Werewolf (1995)

Wurr-wilf? That’s what B-Movie Enema Industries has on tap this week? You better believe it. It’s “absolutely fascinating”. Werewolf from 1995 is historically known as one of the funniest episodes of Mystery Science Theater 3000. Think about that… One of the funniest episodes of Mystery Science Theater 3000. That’s really saying something. That’s a series that week after week after week for a solid ten years between two networks, two hosts, different sets of mads was hitting the ball out of the park. There aren’t many episodes aren’t just funny throughout the 100 or so minutes you spend with Mike or Joel and the bots.

When the show returned for the two seasons on Netflix, it still proved to be quite funny with a new host and yet another set of mads.

Anyway, Werewolf was one of the occasional recent movies that show covered. It’s a truly bizarre direct-to-video movie that takes place in Arizona, but is mostly full of foreign actors pretending to be American. Okay, maybe that last part isn’t entirely provable, but it sure seems like they are pretending to be normal ol’ mid 90s Americans. Yes, there are American actors. There’s Richard Lynch who did lots of “my kind” of movies in his career with a bunch of Cannon Films movies on his filmography. There’s that one guy who is basically a proto-Duck Dynasty guy, you know, Joe Estevez. Then there’s that bearded fella that appears in the movie.

But our main stars are Tony Zarindast, Jorge Rivero, and Adrianna Miles. Zarindast is from Iran. Rivero was born in Mexico City. Miles, listed on IMDb as Adriana Stastny, is from… Europe? Somewhere? She’s apparently fluent in English (we’ll see about that in this movie), German, Italian, French, and Czech. I believe the last is indicative of where she’s from, but shit… All those other languages could be her first – except English. I will say this, Miles is a smoke show in this movie. I mean look at this…

Goddammit, guys, down in front!

That’s the stuff right there. I don’t know what her real hair color is, but that mid 90s Gillian Anderson bright orange/rose gold color is something that only existed in 1995. Trust me. That’s when I graduated in 1995. Orange hair everywhere! Anyway, I don’t care what language she speaks. Adriana Stastny or Adrianna Miles or whatever she wants to call herself is smoking hot. Definitely in the 90s hot way.

But not this hot…

Okay, so what are we looking for here? Well, this is apparently tied to the Native American legend, Navajo to be exact, of the “yetiglanchi”. Now, is that a real word? Maybe…? It’s a thing in World of Warcraft. It’s a thing in this movie. But mostly this is tied to the movie through the MST3K episode. What the real thing is a “skinwalker” and that’s a witch in Navajo culture who can shapeshift. That’s what this movie is about. We’re getting a bunch of foreign actors doing American things with Native American legend tied in. This is VERY 90s video store shit.

Fuck it! Let’s get into this!

This movie opens with credits that have me worried about the overall production value of this picture. It shows clips of the werewolf in the background of the credits. Most movies don’t show clips of their own contents before they even start. And before you tell me that, “Oh yes, you dumdum, there is such a thing as a trailer!” Yes, yes. You got me there, but do you normally sit down to movies that decide to show you slow mo shit in ttheir own credits? No! You don’t! You sometimes get clips of a previous entry in a series or something but… ah never mind.

Okay, so there’s a dig happening out in the desert. It’s being overseen by two guys. First, there’s Joe Estevez. I’m not going to bother learning his name because I’m fairly sure he disappears quickly from the movie. Then, there’s Yuri, totally an American guy played by Jorge Rivero. The guys digging for bones or artifacts or diamonds (it’s probably diamonds) start to uncover something in the ground. It looks like bones? Yuri immediately starts kicking everybody’s asses. Why? Because Yuri is an ass. Natalie, our comely redheaded Eastern Ameri-European-can, comes up around the ridge to tell Yuri to cut that shit out.

Why are these guys fighting? I honestly don’t know. I know the diggers were initially kind of being a little slow to work, but I don’t know if they are actually ever going to tell us what the shit the deal is. Big boss archaeologist, Noel (Lynch) arrives to see what is going on. He spots that a guy named Tommy, a Native American member of the team, has cut his arm on something. That something would be the bones that were uncovered that started the whole fight.

Joe Estevez mutters the word “yetiglanchi” and gets spooked but good.

