Werewolves are a horror fancy of mine, so whenever I get the chance to check out a new one, I jump. Most times, I’m disappointed, but as a fan of the sub-genre, I can’t help but hold out hope of something that really strikes a nerve. Werewolves, by and large, get a bit of a raw deal in films, being relegated as being mindless beasts with uncontrollable appetites for frisky college girls and hapless passer by.
Occasionally though, a werewolf film comes along that takes the misunderstood creature and creates an engaging story, truly exploring the nature of the beast within us all. Here is our list of the top 5 most underrated werewolf films ever!
5. Brotherhood of the Wolf (Le Pacte de Loups)
“Just throw your hands in the air, and roar like you just don’t care!”
Long before he was stuffing his face with the culinary fare of Iron Chef’s, Mark Dacascos was a butt kicking Native American for the French, alongside Samuel Le Bihan in this fictional retelling of the tale of the “Beast of Guevedan.” Vincent Cassel lends his leering presence to a film that is at its core, one of perverted lust and the stupidity of noble men. Coupled with some surreal imagery and the hotness that is Monica Bellucci, Brotherhood of the Wolf is a well rounded film that deserves more respect.
4. Underworld: Rise of the Lycans
“Mama…Just killed a man…Put a fang against his head, shut my jaws and now he’s dead..”
I know. I KNOW. This film series has some serious fan splits. Some love it. Some loathe it. But most seem to miss the point it was trying to make. This was never about Lycans vs. Vampires. At its core, it was about racism encountered when one seeks to date inter-racially. Think about it, Viktor’s problems stem from his inability to cope with his daughter getting it on with a wolf, yet he was OK with sentencing her to death, sunny side up. merely for the ‘crime’ of loving someone he deemed beneath him. Shunt that into a case of a Klansman’s little girl falling for a black man and voila, a fine recipe for a film. Just add fangs, hair and leather.
3. An American Werewolf in London
“And Iiiiiiiiiiiiiii-ee-iiiiii will always love you…”
Aside from having THE best wolf transformation this side of the 80’s, the John Landis directed film boasted some of the funniest takes on moon howlers ever seen on screen. Pity the sequel didn’t live up to the reputation. Rick Baker’s ’82 Oscar win for the films make-up cemented him as the go-to guy for monsters and gore in Hollywood.
2. Dog Soldiers
“I will NOT be buying this shampoo ever again.”
Debut films from first time directors are usually riddled with holes, but Neil Marshall‘s tale of British soldiers facing off against a family of werewolves absolutely shines. A great cast including Kevin McKidd (Grey’s Anatomy) and Liam Cunningham (Game of Thrones) completes this tale of a military training exercise in Scotland that goes horribly sideways.
1. Ginger Snaps
“You like my nails? You’re so sweet, I just got them filed yesterday.”
Aside from sharing an innocuous name with a British brand of biscuit, this Canadian flick is great in that its protagonists are teen girls. If you pay attention, it’s clear that when the elder sister, Ginger (Katharine Isabelle) is bitten by…something lupine, that the changes are not unlike those brought on by puberty. It was certainly a unique premise, subbing lycanthropy for the onset of that dreaded time of pimples and hormones. As Ginger says to her sister once, “I get this ache… And I, I thought it was for sex, but it’s to tear everything to fucking pieces.” Yikes. Teen angst in a sentence. Ginger Snaps is a sorely overlooked classic indeed.
So what do you think of our list? Tell us if we’ve missed any good werewolf movies—Twilight will instantly be disqualified, mind–and tell us your top five below or on the GeekMundo Facebook page!