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STUDIO: genius entertainment
RATED: Not Rated
RUNNING TIME: 90 minutes
• Trailer for the feature (oooh)
• A slip-sleeve (aaah)
FRIGHT NIGHT meets SILVER BULLET (minus the wheelchair, but add a dash of BUFFY Jr. instead).
TV Herculean Journeyman (Kevin Sorbo), a Gary Sinise celebrity double (Peter Stebbings), and some teens (including Degrassi: The Next Generation’s Nina Dobrev).
Indiana Sorbo and the TEMPLE OF DOOMed to Direct-to-Video
Sweet-16 hottie (who plays soccer, so werewolf nards-kicking won’t require suspension of disbelief) suspects her new next-door neighbor is eating hookers. It’s a horror flick, so guess what? SPOILER: He is. Apparently, the supporting fodder has never seen THE BOY WHO CRIED WEREWOLF, so the only cast members who can help her is a washed-up TV actor (Sorbo… meta-casting?) and her hairy-palmed geek stalker-pal.
Unlike his cousins (Scott and Todd Howard), TARD WOLF had an exceptionally awkward “awkward phase”.
Is it a monster-piece or a POS? As a preface, I own HOWLING 1-6 (but not 7, I DO have standards), have a werewolf subsection in my DVD collection, and would love to give Rick Baker a high-5. I’m usually up for any and all movies featuring these classic Hollywood shape-shifters. Sometimes I’m punished… and sometimes I have fun. This viewing experience was goofy (not to mention interactive, considering all the “borrowed” plot elements to spot) enough for NEVER CRY WEREWOLF to juuuust fall into the 2nd category.
Seriously? Well it’s a good thing they didn’t bust out any Michael Sembello tracks for this montage.
The movie doesn’t really break any new ground and of course contains the obligatory genre staples: a “fact”-finding montage (internet and home vid now, instead of dusty books) AND the preparing-for-battle montage (AKA “taping silverware to crossbow arrows” montage), skeptical law enforcement, an annoying sibling, MIA parents, a sepia portrait of a long-dead love interest who looks just like the lead character, seductive yet jump-scary nightmares, teens making out in an automobile, and a vicious puppy. I think they failed to use beast-vision POV, but I may have just simply missed that cliché film-making trick while I was waiting in vain for the gratuitous shower scene (sorry, gents, no boobies). If these plot elements sound familiar, you’ve seen more than your fair share of these films too.
When a lycanthrope attempts to spoon with you, remember Werewolf-Whisperer, Cesar Millan’s advice… CALM & ASSERTIVE.
The writing, acting, and direction are all very pedestrian. Clearly, my standards have been lowered due to years of horror marathons, so we’ll ignore those inadequacies. But I should warn the curious exploitation fans… there’s also a lack of grindhouse gore and sleaze. Imagine the questionable material in an episode of SUPERNATURAL and toss in a few harsh curse words. Cutaways to blood-splashed walls, some crashing-thru-window and struck-by-vehicle stunts, some severed fingers and floating eyeballs, and a few instances of projectile goo just about sum it up. This werewolf would rather scratch you to turn you, instead of bite your face off. Those damn pyramid schemes…
A Hellhound’s promise to avoid your mouth, eyes, and/or coiffe is NOT to be trusted. Always wear an ascot for easy cleanup.
Despite barely-R content, slavishly adhering to the rules found in any old Ravenloft Monster Manual, and lifting multiple concepts from other genre flicks (at least it’s kitchen-sink thievery, unlike Asylum’s mock-buster output), this “Coulda been a SciFi Channel Exclusive” (EDIT: It was. HA!) does get a few things right. The lead characters are easy on the eyes, the adequate-enough CGI is used sparingly (a Hellhound and some transformation aid), they actually utilize the lesser known folklore about a hanged man’s skin, there’s a ridiculous finishing fatality (SPOILER: BigBad, pinned to a tree by a car, is shot in the gaping maw with a crossbow-fired silver shotgun barrel. He then explodes into wolf-pudding.), and most importantly…
…the stiff-ish, yet decently sculpted, werewolf creature himself falls into the category that I prefer: bipedal beast with monstrous lupine head. But don’t worry Butch Patrick fan-club members, there’s plenty of simply-enhanced facial features and half-transformations as well, if that’s more your bag. For recent direct-to-video skinwalker fair, NEVER CRY WEREWOLF is better than WEREWOLF: THE DEVIL’S HOUND (CHUD review!), but not quite as good as the snappy BIG BAD WOLF. It, however, isn’t fit to sniff the balls of the classic PROJECT: METALBEAST, but what is really?
Wolfman tried to “Bring It”, but his Spirit Fingers certainly weren’t going to lift any gypsy curses.
Picture and sound are okey-dokey; every full moon is bright, every howl is clear. As with this product, I’m always disappointed when a creature feature DVD doesn’t include a latexy FX doc. The cover does opt to showcase the monster (in Fangoria-style spoiler fashion) instead of pandering to ex-Kull’s agent though. But why this barebones (a trailer, that’s it?) package comes with a cardboard slip-sleeve, I’ll never know.
Are you looking to adopt? Here are some available breeds:
Best in Show: AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON, THE COMPANY OF WOLVES, THE CURSE OF THE WEREWOLF, DOG SOLDIERS, GINGER SNAPS Trilogy, HOWLING 1 & 3, PROJECT: METALBEAST, SILVER BULLET, WOLF, the Universal WOLFMAN flicks.
Lovable strays that may poo on your carpet: BAD MOON, BIG BAD WOLF, BLOOD MOON, FULL ECLIPSE, HOWLING 2/4/5/6, I WAS A TEENAGE WEREWOLF, KIBAKICHI 1 & 2, SKINWALKERS, TEEN WOLF 1 & 2, THE BEAST WITHIN, UNDERWORLD 1 & 2, Paul Naschy’s resume.
3-legged mad dogs: AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN PARIS, THE BEAST OF BRAY ROAD, CURSED, MY MOM’S A WEREWOLF, WEREWOLF HUNTER.
Roadkill: BLOOD & CHOCOLATE, BLOODZ VS WOLVEZ, DARK WOLF, THE FEEDING, HOWLING 7 (NEW MOON RISING), HUNTRESS: SPIRIT OF THE NIGHT, MEXICAN WEREWOLF IN TEXAS, WEREWOLF: THE DEVIL’S HOUND, WEREWOLF (’96).