Wednesday 31 October 2012

Review: Attack of the Werewolves

Attack of the Werewolves (Lobos De Arga) is a Spanish comedy horror written and directed by Juan Martinez Moreno. It is set in a remote village called Arga, where a 100-year-old curse troubles the residents. Our protagonist Tomas (Gorka Otxoa) is an unsuccessful writer who travels from Madrid back to the small village, which he hasn’t visited since he was fifteen. He is the male descendent of the ruthless Marchioness of Marino, his great-grandmother, who forced herself on a gypsy knife thrower and became pregnant with his son. She then destroyed the camp where he lived and killed all of the men, women, and children. The gypsy’s wife put a curse on her, which caused her son to transform into a werewolf.

The villagers of Arga have invited Tomas back to receive an award, and he thinks it will be a good place to do some more writing. At first he is welcomed with open arms, but things aren’t what they seem. The locals want to sacrifice him to lift the century-old curse and rid themselves of the terror that has haunted and hunted them for years. According to the legend, if a male Marino is eaten by the creature exactly 100 years after the curse was inflicted, the village will return to normal. If not, an even worse curse threatens to befall the residents.

Tomas is captured and thrown down into the tunnels beneath the village with his publisher Mario (Secun de la Rosa). Calisto (Carlos Areces), his childhood best friend, searches for them with the help of Tomas’ loyal dog Vito. Tomas discovers the werewolf down in the dark and barely escapes it. The group then have to flee from the villagers while also trying to figure out how to put a stop to the dangerous curse.

Attack of the Werewolves is atmospheric, chilling, and also really funny. There are a number of humorous scenes in the film, like the villagers getting confused about the curses, Tomas trying to get a phone signal, and the group’s unconventional attempts to lift the curse. The comedy horror includes nods to classic werewolf films such as An American Werewolf in London and The Wolf Man, which obviously provided inspiration for Juan Martinez Moreno.

I love werewolves and they don’t get as much focus as other horror monsters such as vampires and zombies. Attack of the Werewolves is the best werewolf movie I’ve seen since the brilliant Dog Soldiers, which is one of my favourite films. It has great physical make-up effects rather than crappy CGI beasties and is very tongue-in-cheek but with an effective Wicker Man-style tone. It also has solid performances from the main cast (including the adorable dog), who play very likeable characters. The film is suspenseful, with a well-structured story, and good-looking locations. It does a great deal with its limited budget and pays homage to legendary genre movies while providing a fresh take on the werewolf film.

[DVD screener provided by flickfeast. Review originally posted here]

Friday 31 August 2012

Upcoming Releases - September '12

Here is a selection of films due out in UK cinemas next month.

Lawless - 7th September

Crime | Drama | Western
115 mins
18 certificate
Main cast: Tom Hardy, Shia LaBeouf, Gary Oldman, Jessica Chastain, Guy Pearce, Mia Wasikowska
Director: John Hillcoat

'Set in Depression-era Franklin County, Virginia, a bootlegging gang is threatened by a new deputy and other authorities who want a cut of their profits.'

Official site:

Dredd 3D - 7th September
Action | Sci-Fi | Thriller
95 mins
TBC certificate
Main cast: Karl Urban, Olivia Thirby, Lena Headey, Domhnall Gleeson
Director: Pete Travis

'In a violent, futuristic city where the police have the authority to act as judge, jury and executioner, a cop teams with a trainee to take down a gang that deals the reality-altering drug, SLO-MO.'

Official site:

Anna Karenina - 7th September

130 mins
12A certificate
Main cast: Keira Knightley, Jude Law, Aaron Johnson, Kelly Macdonald, Matthew Macfadyen, Olivia Williams
Director: Joe Wright

'Set in late-19th-century Russia high-society, the aristocrat Anna Karenina enters into a life-changing affair with the affluent Count Vronsky.'

Official site:

The Sweeney - 12th September
Action | Crime | Drama
112 mins
15 certificate
Main cast: Ray Winstone, Ben Drew, Damian Lewis, Hayley Atwell, Steven Mackintosh
Director: Nick Love

'Sometimes you have to act like a criminal to catch a criminal. Ray Winstone and Ben Drew star as part of an elite police unit in the explosive action film The Sweeney, based on the '70s UK TV show.'

Official Facebook page:

Premium Rush - 14th September

Action | Thriller
91 mins
12A certificate
Main cast: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Michael Shannon, Dania Ramirez, Jamie Chung
Director: David Koepp

'In Manhattan, a bike messenger picks up an envelope that attracts the interest of a dirty cop, who pursues the cyclist throughout the city.'

Official site:

ParaNorman - 14th September
Animation | Adventure | Comedy
93 mins
PG certificate
Main cast: Kodi Smit-McPhee, Anna Kendrick, Leslie Mann, Casey Affleck, Christopher Mintz-Plasse
Director: Chris Butler, Sam Fell

'A misunderstood boy who can speak with the dead takes on ghosts, zombies and grown-ups to save his town from a centuries-old curse.'

Official site:

To Rome with Love - 14th September

Comedy | Romance
112 mins
12A certificate
Main cast: Woody Allen, Penelope Cruz, Jesse Eisenberg, Alec Baldwin, Judy Davis
Director: Woody Allen

'The lives of some visitors and residents of Rome and the romances, adventures and predicaments they get into.'

Official site:

Savages - 21st September
Crime | Drama | Thriller
131 mins
15 certificate
Main cast: Aaron Johnson, Taylor Kitsch, Blake Lively, Benicio Del Toro, John Travolta
Director: Oliver Stone

'Pot growers Ben and Chon face off against the Mexican drug cartel who kidnapped their shared girlfriend.'

Official site:

Looper - 28th September

Action | Sci-Fi
118 mins
15 certificate
Main cast: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Bruce Willis, Emily Blunt, Piper Perabo, Jeff Daniels
Director: Rian Johnson

'In 2072, when the mob wants to get rid of someone, the target is sent 30 years into the past, where a hired gun awaits. Someone like Joe, who one day learns the mob wants to 'close the loop' by transporting back Joe's future self.'

Official site:

The Campaign - 28th September
85 mins
15 certificate
Main cast: Will Ferrell, Zach Galifianakis, Jason Sudeikis, Dylan McDermott
Director: Jay Roach

'In order to gain influence over their North Carolina district, two CEOs seize an opportunity to oust long-term congressman Cam Brady by putting up a rival candidate. Their man: naive Marty Huggins, director of the local Tourism Center.'

Official site:

Information obtained from IMDb,, and the films' official websites.


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Monday 20 August 2012

Superhero Splatter Art

Canadian artist Melissa Smith has created a series called 'Splatter Art', which includes comic book and video game characters. Here are some of her works featuring the splattered superheroes Batman, Spider-Man, and The Avengers.


[via DesignTAXI]

Wednesday 15 August 2012

Vintage-Style Street Map Features Over 900 Film Titles

UK-based design studio Dorothy has created a map with over 900 film titles as street names, parks, lakes, and other features. Loosely based on the style of a vintage Los Angeles street map, the 'Film Map' features a patch of grass called Jurassic Park, with Lake Placid and The Temple of Doom in it. It also features a large stretch of water called Reservoir Dogs, with Shutter Island and The Island of Dr. Moreau in the middle. An A-Z key at the base of the map lists all of the films featured along with their release dates and directors.

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