Pity the poor Werewolf

It’s been quite a week around here, heavy with context, parent stuff, and well, grumpiness from a variety of sources. I think I could use a break from all the deep thinking. With that in mind, I’ve decided to ease things up a little around here. So everyone crack open the beverage of your choice, being sure to let it breathe if necessary, sit back, relax, and ponder this incredibly compelling question:

What has happened to the portrayal of the werewolf in modern media?

Seriously, think about it. Back in my day, and, really going back even longer than that, the werewolf was an icon of beastly horror. And more importantly, one quite capable of standing on its own in the act of bringing horror to small villages far and wide.

Michael Jackson’s werewolf in Thriller scared that poor cute girl into a the arms of a gang of zombies. And he was gonna do the right thing to that chick after chasing her around; she was SO gonna get torn apart. Not like the “monsters” of today’s media, that are more likely to get broody than bloody.

I remember when I saw An American Werewolf in London for the first time (I perhaps was a wee bit younger than the R rating suggested; thank you, Showtime!) and was mesmerized by both the incredible wolf transformation scene (which admittedly seems a bit hokey now), and the utter brutality of the beast. The simple advice, “stay
on the road and keep clear of the moors,” has been with me ever since then.

So what have we been given recently? Werewolves as second class citizens in vampire-based productions.

Now, I will be the first to admit that the Underworld series of movies seem to do okay in this regard. Those beasties were, at least, fierce. Still, just like all the other offerings in the past few years, it turns out there’s a lyncanthrope pissed about losing a chick.

When I was a boy, werewolves were scary, by gum, not just shirtless and jilted.

Hollywood did recently produce a movie called The Wolfman, which I haven’t yet seen. The reviews for it weren’t really the best thing ever, but I can’t remember the last time a critic looked favorably on a monster movie. Netflix tells me that it should arrive in my mailbox today. With that bright red paper envelope comes hope that maybe someone’s made a werewolf movie with some ferocity.

When it comes to the werewolves, it seems, hope springs eternal from the mailbox.