WolfCop - Blu-ray Review

'Lacks the punch and humour needed to make its comedic tribute to '80s low-rent horror work'.

Let's face it, nobody goes into a film with a title like WolfCop expecting either a finely constructed narrative or characters of great depth and refinement. Moreover, you dive in head first hoping for easy laughs, horror homages and bucketfuls of gore. It's a trifecta writer and director Lowell Dean manages on occasion in his film, but disappointingly neither often enough nor in the right measure.

When Dean does get it right, WolfCop is exactly the kind of over-the-top fun a comedy horror of this ilk should be. Watching the lycanthropic lawman pimp his patrol car and dish out some violent justice werewolf style, all set to a thumping electric-guitar-fuelled soundtrack, is undeniable fun and sees the director strike as close to the right balance of action, horror and humour as WolfCop gets.

Aside from these flashes of success, however, Dean's film is littered with problems. Admittedly, some of these are forgivable: the plot is (predictably) a load of tosh about a solar eclipse, ritual sacrifice and shapeshifting reptiles that at least serves its purpose in allowing the writer and director to establish his central premise and eponymous character. But Dean takes far too long to do this, wasting a sizeable chunk of his slight seventy-five minute running time bringing in unnecessary complications and mostly worthless embellishments. A local gang of criminals known as the "Piggies", for example, are mentioned early on solely to set up a single joke based around a well-known fairytale - no prizes for guessing which one - when WolfCop (Leo Fafard) confronts them much later. It's blunt, contrived and only mildly amusing humour such as this which more often than not proves to be Dean's downfall, making WolfCop a film that's never nearly as clever or enjoyable as it needs to be to carry off its ludicrous concept.

There are also times here where Dean is just downright lazy. WolfCop is clearly intended to pay tribute to the cult B-movie horror flicks of the 1980s, and the film's small budget should play comfortably into this style of filmmaking. And yet the director regularly misses chances to tailor the film to his own aesthetic choice, making the '80s style feel inconsistent whilst at the same time highlighting the amateurishness of what WolfCop has to offer. The performances from the cast are also satisfactory at best, something which Dean again could have transformed into a kitschy running joke had he played up to it, but which he instead consistently fails to turn to his advantage.

When all is said and done, WolfCop simply lacks the bite (pun intended) and humour needed to make its comedic tribute to '80s low-rent horror work. Whilst you're likely to find parts here and there to enjoy within Dean's film, too often this is a chore to sit through for an unsatisfyingly low yield of fun.

By Ben Broadribb. Ben is a regular contributor to Film Intel, having previously written at Some Like It Hot Fuzz. He is normally seen in the wild wearing t-shirts containing obscure film references. He is a geek, often unashamedly so. He's also on and Twitter.

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