Archive for the ‘werewolf movies’ Tag

“Strippers Versus Werewolves” Bares More Than Fangs.   Leave a comment

No "Gone with the Wind" or even "Howard the Duck."

No “Gone with the Wind” or even “Howard the Duck.”

By C. Michael Forsyth

It would seem impossible to screw up some movies. Take “Strippers Versus Werewolves.” As a viewer, your expectations aren’t very high. You just want a campy, tongue-in-cheek romp with a healthy dose of T & A and a few scares.

Sadly, nothing is completely idiot-proof. This amateurishly filmed excuse for a horror-comedy makes the dismal “Zombie Strippers” look like a cinematic masterpiece.

First problem is that the strippers are clad in unflattering and unrevealing outfits, while executing dance routines that are relentlessly unsexy. Second problem is that less effort went into creating believable werewolves than would take place in an unambitious student film.

HUBBA HUBBA! If images like this get you hot and bothered you'll love the movie's striptease scenes.

HUBBA HUBBA! If images like this get you hot and bothered you’ll love the movie’s striptease scenes.

I’ve long wanted to see another werewolf flick with minimal makeup, like Henry Hull’s in “The Werewolf of London” or Jack Nicholson’s in “Wolf. “But the rubber noses, ears and fangs in this British movie look like they came from the Halloween discount bin at Wal-Mart — not even a real costume shop.

LESS than convincing werewolf effects pump a silver bullet into film.

LESS-than-convincing werewolf effects put a silver bullet in the heart of this film.

The one starlet in the picture I wouldn’t kick out of bed for eating crackers is spectacularly well-endowed Lucy Pinder. Unfortunately, instead of making full use of her assets, the producers don’t Lucy cast as a stripper — but rather, almost perversely, as a member of a vampire duo who show up for a few seconds.

ASSETS UNDERUTILIZED:  Lucy Pinder appears but, tragically NOT as a stripper.

ASSETS UNDERUTILIZED: Lucy Pinder appears but, tragically, NOT as a stripper.

DOUBLE D TROUBLE: Vampire duo add to the woes.

DOUBLE D TROUBLE: Vampire duo add to the woes.

There’s one cool idea: The pack of werewolves are basically a gang of English houligans. There’s one really good performance: Robert Compston as a young member of the pack whose girlfriend turns out to be one of the strippers. Robert Englund has a cameo as the imprisoned former leader of the gang, the Alpha male” as he puts it, and the “Nightmare on Elm Street” star is at his menacing best in the five minutes he’s on screen. But Englund, who also livened up “Zombie Strippers” a bit as a sleazy club owner, couldn’t save this dog of a werewolf movie.

Instead of blowing cash on this DVD release, better to invest in a lap dance at your local topless watering hole.

ALPHA MALE: Robert Englund has brief cameo as ex-packe leader..

ALPHA MALE: Robert Englund has brief cameo as ex-pack leader.

PRISON life becomes even more hellish when a vampire epidemic erupts in a women's prison.

PRISON life becomes even more hellish when a vampire epidemic erupts in a women’s prison.


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I’m excited to announce the launch of my first graphic novel, Night Cage! The premise of the horror story is simple: Vampires take over a women’s prison. Just imagine Orange is the New Black meets Salem’s Lot.

The project is being funded through Kickstarter. Folks who jump on the bandwagon will get a boatload of goodies and rewards, ranging from advance copies of the book and exclusive art, posters and T-shirts to a chance to be drawn into the graphic novel as a character!

Please check out the video out HERE, and share the news with all your social media friends!

PRISONERS fight for survival against a bloodthirsty army of the undead in the graphic novel Night Cage.

PRISONERS fight for survival against a bloodthirsty army of the undead in the graphic novel Night Cage.

<img src="https://freedomshammer.files.wordpress.com/2011/01/hour_of_beast_cover_web1.jpg" alt="Speaking of werewolves and sex, in this reviewer's acclaimed horror novel Hour of the Beast, a bride is raped by a wolfman on her wedding night — then things start to get out of hand! ” width=”466″ height=”324″ class=”size-full wp-image-933″ /> Speaking of werewolves and sex, in this reviewer’s acclaimed horror novel Hour of the Beast, a bride is raped by a wolfman on her wedding night — then things start to get out of hand!

To check out Hour of the Beast, click HERE,

The Magnificent Seven Vs. Wolf Man in “Werewolf: The Beast Among Us.”   Leave a comment

Werewolf hunters for hire pursue their most dangerous quarry ever — a man-beast who attacks even when the moon isn’t full.

