Massawyrm convulses, spits and giggles over the much delayed release of WOLFHOUND on DVD!!!
Hola all. Massawyrm here.
For two years now I have been inviting folks over to the Casa de la Wyrm to watch one of the shittiest screeners I’ve ever been handed. It’s not that the film was in any way shitty; far from it. It was that the screener was marred by a large translucent grey X in the middle of the screen for the entirety of the film. And despite that big annoying watermark, people sat, watched and fell in love with a delightfully over the top Russian fantasy epic by the name of WOLFHOUND. Because that’s how fucking hard WOLFHOUND rocks.
Two years ago Harry unwittingly screwed this film over at Fantastic Fest by programming two of his secret screenings opposite its only two (I believe stateside) performances, condemning it to only be seen by a scattered handful of people…most of whom dug the hell out of it. Since then, sadly, my lowly screener and screeners like it were the only way to see it here in the states. But this week that all changes. This week it finally sees DVD here in the states. And I couldn’t be happier.
First things first – WOLFHOUND is not for everyone. It is a bloody, R rated, modestly budgeted Conan send-up that borrows quite a bit from Howard’s masterpiece but also is kind enough to give back. This is not a film for the elite – it is a film for those who pine for the heady days of the 80’s when films like BEASTMASTER, KRULL, THE SWORD AND THE SORCERER, CONAN THE BARBARIAN and LADYHAWKE ruled the day and could be seen on the bigscreen in all their glory. This film is entirely reminiscent of that era.
It is the story of Wolfhound, last of the Grey Dog tribe. In the opening scenes we watch as his father, a blacksmith, and his pregnant mother are butchered along with the rest of his village in a raid by the evil Zhadova. Wolfhound, just a boy at the time, is sold into slavery and grows up to finally free himself and take his one man revenge quest on the road, along with the help of his kickass pet bat Ragged Wing. As he trucks along, bodies piling up in his wake, he slowly collects a ragtag group of party members, each with different knowledge or skills to point Wolfy in the right direction of the magical Skeletor knockoff that Zhadova has become.
Yeah. It’s not the most original story. But it is excellently executed. While clearly inspired by Conan, WOLFHOUND is set in rural, rugged, Celtic Eastern Europe – with heavy druidic influences to the magical concepts and mythology. The set design is incredible; creating wondrous vistas that feel both elegantly constructed, but also very much lived in. The world is dark, dank and dangerous, but brimming with wonder and magic at every turn. And every time Wolfhound reaches back to tie his hair behind his head, WATCH OUT! Because someone is about to get a brutal ass beating, with severed limbs and bloody spurts enough to make the movie raw, but not so much as to make it a comical samurai bloodbath.
Words cannot express the sheer vibrating elation I felt when I finally got this in my mailbox. It’s been steadily on repeat in my computer for the last week as I’ve drunk in every last drop of Wolfhound-y goodness that I can wring from it. It’s been a long time coming and I’m so glad I can now recommend this and share it with like minded fantasy lovers out there.
The disc has no special features to speak of save a solid English dub that makes for a fun, easy way to watch it – especially if you want it on while you paint or do other things around the house. But the subtitles are also nice and clean, and probably the best way to watch it the first time around.
While I cannot recommend this to everyone, anyone who has a fondness for fun, occasionally campy, sword and sandals style fantasy adventure akin to those titles mentioned above needs to seek this out at their earliest opportunity. It comes with the highest of praise and is highly recommended. Go find this and learn to love it and see why I watched it so many times on a shitty little screener I can now officially retire. Goodbye, sad little screener. Hello, badass WOLFHOUND DVD.
Until next time friends, smoke ‘em if ya got ‘em.
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Readers Talkbackcomments powered by Disqus
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Aug. 3, 2009, 4:52 p.m. CST
By lame I mean people posting "first," not the movie itself which sounds outstanding
Aug. 3, 2009, 4:56 p.m. CST
by Read and Shut Up
...it covers "snorts, laughs," etc.
Aug. 3, 2009, 5:01 p.m. CST
rabid jaguar screaming in ecstasy high up in the jungle canopy. I can't wait to see this movie!
Aug. 3, 2009, 5:04 p.m. CST
Guess maybe I ought to get around to watching it.
Aug. 3, 2009, 5:05 p.m. CST
wolfhound? care to post some pics, screencaps, something? I can't relate to ya here, but i can if you provide some more!
Aug. 3, 2009, 5:07 p.m. CST
Aug. 3, 2009, 5:08 p.m. CST
by Turd Furgeson
Aug. 3, 2009, 5:12 p.m. CST
Aug. 3, 2009, 6:06 p.m. CST
It's probably better than any "official" Conan movie hollywood manages to shit out.
Aug. 3, 2009, 6:12 p.m. CST
Aug. 3, 2009, 6:27 p.m. CST
I was very pleasantly surprised by how well done The Collector was. Josh Stewart as Arkin is one of the smartest, most believable Horror protagonists in quite awhile. The movie works because of how intelligent and wary Arkin is. The Collector is one of the best movies of the year.
Aug. 3, 2009, 7:07 p.m. CST
I missed the first screening of it (it was up against something I wanted to see) and when I tried to get tix for the second screening, I was informed that they had to send the film they had to another festival, because it was the only copy stateside.
