Where New Pulp Lives! And from Time to Time...Dies!

Friday, February 10, 2012

Revised Repost: The Wolfman Still Sucks

So I wrote a review of this movie about a year and a half ago.  Figured I'd revise it and expand a bit in areas to get it in line with my new review policy.  Without further delay:


Here’s the new news: this movie still sucks.

That about sums it up. The movie looks great. Good cast. Pretty good score. But the plot points are…dumb.

And this is where the movie utterly fails.  Remember I’ve said a map is all possible stories.  A story is the route chosen from point A to B.  And plot is what happens along the way.

So what the story?  A man discovers his family has a dark secret.  One that’ll soon change him both mentally and physically.  He needs to deal with that shit before a ton of people die (i.e., eaten).  

The plot – fuck if I know.  I mean there is one.  We get from Point A (the beginning) to Point B (the end) but the route taken is like some mish-mash of freeways and dirt roads and collapsed bridges.

In other words, the plotter sucked at his job.

 "Has someone seen a plot around here?"

Remember the original The Wolf Man with Lon Chaney? The main character, Larry Talbot, gets bit by a werewolf and then becomes the Wolf Man. Mayhem follows. In the end, Larry gets killed by good old dad.  Kind of sad.  A sad story about a father and son and how one needs to kill the other to protect the rest of the human race. That’s conflict, man. The plot is all the stuff that happens along the way.

This one? Well, now he’s Lawrence Talbot. His brother gets killed by a werewolf. He goes home and we learn his past: mother killed herself; Lawrence spent time in an asylum before becoming a great actor; Dad is a big hunter with a man-servant named Singh. Lawrence is determined to find who or what killed his brother. He determines the gypsies passing through town might know something. But then the werewolf attacks the caravan and Lawrence gets bit. There’s a lot of talk about the family being cursed. Singh seems to know “something” cuz he’s got silver bullets. Dad seems to know “something” cuz he’s got a secret chamber with a special chair with straps and clamps.


From this, I deduced that Papa was a werewolf and his lovely wife used to help him every full moon by strapping him in the chair. But after years of the stress of knowing she’s married to a literal monster, she finally broke down and killed herself. Papa carried on her task, cuz he loved her so much, by locking himself in the chamber. That would make sense cuz love has a way of making people restrain their darker selves. Get it?

"You see, Son, your mother and brother questioned my story logic...
so I fucking ate them. Best keep your mouth shut."

Of course, the movie went in a completely fucking different direction. Papa was a werewolf but instead of his wife helping him he actually ate her and it was Singh strapping him down every full moon. Which begs the questions:

1. Why the fuck didn’t Singh kill Papa, I don’t know, right after the first full moon when he saw the bastard turn into a werewolf? Or hey, how about after Papa decided he wanted to start munching on people again? That would have been a good time to kill him, right Singh, you dumb bastard.

2. Why the fuck didn’t Singh tell Lawrence, “Hey, you’re hosed. Dad’s a werewolf and so are you. I’m checking out.” And shoot both of their asses then and there. Then he could have fled back to India and hunted Bengal tigers.

3. If Papa loved his wife so much, why did he eat her? And where was Singh. Would you keep a man-servant around whose sole job was to restrain you once a month, failed, and let you eat your own wife? Neither would I.  When Lawrence is in the asylum, Papa comes and visits and tells him he picked up the curse in India after a kid bit him.  Singh restrained him every full moon.  But fucked up one night and mom got herself ate.  He managed to restrain himself up until he got into a fight with other son (who died at the beginning).  He ate him.  Liked it.  Decided to stop restraining himself.  To which I ask: so you felt bad about killing your wife but not your son?  Shit, father of the year material.

4. What exactly was the point of the gypsies? They played no significant part other than to say, “He is cursed” and “It’s his fate”. Way to go, useless gypsies.  (For further information on the gypsies and why they’re important and how they’re actually appropriately used for both plot and story, see the original flick).

5. Oh, the love interest was the reason Papa decided to kill his own son. Cuz she reminded him of his wife and he didn’t want to lose her to his son. Uh, he ate his wife. And he really didn’t show much remorse so did he really mean he didn’t want her to go cuz he wanted to eat her too? In which case, why the hell didn’t he eat her instead of his son?

6. The love interest, who sells antiques, decides to take it on her shoulders and figure out how to cure werewolfism. Uh, the girl who SELLS ANTIQUES is going to figure out a way to cure fucking werewolfism?  Really? Sure, why not.

7. What the fuck does the silver cane have to do with anything?  It’s never used yet it seems important.  And why is it given to him by a strange old dude who seems to know something’s up?  And why wasn’t it part of the antique store?  Shouldn’t it have been given to Lawrence there?  Makes more sense that he gets a cool cane at an antique store than some strange dude on a train that never plays a part (dude or cane) in the rest of the movie.  (For further information on the cane and why it’s important and how it’s actually appropriately used for both plot and story, see the original flick).

8. The love interest decides to save Lawrence by going to Papa’s house, both of them being werewolves and her knowing it, on the night of a full moon. ON THE NIGHT OF A FULL FUCKING MOON! Couldn’t have waited until the next morning, huh?

9. And why is everyone meeting on a full moon?  Lawrence just wrecked havoc in London on a full moon.  Then gets to his house at the next full moon?  It took him a month to get home?  Yet it took the antiques girl a few days?  And she just happened to figure out that Lawrence wouldn’t be there until the full moon?  Why wasn’t she already there?  Why wasn’t she waiting for him, saying, Hey, let me tie you up until tomorrow and we can settle this shit when Papa is an old man again and you’re your logical actor self?

I’ve got a headache. 

Anyway, if you’re going to go to such extremes to talk about curses and have gypsies, why not make it a blood curse on the family? That could have been cool. Father passes it on to the eldest son. Eldest son refuses to bear the burden and decides he’s got to end it because of some gypsy rule like “the bearer must be killed by a loved one and only while in wolf mode.” Son tries to kill him in the chamber of doom but Papa breaks free and kills his own son. When he comes around, he’s guilt ridden. But he can’t kill himself because he would then pass it on to Lawrence. Singh, though, realizes what’s happened and kills Papa while he’s sleeping and flees to India. Lawrence now has the curse passed on to him and turns during the next full moon while he’s performing on stage in London. Singh hears about what happens while traveling and reading a paper. He realizes he must return and finish what he effectively caused. During the following full moon, Singh hunts the Wolfman down and kills him. See, that would have been a hell of a lot better.

In fact, I like my version so much more I might write it myself, set it in modern times, and change the man-servant to…well I can’t tell you all my ideas. But I’m calling dibs on this.

Anyway, it was a dumb movie. Too bad. Go watch the original. Don’t waste your time on this piece of shit.

Oh, and I hated the CGI change. Rick Baker did the make-up and his work on American Werewolf in London still looks better than CGI. Should have let him do the changes.

 "Give me the fucking keys you fucking cocksucker."