Reel Advice from the Video Store Guy

Werewolf: the Devil's Hound | Gag

By Steve Anderson
March 1st, 2008

werewolf: the Devil's HoundWerewolf: The Devil's Hound
***
DVD
Directed by Gregory C. Parker, Christian Pindar
Written by Gregory C. Parker, Christian Pindar
Starring Michael Dionne, Christy Cianci, Tamara Malawitz, Phillip Gauvin
Produced by Andrew Gernhard
R
90 mins
2007

You've got to love a movie about werewolves that claims to take place in "the near future", and that's exactly where "Werewolf: The Devil's Hound" is set. Basically, someone's going to try and ship a werewolf via bulk rate parcel post on an ocean liner, but the shipment will be misdirected to an amateur special effects / film studio. Said studio is in process of preparing for a large dog-and-pony show for three major west coast investors. Thus, having a werewolf running around loose will not make things any easier for them.

Which is actually kind of funny. And the results will be only occasionally funny, but also plenty bloody.

Redefining "low-budget" in ways I had previously thought only bored high school students could, "Werewolf: The Devil's Hound" will go to great lengths to not take itself seriously. For instance, check out the brief romp one of the characters has by himself in the empty studio at night. That and the werewolf itself just looks spectacularly shoddy. Is that a latex fright mask that thing's wearing? It looks like it came off the rack at a Spencer's Gifts or something. And what they're going to do with fake robots by the end should just amaze you. Really.

The ending, meanwhile, is packed with fifteen minutes of the most ludicrous fight scene footage I've seen in a long time. It almost has to be seen to be truly believed.

The special features include audio options, English and Spanish subtitles, a director's commentary track, a behind the scenes featurette, a music video, and trailers for "The Slaughter", "Cujo", "Werewolf Hunter: The Legend of Romasanta", "Fangs","Werewolf: The Devil's Hound" and an advertisement for Fearnet.com.

All in all, "Werewolf: The Devil's Hound" was very low-budget, but put so much emphasis on humor that the lower end nature of the work was effectively covered up. It proves that if you can make your audience smile, they will forgive plenty.

GagGag
zero stars
DVD
Directed by Scott W. McKinlay
Written by Kirk Sever
Starring Brian Kolodziej, Gerald Emerick, Vince Marinelli, Trent Haaga
Produced by Vince Marinelli, Scott W. McKinlay, Chad Ferrin
NR
78 mins
2007

Clearly somebody missed the "Captivity" memo. Guys...torture porn just doesn't do it any more. You can't have a movie where people get subjected to horrible, unpleasant things for ninety minutes and expect your audience to stick around for the gooshy. Oh...yeah...you only expect your audience to stick around for seventy eight minutes of gooshy. Well, that's great--cheat them in both directions. The plot of "Gag" is fairly simple, and that's the biggest part of the problem. Basically, a couple thieves break into a torture porn movie in progress and get themselves involved in it to all sorts of unpleasant, blood-soaked ends. Well, I have to admit, at least "Gag" finally manages to introduces something unusual to its proceedings. Not that I enjoy it, mind you, but at the very least it's never been done before that I can recall. You see, it takes a special kind of deviant to actually film a big clear pipe wired to a woman's forced-open mouth and then inserting a mouse into the open end, allowing said mouse to crawl into the victim's open mouth and down into the throat. Is this what the direct-to-video community has been reduced to? Who can film the most repulsive thing imaginable and see who's dumb and / or desperate enough to distribute it? In a rare gesture of compassion, I'm having a hard time figuring out who to feel bad for--the writer for actually coming up with this monstrous crime against viewers, the director for thinking enough of this monstrous crime against viewers to actually make it into a film, or the distributor for actually giving this monstrous crime against viewers viewers in the first place. The more I think about it, maybe I should just save myself a lot of time and drama and just be really, really pissed off at all of them. Okay, so "Gag" has a couple of saving graces to it in the form of really out-of-left-field twists, but this really isn't enough to save it from being yet another in a long string of cheesy torture porn flicks that feature people tied or otherwise bound to things and having really horrible things inflicted on them. The farther in I got, the more I could only think, "I want my seventy-eight minutes back." The ending is the only true saving grace in this puddle of slop because that means it's actually done and we can go back to watching good movies. The special features include English and Spanish subtitles, filmmaker commentary, deleted scenes, an alternate ending, a photo gallery, a behind the scenes featurette, a music video, and trailers for "Gag", "Bordertown", "Deceit", and "The Killing Floor".

All in all, it's clear how I feel about this waste of plastic. One more for the torture porn pile, and one more thing to avoid on the video store shelves. Repulsive, vile and pointless in the extreme, "Gag" is a movie that'll make you do just that.

Want to receive an expanded version of Reel Advice as an E-Newsletter?? Email to thevideostoreguy@columnist.com with "The Advisor" in the subject line.  Steve Andersen, much to his own chagrin, is a five-plus year veteran of the direct to video market. He has spent an alarming amount of time in video stores and seeks to provide the public with advance information on all the video releases that they may never have heard of...whether they want to hear of them or not. Steve appears in one way or another weekly, biweekly, or monthly on such fine entertainment-related ezines as Film Threat, Dream Forge, Reel Horror, Acid Logic, Chaotic Culture Magazine, Malicious Bitch webzine, and many others. Readers, agents, or editors can email Steve at thevideostoreguy@columnist.com




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