Supernatural adventures for girls and women.

[watching] Werewolf Wednesday: Wolfblood 01×03 “Family Ties” recap

The Three Ks have a different sort of fashion emergency.

The Three Ks have a different sort of fashion emergency.

Show: Wolfblood
Source: online streaming
Show summary: Fourteen year old Maddy Smith has a secret: she and her family are all wolfbloods – people that transform into wolves. Her ancestors have lived in the town Stoneybridge for centuries, disguising their heightened ability of hearing and smell from the rest of the world and living as normal humans. But with a new wolfblood in the Smiths’ territory, and Maddy’s best friend suddenly obsessed with the thought that there is a beast out on the moors, the quiet little town Stoneybridge isn’t so quiet anymore.

Episode: Season 1, episode 3 “Family Ties”
Episode summary: A school art exhibit with the theme of family brights out discussions about several strained relationships — and ends in the exhibit being vandalized.

Recap

Roll Call!

Main:
Maddy Smith (Aimee Kelly): Our introduction to this world, and a delightful, tough, smart wolf girl.
Tom Okinawe (Kedar Williams-Stirling): One of Maddy’s BFFs, photographer, footballer, and all around delight.
Shannon Kelly (Louisa Connolly-Burnham): Maddy’s other BFF, photographer, obsessed with finding the thing howling on the moors and leaving pawprints, and, again, all around delight.
Rhydian Morris (Bobby Lockwood): New kid, the wolfblood trying, and failing, to be a lone wolf.

Supporting:
Emma Smith (Angela Lonsdale): Maddy’s mother, overprotective, cheesy funny.
The Three Ks: Kay (Shorelle Hepkin), Kara (Rachel Teate), and Katrina (Gabrielle Green) are the requisite popular (usually mean) girls.
Jimi Chen (Jonathan Raggett): Footballer, popular boy, jackass. Jimi runs around with two other friends whose names I never hear. They mostly echo Jimi, so not really important anyway.
Mr Jeffries (Mark Fleischmann): School administrator, tough on the students.

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[watching] Werewolf Wednesday: Wolfblood 01×02 “Mysterious Developments” recap

Rhydian and Shannon have a moment in the woods.

Rhydian and Shannon have a moment in the woods.

Show: Wolfblood
Source: online streaming
Show summary: Fourteen year old Maddy Smith has a secret: she and her family are all wolfbloods – people that transform into wolves. Her ancestors have lived in the town Stoneybridge for centuries, disguising their heightened ability of hearing and smell from the rest of the world and living as normal humans. But with a new wolfblood in the Smiths’ territory, and Maddy’s best friend suddenly obsessed with the thought that there is a beast out on the moors, the quiet little town Stoneybridge isn’t so quiet anymore.

Episode: Season 1, episode 2 “Mysterious Developments”
Episode summary: Determined to find proof of wolfbloods, Tom and Shannon go on a best hunt, just as Rhydian and Maddy learn there are wolfbloods who roam wild.

Recap

Roll Call!

Main:
Maddy Smith (Aimee Kelly): Our introduction to this world, and a delightful, tough, smart wolf girl.
Tom Okinawe (Kedar Williams-Stirling): One of Maddy’s BFFs, photographer, footballer, and all around delight.
Shannon Kelly (Louisa Connolly-Burnham): Maddy’s other BFF, photographer, obsessed with finding the thing howling on the moors and leaving pawprints, and, again, all around delight.
Rhydian Morris (Bobby Lockwood): Decidedly not Welsh new kid in town who is our titular lone wolf.

Supporting:
Emma Smith (Angela Lonsdale): Maddy’s mother, overprotective, cheesy funny.
Daniel Smith (Marcus Garvey): Maddy’s father, friendly and fun, very punny.
The Three Ks: Kay (Shorelle Hepkin), Kara (Rachel Teate), and Katrina (Gabrielle Green) are the requisite popular (usually mean) girls.
Jimi Chen (Jonathan Raggett): Footballer, popular boy, jackass. Jimi runs around with two other friends whose names I never hear. They mostly echo Jimi, so not really important anyway.

