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Never Cry Werewolf (DVD)

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Never Cry Werewolf DVD review (click for larger image)Reviewed by The Foywonder

Starring Nina Dobrev, Peter Stebbings, Kevin Sorbo, Spencer Van Wyck, Sean O’Neil, Melanie Leishman

Directed by Brenton Spencer

Distributed by Genius Products


Take the teenage boy and change him into a cute 16-year old girl. Make the new next door neighbor a werewolf instead of a vampire. Replace the zombie manservant with man’s best friend, a part wolf/part-German Shepherd demon dog that’ll even disintegrate into a pool of ooze when finally destroyed. Include a scene where she discovers her next door neighbor is a werewolf by spying on him when he reveals his true nature by killing a prostitute he’d brought home right in front of his upstairs window right across from hers. Have the girl call the cops, have them show up at his place, and then have them mock her when she insists he’s a killer werewolf. Since they’ve given the lead character a sex change, combine characters by having the girl herself being the dead ringer for the monster’s long dead lady love and let him try to seduce her and even try turning her into a monster herself. Have her seek the assistance of a TV show host; in this case, a rugged hunting show host who turns out to be not nearly the brave, skilled hunter he plays on TV. There will even be a scene during the finale where the hunter will be so terrified by his first true confrontation with the monster that’ll he’ll run out of the house to get away only to encounter… Well, I won’t spoil it but if you’ve ever seen Fright Night then you probably have some idea what’s coming next. That goes for most of Never Cry Werewolf.

The screenplay for Never Cry Werewolf steals so heavily from Fright Night that you can easily imagine this having been The Asylum’s mockbuster of that film had they been around 23 years ago. Never Cry Werewolf won’t ever win any awards for originality, that’s for sure.

Are any of you aware of this lycanthrope bylaw that states a werewolf can bypass needing a full moon and transform at will by using a charm forged from skin from the neck of a dead criminal? That’s a new one for me. Didn’t know they had hypnotic powers either. I also didn’t realize their hearing was so acute as to be able to hear a conversations from the house next door. They really hate fire too. I mean someone lights a cigarette and this werewolf flinches.

Never Cry Werewolf review (click for larger image)Peter Stebbings makes for a fairly menacing werewolf, at least when he’s just being creepy Jared and not actually in his Howling-esque werewolf form looks fine from the neck up but from head down looks like a bulky costume shop werewolf suit. Not the least bit credible; pretty silly, actually. Probably the reason the director tried to avoid full body shots of the beast as much as possible.

So now that we’ve established it won’t win any awards for originality or its werewolf, the question remains as to whether or not this unoriginal movie with a so-so werewolf at least entertains. The answer is yes and no. The film is shocking watchable thanks to good performances by Nina Dobrev (of “Degrassi: The Next Generation” – if you’re over the age of 25 and know this girl from having watching that program you’re simply a perv), Stebbings, and Kevin Sorbo. They manage to rise above the knock-off script and the pedestrian direction. This is one of those Canadian-filmed made-for-television movies that looks every bit like a Canadian-filmed made-for-television movie.

Then there’s the matter of after having played things fairly straightforward for its first half, somewhere around the halfway point the script takes an abrupt turn into too-dumb-for-its-own-good territory. The movie had a time and a place for humor, most of which gets provided by the cowardly and bumbling Redd Tucker, the not-so-great white hunter played by Kevin Sorbo, hamming it up quite nicely. I can accept how much the script lifts from Fright Night and there’s nothing wrong with adding some light touches along the way. What dragged the film down for me was how dumb it became. You can even spot the very scene where the descent into idiocy begins.

Lauren (Dobrev) goes shopping for a weapon to fight Jared with while accompanied by a doofus with red hair tips and a nose ring named Steve who has the hots for her. Hard to believe a girl who seemingly has more brains and maturity in her little pinky than this guy has in his whole body would ever fall for this dumbass. He’s comic relief (of the Jar Jar Binks variety) and a potential romantic interest for Lauren all wrapped into one, as well as filling the role of this film’s more reluctant version of Fright Night‘s Evil Ed. Yet he is so annoying and unfunny I was praying his death would come swiftly and with as little mercy as possible.

