Friday, June 13, 2014

"Big Bad Wolf" (2006) d/ Lance W. Dreesen

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If I'd stumbled across this one while perusing the new releases shelves at Video World in, say, 1984, this might have been a different review. Director Lance W. Dreesen's first full-length feature has the look, and all the gore and nudity of a movie from the mid to late eighties, when direct-to-video horror flicks were everywhere, but it simply isn't one of those, having been made some twenty years later. And in the new millenium, there's just no excuse for wisecracking were-whatevers that come off like a caustic Freddy Krueger in a Party City Chewbacca costume. The ever-popular Clint Howard bags a Crazy Ralph-esque cameo, and David Naughton of An American Werewolf in London (1981) fame looks more embarrassed here than he did while lip-synching and disco dancing in front of Mike Douglas' audience back in 1979.

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"I'ma mosey on down inta town n' git us some tranya. I reckon y'all'll cherish it 'bout as much as this fella chere."
After a trip to Cameroon(!) turns fatal for a group of hunters that are set upon by a ravenous, shaggy beast, with only Charlie (Christopher Shyer) and Mitch (Richard Tyson) surviving the ordeal, we fast forward seven years to Charlie's nephew, Derek (Trevor Duke-Moretz) and his gothy gearhead galpal, Sam (Kimberly J. Brown), as they're about to embark on a weekend of cheap beer and cheaper women with some dodgy frat boys that Derek has designs of pledging with. Derek snakes the keys to his stepfather's remote cabin in the woods, but that night his frat buddies are torn to sloppy pieces, and their airhead girlfriends are raped and slaughtered, respectively, by the aforementioned wisecracking were-whatever-the-fuck-he's-supposed-to-be, with the sense of humor of an eighth grade sporto. Derek's step-father is Mitch, by the way, who married up Charlie's dead brother's widow before Charlie had a chance to. Mitch is an abusive, wisecracking whore chaser prick...just like the werewolf. Hmmmm...

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"Something a thirteen year old would laugh at!",  larks the less lupine were-guy (Richard Tyson).
Derek and Sam do some sleuthing about (not really, Sam just gives a pushy Mitch an off-camera blowjob and saves the spilled ejaculate in her mouth for later dna testing...seriously) on the advice of Uncle Charlie, to prove scientifically beyond a shadow of doubt that Mitch isn't just an obnoxious asshole, he's a homicidal were-guy, to boot. While Sam's impromptu pink microphone karaoke puts a strain on their budding relationship, Mitch lures Charlie to a warehouse and eats him, later kidnapping Sam and arranging a late night rendezvous for Derek at the cabin, you know... if he ever wants to see her alive again, man. Oh, and there's some A/V Club dorks with a bevvy of hot young chicks at the cabin, too, to be wisecracked at/raped/added to the body count. Pretty standard slasher/werewolf stuff, right to the very end.

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"Maybe you should lay off the Dr. Pepper, Sheriff..."
The practical gore effects are all syrupy good, it's the eighties-tastic werewolf itself that really eats it here. Further amplifying the suck is the lone transformation sequence, heavy on wonky-looking SyFy level CG. Woulda looked more organic if they showed Tyson stepping into the costume one leg at a time, like a pair of coveralls. Still, I suppose it's all worth a look if you're curious as to what grown up Annie Wheaton from Rose Red (2002) looks like after a shopping binge at Hot Topic. Not classic stuff by anyone's standards, but not entirely without some exploitative merit, though Wolf really only delivers on "Bad", in the nugatory mold of typical slasher fare of yesteryear, and for that, it earns a single Wop on the ratings scale. Pass.

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I don't know what looks more phony...the werewolf or her buh-hubbas.
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