Welcome to a special Canadian Cheese edition of Drive-In Saturday, a look at low budget Canadian movies. Today, Wolfcop. Cinecoup Film Accelerator was a contest for Canadian indie filmmakers to get noticed, with the grand prize being $1 million to go toward making their movie. Regina filmmaker Lowell Dean’s horror/comedy Wolfcop was the first film chosen. Released in 2014 to Canadian theatres, Wolfcop tells the story of Lou Garou, an officer with the Woodhaven Sheriff’s Department. Lou isn’t the best cop in town. That would be Tina from the night shift, who has closed more cases than Lou. Lou gets the day shift, which lets him drink all night and lets the Chief keep an eye on him. Woodhaven is getting prepared for the annual Drink and Shoot, sponsored by Liquor Donut, an event that brings hunters together to hunt for the mythical beast of the town while drinking. The beast is also thought responsible for a sharp increase in missing pets. Woodhaven is also seeing a mayoral election between incumbent Mayor Bradley and firebrand Terry Wallace, who wants to see change in the way the town conducts business. At the beginning of his shift, one hour late, Lou is given an assignment from the Chief. Woodhaven’s resident kook, Willy, has a tip about the missing pets. Lou talks to Willy to get the explanation: Satan-worshipping teenagers performing sacrifices. Willy even has photo and video proof. At the end of the shift, before Lou can clock out, the Chief gives him another call. There is a disturbance in the woods, possibly the teenagers sacrificing animals. Lou finds the carved symbols from Willy’s photos, then finds mayoral candidate Wallace tied upside down, before being knocked out from behind. Lou awakens in his own bed, but as he goes through his morning rituals, he gets flashes of the previous night. He tries shaving, only to see the stubble return immediately. Sounds and smells are overwhelming, and he doesn’t have a hangover to explain it. His phone rings; the Chief needs him back out in the woods. Lou arrives at a murder scene to find Wallace is dead, his throat ripped open. Keeping the news quiet fails as the local TV station’s reporter shows up with Mayor Bradley, who announces that, due to the animal attack, the annual Drink and Shoot is cancelled. Sober for a change, Lou starts investigating, trying to find out the last time the Drink and Shoot was cancelled. He finds a pattern — every thirty-two years, the event is cancelled right around a solar eclipse. Further investigation leads to a long day and a need to unwind at the Tooth and Nail, owned by Jessica after the death of Tina’s father. Jessica closes the bar early, shortly before ten, all while getting Lou drunk. She propositions him, but he needs to hit the men’s room before she can have her way with him. In the washroom, Lou undergoes his first transformation, shedding his outer skin to reveal the werewolf within. Two men follow Lou to the men’s room and are surprised at what awaits them in the now blood-spattered washroom. Lou rips the shirt off one and kills the other before escaping. The night is a blur for Lou. He wakes up in a strange bed, locked to it by pink fuzzy handcuffs, and a dog sitting beside him. Willy arrives to release Lou and shows him video of the previous night, including him needing three tranquilizer darts to put the officer down. Before much more can happen, Lou hears Tina and her squad car long before she appears. Tina managed to use her police skills to find Lou to tell him about another incident, this time at the Tooth and Nail. The men’s room at the bar is the site of a grisly double homicide, where it appears that one of the victims had his skin torn off. Tina suggests that the case may be too much for the small Woodhaven police force to handle and wants to call in the cops in the city. The Chief shoots the suggestion down, saying that he wants to keep the town’s problems in the town. Tina finds the victim’s face, which she thinks looks a bit like Lou. The town’s coroner finds what looks like animal hair. As the Chief sends Lou to help Jessica home, Tina finds some other body parts. After escorting the bar’s owner to her car, Lou continues his investigation. His research into Satan worshipping leads to finding out how werewolves are created. A ritual is done on a victim, requiring an innocent to be sacrificed so the victim can turn into a beast. Werewolves can’t be killed during a full moon, so someone easily-controlled is recruited. A second ritual during a solar eclipse allows shapeshifters to drain the werewolf’s blood to be used to extend their own lives. And the next solar eclipse is coming up in two days. As dusk approaches, Lou has Willy lock him up in the jail. Lou transforms again at ten, the wolf coming from within. Once transformed, Lou demands a drink. He downs a bottle of booze from Liquor Donuts, then devours a box of the store’s pastries. When a robbery call comes in, Lou breaks open the jail door. Willy tries to stop him, telling him he’s a wolf. Lou answers, “Cop.” Turns out, Lou’s a better cop as a werewolf. He stops the robbery, frightening one of the armed men into submission and killing the other. He sniffs out a meth lab and destroys it. Returning to the station, Jessica is waiting, looking like a sexy Red Riding Hood. Willy is sent to wait elsewhere. Gowan’s “Moonlight Desires” will never be heard the same again. Afterwards, Jessica adds a sedative to Lou’s coffee, then reveals herself as Mayor Bradley. The conspiracy makes its move, picking up Lou. Lou is far stronger than the conspiracy expected, and not under their control. The liquor and the donuts are the most likely culprit. Lou is taken to the woods where Wallace’s body was discovered. The conspiracy starts the ritual to take Lou’s blood. They reveal themselves to him, showing how deep the shapeshifters have infiltrated. However, Tina saw the hearse leaving and finds Willy’s video tape of the night. She follows, armed for wolf. The final battle has Wolfcop take on the shapeshifters and their gang, though he has Tina helping. The final showdown between Wolfcop and the lead shapeshifter is straight out of a Western. For a low budget film, Wolfcop doesn’t look cheap. Cinecoup’s funds were spent well. The filmmakers used a combination of CGI and practical effects, often letting the sounds and the reactions imply far worse in the audience’s imagination than showing what was happening on-screen. The acting is solid with an experienced cast. Leo Fafard as Lou sold his transformations without becoming too campy. The villains had the right level of menace when needed. The horror of Wolfcop comes from several elements. First, the werewolf himself. The uncontrollable beast within, Lou’s flashbacks showed a loss of control. His first on-screen transformation was full-on body horror, as was his second. Yet, there was humour to contrast to the horror. Lou’s full name – Lou Garou – is a play on words. The gang members used by the shapeshifters are well armed, including sub- and full-sized machineguns, a reflection of how Canadians see small town USA at times. The writing of Wolfcop was strong. Foreshadowing was well in play. A second viewing gives new weight to some lines that could have been throwaways. The reveal of the conspirators is surprising but also laid out in advance. The movie could have gone with just cheap thrills and laughs; instead, it plays with the subject matter, building up instead of tearing down. Wolfcop is a far better movie than it first appears. It is a smart movie while still providing both laughs and chills. See larger image Wolfcop [Blu-ray] New From: $10.00 USD In Stock Share this:TweetShare on TumblrLike this:Like Loading... Related Leave a Reply Cancel ReplyYou must be logged in to post a comment.