Monsterwolf (2010)

Monsterwolf (2010)

The night has fangs…

A greedy oil company expanding their operations in Louisiana come across a mysterious ancient archway construction in the middle of a new dig. Continuing their drilling, they set loose a supernatural wolf of Native American legend which proceeds to terrorise the town in a bid to stop the company from taking further action.


Seems like it’s been a while since I reviewed an out-and-out Sy Fy Original but here we are with Monsterwolf, a cliché-fuelled trip down memory lane. By memory lane, I mean virtually every other Sy Fy Original or other horrors with avenging Native American spirits in them. Monsterwolf doesn’t differentiate itself in the slightest, running like clockwork from beginning to end.

Let’s see: Native American burial ground – check. Something being built on/done to the land – check. Something spiritual and nasty is unleashed to take vengeance – check. Stock characters from the community to throw into the jaws of the monster every ten minutes or so – check. Lazy stereotyping of Native American culture and folklore – check. Naff CGI monster – check. Monsterwolf is the sort of film you can slap on in the background whilst you do something else, go back to it every few minutes and still know exactly what is happening.

Monsterwolf isn’t the worst of Sy Fy’s output over the years, not by a long shot. But it’s got no redeeming qualities, nothing that makes it stand out and nothing that gets your blood pumping or your spine tingling. It is by-the-book filmmaking in which everyone involved ticks a couple of boxes and then moves on to making the next one. I’m at a loss to comment on the film because only a day after watching, I’ve already forgotten most of what happened. Yadda yadda ya wolf gets released, yadda yadda ya people talk, yadda yadda ya wolf attacks someone. I don’t want to watch it again to have to pick out highlights! Even the setting famed for its beautiful bayous, Louisiana, looks rather dull and unremarkable here. The production values don’t convey any sense of place and it looks just like any other Sy Fy flick (in particular all of those filmed in Eastern Europe). I’m not sure whether it’s the type of cameras or the lenses they are use but the films all look the same.

Leonor Varela (Blade II) stars as the smoking hot lawyer drafted in by the oil company to sway the townspeople into selling. Guess what – she is a former resident who has history with certain male characters from the town to add in extra layers of back story and tragedy to proceedings! Well that’s the idea but it all ends up mechanically going through the usual forced romantic sub-plot motions with people falling back in love with each other after initial resistance to rekindling their love. After all, people facing vengeful Native American creatures are instantly drawn to like each other in the face of certain death. Its extra plot padding that doesn’t need to be present because it adds nothing to film.

Robert Picardo, he of Star Trek: Voyager fame and numerous low budget efforts like this, stars as the slimy oil executive. Picardo has a permanent frown upon his face as if he’s just messed his pants and doesn’t want anyone to know, living up to the one-dimensional caricature that he portrays here. He’s an uber-douchebag, or at least as threatening as Picardo can be. Having watched him for years as the holographic doctor, it’s impossible to take him as a villain. Serial Sy Fy offender Griff Furst doesn’t helm this one but he stars in it instead. The man behind 100 Million B.C., Swamp Shark, Lake Placid 3, Ghost Shark and Arachnoquake (see a pattern emerging) lends himself to the comic relief role. I’m not sure whether he should stick behind of or in front of the camera – maybe do us all a favour and try both for a bit!

I don’t comment enough on scores and incidental music but I feel the need to do so here. It’s almost as if there is a soundtrack playing in the background to every scene, pumping some ominous music continually through my speakers. Yeah I get that the script isn’t doing a great job at creating tension or fear and they need something cheap to substitute for it but sometimes silence is the best way to go about it. I don’t need to have some creepy tunes running through my head when a character is exploring a dark house, I’d rather it be deadly quiet so that the only thing I can hear is my heartbeat.


Monsterwolf isn’t one step forward or one step back for Sy Fy films, it’s just standing still. Swap out the wolf for a crocodile or snake, swap the oil company for a real estate company or gangster and role reverse the hero and heroine and you’ll have exactly the same throwaway film as Sy Fy has been pumping out for years.





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