Sunday, 25 October 2009

Halloween 'Haul' Of Horror


‘‘We shall make the humans fear us’’
If you have a stake in vampire movies, and wish that Transformers was a Michael Bay at the moon werewolf flick that still starred Megan Fox, then Wolvesbayne may well be the ‘B’ movie blitz to kick back with. Okay so Megan Fox might be asking too much but more than a few tasty babes bare their teeth, and Witchblade’s very own Yancy Butler gets to rip out a throat or two.
Beginning with a pretty cool opening montage of the vampire legend, as chronicled by the Van Helsing lineage, and foretelling of the warring blood suckers. The vampire high council capture Lilith, the most powerful and feared vampire of them all. Evil personified and a threat not only to humans but vampire kind alike. She stands trial and is banished. Her powerful essence drawn from her, and contained within amulets that are then scattered around the lands in safe keeping from her loyal followers. For centuries they lay dormant.
Modern day America awakens to the smells and sounds of another day, barely exhaled from the hours of darkness preceding it. Russel Bayne hit’s the street early to try and hustle his way into sealing the deal on the last property purchase he needs to make, so as to raise an entire area to the ground in order for his companies latest property development to accrue millions of dollars in profit. An egotistical man with nothing but arrogant contempt for all who he perceives are beneath him. Alex Layton is a shrewd and savvy young woman however, and she has no intention of selling her ownership of the occult shop left to her by her deceased mother. There’s a strength of character about Alex that has him scurrying away in frustration, but as he leaves she warns him that he is in danger. A psychic ability or something more foreboding ?, Russel takes it as a threat.

Journeying back to his penthouse that evening along a darkened road he comes across a stranded female, her vehicle broken down. Moments later the pretty young woman is being savaged by a human like beast. Bayne jumps to her aid only to be thrown to the ground and violently bitten by the snarling man beast. He wakes up in hospital bearing the bite marks of the monsters attack, but the wound is already healing and he is anxious to get back to his hectic business.
Come the full moon Russel Bayne is convulsing in the rays of the planets orb, and in a pretty neat old school Universal Studios cut away and then back effect, transforms into a fully fledged werewolf !. He didn’t anticipate this bad moon rising, and is even more alarmed when he awakens next morning to be greet by the visceral sight of a ravaged pig adorning his lush carpeted home floor. The slaughtered pig has its entrails splayed out of its stomach, clearly in no state to squeal on its killer.
Confused, yet also intrigued by his now enhanced sense of perception, hearing, and physical fitness Bayne seeks an explanation to his condition, and believes that Alex is a psycho witch who has placed a curse on him. He confronts her back at the shop but is taken aback by her own ability to deal with his heightened anger and physical presence. The two have far more in common than he could ever have imagined. Alex too is a werewolf !. Far from your traditional fangs and fur however, as she has honed her abilities and is able to control her transformations. Alex again warns him of his predicament, but it is not until he comes face to face with the real threat of the underground forces of evil that he comes to heads her words.

Enter Mark Dacascos as the consummate carnivore Count Von Griem, a vampire antagonist who is actively seeking to resurrect Lilith from her enforced centuries of slumber.
Werewolves are an enemy to the blood suckers and are targeted for termination rather than blood letting as humans are in sustenance. Bayne is soon attacked by the left wing leeches of Von Griem, only to be saved by the entrance stealing Jacob Van Helsing, ably supported by his team of Slayers, and an on board Alex prepped for transformation. Time for some down and dirty fight Action where the fists fly and the fur bristles. Vampires are dispensed of with stylish evisceration ala Blade (1998). It’s a successful stake out, following which Russel Bayne is gotten up to speed and Van Helsing signs him up. The alternative being that as a rogue werewolf he is part of the problem, and one that the Slayers will deal with !. He accepts the conditional invitation, as Alex had before but with a heads up from her that he is still to watch his back as the Slayers are merciless themselves !.

This then is a pretty darned enjoyable Sci Fi channel production that excels in its over the top deliriousness, drawing clear yet reverential influence from those old school Universal Studios horror franchises, and serving up a modern spin all its own to freshen things up nicely. Mark Dacascos as a super Vampire, with lightening quick abilities and the manoeuvres of a stealth bat, hams it up wondrously. It’s kinda insane, but smile inducing nonetheless, to see a dude of the un-dead prance about like P-Diddy, whilst popping a kung fu cap into the carcass’s moving without a pulse. Dacascos is still in great shape and even gets to sword fight here as he strives to ward off his opposing vampire brethren, and empire destroying human Slayers, in order to revive his Queen Lilith.
All involved seem to be having a blast with this well delivered production. Rhett Giles just about steals the show as he owns the role of Jacob Van Helsing. His comfortable stance in the shoes of Dracula’s descendent nemesis is perhaps due to him playing the character before. Giles’ Jacob Van Helsing also appeared in the earlier vampire outing Dracula’s Curse (2006) from the same writer Leigh Scott. Rhett also donned the Van Helsing mantle back in 2005 in Way Of The Vampire. By now Rhett Giles must be a real pain in the neck for vampire kind !.
For a lower budgeted movie Wolvesbayne makes the most of what it is afforded. The under use of silly CGI is noticeable, and the preference on good old fashioned creativity of the tangible kind is most welcome. Neat touches such as purpose made stiletto heals as stakes and quick fire dialogue all add to the enjoy ability. This then is a big Fun old school horror updating that works terrifically well for the late night TV slots and DVD rentals alike. Get your teeth into it soon before the Van Helsing of video dispatches it beyond.

Review Paul Cooke / Source: NTSC Region 1 DVD

Wolvesbayne (2009)
Director Griff Furst
With Jeremy London, Christy Carlson Romano,
Mark Dacascos, Yancy Butler,
Rhett Giles & Stephanie Honore


  1. I typically have a "No SyFy Channel originals" policy, buuuut Im also a hardcore werewolf fan.. Its going to be difficult to avoid this one, I will definitely try to give it a go if it meets your approval Paul =D

  2. Hey there Carl, I generally agree with the Sci Fi Channel philosophy as pretty much all the films seem to be heavily cut or edited / formatted incorrectly. Their productions, however, do quite often deliver the goods & as long as you can pick them up on DVD, in all their intended glory, there are some real goodies to be found. Wolvesbayne is Great Fun. This really is a Vampire flick though despite its main protagonist being a werewolf, but that's still okay with me as the comic book Action is there in a plentiful smattering. Please do not dive into this expecting a Werewolf movie though, as a coiple of transformations aside the whole lycanthropy angle is definitely underplayed to the Vampire lore. It may well have been better title Chronicle Of The Vampires. It is though well worth seeing.
    Those Vs movies are always worth checking out at least once eh Carl. There is a lot of fun to be found from the UFO Production Stable. Angel Boris makes Boa Vs Python a joy to behold ;). Love those Olivier Gruner flicks from the Philip J. Roth UFO roster such as Interceptor Force& its excellent sequel.