Friday, August 10, 2007

Skinwalkers, AKA Yet Another Unneeded Werewolf Retread

We're too sexy for our skin, too sexy for our skin, too sexy for our...

There are certain cycles that are unavoidable in the movie world, reappearing trends that are constantly revived and rehashed in order to capture the new, younger audience that has not yet learned to treat these time-honored standards with the contempt and scorn they deserve. Buddy-Cop films, Teen Cross-Dressing Comedies, Body Swap Comedies, and pointless Parody franchises are among the top offenders, coming back to haunt each new generation like a hereditary case of syphilitic dementia.

Hereditary genes seem to play a major part in the latest of these reoccurring film genres, this one being the Reinvention of an Old Movie Monster #3: Modernize the classic film monstrous curse as a medical or genetic affliction, and create two factions of the monsters; one group who wants to be cure, and the other who is quite happy being creatures that prey on humans, thus giving a suitable excuse for excessively boring melodramatic dialogue about the origins of evil and morality whenever there is a pause in the action.

Ever since films like Tarantino’s schizophrenic gangster/vampire film Dusk to Dawn, and Len Wiseman’s pseudo-Anne-Rice-meets-Matrix melodramatically-masturbatory two-hour rock video Underworld (and apparently the critical failure of the horrendous sequel means nothing to Wiseman or his keepers, as the bastard’s working on a prequel now), and *shudder* the Blade franchise, it seems that the classic horror monsters of the old days have become today’s action stars. Creatures that used to hide in the shadows and off-camera are now dressing in skimpy skin-tight costumes and performing dazzling stunts and fight sequences in between soft-core pornographic bestial-sex scenes.

So where does this trend leave us? This weekend, it leaves us with a movie poster featuring a sexy werewolf beast-woman, so we can already expect enough furry people doing it Lon Chaney Junior Style to put the shape shifter orgy of The Howling 3 to shame. Add a bunch of bad biker werewolves doing their best to rip off Near Dark, who are at odds with the gentle werewolf played by film veteran Elias Koteas, who despite his stature and experience has still managed to lose top billing to professional Television Pretty Boy Jason Behr. To spice up this mess, just add a young child that supposedly holds the genetic key to curing the werewolves, plenty of over-the-top action sequences, a few tough women with guns (including the mother, of course), and a apocalyptic Red Moon for a handy excuse to film the last half hour in red so we can show more blood without risking an NC17. All you need now is a new generation of unsuspecting movie goers to inflict this modern retelling of cinematic clich├ęs, which, unfortunately, there is an endless supply of.

The only way this film redeems itself is if it ends with the bad boy werewolves tearing apart the boy like fresh bread and feasting on his steaming innards, only to pause and turn the blood-soaked slack-jawed expressions to a giggling Koteas, who explains between fits of laughter that consuming the child was the only way of utilizing the cure, and his constant attempts to protect the child from them were merely part of an elaborate April Fools joke.

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