Here comes the fuzz! If you haven’t checked out Wolf Cop on Netflix then do so immediately. I caught up with the mad Canadian behind the horror comedy, director Lowell Dean, to chat about what the hell he was thinking when coming up with ‘that’ transformation scene and tried to pick his brain on what to expect from the upcoming sequel.
Wolf Cop is directed and written by Lowell Dean and stars Leo Fafard, Jesse Moss, Jonathan Cherry, Amy Matysio and Sarah Lind. The film is available now on Blu-ray but you can check it out right now on Netflix. A sequel is currently in development for a tentative 2016 release.
An alcoholic cop blacks out and wakes up in unfamiliar surroundings, and crime scenes seem oddly familiar when the full moon is out.
Major Spoiler Alert for those who haven’t seen Wolf Cop yet:
Keven: When you came up with the concept of Wolf Cop, which you described as Teen Wolf meets Bad Lieutenant, did you know that one day you’d wind up filming a sensual wolf man prison sex scene?
Lowell: I didn’t know that scene would exist right off the bat, but I will admit it was one of the first scenes that popped into my head as I was developing the story. I knew pretty early on. I don’t know why, I was just trying to brainstorm werewolf movie moments that I hadn’t seen before.
Keven: How strange was it filming that scene (which went on for way too long to amazing effect by the way) and did any of the cast have difficulty getting through that one?
Lowell: It was a strange to film, mostly because it was so weird. Especially being there in person – the hardest part was not laughing. We had shorter versions of the edit, but in the end the longer “rough cut” was the funniest. And the most awkward.
Keven: Leo Fafard is brilliant as Lou aka Wolf Cop, he starts out as this vile leading character and of course ends up being this anti-hero that we can route for. Which types of characters did you draw inspiration from aside from the obvious Bad Lieutenant influence?
Lowell: There was no specific character inspiration for Lou Garou, I just loved the idea of a classic screw up loser, and the idea of giving super powers to someone who wouldn’t use them responsibly. I thought about the Spider-Man line “with great power comes great responsibility” and imagined the comedy involved with giving similar powers to someone who would instead use it to rip a guy’s face off.
Keven: Elaborate on what went into making the initial transformation sequence in which we actually start with Lou’s dick – his freaking dick – right there in our faces. It was easily the best wolf transformation since An American Werewolf in London.
Lowell: Thank you! That was creativity born out of limited budget. I sat with our practical effects artist Emersen Ziffle and we made a list of transformation shots we wanted to see. We looked at our long list and realized we’d be lucky to get 3 or 4 shots, so we better make it count. So we turned our attention to what we had never seen before – a crotch shot.
Keven: A lot of the love Wolf Cop is getting at the moment is from fans who are checking it out on Netflix and the main shout-out seems to be that it’s a fun but cheesy romp. You really did strike a solid balance between that ‘in on the joke’ vibe while still maintaining a serious and interesting story – how difficult and important was it for you to find that groove?
Lowell: Striking that balance was the hardest part of making the movie. It was a struggle every day. I knew people would laugh at the movie because it was called WolfCop, but I also wanted them to care about the characters. I felt the biggest part of my job was being the “tone police” and letting things be funny but a CERTAIN type of funny, not a run away parody of a B film, but an honest to goodness B film, if that makes sense.
Keven: Practical effects – you use em and you use em very, very well. What was the most difficult effect to pull off in the movie and did anything just not work out at all due to it being too difficult?
Lowell: They were all difficult! Emersen and his team really had their work cut out for them. The biggest challenge was always we only had enough material for 1 or 2 takes at most of each gag, so we had our fingers crossed things would work out on the first take. The werewolf transformations were well planned so they went off without a hitch. The fight scene gags were a bit harder because you weren’t standing still, so there was some uncertainty where the blood would spray or where the severed limbs would land.
Keven: You introduced supernatural villains in the form of shapeshifters – please tell me you have a new monstrous villain that can go head to head with Wolfcop in the sequel?
Lowell: Yes, we do. But I can’t say what yet.
Keven: You teased that the sequel will be dirtier and that Wolf Cop will get a beat-down this time around. With the first film being an origin tale, do you feel it’s time to create a memorable villain to rival our hero this time –if not though — in which direction do you want to take the follow-up?
Lowell: The sequel is “more and better”. Not just bigger for bigger sake (though it NEEDS to be bigger) my biggest goal is amping up the crazy and having some better action. The first WolfCop was definitely an origin story, this one will be more fast paced from the first minute to the last.
Keven: What are your filming plans for Wolf Cop 2 – when do you start, where do you plan to do it (in Canada?) and when do you hope to release it?
Lowell: We will shoot in Canada, but exactly where in Canada is still being determined. I hope we are shooting in the next few months so that we can release it in early 2016. Time will tell!
Keven: I’m Canadian and I love the scene that my fellow countrymen and filmmakers like you and Jason Eisener are revitalizing that have this Grindhouse vibe to them – What are you working on after the Wolf Cop sequel?
Lowell: I actually have a couple other horror scripts ready to go. I’d love to tackle those next, and take on any other exciting projects that come my way!