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Posted in TV Shows, Uncategorized | Tagged , ,

[watching] Werewolf Wednesday: Wolfblood 01×01 “Lone Wolf” recap

wolf blood cover

Show: Wolfblood
Source: online streaming
Show summary: Fourteen year old Maddy Smith has a secret: she and her family are all wolfbloods – people that transform into wolves. Her ancestors have lived in the town Stoneybridge for centuries, disguising their heightened ability of hearing and smell from the rest of the world and living as normal humans. But with a new wolfblood in the Smiths’ territory, and Maddy’s best friend suddenly obsessed with the thought that there is a beast out on the moors, the quiet little town Stoneybridge isn’t so quiet anymore.

Episode: Season 1, episode 1 “Lone Wolf”
Episode summary: Maddy has a secret: she can transform into a wolf. But her world gets even stranger when a boy with the same ability moves into her neighborhood.

Trailer

I think this is the actual trailer (I saw the same version a few different places), but can’t guarantee it. Whether it is or not, it’s cheesy as hell. I’m glad I watched the first episode before watching it, because the first episode, and these characters, absolutely captured my heart.

Initial Thoughts

I don’t remember hearing anything about this show, though it’s been on my queue for awhile now. There are three seasons currently available, and apparently a fourth season has been approved, so there’s plenty for me to watch. I’m intrigued; I love werewolves, I love teen stories, and I love monsters on the moors, so this has a lot going for it already.

Based on this first episode, I am THRILLED. I fell in love with Maddy within the first minute.

Recap

Roll call!

Main:
Maddy Smith (Aimee Kelly): Our introduction to this world, and a delightful, tough, smart wolf girl.
Tom Okinawe (Kedar Williams-Stirling): One of Maddy’s BFFs, photographer, footballer, and all around delight.
Shannon Kelly (Louisa Connolly-Burnham): Maddy’s other BFF, photographer, obsessed with finding the thing howling on the moors and leaving pawprints, and, again, all around delight.
Rhydian Morris (Bobby Lockwood): Decidedly not Welsh new kid in town who is our titular lone wolf.

Supporting:
Emma Smith (Angela Lonsdale): Maddy’s mother, brief appearance, snarky wolf mom.
Daniel Smith (Marcus Garvey): Maddy’s father, brief appearance, fun wolf dad.
The Three Ks: Kay (Shorelle Hepkin), Kara (Rachel Teate), and Katrina (Gabrielle Green) are the requisite popular girls intrigued by new boy Rhydian.
Jimi Chen (Jonathan Raggett): Footballer, popular boy, jackass.
Miss Parrish (Clara Onyemere): Teacher, obsessed with badgers, and listed because I find her charming, though she doesn’t do much this episode.

Welcome to Stoneyridge, where werewolves run amock.

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[reading] Werewolf Wednesday: Links

Hands-On with ‘The Executive’ – Flame-Kicking Werewolves Like it Ain’t No Thang

It was nearly two years ago that developer Riverman Media announced The Executive, a game about a corporate CEO whose co-workers turn into werewolves and stage a massive attack against him. Naturally, being a bad-ass corporate CEO, he fights back, and fights back hard. Ok, if that sounds like a crazy premise, remember that Riverman Media were the ones responsible for the awesome Pizza vs. Skeletons [$4.99 / Free] a few years ago. So in that context, this is just another day at the office. Anyway, two years is a long time to wait for anything as awesome-looking as The Executive, and the only real update we’ve had on its progress was also a very long time ago in December of 2013 when a new trailer was revealed.

Well, it’s been a long time coming, but Riverman Media has been in touch to let us know that The Executive is currently in beta and is finally very close to releasing. In fact, they shot me a beta build that I took for a spin, and all I can say is that The Executive is So. Damn. Awesome. Like their previous Pizza vs. Skeletons, it’s hard to explain exactly what The Executive is, but I’ll try.

Well, this looks both ridiculous and wonderful. Plus, who doesn’t like free music? I plan to check out that free soundtrack this week.

