OF THE WEREWOLVES
titled Lobos de Arga, and also known in some
English-speaking territories as Game of Werewolves,
this no nonsense comes to the UK with a more straight-forwardly
descriptive title and possibly a little too much expectations
from some people who hear about a Spanish werewolf film and immediately
expect a return to the days of Paul Naschy.
That isn’t what you get here, of course. Instead, this is
a fairly effective blend of comedy, horror and action, as novelist
Tomas (Gorka Otxoa) returns to his childhood village in order
to receive an award and ‘freedom of the village’.
What he doesn’t realise is that the entire place in under
a curse, brought about by the lusty and murderous antics of one
of his ancestors (spelled out in lurid comic book style under
the opening titles), and only his blood can free them. The curse
turns out to be a hungry werewolf who is trapped underground,
and who they dare not kill for fear of unleashing an even worse
curse. But their plans go awry, and soon Tomas and his friends
are facing an entire army of lycanthropes.
No one is going to call this film a ground breaking horror movie,
but there’s no denying that it’s good fun, with Tomas,
a childhood friend and a shifty literary agent forming an amusing,
if hardly believable team as they try to avoid the murderous villagers
and break the curse. At one point, this involves the theory that
the werewolf only needs to eat a bit of Thomas to break
the curse, leading to the funniest part of the film. Not all the
humour is as successful – it’s all very blokey (there’s
scarcely any female presence in the film at all) and sometimes
a bit juvenile.
As for the werewolves – they are pleasingly old-school prosthetic
creations, and while rather more vulnerable than legends might
say (no silver bullets needed here) make for effective monsters
as seemingly endless numbers of them attack. The film has some
effective gory set pieces, and the final twist will make you chuckle.
Best enjoyed over a few beers with mates, Attack of the
Werewolves is a good, no-nonsense fun movie – nothing
more than that, but it doesn’t need to be.
IT NOW (UK) BLU-RAY