Friday, April 29, 2016

Saving Private Werewolf, or Thoughts on Dog Soldiers

Dog Soldiers (2002), was an updated old fashioned werewolf movie, starring Kevin McKidd, who you may remember as Lucius Vorenus from Rome, as Private Cooper and Sean Pertwee as the avuncular hard man Sgt. Wells, classic non-com, taking care of his troops and getting them home in time for footy.  Together with their squad they’re on a training mission in the Scottish Highlands when they encounter Liam Cunningham from Game of Thrones as SAS Captain Ryan and a pack of werewolves.
In the first half of the movie we get to know and like the soldiers, as they tell war stories around the campfire and set the mood.  They keep finding bloody entrails and dead cattle lying in the woods so you know where this will end up.  The mandatory resistance and arguments about the existence of werewolves in this type of movie is short; they’re soldiers, they have an enemy and it’s as simple as that.  The bipedal werewolves refreshingly analog, guy in a suit, like the original Alien but with fur, and the first twilight firefight with tracer rounds and werewolf shadows is beautifully filmed.
The second half is in a farmhouse that they can fortify and also has a convenient selection of sterling silverware they can melt into bullets.  The movie turns into Night of the Living Dead except with werewolves, and they just have to make it through the night, until they discover the larger government conspiracy, the secret program to weaponize lycanthropy, of course.

Director Neil Marshall, also director of The Descent (2005) and the under-rated Doomsday (2008) moved onto TV and directing episodes of Game of Thrones, Black Sails, Constantine and Hannibal, basically all of your favorite shows.  Sean Pertwee, son of Jon Pertwee, the Third Doctor, can be seen in Gotham as Alfred Pennyworth, playing basically the same character.  He also had a cameo in another werewolf movie, Howl (2015).  He first came to my notice in Event Horizon (1997) and don’t forget he was Inspector Lestrade in Elementary.


my first novel? thanks for asking:) I wrote a 4 book supernatural martial arts series concerning the ongoing feud between a group of kung-fu killer witches in san francsico’s chinatown.