Shopping. It’s an absolute sod. The sad fact is that many of us will have to face this monster on a regular basis. The weekly Supermarket run is a chore of unbound boredom and enforced trolley wrangling that invokes feelings of utter dread in all of us. How do we cope with this terrible affliction? We create small pockets of light in an otherwise gloomy experience. One such flicker of illumination, for myself anyway, is the trip along the dvd aisle. The new releases, the remainder stock priced so low that it almost screams at you to buy crap you never would otherwise, and the holy grail of such excursions. The competitively priced, undiscovered gem. A movie that you’ve never heard of, but one that tickles at the buy me bone with such ferocity, that to leave it on the shelf would haunt you for the rest of your days. And so it was, on my last adventure, that i discovered “Attack of the Werewolves”.
Many of you would have noticed this dvd, with it’s eye-catching lenticular cover and equally eye-catching price point of £7.50, on a recent trip to the local spend emporium. My advice would be to pick this up while it’s cheap. Before word gets out and this film obtains the cult status that it’s truly deserving of. One thing i should make clear before we get any further, this is a Spanish film. Nowhere on the packaging does it mention that it’s not in the English language. Nor does it contain the usual badly dubbed alternative audio track. All we have to go on here is the original Spanish track and subtitles in a slightly jarring font. They have a very strange, blocky, 8-bit style to them and for the first few minutes jump from the top of screen to the bottom. This jumping, mostly occurs during the opening credits and seem to be in place to avoid masking the cast and crew names as they appear. Talking of the opening credits, they take the shape of a graphic novel, detailing the back story required to better understand the rest of the film. This works really well, and gives us a stylishly presented, but easy to grasp back story from which the film can build.
It would be doing the film a disservice if I reveal too much of the plot, so I’ll go as far as the blurb on the back of the box does. After an absence of 15 years, a young struggling writer named Tomas (Gorka Otxoa) is called back to the small, rural village of his birth. He is to be awarded the “freedom of the village”, presumably for being a local boy, done good. However, the villagers have a far more sinister motive, they are living under a beastly curse that can only be lifted by spilling the blood of the last male descendent of the evil Marchioness of Marino. Unfortunately for Tomas, that happens to be him.
One of the most pleasing things about this film, is that all the werewolf effects are practical. No dodgy, unconvincing CGI lycanthropes here. Everything is done with make up and some really great full body suits. In an age when it would be all too easy to shove some doodles into a computer, and slap the resulting wolfy compufarts up on the screen, it’s a real pleasure to see some actual bods on set. They may not be the most authentic (?) looking werewolves, but at least they can properly interact with the other actors and are stylised enough to make them unique and memorable.
The film sells itself as a horror/comedy, even going so far as to put a review quote on the cover that compares it to “Shaun of the Dead”. Unlike many films who invoke the blessed Shaun to reel in the punters, this one actually delivers. While it’s no balls out laugh fest, it does provide a consistently high chuckle level, and even two or three laugh out loud moments. Crucially, this is not at the expense of the horror. The film earns it’s 15 rating (for strong language and bloody gore) with ease.
All in all “Attack of the Werewolves”, is a pleasant surprise. A great little horror movie, that wears it’s heart on it’s sleeve and will not kick you in the nuts for daring to believe that sometimes, just sometimes, supermarkets can be a force for good.