Another Wolfcop Director Lowell Dean & Effects Artist Emersen Ziffle Talk Their Big Bad Gory Sequel (Interview)

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[Exclusive] In celebration of the Canadian theatrical release of Another Wolfcop, I picked the brains of director Lowell Dean and his effects wizard Emersen Ziffle about some of the film’s most shocking moments and much more. WARNING – MAJOR SPOILER ALERT FOR ANOTHER WOLFCOP!

From director Lowell Dean (Wolfcop, Supergrid) comes the sequel that everybody has been craving for years – Another Wolfcop. The Canadian soon-to-be cult classic stars Leo Fafard, Amy Matysio, Jonathan Cherry, Laura Abramsen, Yannick Bisson, Jessica Hinkson, Serena Miller and Kevin Smith. Another Wolfcop hits Cineplex theaters December 1, 2017 in Canada.

Alcoholic werewolf cop Lou Garou springs into action when an eccentric businessman with evil intentions seduces Woodhaven’s residents with a new brewery and hockey team in this outrageous horror-comedy sequel.


WARNING – MAJOR SPOILERS FOR ANOTHER WOLFCOP

Keven: Congratulations on topping the weirdest sex scene of all time with the new king of furry hotness in Another Wolfcop. Did it have to go on for so damn long though? You had them doing everything – was anything cut? Haha

Lowell: Believe it or not some shots actually didn’t make the final cut, haha. Yes it is way too long but the awkwardness is part of the appeal. The sex scene in the first WolfCop is actually our original assembly cut, which I find hilarious. Even as the rest of the film got cut down in editing, no one wanted to cut down the sex scene. Not even by a frame. I think there’s something weird about letting them be so long and drawn out, in both instances… even though they are both on the opposite ends of the spectrum for a “love making montage”.

emersen and lowell
Lowell Dean (l) & Emersen Ziffle (r)

Keven: Whose idea was it to cover Leo’s face in that “gunk” and just… why? WHY? I was legit appalled – never have I laughed and gagged so much at the same time before.

Emersen: We really wanted to sell the idea that Lou and Kat were really getting their ‘juices going’. I have always been a fan of tendrils of stringy sticky goo on film, and Lowell and I agreed that this was the time and place if any to give the audience a dose of good ol sticky goo. It seems to a have given the audience a great reaction.

Keven: The soundtrack was beautiful – Strange Animal in particular was the perfect anthem. Did you have that song pegged from the beginning or when did it come into play?

Lowell: The song Strange Animal was earmarked to be in the sequel before we even had a script. After getting Gowan’s Moonlight Desires in the first film, it felt like a no-brainer. Luckily for us, Gowan is wonderful! Not only did he let us use the song, he even came to Saskatchewan for a cameo. Like the 1st WolfCop, this film has a great soundtrack and a score provided by Saskatoon’s Shooting Guns. I love the balance they strike, especially in the sequel, between hard rock and synth. So perfect for this world. It really sets the tone.

wolf cop strange animal

Keven: The action was definitely ramped up from the first film and you’ve mentioned that you prefer shooting comedy/action, but it must have been a nightmare trying to film all that carnage during the “hatching” sequences right?

Lowell: The whole final showdown at the hockey rink was a logistical nightmare, especially since we had 4 days to shoot it ALL and there was so much going on all around the rink. I get occasional stress flashbacks to those shoot days, how fast we moved and how chaotic it was. Luckily every action scene in the film was storyboarded and heavily discussed… but that still doesn’t prepare you for how fast you have to move and how you are lucky if you get two takes out of any gag. Usually it was “one and done” unless something went wrong. Emersen Ziffle and his FX team had to move like warriors those days.

Keven: Most Canadians just know how to skate, but did anyone have issues trying to film an action sequence on ice, in costume, while slashing and or impaling badguys with a hockey stick?

Lowell: Leo Fafard is a great skater, so I was never worried about him, nor was I not prepared for how cool it would be to see WolfCop on skates gliding around the ice! The Darkstar goons were cast based on their skating ability, since most of them wear masks and just have to skate around fast and face off against Lou. Honestly, I was mostly worried that I would fall on the ice since I tend to run and get excited and I’m a huge klutz. Thankfully, I did not! 

wolf cop hockey

Keven: Emersen, you worked on Krampus (one of my favourite movies maybe ever) and you did a lot of the puppetry work on the evil toys — because of your experience doing that, is that why you felt like you could do the hatching scenes and did that influence the script at all?

Emersen: I definitely wanted to do puppets mostly because Lowell and i love puppets, but yes the work I did on Krampus certainly did influence decisions and methods that we used. On Krampus I had the seemingly endless talents and resources of The Weta Workshop. We employed classic puppet processes as well as ultra modern techniques and we had months to prep. Whereas on Another Wolfcop I had an amazing team but we lacked enough time and resources to make anything overly complex. But we were also ready and prepared to embrace the shifters for what they are. This is a Wolfcop Movie after all and we are here to see crazy silly stuff and have fun. All you have to do is add slime and sound effects and the audience will buy it.

Keven: Were you stoked or terrified at the prospect of creating the shifter hatchlings? Also – what inspired the look of them, because I had this flashback to Ghoulies and it was really unsettling because they were sorta cute but mostly hideous at the same time?

Emersen: I loved the idea of the Hatchlings/Baby Shifters. We knew from the get go that they would be old school hand puppets with limited control. We made them out of flexible foam that allowed the performers to flail around with them safely and to their hearts content. I was also able you jump in and puppeteer them if need be for a hero shot. In total we made about 12 of them and one with a full body.

emersen ziffle krampus
Behind-the-scenes of Krampus with Emersen Ziffle

Keven: You really opened up the floodgates on the paranormal aspect of the Wolfcop universe, not only adding more of the reptilian shape shifters, but the inclusion of a Werecat?!?! Using the moonrock was a genius move – how did all of that come together and did you have to scale anything back due to budgetary reasons?

Lowell: So much of that last act changed on the fly, mostly due to time constraints, but that’s just how it goes in the world of indie films. The cool thing is that when moments that get cut in a film like this, they can possibly be brought back in the future through sequels… so I shouldn’t talk too much about them. The mythology is a ridiculous, ever evolving aspect of the WolfCop universe. It kind of grows as we paint ourselves into new corners and find new stories. The origin film didn’t need to concern itself with how many times Lou Garou becomes a werewolf, but with the sequel we wanted to find a way where Lou could be WolfCop more than once or twice a month. So moon rocks felt like a fun, weird way to do so – plus it continues the dangerous trend of Lou and his addictions. Could be interesting to see what happens if Lou goes too far down the path of moon rock use! 

Keven: Not only were there a lot more practical gags in this movie, but Lowell’s film really called for more paranormal elements as well, with the inclusion of a Werecat, the shifter babies etc – Emersen, which were your top three visual gags in Another Wolfcop?

another wolfcop leo fafard

Emersen: 

  1. I love ‘Boom Pole Joel’ A simple gag but it is a great start to the film — it’s shocking and happens to an actual make-up fx crew member of Another Wolfcop.
  2. When wolfcop punches his hand through Matthew Kennedy (Astron 6) who drives the delivery van in the opening chase.  It is so unexpected and shlocky. I just love it.
  3. And my absolute favourite gag is when Wolfcop jerseys one of the Darkstar Hockey player’s actual skin up and over his torso. It is a real crowd pleaser for hockey and horror fans alike.

Keven: I loved the adjustments to the Wolfcop look this movie, definitely more metal than the 1.0 version. But how did you make that wolfcock though? And did anyone dip into the mold for that monster? Or scarier yet – that isn’t Leo’s actual dick is it?

Emersen: All I can say about the wolfcock is that I cannot confirm nor deny that it was molded off any particular cast or crew member. As well it weighs exactly 1lb.

Read my review of Another Wolfcop HERE

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