Joe Estevez is sent away to go check on the injured guy. Noel then has Natalie go get some students to help get the skeleton out of the ground and sent to the office they are working from. Noel also says to make sure none of the “Indian workers see this” because it might “shake them up”. Oh… Oh you think, Noel? You think digging a humanoid skeleton out of a shallow grave with a fucking beast’s head will “shake them up” a little bit? No shit, Professor Noel. I see why you get the big bucks from the University of Phoenix for this archaeology dig.

Anyway, Noel, Yuri, and Natalie study the skeleton in the office. Noel tells Natalie that a yetiglanchi is basically a Navajo equivalent to the white man’s lycanthrope. “A god-damned werewolf,” Yuri says. Of course, this takes Natalie by so much surprise, all her emotions are slowly let out like a fart you’re trying desperately to hold in at the grocery store when you’re in the same jock itch aisle that a very attractive person is in. She finds this all “absolutely fascinating” and gives Yuri and Noel constant looks of dull surprise as Noel continues to explain that the Navajo are pretty skilled at spotting people who become yetiglanchi. If they can stop it before full transformation, they will get a medicine man to come in and do a thing. If they are too late, they arm themselves to the fuckin’ teeth to hunt the son of a bitch.

Meanwhile, Tommy is in real bad shape. Bad bad shape. He’s weak, he’s sweating, and he’s in pain. Joe Estevez pretty much already knows that’s gonna be a yetiglanchi situation. Tommy is drooling and whimpering and not exactly looking much like a normal person anymore. So Joe Estevez gets a guy to call an ambulance for him.

We go back to the dig site and see this big tent next to where the bones were found. It then smash cuts to Yuri, Noel, and Natalie in the office thing. Is this movie trying to tell me that the tent is the office? Is the wood paneling in the office and the window in the office is actually inside that tent? I’m gonna guess not. I’m willing to bet that tent is where the students are camping on the dig. The office is elsewhere in like a trailer or something. However, it’s a really bad transition establishing shot because I now think that tent is a fuckin’ TARDIS and has a whole office inside with a window that looks out into an artificial terrain that is also still inside that tent.

But fuck it, let’s check in on Tommy. Doctor Wayne Newton from Licence to Kill here and Nurse Not Disembaudee are baffled about the condition the patient is in. Tommy’s got hair growing out of his face. The doc and his nurse cram themselves into a door frame to talk real close at each other. The nurse recommends that the doc get some rest while she stays with the patient.

The next day, Yuri shows up at the dig site. Yuri gives Joe Estevez and the guy he punched the shit out of earlier some crap for not working. He also angrily asks where Tommy is. Yuri finds out that Tommy has some sort of infection and is in County General. So Yuri, not letting his Univision soap opera good looks go to waste, dresses up like a doctor and sneaks in to see Tommy after flirting with a nurse at the front desk.

That night, a full moon comes out and Tommy transforms into a beastly dude. This is a fairly slow transformation I might add. I worry that the full moon will pass before Tommy goes full on beast mode. It takes about seven crossfades for him to go all hairy and toothy. He begins howling and snarling and leaves his room to go on a rampage. I might add that we see Tommy walking around the halls of the hospital from behind so we can see that under his hospital gown, he’s still wearing his Levi’s and tennies. That’s good they let him keep that on for his own comfort.

Anyway, Tommy gets out and everyone around is armed up and ready to take down Tommy. Joe Estevez expects Tommy to return to the ranch all these guys live on because that’s his “lair” so, of course, he’ll return. Maybe? By the time he gets back to the ranch, Tommy is full on animal now. Tommy’s old friends show up and ends the crisis with the werewolf situation for the time being while Tommy’s been sent back the hospital with a coma.

Smash cut to the next day and Paul (Federico Cavalli) has come to town. He grabs a cab to go to the house he’s staying at during his time in Flagstaff, Arizona. The cab driver tells Paul about the crazy guy in the hospital and asks him if he believes in Draculas or werewolves. Paul does not. The next weirdo he meets is Sam. Now, I’m gonna believe Sam is now a reality TV show star, but he answers the door at the house that Paul is delivered to carrying a giant shotgun. He tells Paul that there some weird stuff going on in town, but he’s been expected and is welcome here. He then goes on to say that he recently discovered Dracula’s sexuality – not that it matters nor is it said in a sensitive way. He then sings a song about weird things. Sam is every bit the crazy neighbor you love to hear talk about the way he views the world on a cool autumn evening.