By C. Michael Forsyth

My friend Sean, a horror aficionado with an encyclopedic knowledge of the genre, recommended “Werewolf: the Beast Among Us,” and he didn’t steer me wrong. I really enjoyed this fun, twisty B movie.

Shot in Romania with excellent production values, it’s in some ways a throwback to the old Hammer films. No automatic weapons, no sweet and glittery monsters. Some might call this anachronistic, but I dug the old-fashioned good-versus-evil battle.

The movie, set in the 1800s, features a band of werewolf hunters for hire that comes to the rescue of a town plagued by a lycanthrope. Alarmingly, the creature strikes even when the moon isn’t full! They’re aided by a young man desperate to save his village from the unstoppable beast, which has slain dozens. It’s “The Magnificent Seven” with werewolves – a high concept I just love.

The team is led by Charles (Ed Quinn), a taciturn American gunslinger, and each of the mercenaries has different quirks and specialties. My favorite is the sexy girl bounty hunter Kazia who wields a crossbow and wears a bite-proof corset. There’s also the suave, unflappable Englishman Stephan, who sports a vest full of throwing knives. Steven Bauer (Al Pacino’s right-hand man in “Scarface” and almost unrecognizable here) is aboard as the grizzled, beer-swilling Hyde.

Action and gore abound and there’s a mystery too. Which villager is the beast? Could it be the youth himself? His mother, who always appears to be missing when the attacks occur? His girlfriend? Her reclusive, wealthy father?

Day to day life in a town besieged by a werewolf is depicted with entertaining realism. In one memorable scene, the beleaguered town doctor (Stephen Rea from “The Crying Game”) is deluged by victims – and mercifully puts down a bitten farmer to spare him from the curse.

TAKE NO PRISONERS: Werewolf stomper Kazia (Ana Ularu) is deadly with a crossbow.

SPOILER ALERT – SPOILER ALERT – SPOILER ALERT

The identity of the werewolf isn’t too hard to figure out – the culprit practically has “lycanthrope” stamped on his forehead. But there are some clever red herrings, including the suspicious town constable who turns out merely to have epilepsy. (It might have been prudent for him to warn fellow villagers, “I foam at the mouth from time to time, so please don’t shoot me.”)

Although it’s the most surprising twist, I didn’t really like the revelation that Stephan is a vampire – I preferred him as a cocky dandy. I mean, when Charles recruited a vampire didn’t it occur to him that the guy might TURN OUT TO BE EVIL???

Likewise, the ending in which Charles takes on the werewolf as Stephan’s replacement seems a bit dubious. Having a monster on board didn’t really work out all that well. And wouldn’t the new recruit be a little reticent about killing other werewolves?

Speaking of our hairy pals, the author of this review also penned the highly acclaimed horror novel “Hour of the Beast.” Hour of the Beast is available in hardcover and softcover at Amazon.com. But you can save $4 by clicking HERE! The Kindle version is just $7 and the Ebook is a measly $5. Be the first on your block to read this bone-chilling tale — before the movie comes out.

The 12 Greatest Horror Movies You’ve Never Seen!   1 comment

C. Michael Forsyth

There are great horror movies that even aficionados of the genre have missed and are often overlooked on top 100 lists. Here are a dozen rarely viewed films that gave me the willies:

A remote forest is home turf for a demon in “Equinox.”

EQUINOX, 1970

Four young people searching a remote forest for a missing scientist get more than they bargained for when they encounter the demon Asmodeus. Taking refuge in a cave, they come across an ancient book the evil being needs to spread destruction beyond his wooded domain. Heroically, the humans fight to keep The Book out of the demon’s claws, while trapped within his forest by a mysterious force field. Asmodeus sends a series of monstrous minions, including a giant ape-like creature with cloven hooves, to retrieve The Book.

Though shot on a shoestring budget, the movie makes create use of Ray Harryhausen-type stop motion animation. Plot-wise, it is a forerunner to “The Evil Dead,” and the filmmakers could show the producers of “The Blair Witch Project” a thing or two about telling an entertaining story with no dough.

A rustic European town harbors a terrible secret in “Vampyr.”

VAMPYR, 1932

Most horror buffs have seen the silent-era vampire film “Nosferatu,” an unauthorized adaptation of Dracula, but only hardcore enthusiasts have seen this 1932 picture from Danish director Carl Theodor Dreyer. Though less well known, it’s every bit as creepy as “Nosferatu.” Inspired by a tale by Carmilla author J. Sheridan Le Fanu, it’s about a student of the occult who stumbles across a village under the curse of a vampire hag.

