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Curse of the Wolf

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Release Date: 
Brain Damage
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Directed by: 
Len Kabasinski
Renee Porada
Darian Caine
Len Kabasinski
Pamela Sutch
Bottom Line: 

"Curse of the Wolf" is another grainy, low budget slice of schlock brought to you courtesy of those shameless folks at Brain Damage Films. As usual, the film is more than a little rough around the edges (and the bits between the edges could've done with a bit of a polish as well!), but despite 'make-up effects' that amount to little more than kiting out the cast with a bunch of plastic Halloween masks and telling them to get on with it, performances that lean toward the more ligneous end of the woodiness scale, and 'sets' that are really just the ordinary domestic living rooms of various partaking cast and crew members, "Curse of the Wolf" sort of succeeds where others of its ilk usually fail miserably. This is a film that half knows that the odds are wholly stacked against it turning out to be anything other than just a little bit crappy. But it doesn't dwell on it: instead it knuckles down to work and ends up providing a fair few enthusiastic action set-pieces and a watchable story that (for the most part) keeps itself chugging along engagingly enough to prevent the viewer from dwelling on the amateur nature of the enterprise. Handsome director, writer and actor Len Kabasinski (he looks a bit like Kurt Cobain, circa the first Nirvana album, Bleach) has basically taken a very ordinary chase movie storyline and added flesh-tearing werewolves, lots of martial arts fight sequences and plenty of naked women! Whenever things start flagging a bit, you can be pretty sure that one or more of the above will be just around the corner to keep the viewer from zoning out completely.
The film documents the travails of a young woman called Dakota (Renee Porada). When we first see her, she's locking herself in her basement to ram half-a-dozen syringes full of powerful animal tranquilliser she's acquired on the internet into her veins! This unusual behaviour, it turns out, is due to the fact that she is a werewolf! And injecting herself with oodles of doggie drugs is the only way she can prevent the change from happening on the occasion of each and every full moon.
But this is not Dakota's only problem. It seems that all the other werewolves in the area (who, in their human form, look like the members of a bad thrash metal band) prefer to hunt as a pack and live together in an ordinary suburban house -- and they don't like Dakota's efforts to integrate herself into mainstream human society, thereby denying her panting, growling wolf-like nature, one little bit! They want her back. She's on the run from them, and they're determined to sniff her out (literally!) Thus, Dakota leads something of an itinerant's lifestyle: settling in an area for a time, even occasionally taking a deadbeat job (usually at a veterinarian practice, so she can mainline the contents of the drugs cabinets as and when the need takes her!), but eventually being forced to move on as her furry foes will inevitably track her down, resulting in fang and claw-based death and destruction for neighbours or any friends she may have made in the meantime.
Oh, I forgot to mention that, for reasons that are never really elucidated, both Dakota and all the other werewolves are kick-ass martial arts experts, partial to the odd spot of kick boxing! And since their wolf nature is more along the lines of a Lon Chaney Jr. breed of wolf-based monster rather than your modern, fully-fledged wolf form, they're still able to execute a few smart moves even when they've changed!
If you want to see werewolves kick boxing (and let's face it, who doesn't?) this is definitely the film for you!
When she and her wolf clan stumble into a night club frequented by another bunch of martial arts aficionados, they take up Dakota's cause and decide to help her free herself of her enemies once and for all.

Kabasinski himself plays one of these fight fiends; they too all live together in apparent domestic bliss, and there's plenty of casual nakedness among the female members of the group (but mainly courtesy of gorgeous porn star turned b-move actress Darian Cain), who seem to enjoy lounging around in skimpy g-strings or soaping their boobies (™Head Cheeze) in the bath tub. When Dakota takes a shine to one of the night club attendees who tried to help her out during that particular fracas, her werewolf nemeses kidnap him as a means of tempting her out of hiding. Naturally enough, the plan works, and the stage is soon set for a front-kicking, throat-gashing, fur-flying hoe down!
This is all very silly stuff and very awkwardly executed at times. But the energy level is sufficient to overcome many a shortcoming -- even when the plot sort of loses its way near the end and wanders into incoherence. The werewolves look utterly ridiculous, but Kabasinski sensibly keeps their onscreen appearances restricted to tightly edited glimpses, and that is one of the strengths of the film as a whole: while many indie films are poorly edited, this one is actually pretty intelligently paced and well put together; a punchy, sharply edited fight sequence can work wonders to lift a few dodgy performances or a faltering screenplay! "Curse of the Wolf" won't be winning many awards anytime soon, but within the severely restricted limits it has set for itself it does the business, and is probably one of the more likeable flicks in the current Brain Damage Films catalogue.   


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