North-Of-The-Border Horrors : “Werewolf Fever”

Posted: January 29, 2013 in movies
Tags: , , , , , , ,

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Here’s to the old school, didn’t matter if ya looked cool —

If there’s one phrase that can be tacked onto writer-director Brian Singleton’s 2009 effort Werewolf Fever, “old school” is it. This is short, quick, funny, nasty stuff. Hell, just look at that poster. Tells you all you need to know right there.

Filmed in Renfrew, Ontario on a budget apparently beneath $200,000, Werewolf Fever gets down to business and isn’t afraid to get its hands dirty. Clocking in at 66 minutes, there’s no time to waste with things like set-up or motivation, the characters are more cardboard caricatures than anything else, and Singleton doesn’t seem to have much on his mind beyond letting the blood flow and the innards ooze. What’s not to love, I ask you?

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At the Kingburger drive-in, the staff is underpaid, the food sucks, the kitchen is a pit, and everyone would rather fuck off on the clock than do any actual work for their asshole boss. The joynt gets attacked by a former employee who’s bitten by a werewolf and consequently becomes one himself, and honestly, that’s as complete a plot recap as you’re ever going to need here. Story? We don’t need no stinkin’ story!

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Okay, as you can probably tell from the photo above, the werewolf (with, apparently, the fever) here doesn’t look like much of a werewolf at all. It looks more like a — well, I don’t know what the fuck it looks like, but it looks cool. That’s good enough for me. It rips. It slashes. It bites. It dismembers. It hacks and chews and tears and disembowels and — well, you get the picture. It gets the job done. And you couldn’t come up with anything nearly as good on the budget these guys had to work with.

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Good n’ gory, that’s all we’re really looking for here, right? And on that score, there’s no question that Werewolf Fever delivers the scarlet-soaked goods. The actors, a transparently yet endearingly half-assed lot one and all, are quite obviously not taking any of this very seriously, nor is their boss, so why not just have some fun? As a matter of fact, why not just make a movie that, for horror fans at any rate, it’s downright impossible not to have a good time watching? Singleton doesn’t even slow down long enough to give you a chance to think, and ya know what? You don’t need to. Overthinking Werewolf Fever — hell, giving it any thought at all — just defeats the whole purpose. This is a movie that throws you in at the deep end and doesn’t let up until the slaughter is over. Throw in some dumb-shit moronic humor to spice things up, and you’ve got yourself a pretty tasty, if familiar, stew.

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As the hippies used to say, “Just go with the flow, man!” And when it comes to blood, entrails, and viscera of any sort, it’s flowing in this flick from start to finish. There’s not much by way of dramatic tension or any of that superfluous high-fallutin’ stuff (although the cinematography on some of the night-shoot outdoor scenes is surprisingly professional and nicely evocative of the the Universal Monsters era), but damn, there sure is plenty of gore to go around, most of which is amazingly well-executed given the resources at Singleton’s disposal. Somebody else already invented the wheel a long time ago, why rain on their parade? Let’s just tweak their work as much as we can with what we’ve got and see if the folks out there don’t have as good a time watching it as we did making it. That’s the basic philosophy at work here, and it’s one I can get behind  any time.

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Like the other Canadian indie horrors we’ve been taking a look at around these parts (off and on) in recent weeks, Werewolf Fever is available on DVD as part of R-Squared Films’ “Extreme Canadian Horror” and/or “Pure Canadian Horror” five-movie collection. There are no extras, but the widescreen picture transfer and 5.1 sound are both great, and speaking of great, this disc definitely constitutes great value for money at under $10 from most online retailers. Werewolf Fever   is definitely the most tongue-in-cheek and least self-conscious flick of the bunch, and while that may not make it the best movie in the collection, it’s certainly the most fun. Sit back, shut your brain off (you probably weren’t doing much with it anyway), and  enjoy the bloody, brutal, stupid ride.

Comments
  1. Excellent! I love any sentence containing the words “hippies” alongside “viscera.” Well done!

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