Although made in the sound era, it too is silent. It benefits from a haunting atmosphere and imaginative effects. Among the most striking, the vampires slinking around the deserted town are seen only as shadows.

A young woman rubs shoulders with history’s most infamous sadist in “Waxwork.”

WAXWORK, 1988

A group of students visit a wax museum featuring 18 villains from horror lore and history. Two are sucked into the waxwork displays, where they run into a werewolf and Dracula. Another two find themselves pitted against zombies and the infamous Marquis de Sade. The concept of universes within the displays struck me as quite original, and I loved how each one is depicted as real as our own. A kinky highlight of the film arises when the teenage girl drawn into de Sade’s world is whipped by the infamous sadist…and kind of likes it! Zach Galligan, who had vanished from the screen after “Gremlins,” does a smashing job as the young hero struggling to rescue her.

Homeowner Jesse (Ayre Gross, left) learns there’s more problems with his new digs than mice in the attic in “House 2.”

HOUSE 2

This horror comedy is a rare case of the sequel surpassing the original. Charlie and Jesse, a pair of yuppie pals, move into an old mansion Jesse has inherited. Rummaging through the basement, Jesse finds a picture of his great-great grandfather in front of a Mayan temple holding a crystal skull. The buddies soon learn that the house has been transformed by the skull his ancestor swiped and that each room is a doorway across space and time. The guys must keep the skull out of the hands of evildoers, while their mettle is tested in a series of harrowing adventures on the other side of these portals. Jonathan Stark, best known as the vampire’s henchman in the original “Fright Night,” is great as the goofier member of the duo. And look for an appearance from a smartalecky young Bill Maher.

A visit to the family crypt reveals clues to an awful curse in “The Undying Monster.”


THE UNDYING MONSTER, 1942

Mystery and horror combine in the curious case of the Hammond family which has been cursed since the Crusades and whose members frequently die under strange circumstances. When the latest Hammond heir is slain by an unidentified creature, intrepid private detective Robert Curtis and his plucky sidekick Christy are summoned to investigate. An early clue is a very peculiar statue in the Hammond family crypt.

What delights me about the film is the successful blend of genres. Curtis brings the logic of a Sherlock Holmes to the case and his relationship with Christy is reminiscent of Nick and Nora of “The Thin Man” fame. The detective takes a scientific approach, which makes the increasingly uncanny events all the more alarming. In one memorable sequence, he uses a microscope to examine a strange hair and it vanishes before his eyes!

Boris Karloff is a father who returns home from a vampire hunt and brings terror with him in “Black Sabbath.”

BLACK SABBATH, 1963

This anthology film boasts some truly terrifying segments. My favorite, “The Wurdalak,” is drawn from a common theme of vampire folklore rarely depicted on film: that when the undead return they first prey on their own relatives.

In 19th century Russia, a young nobleman on a long trip stops at a small rural cottage to ask for shelter. He learns that the family patriarch has disappeared for five days while searching for a vampire, or “wurdalak” as the locals call it. At the stroke of midnight, Dad — Boris Karloff at his creepy best — shows up at the cottage. His disheveled appearance and odd behavior lead his sons to suspect he’s joined the ranks of the undead. The situation makes for a rather tense evening.

“I tell you, I’m not crazy. Now get that hand off my mouth.” Michael Redgrave is a ventriloquist with a sinister dummy in “Dead of Night.”

DEAD OF NIGHT, 1945

Another chilling anthology film, it includes the granddaddy of all evil-ventriloquist-dummy stories and a chilling yarn about a haunted antique mirror. The frame story itself (often laughable in such movies) is truly unnerving. In the frame story, a man arrives at a country house party where he reveals to the assembled guests that he has seen them all in a dream. They begin to tell various tales of the supernatural and the uncanny. The frame story climaxes with a haunting twist ending.

“I don’t much like the look of that.” Peter Cushing, right, finds that a fellow scientist has created a deadly new lifeform in “Island of Terror.”

ISLAND OF TERROR, 1966

The great Peter Cushing stars as a scientist investigating the peculiar case of a farmer found dead on a remote British isle without a single bone in his body. He and his companions learn that a researcher working on the island accidentally created a new lifeform from the silicon atom while searching for a cancer cure.

The tentacled creatures, dubbed “silicates,” kill their victims by injecting a bone-dissolving enzyme into their bodies and are virtually indestructible. Trapped on the isolated island, the heroes battle the monsters with guns, Molotov cocktails, dynamite and other weapons to no avail. In one hair-raising scene, Cushing is grabbed by a silicate. With a stiff upper lip, the Englishman sternly instructs a companion to chop off his hand with an ax before its too late.

