WolfCop DVD Review: Bloody, Sexy, Crazy, and Furry

A movie like WolfCop doesn’t need a lot of explanation — the title kind of tells you everything you need to know going in. When I first heard about it, I thought of Full Eclipse (1993) starring Mario Van Peebles as part of a team of werewolf cops out to clean up the crime-ridden streets of Los Angeles. With all the recycling of ideas in Hollywood, I guess 21 years is a reasonable amount of time to pass between movies about werewolf cops.

First thing you’ll notice is that this isn’t a big city, big budget action thriller. It was shot over a few weeks in a couple of small towns in southern Saskatchewan, Canada. Some behind-the-scenes extras on the disc mention the movie was partially funded through CineCoup, a sort of Project Greenlight for indie flicks. It’s a smaller effort, weighing in at 78 minutes, including the credits. You could watch the feature, the feature commentary, and all the extras in less time than it’d take to watch Saving Private Ryan or Titanic once. However, if you judge a movie’s worth solely on length or production values, you’re missing the point.

WolfCop is not some kind of Oscar darling masterpiece. It’s a campy, ridiculous horror flick with a big sense of humor, snarky one-liners, and great gore effects. All but a few details are done with makeup and prosthetics rather than CGI. It pays off, too, since the effects of clawed skin, torn off faces, and the title character’s visage really bring a palpable feel to the mayhem.

Lou Garou (Leo Fafard) — borrowed from the French “Loup-garou,” meaning “wolf” and “man who turns into an animal” — is one of the worst cops you’ve ever seen. He’s lazy, irresponsible, drunk or hungover constantly, late to work every day, rarely solves any cases, and flat-out doesn’t care, except when it comes to chatting up the busty hard-to-get bartender Jessica (Sarah Lind). He’s the kind of guy no one would really miss if he went missing, and might even be glad is gone. With that in mind, some centuries-old shapeshifters who live in town choose him as their sacrifice whose blood will extend their lives, but he’ll have to be turned into a werewolf first as puny mortal human blood just won’t cut it. It just so happens that this transformation is just the kick in the pants Lou needs to get his act together and start living up to expectations of his partner Tina (Amy Matysio) and the chief (Aidan Devine).

Part of the fun of this movie aside from the stupidity and wisecracks is figuring out who is who, when, and where, then watching it again to catch all the references to the shapeshifters you missed the first time and don’t find out much about until decently into the second half of the movie. Watching with the commentary with writer/director Lowell Dean and special effects guru Emersen Ziffle helps point out things you might otherwise miss, as well as lending insight into production challenges faced, continuity gaffes, and places they had to make sacrifices to fit the tight schedule and weather problems (shooting during the early Winter in Canada isn’t for slouches).

If you want a pretentiously serious sci-fi action turd about werewolf cops, dig up Full Eclipse. If instead you’d like to laugh out loud at a werewolf cop story where Big Bad literally ends up nailing Little Red in a prison cell in a hazy ’80s style softcore sex scene before shooting up a town full of creeps with a Tommy gun, WolfCop is for you, and has 100% less Mario Van Peebles, to boot. They’ve already committed to making a bigger, badder sequel in 2015, so if the first catches your eye, the second should be even more ludicrous.

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Mark Buckingham

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