Director: Richard Friedman

Reviewed by Paghat the Ratgirl

DarkwolfThough not too atrociously acted by its cast of nobodies, Darkwolf (2003) is dragged into the lower regions of ineffective dross by the incredibly stupid-looking wolf suit.

That suit could as easily pass for a Cabbage Patch teddy bear or screaming-chimpanzee costume grabbed off the rack at Champion Halloween Rentals.

Much of the time we see only the "arms" of the darkwolf, which look like what they are, some guy wearing fur-socks on his arms, with long rubber fingernails pasted on for claws.

These arms reach into the camera's view from time to time to injure or grab people, reminiscent of an old children's television show called Lunch with Soupy Sales. Soupy had two dogs the kids never got to see in their entirety, White Fang whose white furry arm & paw would reach into the camera's view to pat Soupy lovingly on his face, & Black Fang whose black furry arm & paw would reach into the camera's view to throw a pie in Soupy's face. Darkwolf is Black Fang except not as scary.

DarkwolfOn the rare occasion when the entirety of the darkwolf is shown, it often appears to be the fuzziest cheapest computer graphics ever done, moving too fast to quite see, without any specific shape or resolution.

But maybe it was that terrible chimpanzee suit they rented, but which got pixelled out like genetalia on Japanese television after the footage was seen to be too goofy if the costume were visible.

There's a pisspoor attempt to do something original with the mythos of werewolves, because the "darkwolf" is not a true werewolf but a hybrid that needs to mate with a princess of some sort (what sort of princess of where the film never coherently conveys).

In each generation there is a princess who doesn't know she's a princess but will eventually "find" herself when she comes to the age of transformation. In the present generation the princess-of-some-sort is Josie whose eyes occasionally glow & who attracts the halfbreed darkwolf. But we never get to see her promised transformation, cuz I guess they couldn't afford to rent a second chimp suit.

DarkwolfThe princess-of-some-sort has in each generation a "protector" in a set-up borrowed unintelligibly from Buffy the Vampire Killer's concept of "watchers."

Protectors are supposed to make sure nothing bad happens to the princess-of-some-sort before her time of transformation & awakening. But only one "protector" remains in the world, & she's summarily killed by the darkwolf without ever showing by what means protectors ever might've functioned.

But she does leave behind an ancient mystic book which includes everything the main characters need to know about the darkwolf, though somehow nobody ever gets round to using it for anything.

Whether the princess-of-some-sort is a fullblood werewolf, another type of hybrid, or whether she's supposed to be Josie the Werewolf Slayer, is just never clarified. And the character functions on none of these possible levels, but just runs around having fits like everyone else.

So we get a princess of what sort who the hell knows, who never makes a promised transformation, but who the darkwolf wants to boink violently if he gets the chance, though when he does get the chance, he's suddenly no longer the super-being who can poke his arms right through steel plating, but is easy to punch away with feeble little don't-rape-me girly punches while crawlling away to get the gun with the silver bullets.

DarkwolfAnd of course there was that protector who did no actual protecting, so some random cop had to protect her instead, the whole while doing an awful Joe Friday impersonation from Dragnet.

There is apparently nothing particularly worrisome about true werewolves, which we never encounter though the script provides allusions to their existance. It's only the halfbreed spawn of werewolves & humans who are a threat to humanity's very survival, or some such miscegenation-causes-end-of-humankind gibberish explicated in the talking-heads dialogue that pads this crap out to the requisit hour & a half.

It could easily be taken for a racist parable with the darkwolf standing for mulatto. Little of it made any sense of course because this gang of wannabe filmmakers could'n't tell a coherent story (let alone a coherent parable) even if they hadn't veered a half-inch away from tried & true cliches & gotten themselves hopelessly confused.

So we get very few so-so gore FX, heroic efforts not to show the darkwolf suit since it looks like it was sewn together by the director's alzheimer afflicted grandmother from a shag carpet & cheap halloween wolf-mask, some murky computer FX, & for padding, nudie scenes & talking heads.

The highlight of this dawg is when two girls disco-dance on a rooftop pretending to be lesbians for their drooling lascivious shutterbug boyfriends, a scene apropos of nothing in the story, but all things being relative, it was better than anything else in the film because at least the boobs looked real, whereas the wolf did not.

Continue to:
Werewolf of Washington (1973)

copyright by Paghat the Ratgirl

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