Female Werewolf (2015)
Starring Carrie Gemmell, Shauna Henry, Cheryl Singleton
Directed by Chris Alexander
The third feature from writer director Chris Alexander, Female Werewolf, is his most experimental yet. Taking full creative control, Alexander also did the cinematography, score, and editing.
Running just over an hour long, and starring Carrie Gemmell as “She” – the nearly mute lupine heroine – Female Werewolf follows the titular character as she lives her day-to-day life in tortured silence (the first word, which is “hello”, isn’t spoken until nearly halfway through the movie) wondering if there is something wrong with her. She looks at her human reflection in the mirror and sees nothing but a normal woman, but reflected in the eyes of those in her orbit She is a monster with inhuman appetites.
At first, the question is whether or not She is just a crazy girl who’s trying to blame her lesbian tendencies on some kind of mystical malfunction. But then, as the story draws to a highly-charged erotic climax, the answer is clear… as mud. Honestly, I’m still not sure if she’s a werewolf or not. But that’s beside the point.
Female Werewolf is what Alexander calls a ‘fetish’ film, driven by obsessive imagery, sensuality and music, favoring beauty and emotion over graphic gore and shock but still filled with darkness and dread. Clearly, the influence of early Polanski and the lesser-known Rino Di Silvestro’s Legend of the Werewolf Woman is in evidence… but, it’s definitely got its own unique vibe.
The movie, though micro-budget and indie as can be, is beautifully shot and edited very artistically, complete with a hypnotic score that helps keep things interesting (even when it’s just a shot of water dripping from She’s kitchen tap, following the drops as they circle the drain).
The movie is super slow-moving. If you enjoy the classic exploitation works of Jess Franco or the modern-day retro cinematic offerings of Hélène Cattet and Bruno Forzani, you are the prime demographic for Female Werewolf when it begins making the festivals rounds later this year (and is subsequently released by Artsploitation Films).