Thursday, July 31, 2008

The New Wolfman

The Wolfman Trailer was online. Anthony Hopkins, Benicio DelToro, Hugo Weaving and more. Universal is still going through the crates and bringing back their old classics. This didn't look like the old, "Larry Talbot went to the wrong gypsy camp" storyline either. It looked like it might be a gore-fest too. Is it going to outdo An American Werewolf in London in presence and FX?
Actually, I should give you some details. I logged on this AM as the fingers of the Dawn worked the horizon and found this trailer. I proceeded to link it to the Mediasaurs site. All was good. I went to my other job and hustled for a bit. Then, this afternoon, I went to Ain't it Cool News and saw that they had the same link. As I patted myself on the back for besting Harry at his own game, I clicked the link. GONE. Universal has put a cap on the cellphone footage.
However, you don't need to fret, let me tell you about it.
The opening scene is one where these Victorian folk are looking at a body and musing at how thrashed it is. Then you get a camera shot, and yes, you get a pretty good eyeful of guts. Of course, it is nothing like the Lance Henrikson milk scene in Aliens, but it is up there. The rest of the trailer is Anthony Hopkins and Hugo Weaving doing a lot of posing. Apparently Benicio DelToro has come back to visit his family from his travels abroad. The trailer made no attempt to cloak the fact that Benicio is the werewolf. He even yells, "I WILL KILL YOU ALL!" at one point.
Was I scared? Was I moved, inspired, thoughtful, excited or flabberghasted? The answer is no. The answer is hell no. There is nothing about this trailer that makes me want to see the full movie. Lon Chaney did it justice almost a hundred years ago, and that is where it needs to stay. If I want a modern lycanthropy story, I turn to one of two films: An American Werewolf in London or Dog Soldiers. Some people want to argue Ginger Snaps, but come on...Ginger Snaps was basically financed by the Canadian government and it is too much talk and not enough mayhem. To all of the Canadians out there who I just offended, let me tell you that I haven't seen part 2, so maybe there is some redemption. Neither AWIL or DS are scary, but they do bring it to the table. They bring it to the table better than what Universal is planning in 2009.
The last film where the wolfman really had teeth was Abbot and Costello meet Frankenstein. Have you seen it? You should, so you can know what kind of beast the wolfman is supposed to be. When he goes out the window and falls into the moat, he claws the air all the way down. I know this well because it really scared me as a kid. If I was a kid today watching what was presented at the San Diego comicon, I would be slightly disturbed by the guts scene, but ultimately, I would sleep with sugar plums dancing through my head. Why? That trailer was BENIGN. It was a BENIGN CANCER on the lung of pop culture. The wolfman is supposed to scare me. He is the boogeyman. He is supposed to grab either my heart or my testicles and make me wish I were dead.
Universal! I shake my fist at you and your Van Helsing and your eternal Mummy sequels! Scare me! Scare me like you are supposed to!
Here is what I know: We see this shot of a wolfman running along a hillside a few times in the trailer. We also see his knobby, satyr-like legs and his knobby, Halloween suit hands. He does not look formidable. A shovel to the head and he is done. I am going to need more than a person in a suit that looks like they work out their upper body more than their lower.
The wolfman is over. The whole thing would have to be re-worked and finessed harder than what this trailer shows. Benicio DelToro, Anthony Hopkins and Hugo Weaving have all made crappy movies. This isn't a thing where they are going to shock us by stooping so low. If Christopher Nolan were directing this, I would have more faith. However, the director in question is some fool named Joe Johnson. I say, "fool" because this man is just as guilty as his cast of putting out garbage. Hidalgo, Jurassic Park III, October Sky, Jumanji, The Rocketeer and Honey I Shrunk the Kids. Be honest with me folks, there isn't a movie in that mix you want to see again. I feel that the Wolfman will have that same sort of vibe.
Sorry I can't link you the trailer at this point, but trust me, you aren't missing a damn thing.
-Mediasaurus Rex