Wicca is for wimps. These witches are the real deal in “Horror Hotel.”

HORROR HOTEL, 1960

A college coed visits a small Massachusetts town to research the witchcraft trials, unaware that her landlady is the reincarnation of an infamous witch burned at the stake in the 1600s. The accused witch wasn’t innocent – not by a longshot. She and her evil cohorts practice virgin sacrifice in order to remain immortal. Christopher Lee as the missing girl’s professor and her friends must solve the mystery of her disappearance before an unholy ritual on Candlemass Eve. Look for one of the most startling heroic rescue scenes in horror cinema history.

A madman (Patrick O’Neal) doesn’t let a disablity stand in the way of exacting bloody vengeance in “Chamber of Horrors.”

CHAMBER OF HORRORS, 1966

Cesare Danova, the suave actor with the sexy foreign accent that made him a ubiquitous TV guest star, plays the proprietor of a wax museum and amateur sleuth, aided by a dwarf sidekick. When a deranged man named Jason Cravette murders a woman and marries her corpse, Danova helps police bring him to justice.

Unfortunately, the killer escapes from a manacle by amputating his hand and vows vengeance on everyone involved in his capture and trial. In place of his hand, the madman wears an array of deadly weapons. He associates his foes with body parts – for instance, the cop who arrested him is the “arm of the law.” So after each revenge killing he makes off with that body part. The wax museum owner has a special incentive to stop the culprit, because he solved the initial murder and Cravette has indentified him as “the head of the law.” Gulp.

The movie was filmed as a pilot for a series to be called “House of Wax,” but it was deemed too gory for TV. But I would have tuned into such a show every week!

The devil is afoot in Merry Old England in “Blood on Satan’s Claw.”

BLOOD ON SATAN’S CLAW, 1971

This movie is set in village in 17th century England, where a series of bizarre events suggest to superstitious peasants that the devil is afoot. The trouble begins when a farmer plowing a field uncovers a deformed skull with one leering eye. Later, young townsfolk begin to sprout patches of fur and other odd markings on their bodies. It’s up to the local judge, a rational man who is initially skeptical of the supernatural, to stop the epidemic and solve the mystery. High production values and convincing period dialogue elevate the film. It’s like watching a version of “The Crucible” in which Satan really is on the prowl.

Dinner is served! An army officer resorts to cannibalism in “Ravenous.”

RAVENOUS, 1999

The always compelling Guy Pearce ( “L.A. Confidential”) stars in this film, which offers a unique take on cannibalism.

The story takes place during in 1840s California during the Mexican-American War. Pearce plays a U.S. Army captain who comes across the aftermath of a Donner Party-like disaster. The sole survivor, a Colonel Ives, is now hooked on human flesh. According to a Native American legend recounted in the movie, a man who consumes the flesh of his enemies takes their strength but becomes a Wendigo, a demon cursed by a hunger for man meat. Turns out the Indians were right. Col. Ives has cured himself of tuberculosis and turned himself into an invincible superman through cannibalism. Worse still, he gets others addicted and is bent on turning our hero Capt. Boyd into a cannibal too.

I found the notion of cannibal as a sort of vampire thought-provoking and appreciated the film’s dark humor. With great performances from Pearce and Robert Carlyle as the sinister Colonel Ives.

The author of this article also wrote the acclaimed horror novel Hour of the Beast. In the opening chapter, the unthinkable happens. Then things get out of hand.

Hour of the Beast is available in hardcover and softcover at Amazon.com. But you can save $4 by clicking HERE! The Kindle version is just $7 and the Ebook is a measly $5. Be the first on your block to read this bone-chilling tale — before the motion picture hits the big screen.

Heroes Face Hairy Odds in “GLADIATORS Vs. WEREWOLVES”   Leave a comment

By C. Michael Forsyth

The Colosseum of ancient Rome was the setting for some of the most bizarre and surreal events in history, as ringmasters sought to satiate the public’s demand for increasingly violent and depraved “entertainments.”

Battles between Amazons and dwarfs; women raped by specially trained animals ranging from wild boars to giraffes; gladiators forced to fight in helmets that blinded them; children clubbed to death like baby seals by men in centaur costumes — nothing was too horrific or disgusting for the jaded emperors and the hundreds of thousands of ordinary Romans who crowded the arena 350 days a year.

So if werewolves existed, there’s no doubt that the showmen responsible for exciting new human-versus-animal contests would jump at the chance to add them to the program.

