do. Wolves are known for their hopping.

Okay, admittedly some parts of the idea are not that cool. Also it turns out his name is Gabriel Van Helsing, not Abraham Van Helsing, and he actually has nothing to do with the character from the book. He did however apparently kill Dracula, but that was before Dracula was a vampire (I think), and Van Helsing (no relation) doesn’t remember it. Also he might be the angel Gabriel.

WRITER/DIRECTOR STEPHEN SOMMERS: Hey guys, I’ve had alot of fun doing these AMAZING The Mummy movies, but you know what I’ve always dreamed of is to make a movie about the character Van Helsing from Dracula, only the thing is it’s not about that character at all though, it’s about a different guy than that! Wouldn’t that be AWESOME?

UNIVERSAL PICTURES: My friend, you have yourself a god damn GREEN LIGHT!

(read the rest of this shit…)

VERN has been reviewing movies since 1999 and is the author of the books SEAGALOGY: A STUDY OF THE ASS-KICKING FILMS OF STEVEN SEAGAL, YIPPEE KI-YAY MOVIEGOER!: WRITINGS ON BRUCE WILLIS, BADASS CINEMA AND OTHER IMPORTANT TOPICS and NIKETOWN: A NOVEL. His horror-action novel WORM ON A HOOK will arrive later this year.

Bad Moon

Saturday, November 19th, 2011

tn_badmoonHoly shit! There’s another good werewolf movie! And it’s from the ’90s. This is not really one of my favorite subgenres, but there’s definitely a couple good ones of this type. Obviously AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON is one of the greatest horror movies of all time and still the most perfect specimen of the scary/funny balance. Then I like THE HOWLING 1&3 and GINGER SNAPS is pretty good with decent sequels by DTV standards (even if they were theatrical in Canada). And DOG SOLDIERS I remember enjoying. The end. (read the rest of this shit…)

VERN has been reviewing movies since 1999 and is the author of the books SEAGALOGY: A STUDY OF THE ASS-KICKING FILMS OF STEVEN SEAGAL, YIPPEE KI-YAY MOVIEGOER!: WRITINGS ON BRUCE WILLIS, BADASS CINEMA AND OTHER IMPORTANT TOPICS and NIKETOWN: A NOVEL. His horror-action novel WORM ON A HOOK will arrive later this year.

Dylan Dog: Dead of Night

Tuesday, August 2nd, 2011

tn_dylandogDYLAN DOG: DEAD OF NIGHT is a semi-clever and watchable but also not all that great or original supernatural detective type deal. It’s like CONSTANTINE but not as well directed and with more jokes.

Brandon Routh plays the title character (well, the “Dylan Dog” part of the title; the “Dead of Night” part is played by various undead creatures). I’m not really clear if “Dog” is his last name or if it’s just a cool nick name. Nobody ever calls him “Dylan Doggy Dogg,” but it might be short for that. Anyway he’s a private eye who is in on the secret information that there are vampires, zombies and other monsters living among us. (read the rest of this shit…)

VERN has been reviewing movies since 1999 and is the author of the books SEAGALOGY: A STUDY OF THE ASS-KICKING FILMS OF STEVEN SEAGAL, YIPPEE KI-YAY MOVIEGOER!: WRITINGS ON BRUCE WILLIS, BADASS CINEMA AND OTHER IMPORTANT TOPICS and NIKETOWN: A NOVEL. His horror-action novel WORM ON A HOOK will arrive later this year.

Teen Wolf Too

Friday, September 18th, 2009

tn_teenwolftooEverybody knows there’s a TEEN WOLF TOO starring Jason Bateman. I know I personally have been aware of this fact for many years. But until this week it never really occurred to me to actually watch it. I decided to do just that, and here’s what I found.

TEEN WOLF was about a teen who turned into a wolf, and TEEN WOLF TOO is about a teen who turns into a wolf too. He’s the cousin of the Michael J. Fox character, whose whereabouts are not mentioned. Maybe they wanted to leave the possibilities open for a THREEN WOLF, or maybe they just wanted to avoid pulling a MATRIX RELOADED. The original MATRIX had such a nice open ending where you could imagine what happened next, but then they put a cap on that by showing what’s next in part 2. The TEEN WOLF saga doesn’t make that mistake, it lets Scott Howard continue his journey through your imagination. (read the rest of this shit…)

VERN has been reviewing movies since 1999 and is the author of the books SEAGALOGY: A STUDY OF THE ASS-KICKING FILMS OF STEVEN SEAGAL, YIPPEE KI-YAY MOVIEGOER!: WRITINGS ON BRUCE WILLIS, BADASS CINEMA AND OTHER IMPORTANT TOPICS and NIKETOWN: A NOVEL. His horror-action novel WORM ON A HOOK will arrive later this year.

Teen Wolf

Monday, September 14th, 2009

tn_teenwolfTEEN WOLF is the story of a teen who turns into a wolf. But he looks more like those cavemen from the commercials, or the “dog-faced boy” from the cover of that old video about the different “freaks” (see diagram).

Michael J. Fox (CLASS OF 1989) plays Scott Howard, a weiner who has the hots for some bitch who hates him and who doesn’t notice that his female best friend adores him. To be fair her name is Boof so you can see why he wouldn’t take her that seriously, but still. One day when he gets a freaksboner it brings out the changes in his body and then when there’s a full moon he turns into a wolf. So his dad reveals to him that he also is a wolf, an Adult Wolf, because it’s just this harmless thing that runs in the family.

