I haven’t seen a good werewolf film in ages, and with the release of Wolfman just around the corner, I was keen to reacquaint myself with the hairy little scamps in preparation.
However, with Curse of the Wolf being a very low-budget production, I wasn’t holding out much hope for excitement and amazement. I just hoped that it would have something different to offer.
The story follows Dakota, a girl, recently turned werewolf. As is usually the case with new victims of the ‘curse’ she doesn’t really like it much. And rather than soak up the blood and violence, she takes steps to sedate herself and prevent the change from happening. Online pet forums help her to find the right combination of intravenous drugs that can surpress the wild beat inside her.
However, her half-wolf friends aren’t so happy about it. For some reason, they don’t like her doing it, and therefore, when she tries to run away and lead a normal life they chase her and try to convince her that being a savage animal has its positives.
Eventually Dakota does manage to escape and starts a ‘normal’ life again, but predictably, it isn’t long until her past catches up with her and she’s has to fight to stay in control of her destiny.
That all makes it sound pretty impressive, a decent tale to enjoy. But one thing needs to be considered, this is a VERY low budget film.
It’s one of the more recent releases by Brain Damage films, a company which prides itself on promoting budget, indie horror, which is pretty commendable as it’s never easy for the smaller film makers to get their stuff distributed.
As a result of this super-small budget you have to put up with a lot. Pretty bad acting, very bad lighting, really bad sound, and (as with Fist of the Vampire) a lot of chugga chugga death metal music – probably provided by the director’s brother’s band, or something.
On the plus side though, the plot isn’t the worst. I quite like the whole idea of a werewolf using dog sedatives to control their animal side. And as long as you pay attention, you can follow what’s happening; lots of budget films end up losing you.
Although the werewolves look as if their costumes are little more than wolf masks from the local costume shop, some of the gore special effects are surprisingly good, and it’s pretty surprising how many people were involved in the production, considering how little (I assume) they would have been paid for their time.
The tale starts to get more confusing near the end, and the behaviour of the various characters grows more irrational and unrealistic. Fight scenes go on too long, and it soon feels like choreography and the action in general takes precedence over the story.
If nothing else, Curse of the Wolf should stand as inspiration to other independent film makers out there, proof that they really can get their material released.
It’s a reasonable story with way too little money behind it, which definitely has some of that budget horror appeal to it – while unfortunately being just too poorly shot in places to win any real affection from the audience.
Additional film information: Curse of the Wolf (2006)