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WolfCop (2014)

by on 2014/11/12

WolfCop (2014)“What was that, thank you Willy for helping me?”

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I don’t remember the main feature now, but we saw it in the theatre, and before it came the trailer for WolfCop.

We looked at each other immediately  — as we usually do — silently gauging each other’s level of interest. There was no mistaking we were very, very interested in WolfCop.

I’ve been stung by such hope before, as I was about Hobo with a Shotgun. All the same, we were cautiously optimistic that this time might be different.

The promotional poster at Silver Snail Comics taunted me every week. We waited, month after month, and somehow missed its theatrical release. I’m unclear when it comes out on disc, as it seems locked in “tour mode” now. Fair enough, I suppose, then at least it can still be seen.

But selfishly I can’t wait to make it my own. I’ve finally seen it, and it’s better than I dared to hope.

I wasn’t convinced in the early moments, as it felt like a cheap TV show, rather than a grimy B-picture. I was quickly caught up in the caricatures, though, broad strokes of people and plot.

Woodhaven (shot in Saskatchewan) is a small town plagued by a so-called walking bear . . . or something. That something quickly crosses paths with the local law enforcement, specifically an alcoholic underachiever named Lou Garou (Leo Fafard).

It spoils very little to point out his name is a French pun meaning “werewolf” and he gradually becomes an ultraviolent — but more effective — bringer of justice.

The town and its residents are throwbacks to a time when such movies weren’t thought of as quaint. Notwithstanding one cell phone and an “interweb” comment, the retro feel is constant throughout, in the run down buildings, old cars, jukeboxes, blunderbusses and, best of all, the effects.

Everything is practical, very little of it convincing, but all executed with a gusto that won me over. I’m not a particular horror fan, nor a connoisseur of gore, but it’s over-the-top to the extent I found it hilarious. I’d love to recount examples in detail, but they’d simply spoil the fun, so instead I will simply list some words: eyeballs, penis, and vomit.

Production-wise, it’s a bit of a mixed bag. I actually loved its shortcomings, like the mismatched shots, continuity breaks, and the patchy-looking makeup. I cared less for the “slicker” aspects of craft, some early jumping zooms, an odd smoothness in tracking motions, and an overall lack of grit. A part of me longed (a bit guiltily) for the novelty tactics of a Grindhouse, with its “damaged” print visuals, its warbling sound, and its way-overdramatic players.

Let’s be clear, however, there are worse criticisms than “It was a bit too good.” WolfCop was funny, involving, exciting, and I’d spring for a sequel, no question. Perhaps they could call it Bon Cop Snaps or LOUBAR.

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Rated 18A for nudity and violence

79 minutes

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