Curse of the Wolf Movie Review
Written and directed by Len Kabasinski
2006, Region 0 (PAL), 100 minutes, Rated 18 (UK)
DVD released on October 12th, 2009
Renee Porada as Dakota
Lanny Poffo as Logan
Darian Caine as Ivy
Brian “Blue Meanie” Heffron as Franklin
Pamela Sutch as Star
The pack has a problem. Seems like Dakota, one of their members, has gotten all uppity and decided she doesn’t want to be a werewolf and hunt with them anymore. If that weren’t enough to piss them off, Dakota has also resorted to medicating herself in order to avoid the change.
Thinking she’ll come to her senses, the leader of the pack, Michael (Todd Humes), decides to let her cut out on her own with the logic that she’ll come back to the fold. This conclusion was made the day after she put a beat down on most of the gang with her kick ass kung fu, but that probably had nothing to do with his decision.
Six months later, Franklin (played by a very likeable WWF and ECW wrestler Brian “Blue Meanie” Heffron) goes on a killing spree in a local park. This is a big no no, as it draws attention to the clan, and when reprimanded for it, Franklin explains that he caught Dakota’s scent. The decision is made that it is time for her to come back home, whether she wants to or not. As expected, there’s a body count.
Don’t let that summary get your hopes up, as Curse of the Wolf is so much of a mess I don’t know where to begin. One of its biggest problems is its 100 minute running time, which is about 30 minutes too long — and that is being extremely generous. There is so much ridiculous filler in this movie, including when the movie comes to a full stop to explain the backstory of Stick (played by writer/director Len Kabasinski) — a backstory that you neither care about nor adds anything to the movie but to seemingly pad the minutes. Other nonsensical moments, such as people walking around aimlessly and extended tours of houses, left me with one hand on the remote, skipping to what I hoped would be more story.
The beginning of the movie is solid enough. It’s unclear why, exactly, Dakota is so adamant not to be a werewolf. You have to wonder if she was turned against her will, or if she’s just tired of running around all willy nilly every time there’s a full moon. It becomes irrelevant, though, once the pack catches up with her and she gets help from Logan (Lanny Poffo, another former wrestler), a shady bar owner. The entire meeting between Logan and Dakota is forced and contrived. Dakota is chased into a bar, there’s a fight in the bathroom, one of Logan’s flunkies leads her upstairs (at gunpoint) to talk to him (Logan) and BAM, Logan is there to assist. He even hires her, but for what is unclear.
This doesn’t feel like a full movie, but rather a series of vignettes packed between filler for 104 minutes. You get from point A to B with a cognitive story, but it’s so clunky and cluttered you are desperate to get to the end faster, and when you check to see how much time is left, you are dismayed to see you still have 45 minutes. Even some of the sound bites that are shockingly similar American Werewolf in London (from the howling of the wolves to the Griffin Dunne soundbites) don't help it move along any faster.
The movie isn’t all bad, though. Well it is, but there are things that make the pain bearable. The first is Renee Porada, who plays Dakota. Porada has a presence and, while decent enough in Wolf, you can tell she is capable of far more if given the chance with a more experienced director. Plus she’s smoking hot and knows kung fu. She’s a lot of fun to watch when she’s kicking ass.
Another thing done well in Wolf are the fight scenes. In addition to writing and directing the film, Len Kabasinski did the fight choreography. A black belt in Tae Kwon Do and Tang Soo Do, Kabasinski did an admirable job with the action scenes, and they were far from embarrassing to watch. Sure, these aren’t going to be what you a used to from a multi-million dollar picture, but for a low-budget production they certainly get it done. Kabasinski made the most of what he had, and it’s obvious.
The gore is hit or miss. Kabasinski was smart with most of the edits to just quickly show what may have looked bad and linger more on what worked. However, there are more quick cuts than not, so you are left wanting more.
On paper, Curse of the Wolf has a lot going for it, but the execution on the whole is piss poor and it goes into the ‘what coulda been’ pile. I like werewolves, hot women and kung fu, but I don’t like this movie. Skip it.
Video and Audio:
While this is a screener and video and audio won’t be graded, I have to hope that the final version is better lit than the copy I received. The lighting in the screener is so absolutely abysmal, that even the day shots were poorly lit.
Special features will not be graded as this is a screener, but the final promises a trailer.
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