Saturday, April 11, 2009

The Company of Wolves (1984)

Fear 2/5
Gore 3/5
Entertainment 2/5
Creepiness 3/5-- Mainly for the movie cover

I had completely forgotten about this film until I ran across it on NetFlix and quickly added it to my queue. Long before Blockshyster (AKA Blockbuster), my father used to take me on weekends to Video Library. I'd run up and down the aisles, looking for my favorite cartoons on VHS. Always on the very last row, in the back next to the curtained off booby section, was the single aisle of horror films. Walking down the aisle, I remember having a feeling like I shouldn't be there, pulse racing as I viewed the covers of various horror movies released in the mid-80's. The cover of this film terrified the hell out of me. I mean just look at it, a wolf's snout is coming out of a dude's facehole! All kids have heard the story of little red riding hood, so to see the cover of this VHS in all its vivid glory, scared the piss out of me.

The film centers on a sleeping teenage girl who dreams of a family living in a rural English countryside circa the turn of the century (or so I guess). Cut off from the rest of the world, they live a pretty simple and secluded life with other folks in a village. The family's daughter (who the sleeping girl dreams/envisions herself to be) is told stories of the wolves that live 'off the path' in the woods. After her sister is brutally murdered by one of them, she spends a few days with her grandmother (played by Ms. Murder She Wrote herself), who lives deep in the woods.

The grandmother tells her various stories about the wolves, how they can change form and are part man and beast. The tales are always of a sexual nature, of how the man-beast can lure, seduce, and take control of women, holding them captive with their strong powers.

The girl eventually returns home, where her father (played by Tron's Master Control Program) leads the fellow villagers on man hunts to wipe out the population of wolves. One evening, the girl heads out to grandma's house deep in the woods by herself, completely disregarding the stories her grandmother has told her (including staying away from dudes who have uni-brows, gasp!) and comes across a man who appears to be lost. He chats with her for awhile, eventually getting into her knickers, and makes a bet that he can make it to her grandmother's house before she can and a subsequent foot race begins. Of course the man-wolf dude with a uni-brow makes it to grandma's house before she does, decapitates her (which is an odd scene in that, instead of a severed cranium and vertebrae, we see the head crash and split apart like a ceramic vase against a wall, WTF??). So anywhos, the dude and her share an 'I love you' moment, the father and villagers show up, the girl turns into a wolf too and they both run out into the forest together. The sleeping girl wakes up, a wolf crashes through her bedroom window and you get the impression that her dream has come to life.

Somewhere in this entire convoluted mess of a film is a story about sex and sexual repression, about not succumbing to the beast that is within, blah blah blah. I hate having to 'think' about my horror movies. Outside of a couple of decently shot werewolf transformation scenes (utilizing the best in 80's animatronics), the film was entirely boring. Oh, and the woods totally looked like Dagobah from The Empire Strikes Back. I was expecting Yoda to pop up at any moment. An interesting twist on the werewolf story/mythos, for sure. But nothing all that engrossing or entertaining. However, the cover of that movie still creeps me the fuck out.

Cortez the Killer

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