That doesn’t comfort Scott. He’s real worried and embarrassed, but then he gets upset during a basketball game and wolfs out, and it makes him really good. Ain’t no rule says a werewolf can’t play basketball.

Being good at sports is the best thing anybody could do, so everybody accepts this wolf thing and thinks he’s cool now. They lift him up like a champion, bring him to the diner, chant his name. People cheer him on wherever he goes, they high five him. Being a teen wolf seems very similar to being Arsenio Hall. Also there’s a part where he spontaneously starts breakdancing in the hallway at school. (read the rest of this shit…)

VERN has been reviewing movies since 1999 and is the author of the books SEAGALOGY: A STUDY OF THE ASS-KICKING FILMS OF STEVEN SEAGAL, YIPPEE KI-YAY MOVIEGOER!: WRITINGS ON BRUCE WILLIS, BADASS CINEMA AND OTHER IMPORTANT TOPICS and NIKETOWN: A NOVEL. His horror-action novel WORM ON A HOOK will arrive later this year.

The Howling III: The Marsupials

Saturday, July 11th, 2009

tn_howlingI always liked THE HOWLING but since the sequels are made by different people and have a reputation for poor quality I never thought to watch them. Then I watched NOT QUITE HOLLYWOOD, that documentary about Australian exploitation movies, and saw the clips from THE HOWLING III: THE MARSUPIALS by Australian director Phillipe Mora. It looked like a crazy fever dream full of low-budget-but-really-cool werewolf transformations, some of them looking straight-up cartoonish. Plus they showed how the werewolves have pouches in this one, and gave away the most memorable scene – I’ll get to that later. I figured just from what I saw there was no way this wasn’t worth watching. And I figured right. (read the rest of this shit…)

VERN has been reviewing movies since 1999 and is the author of the books SEAGALOGY: A STUDY OF THE ASS-KICKING FILMS OF STEVEN SEAGAL, YIPPEE KI-YAY MOVIEGOER!: WRITINGS ON BRUCE WILLIS, BADASS CINEMA AND OTHER IMPORTANT TOPICS and NIKETOWN: A NOVEL. His horror-action novel WORM ON A HOOK will arrive later this year.

The Howling

Saturday, October 11th, 2008

If you ask me, AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON is the best werewolf picture mankind has developed so far. But watching THE HOWLING again reminded me there’s at least one giving a little friendly competition, keeping AMERICAN WEREWOLF honest. Even if it’s not as good.

THE HOWLING is directed by Joe “GREMLINS” Dante, so it has his usual Cormanite monster nerd business: Dick Miller in a supporting role, cameos by Roger Corman and Forrey Ackerman, some black humor here and there. But the tone is more serious than AMERICAN WEREWOLF and way more serious than anything else Dante’s ever done. Filmatically I would say it’s his best directing job by far. Instead of AMERICAN WEREWOLF’s contemporary twist on urban gothic THE HOWLING starts out as straight up sleazy urban noir, werewolves in the world of serial killing and bondage porn. At times it feels more like a David Cronenberg than a Joe Dante. (read the rest of this shit…)

VERN has been reviewing movies since 1999 and is the author of the books SEAGALOGY: A STUDY OF THE ASS-KICKING FILMS OF STEVEN SEAGAL, YIPPEE KI-YAY MOVIEGOER!: WRITINGS ON BRUCE WILLIS, BADASS CINEMA AND OTHER IMPORTANT TOPICS and NIKETOWN: A NOVEL. His horror-action novel WORM ON A HOOK will arrive later this year.

Underworld Evolution

Saturday, July 15th, 2006

This is part 2 of the Underworld saga and unfortunately I’m less sold on this Len Wiseman individual after part 2. I gotta admit, I had hopes for this one. From the trailers it looked more exciting than the first one. I thought maybe after a little practice and with a bigger budget this guy was gonna make a movie that was more fun. Now I’m not gonna say that Len Wiseman has destroyed my faith in the human spirit and man’s knack for overcoming obstacles with innovation and hardwork, but the guy was definitely trying to. We, as a people, can do better than this.

This is one of those rare part 2s where if you haven’t seen the first one, you will have no clue what in fuck’s name is going on. Also, if you have seen the first one, even if you have seen it recently, and if you are me, you also will have no clue what in fuck’s name is going on. The movie starts with a long flashback to 1602 or something, where you find out all this new information about how there were two twin brothers who were the first vampire and first werewolf and the werewolves were attacking villages so the vampires were trying to kill the first werewolf and then they caught him and his brother didn’t want to kill him on account of them being brothers but the vampires were assholes and got mad so they locked the werewolf brother away forever. (read the rest of this shit…)

VERN has been reviewing movies since 1999 and is the author of the books SEAGALOGY: A STUDY OF THE ASS-KICKING FILMS OF STEVEN SEAGAL, YIPPEE KI-YAY MOVIEGOER!: WRITINGS ON BRUCE WILLIS, BADASS CINEMA AND OTHER IMPORTANT TOPICS and NIKETOWN: A NOVEL. His horror-action novel WORM ON A HOOK will arrive later this year.