The 1975 Japanese movie Wolf Guy Enraged Lycanthrope is a film as crazy and wonderful as its title.
Adapted from the manga series by Female Prisoner #701: Scorpion writer Fumio Kônami and directed by B-movie maestro Kazuhiko Yamaguchi it is a horror oddity unavailable, outside Japan till now, blending martial arts, detective drama, sex, gore, stupid sci-fi and ancient fantasy into insane iridescent entertainment.
Legendary Shinichi ‘Sonny’ Chiba plays Akira Inugami the sole survivor of an ageless clan of werewolves who gain superhuman strength and speed dependent on the lunar cycle. Unwittingly witnessing a man ripped apart by an invisible assailant who yells about a tiger coming to get him before he is torn apart Akira embarks on an investigation to solve the mysterious murder.
Tipped off by a reporter friend that the victim was part of a pop band that had gang rapped a young cabaret singer who had cursed them all Akira tracks down the disturbed girl discovering she has mysterious psychic powers and is able to mutilate anyone with her mind.
Trying to help the damaged girl and track down the true perpetrator of her pain Akira is drawn into a much larger conspiracy involving politicians, Yakuza and the shady government agency known as the J-CIA who wants to harness the failed starlet’s abilities for themselves.
The story although outlandish is far better than one might expect taking a turn halfway through when the aforementioned evil organisation enter the fray moving the plot away from a murder mystery and into Sci-Fi territory.
Inside their trap filled facility they brain wash the psychically powerful girl to create an unstoppable assassin using her hatred against anyone they desire and after capturing Akira they transfuse his blood into one of their agents in attempt to create a werewolf of their own.
Shifting again the final act sees Akira escape and head for his homeland to avenge his ancestors eradication and put a stop to the J-CIA culminating in an all-out battle with the military and their new weapon set against him just as he reaches his full lycanthropic power.
Smashing together many exploitation genre clichés and tropes of the 70’s into a glorious grindhouse mashup Wolf Guy features lashings of nudity and violence as well as musical numbers, graphic gore, fist fights, real surgical scenes, crazy camera work and a slick funk soundtrack making it trashy as hell but amazingly entertaining.
In the lead Chiba oozes cool whether chomping on a barely cooked steak, seducing a motorcycle floozy or beating up a bunch of street thugs and his effortless charisma, smouldering glare and caged rage gift the ridiculous cartoon character of Wolf Guy with a likability and edge few other actors could create.
Cult with a capital C Wolf Guy is howling good fun from start to finish offering up a smorgasbord of 70’s B-movie brilliance centred around a great lead character. If you love Manimal madness then Wolf Guy is your man-wolf for sure.
Wolf Guy – The Arrow Video Story: