2008-11-18 : Werewolves

Here's Wikipedia:

In 1692, in Jurgenburg, Livonia, [a man named] Thiess testified under oath that he and other werewolves were the Hounds of God. He claimed they were warriors who went down into hell to do battle with witches and demons. Their efforts ensured that the Devil and his minions did not carry off the abundance of the earth down to hell. Thiess was steadfast in his assertions, claiming that werewolves in Germany and Russia also did battle with the devil's minions in their own versions of hell, and insisted that when werewolves died, their souls were welcomed into heaven as reward for their service. Thiess was ultimately sentenced to ten lashes for Idolatry and superstitious belief.

I dreamt about this last night. I dreamt that there were six beautiful werewolves, sisters (Thiess testified that, yes, some werewolves were girls and women), doing battle with witches. I saw only a small part of a battle, in which a witch killed one of the werewolves. The witch was like this and it crouched over the werewolf and stabbed her again and again with its hair. The werewolves were powerful creatures, but the witches were various where the werewolves were all similar. The witches knew and could always exploit the werewolves' weaknesses, but the werewolves had to constantly learn and scramble and adapt. It made the battle very uncertain.

I woke up writing dialog:
"I wish you wouldn't say things like that about witches," she says. "I'm a witch."
The werewolf rolls his eyes. "A witch," he says. "Of course."

(Ron: my movie store is very sad. It has no Martin. Instead I watched Rise, a movie that kept trying to transcend cliché but never managed.)

1. On 2008-11-18, Renee Knipe said:

Few vampire films are going to compare to Martin.

Of course, a friend could, say, lend you a copy...Fed Ex probably wouldn't cost much more than a rental fee.


2. On 2008-11-18, Vincent said:

Ooh! Ooh!

Email me at lumpley at gmail.


3. On 2008-11-18, Vincent said:

Hey Renee, Ron and I talked a tiny bit about this last night, and I used to talk about horror flicks with you all the time - what werewolf movies are good?


4. On 2008-11-18, Julie aka jrs said:

I'm not Renee (although it is my middle name), but I'd recommend The Company of Wolves. I also like the classic An American Werewolf in London and have a fondness for Brotherhood of the Wolf (serious eye candy there).

I really haven't seen many werewolf movies; I have a greater preference for vampire movies, like say, Martin.



5. On 2008-11-18, Renee said:

You know, the standard.

American Werewolf in London, The Howling.

More recently, Ginger Snaps, but you know that already.  Dog Soldiers is fun, but the werewolves are almost incidental...they could be any big nasty threat to life and limb.

Going back a ways, Curse of the Werewolf (with Oliver Reed) is fantastic.  It's been years since I've seen it, but it made a lasting impression.

The Beast Must Die is a fun variation of Ten Little Indians.  It's kind of obscure.

Romasanta: The Werewolf Hunt (just Werewolf Hunter, domestically) surprised me with how good it was.  And for my money, has the best transformation scene since 1981.

Oh, and The Company of Wolves is pretty interesting.  One of Neil Jordan's first films.  I'd love to hear what you (or Ron) have to say about that.  It's based on a famous feminist short-story, In The Company of Wolves, although it veers wildly from her text.

Spanish actor Paul Naschy has made like fifteen million werewolf movies over the past 30 or so years, all featuring the same character.  I've only seen a couple, and I wasn't that impressed.  But the versions I saw were U.S. releases and severely edited.

I am eagerly anticipating Werewolf In A Women's just because, well, because it's a werewolf movie set in a women's prison.  No one else should get their hopes up for this one.

There are a few new films due to hit this year...hopefully they'll be good.  In general, there aren't that many great werewolf movies out there.


6. On 2008-11-18, Matthijs said:

(I just saw Let the Right One In - a Swedish vampire movie, no less. About school bullying & pre-teen relationships. Highly recommended).


7. On 2008-11-18, Joshua A.C. Newman said:

Yes yes! The Company of Wolves! I love that movie very many.


8. On 2008-11-19, Brand Robins said:

If you liked the first Ginger Snaps, the other two are worth watching as well. I actually liked the second most of the series, but my taste has been criticized for that choice.


9. On 2008-11-19, Renee Knipe said:

I thought Ginger Snaps 2 had some clever ideas, but was overall not very entertaining.  The third one gets points for creativity and ambition, but they had too much going on for their budget to sustain.

The buzz is great for Let The Right One In.  And, per usual, it's already been snapped up for a needless English-language remake.  As soon as it's available in Europe on any kind of DVD, I plan on owning it.


10. On 2008-11-19, Lukas said:

Like Matthijs, I just saw Let the Right One In.  It's one of the best vampire movies I have ever seen.  Almost everything is very low-key and underplayed so that when the creepy things happen they really jump out.


11. On 2008-11-19, Anon said:

I read a similar story once of an account from inquistion times of someone admitting they went out at midnight on certain nights of the year to battle demons or fairies or some such to try and prevent them from stealing away things like "the abundance of the earth", healthy livestock and crops.


12. On 2008-11-19, Ron Edwards said:

Hi Vincent,

I forgot to mention one of my very favoritest scary movies ever, The Brood. Oliver Reed's in that one too.

Best, Ron
still haven't seen Ginger Snaps yet


13. On 2008-11-20, Ron Edwards said:

Oh, and you and the others here may or may not have heard of these weird ... well, "games," I guess in a way, they're called role-playing games anyway. Too complicated to explain here. But if you want, find this one called Dead of Night, because that dream and the imagery and stuff, well, it can really do what you're talking about. Especially that contrast between the witches and the werewolves, along with the creepiness.

Best, Ron


14. On 2008-11-21, Vincent said:

It's a sorrow in my life. I'm the only person I hang out with who likes horror. All my dear creative community and who'll go see Quarantine with me? No one will. Who'll play Dead of Night? Nobody.

(I showed them. I saw it by myself.)


15. On 2008-11-21, Ben Lehman said:

I like horror.

Clearly you need to come visit.


16. On 2008-11-21, Julie aka jrs said:

Clearly I need to get off my butt and visit so that Vincent doesn't have to watch horror by his own self.


17. On 2008-11-21, Joshua A.C. Newman said:

... and then we can hang out when you're done!


18. On 2008-11-21, Eero Tuovinen said:

Hmm... I'll have to remember to have Dead of Night at hand when and if I see Vincent at some point. I can definitely see doing the witches and werewolves in it. In fact, I'm going to steal that dream and play something along those lines with the teenagers here...


19. On 2008-11-22, Lukas said:

Mmmm zombie movies.  My true horror love.  What did you think of Quarantine?  The shakey-cam does not sit well with me, but I thought it was a finely-crafted zombie offering otherwise.  I really want to see REC.


20. On 2008-11-23, Uriel said:

You must see Let The Right One In. I watched it yesterday here in Sweden, and I have been thinking about it constantly since. A truly wonderful movie, a future classic for sure and one of the best I've ever seen. I've read some interview with the director Thomas Alfredsson, whose other movies are also great by the way, and I think that his dislike for traditional horror movies helps a lot. There are no sudden jump frights, instead the shoots are long and relentless. And the vampire cliches are there for sure, but not camp in any way, only subtle and creepy, like the vampire Elis eyes in the dark.

For you who have seen it: What if Hakan (the caretaker) relationship to Eli once began exactly in the same way as Oscars ending? I thought about that all night.

Go watch now!


21. On 2008-11-23, Julie, aka jrs said:

Hmm. I didn't think of it in terms of the same beginning as Oskar's, but there had to be a beginning and you are left wondering what it could have been. More chilling to me is how might Oskar's relationship with Eli end.

I just saw the movie. I rank it up there among my favorite vampire movies (along with the aforementioned Martin).


22. On 2008-11-24, Brewmiester said:

Haven't finished it yet but Neil Gaiman's The Graveyard Book refers to werewolves as "Hounds of God".


23. On 2008-11-24, akooser said:

Well if you are ever in New Mexico drop by our horror movie night. We hold weekly movies with dinner!

Some recommendations:
Spirit of the Beehive
Far North, 2007
Cemetery Man
House with Laughing Windows (weird Italian Gothic horror)
Tetsuo: Iron Man
Happiness of the Kitikaras
Tomb of the Blind Dead (all of them, they are very bad)



24. On 2008-12-29, Dan Eltringham said:

Ah Martin, my favorite vampire film!

There are a lot of interesting historical ideas about werewolves, and what people who claimed to be werewolves thought about themselves and how they became werewolves.

An interesting read is The Book of Werewolves by Sabine Baring-Gould.  The book was written in the late 1800s by Christian minister who authored the famous hymn "Onward Christian Soldiers".  He apparently believed that werewolves existed.
"wer-wolves' by Montague Summers isn't worth your time though.  I have a lot of interesting books on the subject; werewolves were a lot cooler before it was all wolfmen and silver bullets.  In fact, the only time silver was used against a werewolf before Lon Chaney Jr. was when a bullet made from a chalice blessed by a priest was used to take down the Beast of Le Gevaudan.
Also, turning into a werewolf used to almost always be a deliberate action, from putting on a magic wolf pelt or a salve.


RSS feed: new comments to this thread