Monday, June 7, 2010
One A Week Reviews #24: Neowolf
"A rock band of werewolves will tear your heart apart!" Torn between the girl he loves and the dark side of fame, a young musician is seduced by a touring rock band called "Neowolf" with a mysterious past and a hungry habit that comes with the full moon!
Ever see Near Dark, where a guy gets hooked up with a roaming band of vampires thanks to his "Star-crossed love" for a bad girl? Well, here we have a band that's a Band and they're Werewolves. They're also style victims. Neowolf is a barely-coherent mess directed by the estimable "Alan Smithee." (A pseudonym for Yvan Gauthier in this case).
Essentially, college boy Tony returns to try and patch things up with his girlfriend Rosemary and her sidekick Kevin when he's seduced away by Paula, the distaff member of Neowolf, a touring rock band made up of Werewolves. When she decides he needs to be a Lycanthrope as well, it's up to Rosemary and Kevin to trudge their way to a plan of rescue.
From the very beginning this film is a derivative, badly-constructed mess. Most shots are framed awkwardly. One of the opening scenes reminds one of some weird super-slow-mo fashion commercial set at a gas station. Weird, cross-fade montages are the structure of every scene, along with jittery action camerawork for when the badly-costumed werewolves attack. This editing can barely camouflage the wooden acting or completely random leaps of logic the characters take.
Veronica Cartwright and Tiffany Shepis show up here in bit parts. They both have just enough audience goodwill to forgive them these trespasses. I just hope they didn't lower their quotes for the job.
There's also some uniquely bad lip-syncing in this movie. The special effects and kill-scenes (rather important in a horror film) are pretty atrocious, too. CGI morphs that would have looked amateur in 1995 are show-piece effects here and a website-insert that looks like it came from '95 as well. Everything about this is amateur and disjointed, but I think the filmmakers went in with good intentions. (Gauthier has made other films) That said, this is aspiring to compete with The Room more than it is The Howling.
Neowolf is presented in widescreen with audio in English 5.1 and 2.0 Dolby Digital along with Spanish subtitles. Some trailers are included.
"Alan Smithee" is a pseudonym a director uses when, due to either quality or control issues, he wants to remove his name from a movie. Neowolf may ruin his career.
This isn't just bad. This is The Room of Horror films.