Wolvesbayne - Preview Review
By Patrick Luce Mar 27, 2009, 16:01 GMT
Written by Leigh Scott and directed by Griff Furst, Wolvesbayne is simply a rocking film that is fun to watch and leaves you wanting more. The movie combines elements of Underworld, Scott’s own Dracula’s Curse, and Wanted. The mix gives you an action horror film that goes for the throat from the start and doesn’t let up until the credits roll.
Wolvesbayne stars Jeremy London, Christy Carlson Romano, Yancy Butler, Mark Dacascos, Rhett Giles, Kristen Quintrall, and Justin Jones.
The film is pretty much a “by the numbers” thriller that follows Russel Bayne (London) – who is bitten by a werewolf and quickly finds himself in the middle of a supernatural war between vampires, werewolves, and human hunters.
To make matters worse, it seems the vampires are having a civil war with a clan breaking from the others in a quest to return the vampire goddess Lilith (Butler) back to power so she can destroy the human world.
The problem is Lilith is a tad nuts and is pretty much beyond control, but the clan’s leader Von Griem (Dacascos) seems to not mind the risk.
With Lilith’s power on the rise, Bayne learns how to control his new powers with help from Alex Layton (Romano) and vampire hunter Jacob Van Helsing (Giles, a regular in Scott's films). Bayne’s training is a tad on the rough side, and really reminded me of Wanted, but with a werewolf slant.
To stop Lilith’s rise to power, the hunters have to team with the werewolves and the other vampire clans to assemble several magical amulets that can put Lilith back in her place. They also have to find a way to work together since the hunters are just as happy to kill all the vampires and the werewolves.
Like I said, the plot is pretty straight forward and predictable, but it is also a lot of fun. Furst (who has appeared in several of Leigh Scott’s films) does an excellent job in the director’s chair, and really keeps the movie moving forward. He is working on a tight budget, but seems to make the most of what he has. Some of the effects don’t hold up compared to bigger budget Hollywood films, but they never ruin the movie.
Furst and cinematographer Bill Posley use lots of shadow shots and dark lighting to give the film a gothic feeling (one of the vampire clans hide in an abandoned movie theater), and constantly fill the screen with blood spraying (a must have for any good vampire flick). Scott knows how to write this kind of film and keeps the plot tight while giving the actors enough room to develop their characters.
All the actors are solid in the film (which is rare for a lower budget movie), and help sell the film’s action and plot. Giles has played the Van Helsing role several times now, and seems quite comfortable as a vampire slayer. He needed a few more scenes to really flesh out his character this time, but fans of Scott’s films can easily see Giles continuing work he has done with the character in the past.
I also enjoyed Dacascos’ turn as Von Griem. At times, he comes across as goofy, but also has several chilling moments thanks to an odd smile he sports when killing. He also has several solid fight sequences that reminded me of his performance in 2001’s Brotherhood of the Wolf.
If the film has a weakness, it is in Butler’s performance as Lilith. She never ruins the film, but seems campy in several scenes. She is meant to be the ultimate evil vampire, but several times you can’t help but laugh at her line delivery. At the same time, Butler manages to capture the evilness of her character in a few of the scenes (such as when she tortures one of the film’s heroes).
Even with its faults, budget restraints, and somewhat familiar plot, Wolvesbayne is a blast to watch, and fans of the vampire/werewolf flicks will like what they see thanks to its mixture of genres and the fact it doesn’t shy away from the bloodletting.
Wolvesbayne is coming this fall to the Sci-Fi Channel.