This is the last Werewolf Wednesday before Halloween. It was tough for me to settle on a film or book to post about today. Should I go classic with and do Universal’s The Wolf Man, or maybe do international and recommend one of Paul Naschy’s many werewolf films. Instead, I decided to do a film that is just a lot of fun. The recommendation for today is Dog Soldiers.
Soldiers vs. werewolves, ’nuff said. No? This film is absolutely awesome and the best werewolf film made in the last 15 years. It pits a group of soldiers (who were being used as bait) against a pack of werewolves that reside in a secluded valley in the country side. The Special Forces that were going to trap the werewolves as they hunted our soldiers were decimated. Now, the soldiers with one of the locals have taken refuge in a secluded farmhouse to withstand the onslaught awaiting during the night. It’s Aliens and The Alamo, with werewolves.
The performances in this film are great. Each of the characters is well-acted, and you will grow attached to them. You never see a full transformation on screen, which is good. I image that they did not have the budget to do a good practical effects transformation. Neil Marshall (The Descent, Doomsday, Games of Thrones) made his directorial debut in this film. I can honestly say that I’ve enjoyed all of the projects that he’s made since this, and I quickly fell in love with this movie.
You can click on the cover below and read the official synopsis.
Synopsis: A group of soldiers dispatched to the Scottish Highlands on special training maneuvers face their biggest fears after they run into Captain Ryan: the only survivor of a Special Ops team that was literally torn to pieces. Ryan refuses to disclose his mission even though whoever attacked his men might be hungry for seconds. Help arrives in the form of local girl who shelters them in a deserted farmhouse deep in the forest…but when they realize that they are surrounded by a pack of blood-lusting werewolves, it’s apparent their nightmare has just begun!
In Friedkin’s Curse: A Werewolf Tale of Terror part of the story comes from the military trying to capture the legendary creature to experiment on it for weapons purpose. The government weaponizing a creature like this might seem far-fetched, but when you consider that the first applications looked at for any new technology are military it makes a certain amount of sense. Don’t believe me? Remember when we learned to split the atom and the first thing we did was power cities with the energy . . . oh wait, I mean we levelled an entire city with it. Most modern advancements in technology have come through military developments or were first engineered for military purposes.
So why wouldn’t they do the same with supernatural opportunities? This is some of the thoughts that went into crafting the military experience that is part of Friedkin’s Curse and more explored in Friedkin’s Legacy (working title), the next book in the Friedkin’s Horror series. Larry Correia has some similar ideas about the government’s harvesting of supernatural weapons (explored in both his Monster Hunter International and Grimnoir Chronicles). I recently had the pleasure of serving on a panel with Kimberly Richardson (the Goth Librarian), she stated that we shared a favorite werewolf film: Dog Soldiers, which pits soldiers against werewolves when a capture operation goes wrong. There is also Project: Metalbeast, a direct-to-video classic from the 90s, which has a genetically altered werewolf super-soldier wreaking havoc in a bunker. The military industrial complex isn’t the only government office to get into the werewolf enhancement department, Full Eclipse is a film where a special Los Angeles Police Squad is augmented using werewolf serum to combat crime.
All of these are great examples of the government “investigating” new and experimental procedures to help further the combat effectiveness of new creatures. I’ve provided a list of these works below, so just click on the pictures if you are interested. Next time the moon is full and you hear howling and sirens, just tell yourself that they are unrelated.