Directed by Lowell Dean
Distributed by Studiocanal
Sheriff’s Deputy Lou Garou (Fafard) is an alcoholic mess. Well known in the local community of Woodhaven for being wholly ineffective in the delivery of his law-keeping duties, he’s the kind of guy who does little more than saunter from drink to drink with a badge on his chest and a gun on his belt – much to the chagrin of his boss and pity of his co-workers.
Considering his raging predilection for the demon drink, Lou’s well versed in the art of waking up in strange places, in strange beds and/or in a physical state of disrepair. Still, his familiarity with such events offers little consolation when he wakes up after being seized by an apparent cult while investigating strange goings-on in the local woods. Finding that a pentagram has been carved into his torso and that his facial hair seems to grow back as quickly as it can be shaved are only the beginning of Lou’s issues, as when the next full moon hits, he gruesomely transforms into a hulking werewolf.
Teaming up with his friend Willy (Cherry), Lou sets about trying to get to the bottom of what the cult has done to him and, in turn, uncovers a generations-old conspiracy of evil which will force him to embrace the wolf within and unleash his newfound strength if he’s to get out the other end alive.
WolfCop obviously isn’t a serious film by any stretch of the imagination, but perhaps its greatest strength is how well it manages to keep a straight face while dishing out a constant stream of self-aware ludicrousness. With tongue planted firmly in cheek, the script allows its characters to play within the confines of its absurdities, balancing the serious with a healthy slathering of the organic comedy that naturally flows from them. The humour is rarely forced, feeling very well measured and judged, which in turn allows it become an integral part of the story rather than a heaped-on layer. Similarly pleasing is the film’s refusal to preach or judge its characters. It would be an easy path to take to “save” Lou from his alcoholism by seeing him embrace his new power, ditch the booze and become a better cop – but not so, here. When beasting out in wolf form, Lou not only gets the balls to seriously mess up some bad guys, but does so while swigging booze like Popeye swigs spinach.
Bringing this all to life is a (for the most part) excellent cast. Fafard is great as the weary human Lou, but truly embraces the role with fervour once the makeup is on and he’s tearing up the set in a big, hairy, old-school costume. Sarah Lind entrances as the sultry love interest, local bar owner Jessica, while Amy Matysio’s cop Tina takes a little time to grow on you. Once she lets her hair down, though, she really comes into her own. Stealing the show, however, is Jonathan Cherry as Willie. The guy is hilarious and seems to be loving every single moment of his involvement here.
There are many memorable moments to be found throughout WolfCop, including some fantastic transformations (one sporting a howlingly painful-looking penis metamorphosis) and a general load of fun as Lou slashes his way through local drug dealers, rips off arms and faces and pisses all over disrespectful graffiti artists. That’s not even to mention the simultaneously hilarious and deeply uncomfortable girl-on-wolf sex scene set to the strains of ’80s ballad ‘Moonlight Desires.’
It isn’t all great, though, as even at a scant 75 minutes, WolfCop begins to run out of steam quite noticeably during the final act. The climactic forest battle between Lou, the uncovered conspirators and an angered drug gang feels clunky in comparison to what has come before, knocking the pacing off as it struggles to get the most out of what remaining fumes it has in the tank. The action sequences, as filled as they are with some lovely physical effects work, lack a degree of confidence in their performance and editing that leaves them less fulfilling than they should be – especially during the aforementioned forest showdown.
Still, WolfCop is an endearing flick that happily bathes itself in an ’80s aesthetic and playful excess. Much to its credit, it never slips up tonally and really does try its best to put a real story around the easy draw of its basic concept. It’s goofy, irreverent fun that easily makes for an undemanding, entertaining time. Plus, it even has a ‘Maniac Cop 2’-style bespoke rap song over the end credits! C’mon!
Studiocanal’s UK DVD release of WolfCop comes with a 45-minute ‘Behind the Scenes’ featurette that covers quite a lot during its running time, moving from the film’s initial conception and search for funding, through to the premiere screening and everything in between. It’s good stuff. Backing that up is a mildly entertaining music video for an awful indie-rock track entitled “Henry” by Rah Rah, followed by a short gag reel, some promo clips and a few trailers (including what appears to be the initial sales trailer produced by the team as a concept while seeking funding).
- WolfCop Unleashed – Behind the Scenes Featurette
- WolfCop Music Video
- Gag Reel
- BANFF Film Festival Feature
- Promo Clips