The punningly-titled Lou Garou (Leo Fafard) is a local cop in a small town and doesn’t really care much for anything, least of all his unkempt appearance, staying sober and doing right by the Sheriff. All that changes when Lou goes to investigate an incident in the woods and is unwittingly involved in an occult ritual that turns him into a werewolf, which would be a tragedy in normal circumstances, but this curious turn of events happens to make Lou a better cop than when he was a regular human being. He volunteers to do the night shift, turns up on time, goes after the petty thieves and criminals that run amok on the streets and generally cleans up both the town and his act, but eventually Lou/Wolfcop uncovers the big secret that this close-knitted community have been keeping from him.
For a film that seems to thrive in its low-rent, 1980s horror video stylings – even down to the excellent poster art – Wolfcop is surprisingly accomplished and doesn’t go down the ‘so-bad-it’s-good’ spoof route, instead offering up a fairly fat-free horror-comedy that is savvy enough to please werewolf fanatics and be broad enough to pick up more casual fans up for a laugh. Naturally, any werewolf film lives and dies by its transformation scene and whilst Wolfcop won’t trouble An American Werewolf in London for best make-up effects, it does offer up a slightly different take on the man-to-wolf metamorphosis. Put it this way – it isn’t the top half of his body that changes first. The effects themselves – all pleasingly prosthetic – are pretty good for a film with such a limited budget and Wolfcop himself looks great, riffing off of the classic Lon Chaney, Jr. Wolf Man look and blowing away other recent lycanthrope duffers like The Howling: Reborn and Werewolf Rising.
As well as delivering on the gore effects, Wolfcop also handles the humour quite well. No mean feat in a film that is essentially one joke played out for 75 minutes, but the fairly amusing script and the sharp line delivery ensures that the jokes hit their target more often than not. In true Machete style, the sequel is announced at the of the film, topping off the self-aware silliness as any good retro horror-comedy should, and if there is a downside to Wolfcop then it’s that it doesn’t quite get to where it needs to be quick enough, making the ending feel a little rushed and not giving us enough of Wolfcop on duty. Then again, how many films have a candlelit werewolf-on-human sex scene? Yes, Wolfcop is an absurd film but it knows it and makes no apologies, instead preferring to relish in it. Why not go along for the ride?
Wolfcop is available to purchase on DVD from October 13.