Monday, April 19, 2010

War Wolves

For a low budget, SyFy channel creature feature, War Wolves doesn’t have a terrible premise. American soldiers come back from fighting in Iraq infected with a virus that turns them into werewolves, and a small team of werewolf hunters has to track them down. It also features genre veterans in supporting roles like John Saxon (A Nightmare on Elm Street), Adrienne Barbeau (The Fog, Escape From New York, The Thing [you don’t believe me, but it’s true]) and Tim Thomerson (the Trancers movies, many others). Unfortunately, the script is terrible.

It is very overwritten, with characters being forced to recite long, cringe-worthy chunks of dialogue, sometimes for exposition, mostly to seem hip. And for a movie that should be an action fest between werewolves and the people who hunt them, it’s incredibly slow. I rarely fall asleep during a movie, but this one got me just before the one hour mark.

Saxon, Barbeau and Thomerson are talented actors (Thomerson in particular has a great delivery of comedic lines) and do what they can with the material, but the rest of the cast is just overwhelmed. Unless you have a psychological disorder that compels you to watch every werewolf movie ever made, you’ll want to miss this one. Those specialists who enjoy the traditional human-to-wolf transformation scenes will be particularly disappointed, as here the change is shown by the afflicted actors donning fake fangs, no other makeup needed.

On a personal note, there is a scene near the beginning of the movie where the “good” werewolf attends an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting. There’s no reason for this, as we are told by an annoying voice-over that only alcohol allows him to control his lycanthropy, but what struck me is how much more interesting the people in his AA group seem to be than those I come into contact with every day. Pathetic, I know, but I was wondering if it was worth developing a drinking problem in order to have cooler friends.

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