Never Cry Werewolf review (click for larger image)Jealous of Steve, Jared shows up at the hunting store with his demon dog and orders it to attack him right there in the middle of this shop in front of everyone. Multiple patrons are mauled and Jared himself even starts assaulting random customers. TV outdoorsman Redd Tucker happens to be there that day signing autographs; the down on his luck TV hunter whips out his trusty shotgun and shoots the dog. The dog doesn’t die though. Instead it’ll reveal its true demon form – shedding its skin and growing barbs – right there in the middle of this shop in front of everyone. And then Jared will transform into a werewolf and attack – right there in the middle of this shop in front of everyone. Afterwards, the whole thing gets dismissed by media and authorities as nothing more than a wild cougar attack. Like I said, things just take a turn for the stupid around this time.

What started out as a perfectly watchable Fright Night knock-off continues to be watchable; it just becomes a dumbed down Fright Night knock-off with an inconsistently annoyingly juvenile tone. I often felt like I was watching a gory Nancy Drew Halloween movie made for the ABC Family Channel, not the Sci-Fi Channel. Granted, an ABC Family Nancy Drew probably wouldn’t have found herself running around in a sports bra brandishing a crossbow during the finale of one of her stories, but I’d also bet that if one of Nancy Drew’s best friends ever got disemboweled the brutal slaughter of that best friend wouldn’t just leave her feeling more surly than sad.

To educate herself on werewolves Lauren will rent a bunch of fake werewolf movies. One is titled “The Werewolf’s Bris”. Now that is one circumcision I’d like to see.

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    Who Goes There Podcast: Ep 148 – Inside (2017 Remake)

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    We’ve all heard the old saying, “in this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.” Well, I’m here to tell you that’s only partially true. It seems there is a third certainty that had been omitted from the original quote, “It is certain, if you enjoy a movie, at some point someone will remake that movie.” Now is the time when one of my favorite movies gets reimagined, “for an American audience”.

    In the late 2000’s an explosion of “French extreme” horror films was released. Martyrs and or High Tension can often be found on any number of lists of the “most fucked up horror movies ever”. Unfortunately, the vastly superior Inside is often forgotten (as well as Frontier(s), but that’s a whole ‘nother rant). Now, ten years after it’s initial release, Inside has been Americanized. Don’t worry, we watched it so you don’t have to. You’re welcome.

    Mommy says you’re not dead. Is that true? It’s the Who Goes There Podcast episode 148!

    If you like what you hear, please consider joining our Patreon subscribers. For less than the cost of a beer, you get bonus content, exclusive merchandise, special giveaways, and you get to help us continue doing what we love.

    The Who Goes There Podcast is available to subscribe to on iTunes right here. Not an iTunes user? You can listen on our Dread Central page. Can’t get enough? We also do that social media shit. You’ll find us on FacebookTwitterInstagramTwitch, and YouTube.

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    Totem Review – It’s Not Always A Bad Thing To Look Up From The Bottom Level, If You Like That View

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    Starring Kerris Dorsey, James Tupper, Ahna O’Reilly

    Directed by Marcel Sarmiento


    Following the untimely death of a family’s matriarchal figure, a young woman finds out that managing to hold all of the pieces in place becomes increasingly more difficult when otherworldly infiltrators make their presence felt. We’re going to have to work our way up this Totem, as

    17 year old Kellie is the leading lady of the home following the passing of her mother Lexy, and with a needy father and tiny tot of a baby sister, she still keeps things in working order, regardless of the rather large hole that’s been left in the dynamic due to the death. Kellie’s dad after a while decides to ask his lady-friend to move in with the family, so that everyone can move onto a more peaceful existence…yeah, because those types of instances always seem to work seamlessly. As fate would have it, Kellie’s sense of pride is now taking a beating with the new woman in the mix, and her little sister’s new “visitor” is even more disturbed by this intruder – only question is, exactly who is this supernatural pal of sorts? Is it the spirit of their dead mother standing by to keep watch over the family, or is it something that’s found its way to this group, and has much more evil intentions at hand?

