Lou Garou is a cop in the small town of Woodhaven. He’s not very good at his job, though, as he is a fairly heavy alcoholic. One evening he follows up on some complaints about teenagers partying in the woods. He gets ambushed and abducted, and the morning after he awakes at home with a pentagram carved into his chest. Turns out he has bee cursed, and becomes a werewolf every night from this point on. This does not prevent him doing his police duty, though, where he displays top performance when in wolf form. What he does not know that he is the centerpiece of an occult conspiracy of freakish beings that are planning to hold perform a deadly ritual during the upcoming solar eclipse. As he tries to put the clues together, he finds himself surrounded by murder and mayhem.
Another werewolf movie? In 2014? Not needed, you might say. After all, the humanoid monster horror sub-genre (werewolves, vampires, mummies, zombies) has seemingly exhausted all angles and premises that could be possibly explored. That may be true, and Wolfcop does certainly not reinvent the wheel. But it also does not pretend to. I believe director and writer Lowell Dean was aware of the limited space for developing new ideas in this sub-genre, and instead went for the campy and ironic approach. Since “An American Werewolf in London” came out in 1981 there have been a few humorous takes on the werewolf movie genre. While not reaching the emotional and psychological depth of an arguable classic such as Ginger Snaps (and maybe also not aiming for it), Wolfcop is certainly a worthy addition to its predecessors.
The plot is not particularly original or exciting, but it serves as a more than decent backdrop for plenty of action and humor that is delivered at a high pace. Wolfcop also gets the credit of introducing satanic lizard shapeshifters to the canon of movie villains. The cliches and stereotypes of the small town setting are put in scene convincingly, including the characters. All actors give it their best as far as I can tell, and play it well over the top with great comedic timing. Blood and gore are abundant, but it’s all staged with plenty of comic relief if you’re not sensitive about ripped-off faces and throats.
The humor in Wolfcop oscillates between embarrassingly silly and clever puns. You get to decide into which of the two categories the scene falls where Wolfcop has sex with his lover dressed up as Little Red Riding Hood. The low-budget nature of the movie is visible, especially in the action scenes which are always difficult to pull off when money is tight. But the fast-paced and creative cinematography is able to make everything look good, and overall I believe it’s a very professional production from everyone involved. We also get a stomping hard rock soundtrack to keep the adrenaline high.
Wolfcop is a B-movie in the most positive sense that delivers plenty of R-rated fun, and it’s also a charming homage to the werewolf flicks that came before.