Three new horror releases came across my desk over the past couple weeks, and I’ve decided to round them all up and take a look at them all together for your convenience. RLJ Entertainment recently put out the sequel to the modern cult classic, Wolfcop, with the appropriately titled sequel, Another Wolfcop. Plus, Artsploitation Films, peddlers of high end smut, released A Taste of Phobia and German Angst.
Another Wolfcop picks up some time after the original film with the title character becoming somewhat of a town legend. After busting a group of capers (played by the geniuses from Astron-6 in a hilarious cameo) in the opening scene, the cat’s out of the bag, Wolfcop is real. The filmmakers make the best possible decision by bringing back Jonathan Cherry’s character, Willie, very early on in the film as he was easily the standout in the first film. Then it’s up to Willie (and his new growth) and Wolfcop to save the town once again as an evil businessman plans to corrupt the townies with a The Stuff-like beer from his newly built brewery/hockey rink. Kevin Smith and Pool Party Massacre director Drew Marvick show up in fun cameos as the madness ensues.
Another Wolfcop suffers from the same problem as the original for me. It’s should-be simple plot gets convoluted, and by the time the whole film wraps up it all just feels messy. The film breezes along in it’s scant 80 minute runtime, and the pace can almost feel breakneck if you’re jumping in on the series at part two. Everyone is committed in their roles with Cherry being the standout once again. Willie’s one-liners and delivery are incredible. The movie is ultimately fun, which I’m sure is what returning director Lowell Dean is going for. If you can worm your way around all the plot stuff being thrown at you, you’re sure to have a good time if you’re seeking out a film entitled Another Wolfcop. 3.5/5
Another Wolfcop is available on DVD and Blu-ray now.
A TASTE OF PHOBIA
Oh, A Taste of Phobia, what went wrong here? Phobia is a 90 minute anthology film with shorts from international directors clocking into the double digits. They come fast and furious with the glue supposedly being that each short is about a different phobia. While each short film starts with a technical term for each phobia being displayed, each short feels more like an ABCs of Death style death snippet. No one seems to have a really phobia of the thing each short is based around, but everyone seems to die at the hands of it. The lackluster wraparound is the tired trope of someone flipping through channels and “stumbling upon” each short. After seeing this in the V/H/S movies and kind of in this years superior 10/31 and Dead by Midnight (11 Central) anthologies, I’m bored of TV-set anthologies.
Two standouts here are a comedic short about a fear of virgins, and one about the fear of sleep. The fear of virgins shorts has some atrocious acting, but the concept made me laugh. The fear of sleep short comes from Sophia Cacciola and Micheal J Epstein who directed one of the first movies I ever reviewed for HS, Blood of the Tribades. While this short is other end of the spectrum different from that film, I still had a lot of fun with it, and it shows that this directing duo is going to be a force to be reckoned with in the genre as they keep making films. All of the other shorts fell flat or just bored the hell out of me. One short which features a person of color turning the tables on some backwoods rednecks and delivering a last line of make America great again should have been an amazing short because I’m so hardcore anti-Trump, but even that was too poorly made for me to stick up for. All and all, feel free to skip this one and just check out Dead by Midnight (11 Central) instead. 1.5/5
A Taste of Phobia is available on DVD now.
German Angst is the swift kick to the nuts I needed after watching A Taste of Phobia. Angst is another anthology film, but this one was made 3 years ago, and the fine folks at Artsploitation Films are giving it the wide, features packed edition it deserves. Each story comes from a notable German horror director in which they were given complete freedom to make the film they wanted. The film opens up with Final Girl, from the director of Nekromantik. It plays like the third act of a violent revenge thriller. So you get to see all the good parts and none of the icky, rapey stuff. When our heroine dishes out her revenge, the buckets of gore flow, and it’s oh so satisfying. The second film, Make a Wish, comes from the director of Zero Killed and features violence brought to a small Polish town by some gross Nazis. History is doomed to repeat itself as two Polish immigrants stumble into an abandoned building in Berlin. This short is an examination of the notion of violence itself and asks why it’s okay to like the violence when it’s happening to the nazis (other than the obvious reasons), but not when it’s happening to anyone else. Make A Wish is certainly a challenging section of the film, but it is effective.
The final segment of the film is called Alraune, coming from the director of Tears of Kali, and is certainly the best segment of the three. Clocking in at just under an hour, this segment feels like its own film. Alraune follows a man who recounts his experience with a drug that led him to the best sex he has ever had in his life. There’s more than meets the eye as our lead becomes addicted and travels deeper down the rabbit hole to find death and destruction in his wake. I couldn’t take my eyes off the screen during this section of the film. It doesn’t break any new ground, but it is entrancing. Overall, each of the segments here are visually arresting, most likely because they’re coming from 3 of the best German genre filmmakers of our time. I strongly recommend this film. German Angst won’t become your favorite horror anthology, but it sure is a worthy addition to the genre. 3.5/5
German Angst is available on Blu-ray now