    What works here is the context of something innately malicious that has found its way into the home – there are only a couple moments that come off as unsettling, but the notion of having to weave through more than half the film acting as a sullen-teen drama is rather painful. The presentation of the “broken family” is one that’s been done to death, and with better results overall, and that’s not to say that the movie is a complete loss, it just takes far too much weeding through at times stale performances and even more stagnant pacing to get to a moderately decent late-stage conclusion to the film. Under the direction of Marcel Sarmiento (Deadgirl), I’d truly hoped for something a bit more along the lines of a disturbing project such as that one, but the only thing disturbing was the time I’d invested in checking this one out. My best advice is to tune into the Lifetime channel if you want a sulky teen-melodrama with a tinge of horror, or you could simply jump into this one and work your way up…but it’s a LONG way to the top.

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    Summary

    Sulky, moody, and ridden with teen-angst buried in the middle of a supernatural mystery – SOUNDS like a decent premise, doesn’t it?

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    IAMX’s Alive in New Light Review – A Dark, Hypnotic, and Stunning Musical Endeavor

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    Recording eight albums is an achievement no matter the artist, group, or band. This is especially true for Chris Corner’s IAMX, his solo project after the trip hop group Sneaker Pimps, which has enchanted listeners since 2004’s Kiss + Swallow with its dark electronic aesthetic. There’s something fascinating about the music Corner puts out as IAMX. Perhaps it’s the underlying melancholy that seems to pervade the music, almost certainly a result of the musician’s battle with depression and chronic insomnia [Source]. Perhaps it’s the unexpected melodies that reveal themselves with each new measure. Whatever it is, IAMX’s music is a constant delight.

    On Alive in New Light, Corner reveals that his eighth album was a product he created as a way of “…breaking free from demons that have long plagued him,” per an official press release. Strangely enough, this uplifting attitude may easily be overlooked but repeat listens unveil a sense of hope and wonder that are simply breathtaking. The title track echoes with almost angelic choir pads that positively shine as Corner exultingly cries in a shimmering falsetto, “I’m alive in new light!” This comes after the Depeche Mode-esque “Stardust”, which offers the first collaboration with Kat Von D, whose pure voice is a beautiful addition to the pulsating track.

    The third track, “Break The Chains”, has an opening that immediately called to mind Birds of Tokyo’s “Discoloured”, which is meant as a compliment. It’s followed by the Nine Inch Nails influenced “Body Politics”, which meshes Corner’s crooning vocals with a 90’s industrial backdrop. “Exit” has an almost sinister progression lurking in the background that builds to an aggressive, in-your-face third act. The cinematic Middle Eastern flairs of “Stalker” mutate effortlessly into a heartbeat pulse that features back-and-forth vocals between Corner and Von D. The haunted circus vibe that permeates through “Big Man” is mirrored by its playful gothic aura, ghostly “oohs” and “aahs” sprinkled carefully here and there.

    While the album has been a delight up to this point, it’s the final two tracks that took my breath away and left me stunned. “Mile Deep Hollow” builds layer after layer while Corner passionately cries out, “So thank you/you need to know/that you dragged me out/of a mile deep hollow/and I love you/you brought me home/because you dragged me out/of a mile deep hollow.” The way the song’s melodies back these wonderfully uplifting lyrics feels grand and epic, as though a journey is coming to an end, which is where “The Power and the Glory” comes in. Far more subdued, it’s a beautiful song that feels almost like a religious experience, a hymn of a soul that is desperate to claw its way to salvation and escape a life of pain and darkness.

    What makes Alive in New Light so wonderful is how much there is to experience. I got the album and listened to it no less than five times in a row without pause. I simply couldn’t turn it off because each return revealed something new in the music. Corner also makes fantastic use of Von D’s vocals, carefully placing them so as to make them a treat and not a commonplace certainty.

    While some may be disappointed that there are only nine tracks, each of the songs is carefully and meticulously crafted to be as powerful and meaningful as possible. It really is a stunning accomplishment and I’m nothing short of blown away by how masterfully Alive in New Light plays out.

    • Alive in New Light
    5.0

    Summary

    IAMX’s Alive in New Light is a triumph of music. Full of beauty and confidence, it doesn’t forget the foundation that fans have come to know and love for over a decade but instead embraces that comfortable darkness with open arms. Corner states that this album was a way to break free from his demons. It certainly feels like he’s made peace with them.

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