Jarv’s Schlock Vault: War Wolves
It’s only the alcohol that stops me tearing you all apart
Jarv’s Rating: 1 Chang- This is a shit effort.
The Sci-Fi Channel are a fucking enigma. They are so serially incompetent that I find it astounding that they manage to make any money whatsoever. Occasionally, they do manage to bang something good out (usually more through luck than judgement) such as Mammoth, Infestation or Pandorum, but most of the time their less than stellar efforts fail to even reach the dizzy heights of mediocre (Frankenfish), instead wallowing in their own filth and offending the viewer with their ineptitude (Minotaur). This is one of the latter.
My Christ this film stinks. It’s such a good idea, and it is so painfully botched that I feel actually vengeful towards the bastards that made it. It should be so fucking simple: Army in Iraq+ Werewolves= gold, instead what we get is a poorly staged, poorly shot, poorly acted (with a few exceptions that I will come to in a moment), incoherent load of gobbledegook without even the levity of the occasional boob sighting. There is the odd moment of completely unintended hilarity (and that’s completely down to the sheer incompetence of whatever moron did the werewolf makeup), but not enough to justify the film’s existence.
I fucking knew this one was going to be trouble as soon as the opening credits finished. I’m watching 3 reasonably attractive women that are allegedly in the army beat 3 guys at a game of Touch American Football. Then there’s a confusing battle scene that for some reason involves werewolves. Cut back to America, and it seems that all the people that were on that expedition are suffering (in a dreadfully hamfisted attempt at being topical) from varying degrees of PTSD. The women, in particular are now on a homicidal rampage across America looking for Captain Jake Gabriel, who is apparently important but no cunt ever bothers explaining why, despite the fact that he’s an alcoholic. They’re being pursued by two OAP Army Black Ops wolfbusters and the film builds to a climax as dull and confusing as anything ever filmed.
This film is utterly charmless. Tim Thomerson and John Saxon supply the only real entertainment in the film as the old codgers, and Adrienne Barbeau makes a welcome appearance as Gabriel’s sponsor, a patient woman given to spouting pointless home-spun wisdom. I think she’s meant to be psychic or some such, but she is far above the material here. The three “War Wolves” Natasha Alam, Kristi Clainos and Siri Baruc fill out fatigues nicely but cannot act to save themselves. Alam in particular is completely dreadful- she may be pretty but she can’t act, and the film squandered the chance to show her goodies. I actually toyed with taking the solitary Chang off it for that, but decided that Thomerson and Saxon were worth it, and it would be harsh to on them to give this film the double eye-poke Orangutan of Doom. Michael Worth, on the other hand, the writer/ director/ lead actor/ fight choreographer is fucking dismal, proving to be completely useless in every single one of those roles. The storyline is a confusing mess- for example, the big showdown at the end has head werewolf bird just bugger off for no reason at all, there are countless throwaway scenes and characters (the lesbians in the motel leaping to mind) that just don’t add anything, and the fighting is as inept as to be laughable. Really, the dude is a colossal failure on every level.
War Wolves was clearly almost completely unencumbered by a budget, and this is particularly telling with the werewolf effects- which are fucking ridiculous. Honestly, there’s one sequence where the girls are quite far along the transformation which features them with, and this is unbelievably bad, clearly fake black dog noses on. You can even see the joins with their skin. This incompetence is actually highly entertaining, but unfortunately it keeps being interrupted by the tedium of what passes for the narrative.
I actually wonder if this odious sack of shit wasn’t originally intended to be a pilot episode for a series. If that is the case, then I thank the lord that Sciffy decided to make it feature length, because the premise of two old guys hunting werewolves across America is exactly the sort of piss poor series that I’d get sucked into and persevere with for 4 episodes. So at least the error of judgement limited my pain to 90 minutes.
Overall, I really, really do not recommend this film. It’s absolute shit and just no fun whatsoever. Furthermore, it utterly squanders a great premise, and is just a totally anti-fun experience. The only reason, as I’ve said above, that this ginormous boil of a film avoids the Orangutan is that it’s nice to see Thomerson and Saxon (who are clearly enjoying themselves), even if they are incredibly wasted in a dull, confusing, nonsensical load of cobblers such as this.
For shame Sci-Fi, for shame.
Until next time,