Director: Jim Isaac

Reviewed by Paghat the Ratgirl

Skinwalkers An old Indian legend (my ass) has it that the blood-cursed Skinwalkers will come to an end through the efforts of a thirteen year old boy. The prophesy says there will be a Red Moon in the sky, with a full moon on the fourth day after, when the foretold child will turn thirteen, & so all Skinwalkers revert to being normal human beings.

For a story that pretends to be Native American in origin, there was room in the extensive cast for only one Indian actor/character, killed off early for the sake of the white kid. The majority of Indian sidekicks in honky tales tend to be killed early in stories, not necessarily as early in a film as would be a black guy.

For the first act of the lame-ass Skinwalkers (2006), we're intentionally not informed what a Skinwalker is, & we are treated to scene after scene of carnage, mostly between what seems like a sub-average dullard biker gang versus the townies. Both sides were armed & ready from the start, but are across the board terrible shots.

Eventually the film decides, in a didactic talky sort of way between bloodbaths, to reveal the film's boring secret, that there is no such thing as skinwalkers per se, we're just talking about garden variety werewolves. The word werewolf is never used in the film, as if someone believed to avoid the word made them "skinwalkers" instead, & a whole new idea. But no, this hat's so old the beaver fur's completely worn off.

SkinwalkersOne part of the clan, the townies, regard lycanthropy (or skinwalkthropy), to be a Curse they'd like lifted.

They have coddled & raised in secret the Prophesized Boy who will put an end to their powers of transformation & the lust for human blood. These "nice" werewolves have never tasted human blood so haven't turned psychotic.

The "bad" part of the clan could not resist human blood which turned them into killing machines incapable of controlling their desire to wreck murderous havoc even if they don't stop long enough to feast. When they're not transformed (when there's no full moon) they go about killing people with guns & knives for no particular reason. When the full moon is up, they add supernatural strength to their killing.

The baddies don't regard skinwalkthropy a curse; rather, they're like drug addicts who'll never kick the habit, & want to stop the prophesy from coming true. They live in terror of the possibility of "going back" to being ordinary people.

The film suffers from a startling lack of imagination. And the film's belief that a biker gang could go about the countryside killing at random without any repurcussions beyond the idle threat of the Prophesy, well, reality has it that the feds would've taken them down the first week of their existence, as they're just out there on the road leaving a blood-trail three feet wide right to their bikes.

The whole premise is wildly stupid, & has that dreery feel of having originally been a back-story for a video game the point of which is to divide up into two camps of werewolves then kill as many werewolves as possible. So it's pretty much scene after scene of bloody mayhem, some of it good gore FX, most of it par for the course.

The werewolf make-up is extremely varied & gives no sense of kinship. Mostly it comes off as actors or musclier stand-ins wearing plastic fangs & with wool glued unevenly up & down their arms.

The "good" werewolves try to protect asthmatic Little Timmy (Matthew Knight), whose granny (Barbara Gordon) gets killed heroically, whose Indian pal (Tom Jackson) gets slaughtered without warning, whose uncle (Elias Koteas) has to be put down like a rabid dog, whose non-werewolf mom (Rhona Mitra) whinges & screams a lot because the clan never told her they were werewolves, & whose husband (who turned into a "bad" werewolf twelve years earlier) tries his best to kill Little Timmy until mom stops screaming long enough to do something useful, i.e., kill the man she once loved right in front of their son.

The kid in the story never does do anything of any interest. It's tempting to reveal the ending so you won't have to waste your time watching a tale with little more to it than spraying blood. But I'll just say it does have a twist in the end, not a good one but it'll get by, & it even leaves open the appalling possibility of a sequel or franchise, but let's hope not.

Continue to the arch classic:
The Wolf Man (2001)

copyright by Paghat the Ratgirl

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