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Officer Lou Garou isn't the best cop in small-town Woodhaven - in fact, he's probably the worst. One evening during the late shift, Lou investigates a mysterious disturbance at the edge of town and wakes up with a pentagram carved in his chest, heightened senses and body hair that's growing at an alarming rate. This half-man, half-beast is not just a cop...he's a WOLFCOP.

On paper, WolfCop sounds like a slam dunk for this writer.  A deadbeat, alcoholic mess of a small-town cop gains supernatural abilities and utilizes them to take a bite out of crime?  Sounds good to me.  And no, I’m not sorry for the pun.  Toss in buckets o’ blood and gore, as well as a few more surprise genre twists and I should have been over the moon for WolfCop.  And no, I’m not sorry for that pun either.

I’m all for genre mash-ups and tossing a lot of insanity at the screen, but it just did not work for me at all here.  The story elements are all in place, the cast is passable, and the practical FX work is pretty great though, so what went wrong?  Tone and execution.  We seem to be in the middle of an onslaught of ‘70s/‘80s-inspired genre efforts that want to revel in the excesses of those decades (particularly the latter).  I’m fine with that to a certain degree and in some cases; I’ll happily wallow in it.  The circumstances have to be right, however.  

You can either play things mostly straight, deadpanning your way through the crazy and crafting some sort of gonzo, but mostly serious effort.  Neil Marshall’s Doomsday, Paco Plaza’s The Christmas Tale, Adam Windgard's The Guest, and Robert Rodriguez’s Planet Terror all come to mind.  On the flipside, you have the super gonzo offerings like Jason Eisener’s Hobo With A Shotgun, Rodriguez’s Machete films, and Scott Sanders’ Black Dynamite that all go for over-enthusiastic broke with their insanity to varying degrees of success.  

What I cannot abide as a viewer, however, are the projects that come out swinging with a ridiculous premise and then spend the majority of their running time laughing at their own jokes and perceived cleverness.  It’s not only annoying, but also extremely grating.  Films like The Warrior’s Way, Hell Ride, and Bitch Slap.  Films like WolfCop.

I get why some enjoy this film.  I really do.  I just cannot find it in me to join them in their jubilation as they hoist it high as a new cult classic.  It botches its potential at every turn, knee-capping good (or at least entertaining) ideas within with an endless parade of inept nudges and winks.  Still, the film isn’t a total loss.  In addition to its aforementioned cast and delightfully juicy gore FX, the first act manages to work pretty well before rapidly collapsing into self-parody as the film continues on.  Next time I'm in the mood for werewolf law enforcement action, I'll be far likelier to track down Anthony Hickox's Full Eclipse (1993) instead.

WolfCop may not have done much for me narratively, but there is no denying that it is a good-looking film.  Filled with colorful setwork and crisp outdoor sequences, it's clear that Lowell Dean put a lot of effort into making it look like every dollar he scrounged up made it onto the screen.  This is a handsome transfer, courtesy of Image, for a film that might have otherwise been tossed onto home video with little effort.

In addition to looking great, WolfCop sounds wonderful as well.  From the dialogue to the sound effects (both natural and supernatural) to the rock/metal-infused score, the 5.1 track here does the film a lot of favors. Once again, Image has done right by an indie genre picture.

  • Commentary with writer/director Lowell Dean & special effects artist Emerson Ziffle
  • The Birth of WolfCop featurette
  • WolfCop Unleashed: Behind the Scenes featurette
  • Music Video
  • Outtakes
  • Trailers
  • Additional Trailers

WolfCop just wasn’t for me, but I am well aware that I am in the minority.  Now that the film is widely available, I encourage those of you who are curious enough to find out for yourselves where you stand on it.  For the fans already out there and those willing to go in blind on this release, you’ll be quite pleased with what you find.  This is a rather stacked release and one that any WolfCop fan should be proud to own.

* Note: The above images are not necessarily representative of the quality of the transfer.