New African Mythology Comic Series Follows A Pack Of Egyptian Werewolves

Conceived, written, and drawn by New York-based artist Paul Louise-Julie, The Pack is a new graphic novel about a group of Egyptian werewolves. Louise-Julie, who studied ancient African history for the greater part of a decade, designed over 30 different civilizations that would end up becoming the backdrop for his comic series. “If I could create a mythology for the black diaspora based on the tales of our ancestors, I could redefine how we see ourselves – how the world sees us,” he wrote in an article for Bleeding Cool. “If Tolkien could do it, so could I.”

The first issue in the series, “The Egyptian Saga,” chronicles the origins of the group of Egyptian werewolves, and is available now on iBooks and Kindle.

I’ve talked about this elsewhere a little bit, but I am beyond words, I’m so excited about this graphic novel. Werewolves + diverse characters + the black diaspora? THIS IS GOING TO BE AMAZING.

NSFW Trailer: Blood, Sex, Werewolves & More In TOKYO GRAND GUIGNOL

Here’s some very Not Safe For Work action to get your day off on the right track – the first trailer from Tokyo Grand Guignol, an anthology of four horror shorts by French directors, filmed on location in the Japanese capital.

Completed with the support of Xavier Gens (Frontiere(s), Hitman, The ABCs Of Death), Jean Frederic Chaleyat and Frederic Grousset (Climax), who serve as Associate Producers, Tokyo Grand Guignol includes offerings from Nicolas Alberny, Francois Gaillard, Gilles Landucci and Yann Moreau and looks to be a ton of fun.

Currently in post-production, one segment of the film is ready to be unleashed, and will get its debut this week at the Brussels International Fantastic Film Festival, which kicks off today. The film promises blood, sado-masochism, werewolves, giallo, time travel and much more besides…

I love horror anthologies. Here’s hoping this is as good as it sounds.

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[watching] Werewolf Wednesday: She-Wolf of the Woods (2013) (NSFW)

she-wolf-poster

Movie: She-Wolf of the Woods
Source: online streaming
Content: NSFW, nudity, violence
Summary: Our short film, SHE-WOLF OF THE WOODS is an extraction from one of the story strands in our feature film of the same name. In it, we take a glimpse into the world of Amy Shields, a beautiful and unlikely forest ranger. Amy is a She-Wolf’s apprentice and has a taste for flesh. She likes her women for fun and her men for food. Bound to her master through an ancient curse, Amy spends her days scouting the Scottish Highlands for loners and fulfilling her ritualistic duties in the ways of the hunt.

Trailer

Initial Thoughts

She-Wolf of the Woods was the talk of the werewolf sites I regularly haunt (e.g.g, Werewolf News, Howl Out Cast), and I’ve been excited to watch it since the first time I heard about it. A Scottish indie horror comedy about queer women werewolves? SOLD. A woman filmmaker spent her own money to create an “homage to horror films and popular culture from the 70s, 80s, and 90s”? SOLD OMG JUST GIVE IT TO ME ALREADY.

No, really, look at that tagline: She’ll huff and she’ll puff – then she’ll eat you.

HOW COULD I NOT LOVE THAT?

Review

Since this is a short film easily available streaming online, I’m going to do a review instead of a direct recap.

I love this movie. It’s ridiculous and cheesy and delightful, with the feel of an old school sexploitation horror movie with a werewolf story at the heart of it that makes me want more. (I have hope that we’ll get more, too; I want the full length film to exist. No, I need. More queer women werewolves being monsters in Scotland, PLEASE.) I can’t believe how awesome this film looks considering its low, low, low budget.

The main character, Amy Shields, is played to perfection by Toni Benedetti. In just over thirty minutes, she manages to convince me of the line she’s walking between human and monster, and her hunger for violence and transformation is a wonderful, nuanced thing. Even when she’s licking and stabbing trees as a substitute for men, I believe there’s a dark hunger driving her on, and rules she’s desperate to follow but wishing she can break.

One of the moments I love best is when Amy is in a pub and tries to order a sour mash bourbon on the rocks. When the bartender won’t give it to her, there’s a dramatic back and forth where it looks like she tries to control him, force him to do her bidding — and completely fails. She’s a temptress and a danger, but she’s not the true supernatural power here.

