This review was written for ww.bcrising.com @BCRising
In a little English village called Deddington a pack of werewolves on holiday come face to face with their victim and hunter friend.
For a moment I’m going to hold back on yabbering about this latest werewolf film, I should also point out that the 3D version was sadly not available for us from Tirana Films/Great Dayne Entertainment/Boom & Spray Productions. More important than director’s Tony Jopia’s offering is the knowledge that the first scene has Hammer Horror star, Sinbad’s Margiana and James Bond’s Naomi, actress Caroline Munro. Here she cameos as a shopkeeper, arguably still edible to the older gentleman, surely any self respecting werewolf would be honoured to gobble her up. I digress, many of the same cast and crew of Cute Little Buggers, a low rent Gremlins, reteam armed with a Hammer's business model, like a multi-picture deal of Craig Fairbrass films for... Ba-dum ching - Crying Wolf! A Kermit the Frog YAY please.
Taking a compulsory leaf from American Werewolf in London and Dog Soldiers and the recent Howl, Jopia’s Crying Wolf has plenty of sleepy village dolly tracking and crane shots. Jopia armed with ropey CGI (a limited suite of stretch effects, colouring and kinetic werewolves reminiscent American Werewolf in Paris); plenty of claret and fake limbs throws on screen what can only be described as canned wolf fodder. The tin looks good, it contents appear tempting but even if out of curiosity do you really want to open that bad boy up and taste it?
To Jopia's credit I've never seen a werewolf film with a grand Bond style opening credit sequence but voilà Crying Wolf has one and a theme tune too. With pub humour, Brookside pacing, gratuitous blood and breasts, this is not to be confused with Jeffrey D. King’s independent documentary film Crying Wolf (it’s an easy mistake to make). Written by Andy Davie, Michael Dale and Jopia this presentation is ridiculous and equally as silly (including a wrong hole gag) with its out of place flashbacks and unnecessary back stories. Aside from an abundance of pretty looking cast members what’s genuinely enticing is the atmospheric locale (possibly interesting if you live outside of the UK), there are also some nice make up, old school practical effects and there really is a germ of a good idea hidden away in bottom of a pint glass. It’s energetic cast, include Gabriela Hersham, Chloe Farnworth, Joe Egan (of the well executed short – Predator Dark Ages), Kristofer Dayne, Gabriela Hersham and Ian Donnelly to mention just a few who put in every effort known to man to have fun with their characters. Notable is Angela Holmes who pops up briefly.
I’m going to mention (because I can), if I didn’t know better I’d say their tagline is a rework of my very own novel but this sub-genre stuff is in the air. With werewolves appearing from the shadows lunging at the camera and popping into an already very cropped frame, for the love of Thiess of Kaltenbrun don’t expect Lowell Dean’s Wolf Cop. Be safe in the knowledge that John Landis needn't worry about losing his 1981 and 1984 werewolf crown either.
This stretched low-budget Carry On up the hammy werewolf is best served with a load of friends, excess barrels of real ale and an aptitude for this type of film. No doubt Crying Wolf will certainly become someone’s guilty pleasure.