Now just when this movie can’t handle anymore characters, Paul goes upstairs to meet Carrie. Carrie is another sexy mid 90s redhead. I guess she’s Paul’s agent or lawyer or something. This house was Paul’s grandmother who recently passed away. She fixed up the house for Paul to use while he writes his next book and for him to live at while he figures out what to do with the property. Carrie is played by Heidi Bjorn. She has no other credits. To be honest with you, with a name like Heidi Bjorn, despite not having a noticeable accent, it’s not helping me with these actors who are clearly not American to believe this lady wasn’t originally born in Sweden or something.

I will at least say I do like the cut of her mini skirt. Considering she wears nothing that even comes close to her knees, I’m looking forward to the rest of the movie with her. I sure hope she isn’t here just to be werewolf dinner.

Carrie invites Paul to a birthday party that night and brings him to what I guess is maybe Noel’s party…? Anyway, all this is to make sure Paul meets Natalie. But it’s done in the roundabout way. Apparently Carrie invites Paul to the party as her DATE, not just to make it so he can meet people. When he doesn’t really talk to her too much, she tells him to walk home and basically beats cheeks knowing she isn’t going to get any of that suave Paul action. So, with Paul properly encouraged to get fucked, he goes inside to meet Natalie.

I guess you can’t say Brad Hornbacher and Tony Zarindast, the writers of this masterpiece, don’t know how to set up circumstances that need to happen so the movie can go.

We do learn that Paul is interested in redheads and some redheads would like for him to not politely get fucked. As soon as she sees Paul, I’m fairly certain Natalie needs a change in panties. Yuri decides to sexually harass Natalie, so Paul steps in as her white knight. Noel tells Yuri to make like a salad and fucking go away. So, yes, Yuri does leave, but he also decides to do something ill-advised since he’s got about 27 glasses of champagne coursing through his veins. More on that to come.

So these two people who have an iffy grasp on English linguistics with the last names of Niles and Burke continue to toast to their new found burgeoning sex hormones for each other. Yuri, pissy, drunk, and nothing else better to do, goes to the lab to show one of the guards the yetiglanchi. He drugs the guard with champagne. It should come to no surprise that this security dude is an Italian with a thick accent. When he passes out onto the floor, Yuri enacts his plan that I think he came up with at about his 12th drink at the party. He injects some werewolf business into the guard’s arm.

Back at the party…

Natalie has done us all a favor and ditched the Sgt. Pepper’s jacket to show off the goods. He asks if she’s discovered anything cool, but she does a weird thing with her face and changes the subject. She asks what he does for a living. He fesses up to being a writer, but doesn’t tell her anything about what he’s writing about in favor of asking her to dance.

Back at the lab, drunken security guard is woken up by Yuri and sent on his way. On the way to the car, the guard is already beginning to change into a werewolf. But he makes it to his Ford Taurus to drive himself home. I think the whole reason why he’s able to do this in the movie is for Werewolf to be the first to lay claim to featuring a werewolf legit driving a Ford Taurus during its transformation. By the way… This security guard turned werewolf? That’s the director of this movie – Tony Zarindast. He definitely knows how to steal a show.

Perfection

Paul tells Natalie that he sometimes is a reporter. He tells her he can help her with her discovery. She balks at it, but decides to ask Noel about it because Paul thinks that he can help them get funding. Natalie takes Paul home and Sam militia blocks Paul while he’s making out with Natalie.

But we don’t care about that. We care about our werewolf security guard driving himself home. I do have to say… he’s a pretty good driver. He’s not run any children over. He’s not run into anythi… Uh oh… Oh no…

Yuri has learned that werewolves do not make for great operators of motor vehicles. That’s some solid researchin’ there, Yuri.

The next day, Paul goes to the museum to meet with Natalie and Noel. She shows him the skeleton but Paul is not entirely convinced it is what she says it is. He doesn’t want to come across as skeptical to the hot girl with the skirt that is higher than the table the skeleton is lying on, but he thinks it might be a deformed coyote or something. Noel can explain it, but Yuri comes in and starts beating the shit out of Paul. He takes the skull and bashes Paul with it on his back, cutting him. That’s probably not good.

Later that very day, Paul starts reacting to his slashed shoulder where the skull cut him. He starts growling and getting aggressive and having visions of the skeleton. Before long, he’ll be driving a Ford Taurus to his next destination! That night, Paul is in a real bad mood. Natalie comes over to check on him.

