REVIEW: Wolf Guy
– By Sooz Webb
Based on the Manga series that bares the same name, Wolf Guy: Enraged Lycanthrope is as awesome and batshit crazy as its title makes it out to be. The story focuses on Akira Inugami, the sole survivor of an ancient clan of werewolves, who were all wiped out, or so he believes, when he was a child. Utilizing his supernatural powers to solve crime, the now adult Inugami prowls the streets like a lycanthropic Columbo, minus the glass eye and chatter about ‘just one last thing’. His latest investigation sees him involved in a mysterious conspiracy, where brutal and bloody murders are being carried out by an unseen presence known only as ‘The Tiger’, and the enigmatic cabaret singer who seems inexplicably linked to the case. As he uncovers more and more layers of deceit and corruption, Inugami discovers the most despicable plan of all; the J-CIA plan to harvest his blood to replicate his lycanthropic powers. Jeez, no wonder the guy’s enraged!
Now, while the premise of this movie might sound like an absolute mind-fuck, I’ve barely scratched the surface of psychedelic craziness. What unfolds on screen makes little to no sense most of the time, but the movie is such a wild and unfathomable ride, that structure and narrative would seem slightly burdensome. Prowling the streets, banging chicks and kicking arse is Sonny Chiba, as the manhunting manimal trying to make his way in the mortal world. Sashaying through vixens, viscera and violence with glint in his eye and a kung fu kick for good measure, it’s Chiba’s charisma that permeates through the screen, keeping us engaged with his roguish charm. We feel like we’re sharing a joke with him, that we’re in on the madness together, free to explore the vibrant visuals and bonkers concepts. The film certainly has a sense of humour about it, where else would a mouse be a legitimate choice of weapon? Yeah, that’s right, a mouse. As in squeak. And it’s all set to a 70’s funkadelic jazz beat, that wouldn’t go amiss in whatever your favourite porn movie of that era is.
The plot traverses the waters of action, horror, fantasy and mayhem, with soap opera style hysterics and some truly fantastic over acting. There’s definitely a schlocky vibe to proceedings, and fans of grindhouse and exploitation cinema will not be disappointed. And although there’s no actual, physical wolfy transformation, there’s enough trashy B-movie visuals and graphic gore to have you howling with joy. Weird, wacky and wonderful, Wolf Guy is an insane and hugely entertaining exploration into the creativity and bizarreness of Japanese cinema, that sets itself, tooth and claw, ahead of the pack.