What’s better than a schlocky, B horror extravaganza? A schlocky, B horror extravaganza with a bizarre, sarcastic sense of humor and a -barely- functional alcoholic police officer/werewolf as the lead character. I first experienced Wolfcop in early 2016 streaming it off of Amazon and I wasn’t totally sold before I hit play. The cover art was cool and it looked like it had that 80’s B horror style but looks can be deceiving. What followed, however, absolutely obliterated any doubts I had about this being, quite possibly, the best werewolf movie since Ginger Snaps. The writing was on point, the acting solid, and the story was entertaining and kept me hooked right from the start. The gore, sarcasm, and beautifully crafted practical effects were all just icing on the cake. Now, three years after its initial production in 2014, the highly anticipated sequel Another Wolfcop is coming out and writer/director Lowell Dean was kind enough to take time out from what is no doubt a hectic schedule to talk about everyone’s favorite lycanthropic lush.
DAN - I’m going to start out with that old gem every writer will hear at least once in their career: where did the idea (for Wolfcop) come from?
LD - Ah, yes. The age old question. A few years back, I was trying to decide between writing a cop film and a werewolf film. The idea of smashing both concepts together was too good to resist.
DAN - Tell us about your career in film? What other projects will fans recognize you from?
LD - I've been working in film and television for a decade. I started as an editor, but my goal was always to direct. My first feature as a writer/director was WolfCop. After that I went right into WolfCop 2 (aka Another WolfCop) which is currently playing festivals and should be released soon. I also just directed the post-apocalypse action film SuperGrid, which is in post-production.
DAN - Has horror always been a passion for you?
LD - Yes. I've always been drawn to filmmaking that elicits a visceral response. Moments that make audiences laugh, cry or scream. Most of my filmmaking idols started in the horror genre, so my “informal VHS filmmaking education” came with buckets of blood and gore.
DAN - What made you want to film Wolfcop in that 80’s action/horror style?
LD - The setting was a nod to the era of filmmaking that influenced my love of cinema. We never say it outright in the story, but something just felt right about placing WolfCop in a “mystery era” that felt vaguely like the '80s.
DAN - What were some of the major influences going into Wolfcop? What stories or films inspired you as you brought this project to life?
LD - I was influenced by the early work of Sam Raimi and Peter Jackson. The Universal Monster films. More specifically, I always pitched the story for WolfCop as Teen Wolf meets Bad Lieutenant. That usually piqued people's interest.
DAN - I’m a huge fan of practical and make-up effects but I know green screen and digital have really become the industry standard in a lot of productions like this. What made you decide to go with practical effects over CGI?
LD - I went with practical effects because one of my best friends, Emersen Ziffle, is a very talented practical effects artist. Before there was even a finished script, Emersen and I were plotting the transformation sequence - with the intent of doing it all with practical effects.
DAN - People are funny when it comes to the occult in most cultures. Did you experience any pushback from people during the shooting of the film? Was there anything bizarre that happened on set or on location surrounding the occult elements of the film?
LD - I love the occult as a storytelling device. When dealing with werewolves and other monsters, it just felt like an organic bedrock for the mythology of the project. I don't think referencing the occult in your film is as taboo as it once was, say in the actual 1980s. As for weird or bizarre things that might have happened on set, that was pretty much every day on BOTH WolfCop films.
DAN - What do you feel makes Wolfcop stand out from the pack of other werewolf movies (or just horror-comedies in general) that are out there?
LD - I think people can tell we made WolfCop with a lot of love and (equally important) a sense of humour. Even in moments when we take the story “seriously” there is still subtle tongue-in-cheek humour going on. I learned on WolfCop 1 just how challenging it is to make a genre hybrid like a horror-comedy... and I loved every second of it.
DAN - Do you have a favorite moment from Wolfcop or Another Wolfcop? A scene, maybe, that just stands out to you from the movies?
LD - It's hard for me to pick a favorite moment from either film, they were both so fun to shoot. The sex scenes stand out to me. Not sure what that means...
DAN - Tell us about CineCoup and the CineCoup Film Accelerator.
LD - CineCoup is a social media platform that publicly seeks out new and exciting film concepts. The simplest way I can describe it is “American Idol” for indie filmmakers. Back in 2013 our team pitched the WolfCop concept trailer up against 90 other projects, all vying for CineCoup to produce our film and put it in Cineplex theatres.
DAN - And now, for the moment we’ve all been waiting for. What can you tell us about Another Wolfcop? What can fans expect from the sequel?
LD - I like to say that Another WolfCop is “dirtier and hairier” than the first film. My goal with the sequel was deepening the universe and spending more time with the characters I know and love. Also, we really wanted to take the crazy and the weird up a notch with this one. If the first WolfCop is a horror-comedy, the sequel is more an action-comedy... and very Canadian. I can't wait to see how people react!
Another Wolfcop premiers July 29 at the Fantasia Film Festival. Remember to keep following Lowell Dean and Wolfcop on social media as @WOLFCOPTheMovie and through the Wolfcop website wolfcop.com.
Meanwhile, if you’re interested in learning more about CineCoup and the CineCoup Film Accelerator go to their website or follow them on social media as @CineCoup.
Dan Lee is a horror fiend and freelance writer with a special place in his heart for monster movies and demonic possession stories.