Paul is a little aggro at first saying that he didn’t expect to ever see or hear from her again. Natalie explains she tried to flag him down when he left but he was just too fast for her. He says he’ll pay for damages. She has him take off his shirt to show her what he claims is only a scrape, but is actually a gash. They then bang… HARD. At least he took the time while his new animal urges were kicking in to set up some nice candles all around his room while he planned to devour her with his sexual energy.

But then, I think a few blood vessels snapped in my brain because I seem to be missing time. The editing of this segment is so wild, and so jarring that it hurts. It goes from tender start to a scene that blossoms with a soundalike John Barry score to Yuri watching from outside, to intensifying sex and score, to a shot of the full moon with a different portion of the love theme to stark, dead quiet in a completely different location.

What’s even weirder is that this young couple in the Jeep are going to have sex, but his zipper gets stuck. While he tries to figure that out, the girl asks if he brought a condom. This discussion makes him want to withhold the sex from her. But they end up getting back to their playful coitus. She suddenly starts screaming as if he’s doing the sex wrong. But that’s not the reason. She’s screaming because Paul is approaching the Jeep like an animal. She gets out and runs away from the monster, but he doesn’t seem to be chasing her at first. Did Paul kill her boyfriend before chasing the girl? I don’t know. Is Natalie back at the home? Is she just having a nice cup of tea with Sam the caretaker and reminiscing about the times Paul touched them with his romantic writing? What’s happening?

Doesn’t matter. Paul has now tasted human flesh. But wait! The very next cut comes back to Paul’s place where he’s in bed reading a book and starting to freak out from the full moon. Where’s Natalie? Is she at the ice cream social with Sam and dishing on all the times Paul has walked around the house with his shirt off? What’s has happened to this movie? Was some of these reshoots in a desperate attempt to save the movie in post? Was some of this just a conscious decision to shoot some scenes and then use it completely disconnected from the plot and where it was progressing?

It’s really weird to see fully uncut movies that once played on MST3K. Oftentimes, the broadcast episode will have the host segments breaking up various pieces of the movie or the acts or what have you. That also allows for the team to edit the movies to better fit the pacing and the timing of the episode itself before they shipped the final cut off to Comedy Central or Sci-Fi Network. It’s crazy because I feel like the chopped up MST3K cut of this movie is so much easier to follow and understand than this full version. When Mike and the Bots came back to watch the next segment, it was like starting a new continuity to follow. The full version of Werewolf has shit for brains continuity.

But whatever, I guess Paul has both become a werewolf AND had sex with Natalie.

Carrie, for some dumb reason, decides to use her key to Paul’s place to come in and tearfully talk to him. However, he’s a werewolf now and he decides to eat her in a completely different way than Carrie suggested at the party, which itself was an entirely different way she intended when inviting him to the party. Paul seems to specifically have a taste for hot babes. He throws Carrie from the loft where she smashes into the stairs and tumbles down them. By the way… Where’s Sam? Is he just an incredibly heavy sleeper? Did he have a slumber party over at Natalie’s?

Speaking of Natalie, she comes over the next day after I assume he killed Carrie. Natalie is wearing the same shirt and jeans she wore over to his place when she took a look at his gash and and then he hers. What the fuck has happened to this second half of this movie? The first half was so consistent. It was shit, but at least it was shit that makes sense. It’s like taking a dump in the toilet, looking at it or the results of your wipe and seeing the normal light or dark brown skid on your toilet paper. But then, a little later, you go back to finish off your poop, and this time, you wipe and it’s green. That’s not expected. It’s not out of the realm of possibility with your shitty poops, but it leaves you scratching your head.

Anyway, Yuri gives Natalie a knowing glance, but ignores her when she asks why he’s looking at her like that. Noel comes in and notices she’s a little down. So she tells him that there’s been some weird shit that’s happened since they discovered those remains of the yetiglanchi – not least of which the seeming bending and twisting of time and space as it pertains to the continuity of my bowel movements… er, I mean as it pertains to the continuity of this movie’s scenes.

Of course, she’s mostly concerned with Paul turning into… whatever she said. It doesn’t help that Yuri is a crazy person who is likely going to have to start introducing himself to neighbors by the order of the court the next time he moves. On top of that, Noel is no longer acting like a normal, caring human being. He’s hiding something from Natalie and he’s coming off as a bit of a villain here.

Who has time to worry about your boyfriend turning into a whirrwulf? It’s date night and there’s a chilly cowboy bar you can wear your tank top at without a bra, Natalie!

