In genre flicks that toe the line of comedy, there is a tendency to either go full on camp or just add in the right amount of humor to ease the tension a little. This week, from RLJ Entertainment, we get two releases that definitely go with the camp approach, but are handled in two different approaches, with Lowell Dean’s WOLFCOP, and Al Franklin and Pamela J Richardson’s TEETH AND BLOOD. Let’s see how these two monster filled films square off!
Round 1: The Lead
In the furry corner, we have WOLFCOP, a Canadian werewolf horror-comedy starring Leo Fafard as Officer Lou Garou. Garou is an alcoholic cop, not the best at his job, more keen on drinking and downing doughnuts than catching the bad guys. Things get a little hairy when after a night that Lou blacked out, he wakes up with a pentagram carved in his chest, and an intense need for the hair of the dog that bit him.
In the red corner, we have TEETH AND BLOOD, a film for Urban Movie Channel starring Glenn Plummer as Vincent Augustine, genre director filming a vampire flick in downtown Los Angeles when his star diva mysteriously dies, then her body disappears. Oh, did I mention that the city is going through a blood shortage at its blood banks?
As far as main characters go, round one goes to WOLFCOP. Fafard is wonderful as Garou, both as the bumbling drunk and he literally chews up the scenery once his transformation takes over. Plummer as Augustine just seems bored, underacting throughout the majority of the film, acting like he needs to be on another set.
Round 2: Supporting Cast
WOLFCOP has a packed lineup full of Garou’s fellow cops, lively town denizens, but the shining diamond in the rough is Willie Higgins, played by Jonathan Cherry (GOON, FINAL DESTINATION 2). Cherry has some of the more hilarious lines throughout the film, and really adds to the twist at the end. And his town loser role plays wonderfully opposite the best cop on the force, Tina played by Amy Matysio.
TEETH AND BLOOD, while having a phoned in performance from its lead, does see more effort from its two police co-stars, played by Sean Christopher and Michelle Van Der Water. The two do their best as undercover cops trying to get to the bottom of the rising body count, all the while trying to figure out how to get around on a movie set.
Round 2 has to go to WOLFCOP again. Sadly, despite the efforts of Christopher and Van Der Water’s attempts, the remainder of the cast is full of over-actors, that clearly think that horror films are a joke, and a campy film about horror should be played ridiculously rather than with heart.
Round 3: Effects
TEETH AND BLOOD is rather minimal in its overall horror effects, opting more for a CGI contact effect for when the vampires are revealing themselves, mixed with a poorly done dubbing for their voice. Eventually, we see a makeup effect similar to the Buffy The Vampire Slayer vampire approach, which is my least favorite way of making up a vampire. The only time that I’ve liked that approach is in FROM DUSK TIL DAWN, but TEETH AND BLOOD is far from that.
WOLFCOP plays at my heart strings even more by going practical with their effects! With one of the more gruesome skin rip werewolf transformations, we also see the transformation start in the most unique way possible. While some werewolf afficionados detest the skin rip method, I thought that it demonstrated the painful metamorphosis wonderfully while also allowing a reveal as to how this is a healing process for Lou. Besides Lou’s skin, plenty of skin is ripped off by our protagonist, as well as full body parts as carnage ensues as WolfCop takes out the town baddies. Round 3 has a clear victor, WOLFCOP be thy name!
The winner of this match, by TKO, is WOLFCOP. The film, while being silly, still backs up the goofy nature with a true love for the genre, and includes a well thought out mythos. And thankfully, Lowell Dean and crew have plans for a sequel and possibly more! TEETH AND BLOOD sadly tries for a bigger concept of movie within a movie, but fails with its lack of follow through on the various side stories.
WOLFCOP is now available on DVD, BLU and Digital Video and TEETH AND BLOOD is available on DVD and Digital Video as of March 10th, 2015.