WolfCop (Blu-ray) (2014)

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Released 19-Nov-2014

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Comedy / Horror Audio Commentary
Featurette-Making Of-WolfCop Unleashed (43:57)
Outtakes-Gag Reel (3:02)
More…-Promo Clips (10:58)
Music Video
Featurette-Banff Media Feature (1:47)
Short Film-Talent Showcase (11:49)
Rating Rated MA
Year Of Production 2014
Running Time 75:43 (Case: 80)
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered Cast & Crew
Start Up Ads Then Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Lowell Dean
Studio
Distributor
Accent Film Entertainment Starring Leo Fafard
Amy Tatysio
Sarah Lind
Jonathan Cherry
Aidan Devine
Corine Conley
Jesse Moss
Case Standard Blu-ray
RPI ? Music Shooting Guns


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 5.1 (640Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.78:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 1080i
Original Aspect Ratio 1.85:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles None Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits Yes, scene after end credits

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

     Lou Garou (Leo Fafard) is a dishevelled, alcoholic, womanising small town policemen in Woodhaven who ignores crimes whenever possible, spends his duty hours at the Tooth and Nail Tavern chatting to sexy barmaid Jessica (Sarah Lind) and leaves any police work to his fellow officer Tina (Amy Tatysio). As the period of the full moon nears, pet dogs and cats are going missing and Lou’s friend, gunshop owner Willie (Jonathan Cherry), reports that he has seen kids in the woods performing some kind of occult ritual. Lou is prepared to ignore it, but his Police Chief (Aidan Devine) orders him to investigate. Fortified by a healthy drink, in the woods Lou finds a hanging body but is knocked unconscious. He awakes the next morning in his own bed, with no idea how he got there. Lou finds that he has heightened powers of smell and hearing, and seems to be growing hair. Moreover, when he removes his shirt he discovers a pentagon, the mark of the beast, carved into his chest!

     The next night he is in the Tooth and Nail when, at precisely 10 pm, he starts to feel sick and runs to the toilet where he transforms into a Werewolf! He is attacked by two men, but bloodily tears them apart. Next morning, he awakes in his human body at Willie’s place with only disjointed memories of what had happened. It seems that on each night of the full moon, at precisely 10 pm, he will transform into a Werewolf and become WolfCop, righting wrongs and taking bad guys off the streets. But it appears that Woodhaven is the home of a coven of Devil Worshippers and Shape-shifters who, in two nights at the time of a solar eclipse, will sacrifice a Werewolf and drink its blood to perpetuate their powers. With the eclipse due, WolfCop has more problems and enemies than he knows!

     WolfCop commences with a crazy title montage of occult images and drawings set to a driving rock score and seldom lets up from there. It is low budget and amateurish, with jerky camera work and editing, garish colour effects and some dodgy acting, but if any film has “cult hit” written all over it, it is WolfCop! The Troma Team would love WolfCop; it features gory violence, sex and nudity, an outlandish plot, it is silly and very, very funny. The film avoids CGI as much as possible and relies on old fashioned prosthetics for the transformations into the Werewolf, which are indeed done very effectively. And while I said that the acting was mostly dodgy, the exception is Leo Fafard; while most of the others play their roles with some tongue in cheek, Fafard plays it straight and is deadpan and funny.

     WolfCop was obviously a labour of love for writer / director Lowell Dean who, in only his second feature, and with relatively unknown actors (only the very sexy Sarah Lind of the main cast has more than a handful of appearances) has delivered a hugely entertaining film. If you are a fan of Troma type films, or just like a good laugh and a ridiculous plot, WolfCop is just the ticket.

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Transfer Quality

Video

     WolfCop is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.78:1, in 1080i using the MPEG-4 AVC code, close to the 1.85:1 original ratio.

     This is a low budget film with manipulation of colours in some sequences and jerky camera-work in action scenes but, although only 1080i, it looks just as a low budget cult film should! The film is set in winter, with snow on the ground, but other than in the manipulated scenes colours are glossy and rich. Blacks, shadow detail and skin tones are very good, brightness and contrast consistent.

