Sunday, November 16, 2008

When The Full Moon Rises...

The notion of cornpone film mogul Earl Owensby making a Gothic horror movie sounds delicious, and, indeed, from the moment we first hear his Carolina accent emerging from the mouth of a character named Colin Glasgow, WOLFMAN is a howler. It’s the turn of the century, and Colin returns to his family’s castle for the funeral of his estranged father, who was murdered by his cousins Clement (Richard Dedmon) and Elizabeth (Maggie Lauterer) and the Reverend Leonard (Ed Grady). For some oddball reason I didn’t catch, Leonard and the surviving Glasgows want Colin to stick around for the next full moon, at which time he will inherit the family curse from his late father and turn into a werewolf.

The directing debut of Worth Keeter, who also wrote the screenplay, WOLFMAN is plagued by terrible acting right down the line, particularly from Owensby, who mangles his dialogue with anachronistic colloquialisms that reflect how the Southern-born actor really talks, but a Scottish heir certainly wouldn’t. Keeter shows some visual flair, and the camerawork is occasionally ambitious, as in a chase sequence across a plain and through an old cemetery. His script, however, is weak. Potentially intriguing subplots, such as the relationship between Colin and his former girlfriend Lynn (Kristina Reynolds), whose status as a divorcee appears to have incited the townspeople, are forgotten minutes after they’re introduced. Much reference is made to Lynn’s father, whom you suspect may be playing a behind-the-scenes role in Colin’s current misfortunes, but is never even seen and ultimately has nothing to do with anything. WOLFMAN was EO Corporation’s first horror movie, and while it may have seemed like a good idea at the time, no one seems to have taken into consideration the fact that nobody in the cast is remotely well-suited for it.

No comments: