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Werewolf Wednesday…Southern Werewolf Chronicles by J. Morgan, Review of Wolf Blood (1925), and Werewolf Book Recs

These may be too along the lines of that Betsy the Vampire Queen series for me, which I just found annoying and twee, but I tend to give werewolf stories a try anyway.

Book One: Were Love Blooms

Blurb: Madison Lee thought she’d put her European vacation behind her, until the full moon turned her into a hairy beast. A year later she has come to grip with her new life, now her whole world is blown apart. The man who gave her a night of incredible passion and an uncontrollable urge to howl at the moon shows up in town with his sights on taking over her family’s business.

Hot on his heels a stranger comes to town with more than the rustic scenery on his mind. He’s a monster hunter out for Nicholi’s blood and just maybe hers if he finds out her not so little secret. How is a Southern Deb supposed to deal with lovers, killers and the biggest Cotillion of the year all at the same time? Madison soon learns Where there’s a Were, there’s a way and it leads straight to love.

Book Two: Were the Moon Don’t Shine

Blurb: Madison Lee thought her life had become the fairy tale dream she’d always imagined it would be, when the werewolf of her dreams had shown up and popped the question. All it had taken was a group of monster hunters trying to kill her to convince him to bend a knee. Now, thanks to Nicholi’s sister, Jessica, she’s found out he’s been kidnapped and it’s up to her to find him. She refuses to be left at the altar! With her brother Jonas and Jessica tagging along, Maddy uncovers a plot to not only ruin her perfect wedding, but to kill not only Nicholi but her too! Even though she doesn’t know which makes her madder, she knows one thing. Come hell or high water, she’s finding her future husband and teaching these lowlifes that you don’t mess with a Deb’s man. Ever!

I have to admit, the titles made me snort with amusement. If you’ve read these, drop a comment and let me know what you thought, please.

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AND YOU CALL YOURSELF A SCIENTIST! has a fantastic review of WOLF BLOOD (1925). Definitely makes me want to watch it, and read more of that site to see if I like the other reviews just as much.

Excerpt: While it may be a disappointment to some viewers, it is a fact that all the werewolfery in Wolf Blood occurs entirely in Dick Bannister’s mind. There are no transformation scenes here, no full moon, no family curse; just a case of profound psychological disturbance. However, given that lycanthropy may actually be an extreme form of mental illness, I don’t see that this choice disqualifies Wolf Blood from being classified as a werewolf film proper. It certainly does nothing to lessen the horror of Bannister’s immediate situation. Wolf Blood also sits comfortably within the werewolf mythos inasmuch as what happens to Bannister is not his fault.

“Not his fault” up to a point, anyway: Bannister certainly buys into the thought of his inevitable transformation with surprising alacrity. The screenplay, which blames the loggers’ belief upon their being superstitious and credulous by nature, blames Bannister’s upon his weakened condition and the debilitating nature of his injuries.

Still, the willingness of this “civilised” man to believe the worst does tend to suggest some deep-rooted personal issues. He might not be the man-beast of his fears, but Edith may still be getting a bit more than she bargained for.

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Ruby’s Reads: Anything with a Smidge of Romance has a list of werewolf books she recommends and a list she doesn’t recommend. I haven’t read many of them, so I’m adding to my To Read list.

Month of the Werewolf…Day 1: Werewolf: The Beast Among Us, Ward’s Island, Game of Werewolves

My plans for Month of the Werewolf 2012 have been delayed due to a death in the family, but for now, have some werewolf-inspired links.

Werewolf film Ward’s Island, about an outbreak of werewolves in NYC, was shooting in Buffalo. I’m a little intrigued at Buffalo being used as NYC.

Toronto After Dark 2012 final films announced, including Game of Werewolves (Spain).

When a struggling young writer returns to his remote village home after years away in the city, he’s shocked to discover it’s become cursed by werewolves and also that he might just be the only one who can stop them. Fantastic old school effects, great werewolf fight scenes and kills, and an endearing misfit hero makes multiple Audience Award winner GAME OF WEREWOLVES an absolute delight for fans at every festival it plays!

Werewolf Wednesday…All Hallows Evil (Lord of the Harvest) trailer, Skittles + werewolves, Carrie Vaughn interview, werewolves and mental illness

From DreadCentral.com, a new trailer for All Hallows Evil (Lord of the Harvest).

Synopsis: The sleepy town of Hallowed Hill is known by many as the Halloween capitol of the world because of its history and its pagan origins. People from all around come to visit the town on the night of All Hallows Eve. Two hundred years ago, on Halloween, a great evil was unleashed on the town by a witch who dabbled in the black arts. After a long night of mayhem brought on by this terrible evil, a select group of townsfolk were able to stop the witch and dispatch the evil back into the darkness from whence it came. Now, 200 years later, a young girl finds an ancient pagan book archived deep in the old cellar of the local library, and with the help of her wicked foster mother, the two again release the evil Sam Hain from his hell-bound prison to once again wreak havoc on Halloween night. The question is, can the town join together to stop the evil, or will Hallowed Hill be completely devoured by the Lord of the Harvest.

That trailer looks incredibly, horribly cheesy. Terribly cheesy. Unbelievably cheesy. I really want to like this movie (a town banding together to save itself, a werewolf, full moon, monsters everywhere), but oh my god, the acting and the effects in that trailer, no. Maybe itw ill end up being so cheesy it is awesome. I hope.

Speaking of werewolves and cheesy things that are also delightful, this Skittles commercial is something else.

Weird! Hilarious! There are a ton of commercials in this set, and I’m having way too much fun watching them. Oh, Skittles.

91.5 KUNC has an interesting interview with Carrie Vaugh, author of the Kitty Norville series. In particular, I was interested in what she had to say about the appeal of werewolf stories.

Excerpt:

Ensuing Chapters: What is the fascination with the werewolf? Maybe a theory on what, culturally, the fascination is, and personally, why you chose a werewolf?

Carrie Vaughn: I can tell you what traditionally the werewolf is, and the werewolf is interesting because for about the last 130 years it’s been pretty much the same thing. It hasn’t changed. The vampire has changed a lot. It’s become this other creature representing sin and decay coming from outside the community, and now it’s a symbol of power and immortality and forbidden pleasures and all of these highly sexualized, highly powerful metaphors. So the vampire has changed a lot.

Werewolf stories just have never gotten their time in the light. There have always been werewolves, but culturally, they’ve kind of been stuck in this ‘beast within’ type story. I’ve been calling it the Jekyll and Hyde story. With a few exceptions, every werewolf story—that has focused on werewolves specifically—has been the Jekyll and Hyde: Somebody who’s been overwhelmed by their base instincts and the beast within bursts out and destroys everything and then it dies. The end.

There’s just not a whole lot you can do with that. If that’s the story you’re focusing on, it always has the same trajectory and the same end. You can tell really good stories with that. I think An American Werewolf in London is brilliant, but it’s the same. You get infected, you struggle with the beast within, which bursts free and does horrible things, and then you die. Ginger Snaps, which is another great, recent werewolf movie, the same kind of thing. Even though it kind of turns it on its head. I feel like culturally, people haven’t gotten past the idea that werewolves represent the struggle with base nature, and it’s always the struggle with the beast within. And the beast within always has to lose.

One of the reasons I decided to make the main character a werewolf was to try to get past that metaphor. We can have good stories about werewolves if we’d just get past the idea that werewolves are always doomed to fall victim to this beast within dichotomy. Let’s pretend that you can actually be a well-balanced, functional werewolf who is in control of the beast within and you can actually function in society. What happens then? That just opens it up. Werewolves can then become characters rather than these metaphors, which is what they end up seeming to be in most of the stories that you see them in.

While I think she’s said some interesting things here, I do think there are stories to be told using the monster within metaphor. In particular, I often tell stories where werewolves and mental illness are entwined, and I think those are important stories to tell. In my experience, dealing with a mental illness often feels like dealing with the monster within, and I want to see stories that explore having functional lives while at the same time having that monster within that never goes away. Because you can have a beast within and have a life where you function in society.

Werewolf Wednesday…Wolf Lake dvds, Werewolf: The Beast Among Us photos, Hotel Transylvania’s Wayne the Werewolf

Wolf Lake The Complete Series comes to dvd in November. I have so much love for this delightfully cheesy show, I can’t wait to finally own it!

Fangoria has exclusive photos from Werewolf: The Beast Among Us. The more I see of this movie, the more excited I am to watch it. October can’t come soon enough!

(Hopefully October will also include a visit to the Werewolf Forest at The Beast, one of Kansas City’s haunted houses. Rumor has it (or at least website has it) that The Beast is America’s largest haunted house. I’m looking forward to giving it a shot.)

Werewolf News.com has some adorable artwork of Wayne the Werewolf and his family from Hotel Transylvania. I’ve been kind of meh about Hotel Transylvania so far, but this definitely helps. (Baaaaaaby werewolves, basically.)

Werewolf Wednesday…Werewolf: The Beast Among Us, Newcastle Werewolf, Jack and Diane, Wolves, Snake River wolf pack howling

Werewolf: The Beast Among Us official trailer

I am so excited for this, based entirely on werewolf + woman with a flame thrower. I don’t even care about how (delightfully) cheesy the rest of the trailer is. (Unfortunately, it also looks very likely to suffer from damsel in distress issues, but maybe not.) Universal is celebrating its 100th anniversary, and if this is the way it will celebrate, I am thrilled. More monster movies, please!

From Brewbound.com, Newcastle Werewolf available nationwide in the US until October. Maybe I will finally get to drink my damn werewolf beer! (Tech Guru bought me wolf beer the other day. I’ll have a howling party sometime soon.)

“Werewolf is a dual-character brew that pours “blood” red, starting smooth and ending with a bite.”

Delight!

Jack and Diane theatrical trailer

I remain intrigued by this movie, and can’t wait until its November release. This trailer makes me think it won’t have nearly enough werewolf to it for me, though. (Still, lesbian werewolves for the win!)

From DreadCentral.com, a new werewolf pack in David Hayter’s Wolves.

From the press release: WOLVES follows the story of Caleb Richards (Till) – a young, handsome eighteen-year-old with an edge. Forced to hit the road after the death of his parents, Caleb finds his way to an isolated town to hunt down the truths of his ancestry. But in the end, who’s hunting whom? With WOLVES Hayter’s goal is to start an original franchise that avoids many of the cliches that have become associated with werewolf films. Igor Studios’ Dave Elsey is designing the original creatures for Wolves, hot off his success creating “Beast” for X-Men: First Class, for which he recently won a Saturn Award.

I’m not too sure about it avoiding the cliches based on that description, but it is something I look forward to watching.

Oregon has posted some of the Snake River wolf pack howling.

While not werewolves, it is amazing. Listen to the pack in the distance; it gives me chills and makes my breath catch every time I listen.

Werewolf Wednesday…Alabaster: Wolves, Hemlock trilogy, Blooded and Full Blooded, Secret McQueen series, and Feeding Ground movie and graphic novel

This edition of Werewolf Wednesday is mostly things I haven’t read yet but would like to read soon.

Alabaster: Wolves by Caitlin R. Kiernan and Steve Lieber

Anyone reading this comic? I am intrigued, though from the preview, I’m not sure how I feel about the art. (Not even entirely sure it fully qualifies to be included in Werewolf Wednesday, but some of the reviews I’ve read have hinted that way, and now I’m curious.)

Hemlock Trilogy by Kathleen Peacock

I am really intrigued by the premise here.

Description from Peacock’s website: Mackenzie and Amy were best friends. Until Amy was brutally murdered. Since then, Mac’s life has been turned upside down. She is being haunted by Amy in her dreams, and an extremist group called the Trackers has come to Mac’s hometown of Hemlock to hunt down Amy’s killer: A white werewolf. Lupine syndrome—also known as the werewolf virus—is on the rise across the country. Many of the infected try to hide their symptoms, but bloodlust is not easy to control. Wanting desperately to put an end to her nightmares, Mac decides to investigate Amy’s murder herself. She discovers secrets lurking in the shadows of Hemlock, secrets about Amy’s boyfriend, Jason, her good pal Kyle, and especially her late best friend. Mac is thrown into a maelstrom of violence and betrayal that puts her life at risk.

A werewolf virus sweeping across the country? Infected hiding among us? Uncontrollable bloodlust? Main character sleuthing out the truth of her best friend’s death? Toss in some delightfully snarky dialog and I am there. I hope this ends up being as awesome as it sounds.

(Oh, damn, I think I like the UK cover better, though. Deadly Hemlock, beware the wolf within. Gorgeous red riding hood imagery.)

Blooded and Full Blooded by Amanda Carlson

(No relation.)

I hadn’t heard anything about this novella (Blooded) and follow-up novel (Full-Blooded) until today, but I am at least tentatively interested.

Description from Amazon: Jessica McClain was born the only female in an all male race. The only problem is-she’s no wolf. Called a curse, a witch and the Daughter of Evil by the superstitious wolves, Jessica decides to fight for her freedom, at age nineteen, the only way she can-in the ring. When she’s brutally attacked right after her fight, is it enough to finally earn her freedom off Compound, or will she be forced to endure the hatred even longer . . .

The review that brought this to my attention made me think that Jessica was a werewolf, but the Amazon description has me sort of doubting it. Either way, I’m interested, though I am leery of only-female-[whatever] in an all male race. Often that means one female character who never interacts with any other female character, and that sucks.

The bit about fighting in the ring does have me excited, though. I’ll have to look into whether the novella will be incorporated into the novel and I should wait until it is out, or if I should grab the novella first.

Secret McQueen Series by Sierra Dean

I am particularly intrigued by the description of the first book in the series, Something Secret This Way Comes.

Description from Dean’s website: Some secrets are dangerous. This Secret is deadly. For Secret McQueen, her life feels like the punch line for a terrible joke. Abandoned at birth by her werewolf mother, hired as a teen by the vampire council of New York City to kill rogues, Secret is a part of both worlds, but belongs to neither. At twenty-two, she has carved out as close to a normal life as a bounty hunter can. When an enemy from her past returns with her death on his mind, she is forced to call on every ounce of her mixed heritage to save herself—and everyone else in the city she calls home. As if the fate of the world wasn’t enough to deal with, there’s Lucas Rain, King of the East coast werewolves, who seems to believe he and Secret are fated to be together. Too bad Secret also feels a connection with Desmond, Lucas’s second-in-command…

I am a fan of stories about bounty hunters, werewolves, and vampires, at least until they go so very very wrong. This sounds like it might be fun, and if it is, there are a number of stories already available. (As much as I love discovering a great series from book one, I also love having plenty to read when I discover something awesome and new to me.)

From Fangoria.com: Ed Pressman is Feeding on Werewolf Project

Description from Fangoria: The FEEDING GROUND graphic novel, created by Swifty Lang, Michael Lapinski and Chris Mangun, is about a “coyote,” or trafficker of illegal immigrants across the Mexico-U.S. border, who has to smuggle his own family into the States when his younger brother crosses a gangster. Their trek takes them into an area known as the Devil’s Highway, where they’re stalked by supernatural creatures. The book was published simultaneously in English and Spanish last year, and the movie will feature a mix of dialogue in both languages.

Something about this sounds really, really familiar. I think I’ve read a short story like it recently, but I cannot put my finger on where. (Hee, were. No pun intended though.) I think the one I read had either a woman shapeshifter or a woman hunting the shapeshifters. I will have to check my files, I know it can’t have been that long ago.

Anyway, I think Feeding Ground has the potential to be an excellent movie, and I want to get my hands on the graphic novel.

Have you been reading anything great lately? I really need to take inspiration from Eliza Reeve and start working my way through books I already own before I buy anything else, but (a) I desperately need to organize my book collection, both hard copies and ebooks (I am seeing the appeal of a dedicated ebook reader) and (b) so little time, so many stories (to read, to write).

Werewolf Wednesday…

FDR: American Badass trailer

Potential for racism and sexism and ableism: high. HOWEVER, werewolves at war + silver bullet shooting wheelchair = AMAZING. Also, the cheese level here is amazing. Cheesy werewolf movies for the win.

Werewolves takes the form of an illustrated journal that plunges readers into the life of a high school girl-turned-werewolf as she makes her transformation. After Alice and her brother are bitten by what they assume are large dogs, her journal/sketchbook becomes a place for her to record the changes they start to experience her socially awkward brother falls in with some creepy new friends, and she surprises herself with new strengths and instincts and a suddenly nonvegetarian interest in raw steak. Joining the werewolf pack that bit them, they discover the pleasures and dangers that come with the cycles of the moon, including threats from “hunters” who stalk them, a researcher seeking a cure, and escalating violence within the pack itself. With a fresh take on the lore and legend, Werewolves gives fans a ripping tale to sink their teeth into.

Good grief, I am tempted to overnight this because I want to read it RIGHT NOW. I wonder what the odds are that one of the bookstores here, independent or chain, would have this in stock. Probably low, unfortunately. But this has the potential to have so many things I love: siblings! werewolves! sketchbook as journal! navigating the new strengths and instincts as a werewolf! pleasures and dangers that come with the cycles of the moon! researchers working for cures! pack politics and violence! At least on the surface, this looks nearly custom-made to be something I will love.

From Bloody-Disgusting.com, werewolf found footage film from the team behind Devil Inside.

The plot is being kept under tight wraps, but the film is expected to follow in the found-footage style of Devil Inside. Bloody Disgusting did the actual leg work and exclusively learned the project is a werewolf film. We’ve been told that the pic takes place in police station with the suspect turning into a werewolf.

I didn’t actually know Devil Inside was found footage. I am cautiously excited about the werewolf movie, though I fear there will be a lot of first person (as it is, you know, found footage), which can be a problem for me, but maybe it will worth it. I hope it is worth it. I love the idea of a found footage werewolf movie, though we’ll see how the execution is. (I’d love to read the book equivalent of a found footage movie. A diary? Or even just a collection of short stories that are like the scenes of the movie? I will give this more thought. If you have any recommendations, that would be wonderful.)

From Werewolf-News.com, MacGuffin’s Curse werewolf puzzle game.

WEREWOLF PUZZLE GAME, YES PLEASE! This is almost as awesome (or, probably, way more awesome) than the werewolf slot machine I found one glorious night in a casino. (And then, much like an elusive werewolf, I couldn’t find the damn thing the next time. They got rid of it, and my heart broke a little. If I can track one down, I am going to buy it. It was a slot machine with a story built into it, and it was amazing.) But this! MacGuffin’s Curse looks like it will combine the awesomeness of werewolves with the fun of puzzle games (and this is probably a personal preference, but I think puzzle games are full of fun) in fabulous ways. I am really looking forward to giving this a try. WEREWOLF PUZZLE GAME!

I Recommend…Trick ‘R Treat (2007) (Month of the Werewolf Day Four)

Well, Month of the Werewolf ended up being a fail for me, in part because I either incorrectly set up some of the posts to publish or WordPress had a big glitch, and in part because I got sick and then incredibly busy at work and with my family and didn’t have time to troubleshoot or write more posts.

But there are three days left, and I am going to slip in smaller versions of some of the posts I intended to do. We’ll see how many I can get done. I am also working on a story for an anthology that is due on Tuesday, and I have other work to do, so I must split my time between projects.

Here is what would have been Month of the Werewolf Day Four.

Trick R’ Treat (2007): Four interwoven stories that occur on Halloween: An everyday high school principal has a secret life as a serial killer; a college virgin might have just met the one guy for her; a group of teenagers pull a mean prank; a woman who loathes the night has to contend with her holiday-obsessed husband.

I love stories that weave through each other, and I love horror movies, and I love Halloween stories. Mostly, I find Trick ‘R Treat to be fun, sometimes slightly cheesy horror and occasionally a little boring, but I love one of the four stories so much that it really carries the rest of the movie for me and makes it one of my favorite Halloween movies.

Below the cut, there will be spoilers for that plot.

more…

I Recommend…Never Cry Werewolf (2008) (Month of the Werewolf Day One)

I know the trailer looks incredibly cheesy. No, really, I do. And the movie is a little cheesy, the special effects not awesome. However, this is one of the best werewolf movies I’ve seen, for a lot of reasons, but mostly for this: Loren, the main character, played by Nina Dobrev, kicks ass. She’s amazing, tough and smart and determined and brave. Things I love: women kicking ass, siblings teaming up to hunt monsters, girls with crossbows and guns, werewolves on motorcycles, dramatic shots of the full moon. Things this movie has: all of that and more.

So yes, at times incredibly cheesy, and I absolutely do not buy Peter Stebbings as this hot new guy whom all the women want, and there is more women-as-victims than I like, but mostly, this movie is a joy and a delight, and I highly recommend it for you Month of the Werewolf movie needs. (Or your horror movie needs. Or your Halloween needs. This movie is multipurpose, obviously.)

Plus, if you like Nina Dobrev in The Vampire Diaries (which I do, though I’ve only seen season one), she’s kick ass and badass and awesome here too.

I actually don’t own this one yet, because I hate the only cover I’ve ever seen in person, which has Loren looking like a victim and is from one of the few scenes I really hated, but maybe I will buy it and then paste this picture on top of it, because it makes Loren look like she’s a motorcycle riding werewolf hunter and oh, god, how much do I need that sort of story in my life? A LOT.

Loren is my favorite werewolf hunter ever.

Film Friday…Riddick 3, Resident Evil, and Fangland

1) Vin Diesel and Riddick 3

From a few different places, but most recently Boomtron, Vin Diesel reveals new Riddick 3 art. I sort of love that Vin Diesel shares concept art via his Facebook. I’m also thrilled with a new Riddick movie. Pitch Black is amazing. The Chronicles of Riddick, not so great, but I do have a certain fondness for it, too. And I am always a fan of Vin Diesel. (Less than a year until the next Fast and the Furious movie, and I could not be more excited about it!)

Speaking of actors I love who have been in the Fast and the Furious series, check this out!

2) Michelle Rodriguez and Resident Evil

From Bloody-Disgusting.com, Michelle Rodriguez to reprise her role as Rain in Resident Evil. I freaking love Michelle Rodriguez (I was just telling someone today about why I stopped watching Lost), and I found her so intriguing as Rain. I’m excited to see what will happen now that she’s back. (Downside of being a Michelle Rodriguez fan: she tends to die in her roles. Or at least appear to be dead and then return later, which I would be frustrated with, except it means we get more Michelle Rodriguez and that is a good thing. I’m not just looking at Resident Evil here, either.)

I really have no segue into the next movie. Sorry.

3) Stake Land (The most dangerous thing is to be alive.)

Via From Midnight, With Love, a vampire movie released in 2010 that I had no idea existed, and it looks incredible.

I’ll say right off the bat that I wish the main character, who appears to be Martin, was a girl. I am tired of all the stories being about the boys, and then the girls are the victims, the villains, the love interests, or all of the above. (Oh, Supernatural, why must you hate women and characters of color?) That being said, however, I need to purchase this movie immediately, because the trailer is full of things I love. Traveling to survive, banding together to survive, road trips, horror in the corn fields (god, corn, so freaking creepy and yet so delicious), characters fighting for their lives, guns, stakes, monsters that actually eat people — I could go on and on.

I think I’m going to start doing mini movie reviews for Film Friday, as well as talking about movies I can’t wait to see. I tend to write long reviews, which I simply don’t have time to do right now, but maybe if I try hard, I can keep it to a few hundred words and check some things off my To Do list. (For example, I still have “review Fast Five and heist movie + characters of color” on my To Do list. I watched Fast Five awhile ago now. (Though it feels like it was just the other day. This year is getting away from me.) I’m focusing my writing time on fiction mostly, but a few hundred words about the movies I enjoy would be fun.)

What movie news has you excited right now?