Tyne Roberts plays Lucille, the titular werewolf, and she is a delight. From a simple special effects budget consideration, her transformation is amazing, far better than many I’ve seen with bigger budgets. The transformation itself is weird, though. I love the sex transformation as a concept, but some of the visual choices (the patchy fur and the appearance of the spin cracking and changing) didn’t work for me. (Particularly the patchy fur on the face and the play-doh looking prosthetics in a couple scenes.) That spine arch seemed like a fantastic nod to The Howling, though.

Final Thoughts

Overall, I freaking loved She-Wolf of the Woods, and I want the full length movie immediately.

One thing I do want to touch on is the way the movie plays into the treatment of a female werewolf as a monster with uncontrollable sexual urges. So often in stories of lone werewolves (or, as here, a werewolf with an apprentice), male werewolves are treated as sad creatures turned against their will who should be pitied, even if they need to be put down because they are monsters (e.g., American Werewolf in London, Oz from Buffy the Vampire Slayer), while female werewolves embrace their hungers, sexual and supernatural, and therefore are dangerous predators as humans and as beasts (e.g., She-Wolf of the Woods, Veruca from Buffy the Vampire Slayer). Women who embrace their sexuality and sexual desires, who admit they want sex and they want it now and they want it this way not that, are treated as dangerous, not to be trusted, destruction wearing sexy flesh. The monster in the woman isn’t the werewolf so much as it is her love of sex, and that metaphor sucks.

Posted in Movies | Tagged , ,

[talking] Werewolf Wednesday: Howl Out Cast appearance

(Podcast episode not yet available online; I’ll provide a link when it is.)

ETA March 26: My episode is now available. It’s more than 3 hours long. I am a talkative guest, apparently. I really had no idea.

Due to technical issues, this week’s movie recap had to be postponed, but I wanted to let you guys know that I’ll be on the next episode of Howl Out Cast, an all-werewolf all the time podcast. I had a blast talking to Luis (Kaijudo), the host, about all sorts of topics, werewolves and beyond, including: werewolf as metaphor for mental illness generally and specifically bipolar disorder, diversity in horror, bait and switch werewolf movies, and the importance of feminism and the final girl in my experience with and love of horror. We also talk about Bitten season two episode seven, Jack & Diane (which I recapped last week), Deadtime Stories, Lone Wolf, and werewolves in Seanan McGuire’s Incryptid series, particularly the latest book, POCKET APOCALYPSE (which I kept trying to plural, alas).

Doing the podcast was interesting. I was nervous going into it, and had a nasty bout of anxiety the night before. This is in part because I’ve been in such a bad place with my mental health anyway, but also because I am not great at phone conversations. I have a hard time hearing, and I use facial expressions and lip reading much more than I realized before I started using Skype to write with Sarah. Due to technical issues (yes, the same ones that meant I haven’t had the chance to recap this week), I had to call in, and that was stressful. Phones, man. Not fun.

The podcast? SO MUCH FUN. One of the things I like about Howl Out Cast (and podcasts in general) are when the host(s) and the guest(s) have a conversation, not so much an interview. We had a vague outline of what we wanted to talk about (there’s a standard format to the podcast, reviews of tv, movies, and then werewolf news), but the conversation wandered naturally. And it was an excellent conversation. I’m excited to do it again in the future, and definitely want to do more podcasting. What a fun way to talk about the things that are important to me.

Thanks again, Howl Out Cast, for making my first podcast a wonderful experience.

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[watching] Werewolf Wednesday: Jack & Diane (2012)

cover - jack and diane

Movie: Jack & Diane (2012)
Source: Netflix streaming
Summary: Jack and Diane, two teenage girls, meet on a summer day in New York City and spend the night kissing ferociously. Bubbly and naïve, Diane’s charming innocence quickly begins to open tomboy Jack’s tough-skinned heart. However, when Jack discovers that Diane is moving at the end of the summer, she pushes Diane away. Diane is overwhelmed by her powerful new feelings, and they begin to manifest themselves in terrifying ways, causing unexplainable violent changes to her body. Young love is a monster – can Jack and Diane survive?

Trailer

Initial Thoughts

That trailer really tells me very litte beyond young love and maybe something bloody-ish? But queer girls + werewolves is a weakness, and I’m looking forward to giving this one a try. (Netflix thinks I will give this two stars. Note From the Future: Netflix was correct.)

