Thursday, July 28, 2016

Wer (2013) & Howl (2015)

Alrighty then! Just watched me a couple werewolf movies, and thought I'd share so you can do it too. (I'm terribly considerate that way.) Both movies are recent low-budget indies and, with the ungodly plethora of crap werewolf films out there, they're both worth a few of your bucks and some of your time. You most likely will not be sorry. (I wasn't.)






  Wer


So. The quick and dirty here is this was American made, shot in Romania, but takes place in France (three countries for the price of one!). It kind of goes the lycanthropy-as-medical-condition route. Hmm, maybe not totally, now that I think about it. But more so than not.

Anyway. Plot-wise, we've got an American expat attorney who's pro bono-ing for this backwoods French-by-way-of-Romania fellow. He's accused of slaughtering and eating a family of campers. Expat Attorney is convinced there's no way this guy could've done it, since he suffers from some disease that makes him extremely weak and severely limits his mobility. Total no-brainer, right? (The wise answer to this question would be "No, totally not a no-brainer.")

Werewolf Man is portrayed as a decent, backwards kind of guy, who's surely not getting any enjoyment from turning into a ravenous beast and eating people. As far as it goes, he doesn't turn into much of a beast at all.

Well, he does. Plenty of ripping and tearing and eating of human beings going on, here. What I mean is he doesn't look particularly beast-like. The guy is hairy with bad teeth before wolfing-out, and possibly a little hairier and teethier afterward. It's actually kind of hard to tell. I'd have to go back and check to make sure. Which, being on a time budget (hate those), I'm not doing.

Anyway, Werewolf Man hits all the usual beats here: escapes, wreaks havoc, kills a lot of people and infects another guy so we can have a werewolf showdown for the finale. And it all works pretty well. Small budget done right, if you ask me.

Not much in the way of werewolf makeup going on, but what they do is effective. I'm assuming the actor playing him isn't that hairy and bad teethy in real life (and if the teeth are his, no offense intended), so makeup looks to be some added hair (not fur), pointy teeth (not fangs) and bloodshot eyes. But if that sounds dull to you, give it a watch.


Not dull.

THREE HAIRY-NOT-FURRY BRAINS






  Howl


I think I may favor this movie just the tiniest bit over that first one. Not that I think it's better necessarily, just more character-driven, which I happen to like in a film. It's just as low-budget (Well, maybe a little more money moving around this set.) Whatever they did, money-wise, it worked.

This one's British, and takes place in a forest outside London. Plot-wise, we get a trainload of workers and passengers trapped on a stalled-out train in the woods between stops, and multiple werewolves to menace them.

The movie's protagonist is your basic decent-but-constantly-shat-upon-by-the-establishment type, who hero's up in the end. And while the passengers are all stereotypes of one sort or another, they're fun-to-watch stereotypes, played and directed well by all those folks doing their in-front-of-and-behind-camera jobs.

This is definitely a scarier movie. Which again, is not a putdown of Wer. Both enjoyable, just really different from one another. Hard to compare the two, really.

Anyway, the werewolves here are a little more werewolf-like, but in a way that steers clear of all those stereotypes. Very feral, not a lot of fur, great big teeth pretty much sums 'em up.


See?

THREE  MORE-TEETH-THAN-GOD-INTENDED BRAINS



So yeah. Pick both these movies up, along with a soda, and you're in for a solid evening of entertainment. (Adding popcorn would make it really solid.)

Nuff said.

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