Wolfcop (2014) Blu-ray Review

Wolfcop

Wolfcop (2014)

Director: Lowell Dean

Starring: Leo Fafard, Amy Matysio, Sarah Lind, Corinne Conley & Jonathan Cherry

Released by: Image Entertainment

Reviewed by Mike Kenny

Wolfcop centers on alcoholic policeman Lou Garou (Leo Fafard) as he continues his steady routine of drinking excessively and working minimally.  When a series of violent events take place, Lou is left with a pentagram carved into his chest and the ability to become a werewolf.  To solve the mystery of his transformation and the rampant conspiracies of his town, Lou joins forces with his partner to better protect and serve under a full moon.  Amy Matysio (Stranded), Sarah Lind (True Justice), Corinne Conley (Quads!) and Jonathan Cherry (Final Destination 2) co-star.

Following in the tradition of other contemporary grindhouse efforts, Wolfcop combines the occult and police procedural with its tongue firmly planted in cheek.  Shot on a relatively tight budget,Wolfcop shines with impressive practical effects and grounded performances that help anchor the film from flying completely off the rails.  Content being a drunk, Officer Lou Garou (Fafard) shows little passion for his work until a mysterious encounter with cult members turn Lou into a ravaging werewolf at the sight of a full moon.  Determined to uncover the truth behind his new abilities, Lou teams up with dimwitted local Willie Higgins (Cherry) and his hardworking partner Tina (Matysio), only to discover a sea of corruption and sinister occult activities running their small town.  Delivered with a breezy runtime, Wolfcop takes full advantage of its B-movie concept with gory transformation sequences, rampant shootouts and a surprisingly tasteful prison sex scene between its hairy star and a sexy bartender.  The mysterious cult members desire Lou’s wolf blood to prolong their own lifespan, prompting Lou to take control and once again show pride for the shield he bears.  Satanism, ruthless gangs and a last stand at sundown  attempt to overthrow the fanged officer and his partner, leading to an unsurprisingly violent finale.  

While, its over the top nature is well suited for its material, Wolfcop’s conscience attempts to capture a bygone era of filmmaking feel slightly tired and late to the party.  Making the most of its budget, Wolfcop stuns with its creature design and many gore effects provided by Emerson Ziffle (Curse of Chucky), showcasing true talent under difficult circumstances.  Occasionally humorous while, reveling in its eccentricities, Wolfcop is a fun homage to the energy of 80s cult hits but, feels a bit too self aware for its own good.

Image Entertainment presents Wolfcop with a 1080p transfer, sporting a 1.78:1 aspect ratio.  Bursting with solid color and nicely handled skin tones, Wolfcop satisfies immensely on high-definition.  Meanwhile, black levels are handled with care and no crushing to speak of with only mild softness during the film’s final sequence which is more attributed to the sun’s position.  Equipped with DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 mix, dialogue is always crisp with action sequences and music by Shooting Star relayed with proper authority.  Packed with bonus content, special features include, an Audio Commentary with Writer/Director Lowell Dean and Special Effects Artist Emerson Ziffle, the lengthy Wolfcop Unleashed Behind the Scenes Featurette (45:51), the multi-part The Birth of Wolfcop (14:48), Film Outtakes (3:10), Wolfcop Music Video (2:50), Theatrical Trailer (1:39), Original Concept Trailer (2:20), Skydive Promo (0:37), Trailer Park Boys Shout Out (1:26) and a Special Thanks credit sequence (1:01) round out the extensive supplements.

Earnestly brought to fruition, Wolfcop impresses with its technical achievements realized under its modest budget.  Blending genres and yearning to be a modern day cult classic, Wolfcop is not as memorable as one would hope given the volume of other produced and even less memorable wannabe grindhouse efforts.  While, far from the instant cult hit it claims to be, cult fans certainly haven’t seen the last of the razor-toothed boozer with a sequel promised at its end credits.  Meanwhile, Image Entertainment’s Blu-ray release is a knock-out with solid video and audio specs as well as a beefy array of bonus content for fans to bite into.  While, its mileage may vary with viewers, Wolfcop has some howlingly entertaining moments but, never rises to a wholly memorable level.

RATING: 3.5/5

Available as a Best Buy exclusive until May 12th from Image EntertainmentWolfcop can be purchased via BestBuy.com and other fine retailers.

For more Blu-ray/DVD reviews from Mike Kenny, head over to Mike’s Pop Culture Playhouse!

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