     Other than some slight ghosting with motion against winter trees I saw no marks or artefacts.

     There are no subtitles.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

     Audio is English Dolby Digital 5.1 at 640 Kbps, that is, not lossless audio.

     I suppose lossless audio would have been good, but there is nothing wrong with what we have. Dialogue, including the deadpan jokes, is clear and easy to understand. The surrounds and rears carried music, engines and effects during the action scenes while the sub-woofer supported the music, fights and the explosion.

     The metal and electronic score by Shooting Guns was fun and was augmented by rock music from HighKicks and Gowan as well as the rap type theme song The WolfCop by Evil Ebenezer and Factor.

     There are no lip synchronisation issues.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

Trailers (8:49)

     The following trailers play on start-up and must be skipped: I’ll Follow You Down, War Story, The Conspiracy and The Snitch Cartel. The some trailers can also be selected from the menu, plus a trailer for WolfCop (2:10).

WolfCop Unleashed: ”The Making of” Documentary (43:57)

     This is a genuine and fun look at independent filmmaking with behind the scenes footage and comments by writer / director Lowell Dean, the producers, D.P., production designer, props master, set decorator, costume designer, the FX artist, the fight coordinator and cast members Lou Fafard, James Whittingham, Jonathan Cherry, Aiden Devine, Amy Matysio, Sarah Lind, Corine Conley and Jesse Moss. Topics covered include the quite unique funding model, the casting, practical effects, stunts, shooting in a blizzard, prosthetics, sound mixing, post-production and reaction to the film. The film actually started with the filming of a concept trailer (included in extras) for funding pitches: this contains scenes that were not in the final film, such as a bar fight!

Director’s Commentary

     Writer / director Lowell Dean and FX artist Emersen Ziffle sit together and chat about the origins of the film, previous collaborations, the cast, the shoot, the music and a few other things. Their commentary is not technical, they do say they “like this” a bit but they indicate continuity errors, mistakes and things they would do differently. As well, they point out clues embedded in the film about the identity of the Shape-shifters that I certainly did not notice on my first watch of the film. Well worth a listen.

Gag Reel (3:02)

    Nothing funny. Stuff-ups and a number of alternate takes with a large prosthetic p****.

Promo Clips (10:58)

     Writer / director Lowell Dean and producer Bernie Hernando feature in 6 tongue in cheek promotions for the film, and a trailer.

WolfCop Music Video (2:42)

    This song Henry by Rah Rah is one of the most amateurish music videos you can see, which is saying something.

Banff Film Festival Feature (1:47)

     A pitch for funding by the WolfCop team, and others seeking to fund films, at the Banff World Media Festival.

Talent Showcase (11:49)

     Decidedly strange. This consists of 7 short illustrated short films, on various subjects, by Drew Campbell. Not sure of the connection, if any, with WolfCop.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

     The Region A Blu-ray release of WolfCop is not due until May 2015. I have not been able to find a review of the Region B UK release; it looks to have a range of extras although the commentary is not mentioned. I think it would be hard to be better than our release, unless it is in 1080p.

Summary

     WolfCop is a cult hit in the making. It is a B grade, low budget comedy / horror film that features gory violence, sex, nudity and an over the top plot. It is silly, very funny and hugely entertaining and I had a blast. WolfCop II is apparently on the way.

     Despite being 1080i and Dolby Digital the video and audio are fine. The extras are extensive and mostly worthwhile.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Ray Nyland (the bio is the thing)
Monday, February 09, 2015
Review Equipment
DVDSony BDP-S580, using HDMI output
DisplayLG 55inch HD LCD. This display device has not been calibrated. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080p.
Audio DecoderNAD T737. This audio decoder/receiver has not been calibrated.
AmplificationNAD T737
SpeakersStudio Acoustics 5.1

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