Reviewed by

Christopher Armstead

Werewolves and vampires have been a staple of the cinematic experience for upwards of sixty years now.  I’m almost certain whenever a fledgling screenwriter gets his first bolt of inspiration for his or her first screenplay, 90% of the time its probably going to involve a werewolf or a vampire.  How come Frankenstein got such a short shrift?  A couple of days ago we saw and discussed the independent vampire movie ‘The Thirst’ which we weren’t too crazy about and today we’re going to discuss the less independent Direct to Video Werewolf movie ‘Big Bad Wolf’, which we liked a whole lot more than ‘The Thirst’, but there are better werewolf movies out there.

As our film opens, Scott Crowley (Andrew Bowen) and his brother Charlie (Christopher Shyer) are on a hunting safari in an African Jungle that looks suspiciously like someone’s heavily wooded California backyard.  Scott and Charlie have become separated, but Scott’s African guide, who looks suspiciously less African and more like my brother-in-law assures Scott that Charlie is just fine with his guide, who knows this back yard as well as anybody.  At least that was until they heard the roar.  Our African guide has never heard anything quite like THAT in the backwoods of Cameroon and it would appear our hunters have become the hunted.  No sooner said than our guide has had his head removed from his body, and soon Scott is face to face with a real live werewolf.  This confrontation doesn’t go so well for Scott who has his leg ripped from his body and were it not for the quick appearance brother Charlie with rifle a blazing, driving the beast away, it would have been a lot worse.  Sadly, Scott's’ wounds are too severe and he does not survive. 

Seven years later we are introduced to Scotts’ young, incredibly meek and mild son Derek (Trevor Duke) who is a freshman in college and a plebe for his Dad’s old

fraternity.  To help his chances to get in, he agrees to steal the cabin key from his asshole step dad Mitchell (Richard Tyson) so that he, his biker friend Samantha (Kimberly J. Brown) along with his older frat brothers and their girlfriends can go up for a weekend of total drunken sexual mayhem.  Well how that damned werewolf made it all the way from Africa to California, or wherever the hell this movie is taking place is beyond me, but there he is.  Now these randy teens ran into a character played creepy legend Clint Howard who warned these fools not to go up to that cabin, but did they listen?  Of course not.  Should merely the sight of Clint Howard cause one to do an about face and head home?  Of course it should.  Nonetheless this werewolf rips a few horny teens to complete shreds, and rapes a co-ed, all the while cracking lame one-liners.  Fortunately for Derek and Sam they manage to barely escape.

Back home and after a brief police investigation, Sam has become a little suspicious of asshole dad Mitchell, as he seems to always plan his business trips around a full moon.  Derek thinks this is lunacy, but maybe, just maybe there’s some substance to this little theory.  Either way, I smell a damsel in distress somewhere along the line and the desperate need for silver if these krazy werewolf hunting kids are to get out of this one alive.

Now ‘Big Bad Wolf’ was reasonably entertaining, professionally done, moved at brisk clip and as such was never dull, and had some pretty damn decent gore, as well as its fair share of gratuitous nudity.  There were a couple of genuinely unique and clever moments and a few funny bits sprinkled throughout the film as well.  So with blood, tits, and a few laughs; why didn’t I like ‘Big Bad Wolf’ more than I did?  I believe the problem lies with the werewolf as there was something not quite right about him.  There was a certain disconnect between Richard Tyson’s character of Mitchell and Richard Tyson, or whoever they had in the wolf costume, that didn’t quite vibe with me.  The wise cracking werewolf was certainly a novel concept, but the execution of this idea wasn’t so hot.  Now Richard Tyson, who was by far the superior actor in this set, was very good as the asshole step father, as the man has played an asshole or two in his career, and his struggles to contain his inner beast was compelling but when the beast showed up, unless he was raping, or eviscerating… he kind of sucked.  There was also a rather lame, obviously CG generated werewolf transformation scene that the film editor could have left on the cutting room floor as well.  Also of special note is a cameo appearance by legend David Naughton (well he’s a legend to me) who I believe is the only person in the History of the World to have had the number one movie (An American Werewolf in London), the number one song (Makin’ it – which is the JAM) and the number one TV show (Makin’ It) all in the same week.  I could be wrong though.

Anybody who likes blood, gore, and breasts, and hates being bored silly should find some enjoyment value from ‘Big Bad Wolf’.  It doesn’t raise the genre in the least bit, but it doesn’t embarrass it either. 

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