Genre: Horror
Released: 1996
Produced and Directed by: Tony Zarindast
  • Jorge Rivero - Yuri
  • Richard Lynch - Noel
  • Federico Cavalli - Paul Niles
  • Adrianna Miles - Natalie Burke
Other: 40th lowest ranked movie on IMDb

Plot Summary and Review:

Most horror movies have a sub-standard plot. You don't watch them for high drama, you watch them to see some guy get his face eaten by the monster of the week. Werewolf is no exception to this rule; indeed, it serves as a benchmark for how little plot can be spread in a little more than an hour and a half of film. In addition to a poor plot, the movie is plagued by poor lighting, poor set design, poor cinematography, and poor acting. About the only redeeming quality of the movie is the costume design for the monsters, but that doesn't save the movie from being absolutely dreadful.

The plot, as much as there is one, is that an archaeological dig in Arizona has discovered an unusual find, that of a Werewolf's skeleton. Shortly thereafter, a fist fight breaks out, and one of the dig assistants falls on, and is cut by the werewolf skeleton. He promptly falls ill and is hospitalized. That night, he becomes a werewolf, attacks several hospital employees, and runs off into the night. Shortly thereafter, he is brought down with silver shotgun shells; Big 5 must have been out of the standard silver bullets that day.

Seeing all the havoc the werewolf did, Yuri, the man in charge of the dig, decides to inject one of the security guards with the blood of the dig worker, turning the guard into a werewolf as well. The guard is promptly killed in a fiery car crash, and thus, doesn't get to go on a killing spree like all good werewolves should be able to do. As a result, Yuri is upset that he doesn't get to watch the carnage.

Enter our hero Paul. After being asked by Natalie, another person working the archaeological dig, to look at the werewolf skeleton, he heads to the lab where the skeleton is being held and examines the artifact. While examining the skeleton, he is attacked by Yuri, who wants as few people as possible to know about the existence of the skeleton. In the ensuing fist fight, Yuri removes the skull from the presumably priceless skeleton, and uses it to deliver a nasty cut to Paul. Due to this injury, Paul becomes a werewolf later that night.

As werewolves tend to do, Paul goes on a bloody rampage, killing the movie's nameless token well-endowed female. Feeling frightened at his actions, he hides himself in a corner of his house. Yuri discovers this, and goes off to capture Paul in the hopes of publicly displaying him and becoming very wealthy. In the ensuing fight, Yuri is killed. The film ends with Paul back at his house with Natalie, kissing. As Natalie turns to face the camera, we see that she too must have been attacked somewhere along the line, for she is showing those tell-tale signs of being a werewolf.

As far as the mechanics of the film go, they are as bad as the plot. There are scenes which have nothing to do with the film, awful lighting, awful sound, awful dialogue, and awful sets. Most horror movies have dimly lit rooms and shadowy figures, but Werewolf takes these two staples too far, and one finds themself squinting to see what's going on in the film, even when there is no need for the suspense dim lighting brings. Additionally, it's clear that there was very little budget for sets in the movie. The two most prominent examples of this are a scene which is supposedly in a hospital room looks like it was done in someone's house, and another scene is supposedly in a tent, but no tent I know of has wood paneling and drywall. About fifteen minutes into watching the film, one realizes that the entire movie has about as much production value as the typical high school play, maybe even less than that. Because of all the cheesy production, it's almost unfortunate that the makeup effects are so good.

Simply put, the makeup effects, which are the bread and butter of any horror movie, are the best thing in this movie. Indeed, they are as good, if not better, than those found in any big budget horror film. They look fairly realistic, not like the cheap rubber masks found in most horror films from the fifties and sixties. The actors obviously had a lot of practice working with the latex, as the facial movements are top notch, pretty much what you'd expect a werewolf's facial expressions to look like. It's simply a shame that such good latex had to be sacrificed on such a bad movie, as there have been a lot of decent werewolf movies brought down by simply horrendous costume design.

As with any bad movie, this film is best enjoyed with lots of friends and your favorite ceremonial substances. There are several scenes which are laughably bad, lots of opportunities for wisecracks. Just don't try to understand it, because there truly is nothing underneath the latex of the werewolf masks. If you're an aficionado of bad movies, you'll love this one, anyone else should run away from this one, as it's just plain awful.