Spoilers: My takeaway is that I feel so cheated this is not a lesbian werewolf movie, nor is it a well-paced lesbian romance.

Recap

Roll Call!

Diane, played by Juno Temple, is the femme, manic pixie dream girl character. Juno Temple also plays Karen, Diane’s twin sister, for the small amount she appears.

Jack, played by Riley Keough, is the butch, too tough for you character.

Aunt Linda, played by Cara Seymour, is there to fight with Diane and Jack (though not about their sexuality, more their attitudes) and that’s about it.

There are other people running around, but they really don’t matter.

Oh dear. The thing about this recap is that the movie has a very slow pace — at times far too slow — and often boring for a werewolf movie, but also boring for a teen lesbian romance. Very little happens beyond the flirting-fighting-sex-fighting-flirtation cycle that repeats ad naseum. I don’t think that’s a bad thing, as long as I care about the characters, but while I like Jack and Diane well enough, they’re never developed as fully as they could be, and I grew tired of their back and forth.

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[watching] Werewolf Wednesday: The Feeding (2006)

The-Feeding-2006-Front-Cover-59135

Movie: The Feeding (2006)
Source: Netflix streaming
Summary: An obsessive special agent desperately joins forces with some unlikely campers to hunt down a legendary beast in the Appalachian Mountains.

Trailer

Even though the trailer says it takes place deep in the Pacific Northwest, the Appalachian Mountains are … not there.

Initial Thoughts

I’ve never seen this one before, but I love stories about werewolves, camping, and hunting in the mountains, so it’s possible I will love this. (Netflix doesn’t think so. Its best guess is that I’ll give it one star. You’re on, Netflix. You’re on.) (Note from the future: One star is hated it, two stars is didn’t like it. I’d say two and a half is the accurate rating, but I have it three, because I actually did like parts of it.)

Recap

First, a roll call, even though there isn’t a lot of character development.

Team Sanctioned Killers:

Jack (Robert Pralgo), the killing specialist brought in by the park ranges to take care of business. He’s cocky, obnoxious, a confirmed bachelor, and annoying as hell. In these movies, that makes him the hero.

Aimee (Dione Updike), the animal behavior specialist brought in by Jack. We’re told she’s incredibly smart and skilled, and has spent years in the field, but this doesn’t always play out all that well. Usually, this means she’ll spend most of the movie needing Jack to rescue her.

There are a bunch of park rangers, too, but they don’t really matter in the movie.

Team Doomed Campers:

A group of friends of indeterminate age. Probably mid-to-late twenties? They take vacations together every year, and alternate whose turn it is to choose. A couple weeks camping is this year’s vacation. BAD CHOICE, GUYS. Mostly, they are all coupled up.

Phil (Ben Green) is the leader of this particular vacation. He’s an outdoorsy boy scout type.
Reagan (Courtney Hogan) is Phil’s girlfriend, and set up pretty early on as our Final Girl, in that she’s the more clean-cut, smart, friendly one. Ish.

Cynthia (Kara Maria Amedon) is the sexually dominant woman of the group, and she’s dated at least two of the guys, possibly all of them.
Allen (Andrew Porter) is her current boyfriend. He starts off as a cocky, rich frat boy type, but shows a bit of down-to-earth humor and loyalty as it goes on.

Ty (Rod Shephard) is the only Black guy. He’s mouthy and snarky, and once the killing starts, incredibly loyal and bent on revenge.
Elle (Lynnili James) is Ty’s current girlfriend. She’s jealous, both of his prior relationship with Cynthia, and of his friendship with Elizabeth. Though the movie never uses the word bisexual, Elle is established as being interested in and hooking up with both guys and girls. (The movie doesn’t use a lot of words, as you’ll see.)

Elizabeth (Jennifer Leigh) is the token single. There’s some hints that she is also bisexual and interested in both Elle and Ty (though she denies it). I’m rooting for the three of them to hook up and survive. Elizabeth is the only one who doesn’t have sex on this camping trip; by the old rules of horror, she should be our Final Girl (unless she really is bisexual), but like I said, Reagan is already set up in that spot.

Spoilers below.

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