Nov 13, 2012


How on earth does one properly review a film such as Werewolf Fever?

Because, just look at this:


Werewolf? More like…I dunno. Not a werewolf. (That looks nothing like a werewolf.)

Werewolf Fever is a movie I should be eviscerating. I should have hit the ground running here and made 30 jokes about how completely inept it was before I ever gave you a trite rundown of the plot. I should have said something like, “This movie is so bad it might as well have been some sort of pornographic film involving werewolves.” Or, you know, something zippy and fun, like that.

I don’t really want to do that, though. I’ll be honest: I enjoyed this farce. I enjoyed the extremely hammy story. I enjoyed the superbly terrible performances. And I enjoyed the gooey effects, consisting of a bunch of severed limbs, a terrible weasel-looking werewolf, and a lot of blood. All of Werewolf Fever’s on-the-surface shortcomings – the acting, the effects, and the awkwardness synonymous with low budget filmmaking – really did nothing but enhance my enjoyment.

Here is that plot rundown I mentioned earlier, which is as simple as it needs to be: A bunch of teens working at Kingburger Drive-In deal with a werewolf that comes stalking, killing any hapless individual that tries to escape. Arms and legs go flying, and people are turned into skeletons covered in chunky meat. Humor ensues – sometimes on purpose, sometimes by accident – but it’s always welcome.

What I most appreciated about Werewolf Fever is that it is most definitely a throwback to the creature features of the 1950s, when werewolves reigned supreme. And the idea of the Kingburger Drive-In – where waitresses sport roller-skates and vintage muscle-car shows take place – harkens back to that bygone era. Adding to this homage is a minor character whose heart has been broken by one of the Kingburger waitresses, and who rolls through the drive-thru to recite a poem he had "written" himself, which is stolen from Stephen King’s It (the bulk of which takes place in the ‘50s, and which also features a werewolf). Said character wears a leather jacket and carries a switchblade. All he needs is some greasy hair and several claims of harassment from male masseuses and he is literally Danny Zuko. For me, this recapturing of 1950s werewolf cinema was the biggest selling point and the most rewarding aspect of Werewolf Fever.

Director Brian Singleton had very little money to work with – that much is evident – and what money he did have went to special effects. In that regard I can't judge too harshly. But if it were possible, I would have excised a couple gore gags and put that money towards developing a werewolf costume that was more...indicative of a werewolf. The film comes dangerously close to looking like Pekinese Fever.

But at the end of the day, I can't complain too much. It really didn't affect my enjoyment of the film, so, there's that.

"Mind if we obfuscate?"

Low budget filmmaking – especially horror – can be extremely polarizing amongst genre fans. Some factions love the approach while others loathe it. I’ve always been somewhere in the middle. Time and time again it has been proven that a budget does not equate to quality, but obviously that’s not to say that every low budget effort, even if the filmmakers’ hearts were in the right place, was a slam dunk.

In terms of a general viewing, Werewolf Fever is neither a slam dunk, nor a condemnable piece of shit. It lies somewhere in the middle. But what I can say is that fans of low budgets and hammy monster costumes will find a lot to enjoy about it. It’s completely disposable entertainment, but that’s okay. So long as we enjoy ourselves.

Plus, I love that poster.

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