Aug. 3, 2009, 7:23 p.m. CST
for many of the reasons Massawyrm said but also for how unique some of the good vs. evil elements are. Kick in that I adore Russian mythology and Aleksandr Bukharov being note perfect in the lead role: stoic, butt-kicking and pretty cute in his fake beard. I'm hoping this does well enough to get the Volkodav (Wolfhound) novels translated into English. Yes, that's a big damn hope, but a gal can dream. I'm glad to see my favorite fantasy film is getting some AICN.com luv. Can't wait to hear the English dub, although the Russian is awesome. Spasibo for the great review 'Wyrm.
Aug. 3, 2009, 8:17 p.m. CST
I'll definitely give it a look-see
Aug. 3, 2009, 9:12 p.m. CST
That skinemax she-wolf straight to video POS set in Ireland. Just be sure you don't pick that trash up by mistake because it has the exact same title.
Aug. 3, 2009, 10:19 p.m. CST
by Stereotypical Evil Archer
I want some visuals; this movie sounds cool.
Aug. 4, 2009, 1:50 a.m. CST
It was in stores here two years ago.
Aug. 4, 2009, 4:09 a.m. CST
What kind of movie geek -- especially a supposed huge fan of a certain movie waits for YEARS until a movie is released on DVD in their home region? Any real movie geek has a region-free, PAL/NTSC DVD player in their homes and doesn't respect puny limitations like region codes. <p> Wolfhound has been out for ages on DVD in R2 land -- WITH English subtitles. <p> There is simply no excuse for being hampered by region codes and a situation like this calls for more shame than elation. <p> Think of it, Massa, on your deathbed you'll be looking back on a couple of wasted years watching your screener rather than a real release. Will it be worth it?
Aug. 4, 2009, 4:11 a.m. CST
...people who enjoy watching dubbed movies also let flies walk on their ice cream cones and move their lips when they read comic books.
Aug. 4, 2009, 4:22 a.m. CST
by Massawyrm 1
Oh, hey Doc.
Aug. 4, 2009, 4:24 a.m. CST
It was your sterling review of the film which prompted me to seek it out as soon as possible which is why it's been in my collection for quite some time now. I'm simply shocked that you've waited this long for a film you profess to love. <p> If that makes me a "hipster elitist", so be it.
Aug. 4, 2009, 4:27 a.m. CST
by Massawyrm 1
Aug. 4, 2009, 5:33 a.m. CST
It wasn't horrible, I just wish they would've left all the torture porn (it's like someone opening their mouth when they're chewing food and saying "LOOK!") out. It just doesn't work anymore. I think it hurt the movie actually.
Aug. 4, 2009, 6:34 a.m. CST
Now there's a trash classic.
Aug. 4, 2009, 6:49 a.m. CST
but I must say, this is old news, glad to hear its on dvd.
Aug. 4, 2009, 6:57 a.m. CST
and I want to see rockhead too!
Aug. 4, 2009, 7:34 a.m. CST
this is going toward the top of my netflix queue. It sounds like something I may enjoy. I can't bring myself to buy it, but only because I don't buy DVD anymore. I'm a blu ray snob these days...lol
Aug. 4, 2009, 8:30 a.m. CST
Exactly. No way will I buy DVD again. Likes like saying "NEW ON VHS! DON'T MISS IT!"
Aug. 4, 2009, 8:36 a.m. CST
Easily amused and easily annoyed. It's no wonder he screwed this film over.
Aug. 4, 2009, 8:47 a.m. CST
by Wyrdy the Gerbil
just cant find any faults with it,everything was good.. everything
Aug. 4, 2009, 9:16 a.m. CST
that you can compare Conan the Barbarian to those other 80's movies. I think I will buy or rent Wolfhound.
Aug. 4, 2009, 10:25 a.m. CST
I totally agree with you, Conan the Barbarian is in a different league than the other 80s fantasy movies. Conan the Destroyer on the other hand...
Aug. 4, 2009, 12:37 p.m. CST
why are you people giving your in depth reviews of the collector in this talkback? fuck that movie. drag me to hell blows that crap away! Wolfhound is the topic here and russians clearly know how to make a fantasy movie!
Aug. 4, 2009, 12:54 p.m. CST
I really thought there would be a renaissance of fantasy films after the success of LOTR. Boy, was I wrong. Unfortunately, I have to get my fix from Legend of the Seeker.
Aug. 4, 2009, 4:32 p.m. CST
If i recall correctly, doesn't Marc Singer use his ferret accomplices to steal a chicks clothes while she bathes, then has his eagle 'attack' her so he can sidle in to rescue her. Which is pretty much what I'd use my powers for, if I had them.
Aug. 4, 2009, 9:20 p.m. CST
and incidentally WolfHound has to be one of the best titles ever...
Aug. 5, 2009, 7:07 a.m. CST
Great piece, but please, please, please stop saying 'smoke 'em if you got 'em.' Very bad message to send out to kids and come on, smoking stopped being cool in the nineties.
Feb. 15, 2010, 4:01 a.m. CST
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Feb. 15, 2010, 4:01 a.m. CST
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