That’s the premise of an upcoming movie, “Gladiators Vs. Werewolves: Edge of Empire.” If the eye-popping poster art is any indication, I hope to give it a Nero-like thumbs up.

The British movie is currently in production, and the film company AV Pictures released this intriguing synopsis:

“AD 160. The Romans occupy Britain, and the great Hadrian’s Wall divides the land, built to keep back the northern warrior tribes, and something far more dangerous; a clan of savage wolf-like creatures which roam the lowlands.

“Word reaches Governor Flavius that the Emperor has decreed that new, more fearsome beasts should be captured for the games. The ambitious Governor, having heard rumors of the fierce wolf-beasts beyond the great wall, senses an opportunity to win favor with the Emperor and even a place in the senate.

“The heroic centurion, Titus, is tasked with hunting and trapping the wolf-creatures. Titus and his legionaries track the beasts to their mountain lair and discover a warrior clan who transform at will into mighty, armor-clad werewolves. In a fierce battle, the beasts slaughter half of the legionaries. Titus and his surviving men escape and ensnare the pursuing werewolves.

“The Governor is delighted he has his prized new fighting savages, but Titus realizes that anyone bitten by a werewolf is cursed to become one of their kind. He warns the Governor that the werewolves pose a grave threat if they increase their numbers. Titus’s reward for challenging the Governor is to be stripped of his rank and thrown into the arena where the beasts’ savagery will be tested.

“Excited spectators cram the amphitheatre. Titus and the land’s best gladiators are pitted against the ferocious werewolves, but the beasts are powerful and smart. For every two fighters they slay, they leave one wounded and alive. Titus’s fears are confirmed; the werewolves are building an army. The final day of the games will be a blood and thunder battle, more savage than any Roman has seen or experienced before.”

A hopeful sign is that the director is Paul Davis, best known for his documentary “Beware the Moon,” about the making of “An American Werewolf in London” — one of my favorite werewolf movies of all times. I expect him to bring to the set a genuine love and understanding of the genre.

In an interview, Davis revealed that the werewolves are being created by special effects whiz Shaune Harrison, who did those the marvelous aliens in the “Men in Black” movies and was prosthetic make-up artist for Red Skull in “Captain America: The First Avenger.”

“Shaune has done some wonderful work so far on the werewolf designs and sculpts,” the director said. “These are some badass looking werewolves. I mean, if you’ve seen the poster, that’s how they look in person.”

REAL-LIFE gladiators were often pitted against dangerous wild beasts in the arena.

Curiously enough, werewolves aren’t the only supernatural critters who’ll be duking it with Spartacus and his buddies on screen soon. A similarly themed movie is in the works titled “Gladiators Vs. Zombies.” I’m not as optimistic about this flick. For one thing, it sounds like one of those movies where the word “zombie” has simply been tacked onto an unlikely phrase for comic effect. (You know, like “Zombie Strippers, “Zombie Cheerleaders,” “Pride and Prejudice and Zombies.”)

Another bad sign is that the producers were so unhappy with the script that they announced a rewrite contest, in which the public was invited to mail in better versions to claim a $10,000 prize. Think about it, just how bad would a script have to be for a wily producer to dream up a stunt like that? And if you can only spare $10,000 for a script, where’s the money in the budget to convincingly recreate ancient Rome?

But that’s another battle for another day. Right now, I’m chomping at the bit to see “Gladiators Vs. Werewolves.” May the best man – or monster – win.

If you found this article by C. Michael Forsyth entertaining, you might enjoy his novels…

The creator of Sherlock Holmes and the world's greatest magician probe a paranormal  mystery in new thriller.

The creator of Sherlock Holmes and the world’s greatest magician probe a paranormal mystery in new thriller.

More about Sir Arthur Conan Doyle & Harry Houdini in the Adventure of the Spook House.

The tables turn on an identity thief in the latest thriller by C. Michael Forsyth. To check it out, click HERE.

The tables turn on an identity thief in the latest thriller by C. Michael Forsyth. To check it out, click HERE.

In Hour of the Beast, a young bride is raped by a werewolf on her wedding night. When her sons grow up and head to college, things REALLY get out of hand.

In Hour of the Beast, a young bride is raped by a werewolf on her wedding night. When her sons grow up and head to college, things REALLY get out of hand.


Read Hour of the Beast.
The Blood of Titans is a story of love and adventure set in the golden age of Africa.

The Blood of Titans is a story of love and adventure set in the golden age of Africa.

Check out The Blood of Titans.

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