Thursday, November 22, 2012
Attack of the Werewolves (2012)
I don't like horror-comedy. I think horror should be serious and - most of the time - humorless. That makes interesting movies. But there's a few - very few - movies that mixes horror with comedy in a good way. Shaun of the Dead, Tucker and Dale vs Evil and Cabin in the Woods for example. I know that the last one isn't everyone's cup of tea, but I don't give a f**k about that. They're comedies, but the horror is real. People die, the monsters is scary or the situations serious. That makes a good horror-comedy. Attack of the Werewolves, also known as Game of Werewolves, is a new Spanish production - released this summer in it's country and now on blu-ray in the
. It's also one of the few
horror-comedies that works. UK
Tomas is coming home to his old village, where he lived until he was 15 years old. He's invited to talk at some fancy occasion, because he's a famous writer - well, not that famous actually: he wrote on book that sold nothing and now he wants to write a second one. But the villagers has other plans for him and suddenly he finds himself facing a werewolf... and the only way to stop the werewolf is if it's eats Tomas! This won't end well...
It works because the danger is real. There's not slapstick-monsters, just real dangerous ones. I love that. Attack of the Werewolves is also packed with excellent actors, and the leading man - yet another semi-failed Spanish men with dream, just like in Torremolinos 73 - played by Gorka Otxoa both manages to be touching in his dreams to write another book, and handles the slapstick and gags at least as good. His former best friend Calisto (Carlos Areces) is extremely funny, a real character still being over-the-top. The same thing can be said about the third protagonist, played by Secun de la Rosa, probably the most annoying and most incompetent literary agent ever shown on screen.
The real success is the simple - but very effective script - with a couple of great twists and a storyline that just goes up! Up!! UP!!! all the time until they do stuff that people only think about but then trash because it's too much or too silly, but here they do it and it makes it even more awesome. Like Shaun of the Dead it still stands firmly on the ground of reality, but set in a landscape of absurdity. The violence is violent (but less gory than I thought it would be), the comedy is broad and the drama is big drama. Like all good movies want to have more when the movie ends, because you like the characters and it's open for so many more adventures.
Spanish comedy is special, not for everyone, and pretty close to the even more outrageous Italian comedy. But I think the Spaniards is better at mixing some seriousness into the story, with less shallow characters and more interesting storylines. Of course there's bad comedies to, but I guess the legacy of Almovador and De Iglesias has left a lot of inspiration to other filmmakers also.
Oh, but how's the werewolves? Let me tell you one thing: you won't be disappointed! These are big, brutal classic werewolves. Part Naschy, part Chaney, part animal. The make-up is extremely good, among the best I've seen - especially in something that probably don't have the biggest budget in the world. They're violent creatures to, and shows it in graphic ways - but it could have been even more nasty if you ask me. Somehow, when watching it, I feel that Paul Naschy himself would have played on of the old men in the village if he was still alive. His spirit is all over the story, either they meant it that way or not.
Good, fun, charming werewolf-movie!