What's in a name? That great bastion of philosophy, The Simpsons, once proposed that a person's name could predestine what sort of person he or she would be. If that's true, then the lead character in WolfCop was inevitably going to be a werewolf one day.
|Director: Lowell Dean
Starring: Leo Fafard, Jonathan Cherry, Amy Matysio, Sarah Lind, Aidan Devine
Screenplay: Lowell Dean
Lou Garou is an alcoholic cop barely keeping his life together. He spends his shifts drunk, when he manages to turn up for his shifts at all, and his irresponsible actions aren't winning him any friends on the police force. Lou's life changes when he himself begins to literally change after contracting the mark of the beast. At first he just uses his heightened senses to help him police the community, but eventually he transforms and hits the beat as WolfCop. This happens a ways into the movie, but given the concept, title, and artwork for the movie display a wolfed out officer of the law, I'm guessing any potential viewer would've already guessed that particular eventuality in the film.
Werewolf cops aren't a new concept, as there was a whole squad of 'em in the dreary Full Eclipse, but WolfCop is a bit different from that movie. It's actually much more like Teen Wolf, Too, where the lycanthrope uses his hairy state to excel at his chosen activity. It's also kind of like that one movie with Michael J. Fox where he was a werewolf that played basketball. It might not be the stigma that it once was to make a movie that's compared to a Jason Bateman film, but I still think WolfCop's makers should put their tales between their legs when trying to fool people into thinking they have a totally unique film.
What they do have is a throwback that mashes 80s comedies that starred Fox and Bateman with a movie about a cop that gets an upgrade. That's right, there are definite shades of one of humanity's greatest achievements, RoboCop! More movies should be influenced by RoboCop, that's what I say. Especially its sequels, which should've taken a lot more cues from the original. It's just a shame that WolfCop's makers didn't go all out and make RoboWolfCop, but maybe they're saving that for the sequel.
A RoboWolfCop wouldn't be that far out of place in this movie, because, werewolf aspect aside, it's got some slightly surreal elements. Sometimes these things give WolfCop a bit of self-awareness, but it's not an overly nudge-nudge, wink-wink film. It shouldn't come as a surprise that it's a very, very silly movie, but it mixes its groan inducing puns in with some cracking gags, and definitely retains a sense of fun. The acting quality varies, but most of the performances are more than adequate for a film of this scale, and some of the acting is unexpectedly good. The lead carries the film well, and his sidekick is the best of the bunch. There's one actress that I thought stunk up the screen, and it's one of those annoying circumstances where a performer that can't act is still body doubled in a sex scene, begging the question why he or she was cast in the first place. The filmmakers say she brought an otherworldly quality to her role, so maybe in her world she gave an Oscar worthy performance.
The movie has a relatively low budget, but the filmmakers have wisely decided to include as much action and FX work as possible. This gives the movie higher production values than it might've had otherwise, and allows for some funny splatstick. Of course all ground breaking werewolf movies always bring something new to the all-important transformation sequence, and WolfCop's morphing moment certainly has unique beginnings. The shape shifting must've inspired other things on set, so keep an eye out for the magic eggs that change from sunny side up to scrambled.WolfCop breezes by quickly, has the right spirit, and does a good job balancing between action and horror. It's not the best fusion horror movie ever, but it's still an entertaining slice of retro fun, and it's got a whole lot of quality for a movie made for a fraction of Jason Bateman's asking price.