Monday, June 12, 2023

Scream of the Wolf

This film crew has made a horrible mistake with their props. They thought they were filming a vampire movie, so they are well-equipped with wooden stakes, but they will be stalked by a werewolf instead. As horror specialists, they should be able to pivot quickly, but their bickering and disorganization makes them easy prey in Dominic Brunt’s amusing werewolf comedy Scream of the Wolf, which releases tomorrow on VOD and DVD.

The shoot is almost over, but the alcoholic star, Oliver Lawrence, would hardly know it. He looks a lot like fellow vampire thesp Jonathan Frid, but his drunken eruptions into Shakespeare soliloquys also suggest a good bit of John Carradine too. Fiona the 1
st A.D. somewhat indulges him, because she is a fan—at least she was—but she and Derek, the director, constantly scramble to keep him away from the bottle. Two “journalists” from a horror magazine are expected for a set-visit, but they will not arrive in one piece. Instead, the crew stumbles over their severed limbs and a dying corpse.

Frankly, none of them should have been there. The production was supposed to vacate the rented manor before the full moon. Of course, the slimy producer wanted had to stretch out the shoot, to accommodate the publicity event. That kind of shameless, self-centered Hollywood-wannabe behavior constantly makes the situation worse for everyone.

You can tell from the opening credits Brunt and screenwriters Joel Ferrari and Pete Wild love a lot of the Hammer and Universal monster movies that you and I do. Admittedly, it starts a little slow, but the werewolf design is pretty cool. There is also a terrific extended stinger that explains the origin of the wolf.

James Fleet (from
Bridgerton and Four Weddings and a Funeral) is very amusing as the hammy, drunken Lawrence. Fans will see a lot of their favorites in him, especially the aforementioned Carradine. Frankly, Fleet outshines just about everyone, but Stephen Mapes is also spectacularly sleazy as Peter, the dirtbag producer.

Brunt nicely oversees the lunar lunacy. In some ways, the chaos has the energy of door-slamming farce, with all the racing around the manor, but it culminates more in blood and gore than laughter (although Brunt still finds a fair degree of humor in the madness).

was once known as Wolf Manor, which was a better title, because it could not be confused with the Dan Curtis werewolf TV movie of the same name (which is also pretty good). Regardless, Brunt and company do a nice job satirizing older horror conventions with contemporary levels of blood. Highly recommended for fans, Scream of the Wolf releases tomorrow (6/13) on DVD and VOD.