Monday, May 4, 2009

LYCANTHROPHY AIN'T ALWAYS AS BOSS AS IT SOUNDS . . . . BUT, CRAP, DAWG, IT SHOULD BE




"Do you know what
the greatest commonality
between man and animal is?
It's not the drive to mate,
or the maternal instinct.
It's not even the will to survive.
It's just this, plain and simple:
every now and then, they, like us,
they lose their minds.
They go crazy. Psycho."
- Deputy Jack -


listen, people, do you know what really grinds my gears? do you know? well, here it is, people, it's this right here: i am sick of vampires getting all the limelight. that's right. you heard me. i am sick of vampires getting every moon-lit, all-caps, bold-faced, twilighted, yellow bulbed and flickering marquee all the bloody time. and they do. vampires are always stealing the spotlight. and you know why? because people just love the vampires these days. in recent years, vampires have tragically become too chique for their own blood-guzzling good. and, sure, cinematically speaking, vampires may be hotter than polyvore outfits on the streets of new york city, but, honestly, the adoration is getting a little out of hand because all this undead shimmering does not allow any other hard-working, shape-shifting, esophagus-scooping, skull-splitting, spine-tingling monster of yore to get any props. i swear, you'd think there'd never been a frankenstein or a mummy or a creature from the black lagoon. you'd think that a bloke living in the republic of tejas couldn't be half-man and half-hamster. you'd think that vampires were the only undeads worth a good gosh-reel these days. still, the ticket-selling proof is in the jugular pudding. i mean, crap, we've got kids filing down their canines and powdering out their skin, just to be a bit more sucky looking: this is surely the age of the parasite.

personally, i am a huge fan of the lycanthrope: half-human, half-wolf. i find werewolves vastly superior creatures to vampires; although, i am not entirely sure why. if anything, i think it's the dual identity of the man-wolf that is so attractive: one man with two personalities, one containing more of an excuse for his carnage than the other (which half has the excuse is usually the plot of any good werewolf tale).

however, despite my own enthusiasm for werewolves, i am usually quite disappointed with werewolf films. for instance, tonight i viewed paul moore's less than appetizing approach to cinematic lycanthropy - THE FEEDING. the story begins with a typical joke set-up: two yahoos in the woods drink beer and talk trash until they hear some squalor in the bushes. they get jazzed, pump their rifles and fire. something falls. one gets down to investigate, and then the fallen animal rips out his voice box. the other bloke, toked up on miller high lites (love 'em) jumps in the bed of the truck, only to find the keys missing. the wolf-monster bashes in the back windshield and the dude's head, beginning a killing spree that actually yawns more than squeals.

from this point on we meet college kids smoking, screwing, and spinning the bottle on a camping trip in the woods (typical), as well as the local yokel police force that hopes to stop the werewolf. 89 minutes later nothing redeeming has occurred, and, unfortunately, we better understand why cinema belongs to the vampire. according to THE FEEDING, which seems to line up with far too many lycanthrope films: cinematic werewolves are usually tragically and typically boring creatures.

top lines from THE FEEDING: "Was that her boyfriend?" "Of three years." "She gonna be okay?" "Thirty years of therapy and a lifetime of Xanax might help."

although i give THE FEEDING 1 throat chew out of 5, i still have hope for lycanthrope theater. here's some lists of werewolf films that i dig or want to dig. vampires shall not claim all the stakes!

TOP FOUR WEREWOLF FILMS I'VE SEEN:
- TEEN WOLF
- GINGER SNAPS
- DOG SOLDIERS
- SILVER BULLET

FOUR GOOD WEREWOLF CAMEO FILMS I CAN ATTEST TO:
- FRIGHT NIGHT
- MONSTER SQUAD
- UNDERWORLD
- WAXWORK

TOP FOUR WEREWOLF FILMS I WANT TO SEE:
- TEEN WOLF TOO
- THE WOLF MAN
- SKINWALKERS
- THE HOWLING (any and all)

4 comments:

myleswerntz said...

I love in Underworld how the Werewolves are the lower-class badasses. As they should be.

I too have a soft spot for the lycanthropes--they make no bones about who they are, as opposed to vampires who try to act like they're just humans with light allergies.

John Barber said...

You haven't seen Teen Wolf 2? Dang it, man. Jason Bateman in his finest role. I gotta say, though, that above the vampires and the werewolves for me are the zombies. Best monster, hands down. Zombies.

the hamster said...

myles - i'm waiting to get the MONSTER SQUAD on vhs. i loved that mess as a kid. also, good call on vampires essentially being posers.

john - i saw TEEN WOLF TOO when i was a wee lad. jason bateman is a boxing werewolf: that's all i remember. so, yeah, i pretty much count it as a no see for me.

listen, john, here's me commissioning a post from you: write up something defining your love and affection for zombies. just something. use any zombie film you want to build context, even if it's an old film you saw way back when. and even though werewolves are my favorite monster, i also really dig the zombies. i'll put something together as well.

i know we do a lot of slasher flicks around here, but slasher flicks do not hold a candle to creature-features. i love a good monster movie.

Vernon Bowen said...

Just read this post. Thank you for giving some love to the lycans! My favorite monster of the movies and middle school library books (probably because they are the only ones that still scare me). Dog Soldiers was a great one, but you are right, there haven't been any really good ones in a long while. I was just able to snag Skinwalkers off the net and plan to watch it on a rainy day (or a moonlit night), but I don't expect much, and that's too bad.

There are just too many crappy werewolf movies. Did you see Cursed? The Wes Craven/ Kevin Williamson disaster. Absolute crap! The fact that a werewolf can respond to human conversation by flipping the bird is like something out of a horror movie parody, not a horror movie itself!

Thanks for the reminder of some of the good ones. Wasn't Monster Squad the one where they kick the Wolf Man in the balls, or did they do that to the Mummy?