Look, it’s all fun and games to talk about Adrianna Miles/Stastny’s accent in this movie and how she pronounces things or emotes when reading her lines, but she’s really hot. It’s always this scene that I’m reminded that, oh yeah, I’d play pool with her. I’d even let her pronounce shit however she wants – as long as I can play pool with her. I’m not the only one either. While she’s hustling the shit out of Paul, Yuri comes in and wants to play her instead. I guess a girl with top tier pool skills is just irresistible because another biker dude in the bar wants a piece of the action too.

But what’s Paul doing once he’s put in the corner by Yuri yet again in this movie? He’s starting to convulse and getting makeup applied to his face. Yeah, he’s werwolfing out in plain sight without anyone noticing. And this goes on for what seems like an eternity while Natalie and Yuri play pool and the camera continues to pan slowly across the bonkers mural on the wall of the bar. After beating Yuri, the biker approaches the table to play Natalie. Paul has gone to the toile because he apparently had a bad plate of nachos as it looks like he’s barfing into the sink.

However, he’s transforming and Yuri witnesses a little bit of it for himself. Paul leaves the bar and immediately punches some dudes on the street. He catches up to Yuri and starts tossing him around and punching him. Paul does some nifty parkour to get out of there. Yuri calls Noel to get help in capturing Paul. Natalie overhears this and should be angry or feeling betrayed, but she just kind of dully looks at Yuri and asks him where Paul went. Yuri tells her that Paul is a full on werewolf now, so she should probably forget about him. They are going to catch Paul, put him in a cage and then show him off to the world for all tha MONIES!

Natalie gets out of there to go find Paul. Paul, though, has found Sam, and it’s everything we’ve could have ever asked for.

Natalie arrives shortly after Paul and Sam have their standoff…? chat? loving caress? She tells Sam she’s gonna go talk to Paul and he should shoot anyone who comes into the house. That’s… That’s the order Sam has been waiting for all his life.

Yuri is next to arrive despite the fact that Noel was told where to go with several minutes’ head start. But whatever. I’m not entirely sure I want to see Richard Lynch die in a movie again. I’d much rather see Yuri get his comeuppance for being a dick. Yuri watches as Paul yeets himself out a window and chases him. Natalie then takes off after the two guys. Paul attacks Yuri but I can’t fully tell what’s going on. Mostly it’s Yuri throwing up X’s with his arms to protect himself from the werewolf. I think Yuri dies? He seems pretty dead. Seeing this, Natalie instantly creams her tight jeans because she’s finally free from that toxic co-worker.

Natalie returns to the house and slowly comes upstairs with some crazy bed head. The simultaneously expected and unexpected ending reveal shows that Natalie has now also become a werewolf. How is that, do you think? Did it happen during sex? Did it happen at the lab? Did it happen in editing? It could be all three! It’s very clear based on her crazy hair that she’s a werewolf, but we don’t see how she became a werewolf. I just have to assume it happened during sex.

Werewolf is a bad movie. Like, to me, it’s fun bad because I can still hear all the MST3K jokes, but that’s the only version I can recommend people watch of this movie. You can’t watch this full, original version and get anything out of it. The continuity strangeness at the end of the second act and going into the third is a deal-breaker for most I would assume. It’s also incredibly weird that, until he takes off out of the bar, we don’t see Paul kill any men. He seems to exclusively kill women. I chalk that up to more ineptitude than anything. Line delivery is funny, but it may not be very funny for most people without commentary from the peanut gallery watching the movie. That’s why I can only recommend the MST3K version of this movie.

At least this is more fun than our next werewolf thriller(?) coming in three weeks, but I’m keeping that under wraps for the moment. Next week, we have another classic movie from the anals of Mystery Science Theater 3000. And, yes, I meant anals not annals. I’m going to be looking at the movie that was covered on MST3K as The Blood Waters of Dr. Z, but what we know better as Zaat. Be sure to come back here in seven whole days to read that article. Meanwhile, head over to the YouTube channel tomorrow night for the 1968 classic Psych-Out starring Jack Nicholson, Susan Strasberg, Dean Stockwell, and Bruce Dern. In my estimation, it’s the very best movie covered on B-Movie Enema: The Series in the entire second season! Not only can you subscribe to the YouTube channel for B-Movie Enema, but you can also follow at Facebook and Twitter so you can find out when things drop!

So until next week, watch out for yetiglanchi and don’t let yourself bet turned into a whirrwulf!

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