The film was both written and directed by Lowell Dean, who met up with PopWrapped last week at Wizard World Raleigh to share some exclusive info on the inspirations and goals for the creation of WolfCop.
For Dean, WolfCop "is the kind of movie you make to engage with people." He knows the title and premise of the film are lovingly-ridiculous, which support his goal of bringing something new and exciting to the fans.
"Half the fun for me is seeing what people say and interacting with them,” he said. There is a strong ownership for Dean with WolfCop because of his dual role as a writer/director. He loves both arts and has been writing and directing for the past decade. Dean shared that "it always feels a little more personal when you’re writing. You figure out all the problems and concerns you have... [and you're] doing the fun crazy ideas where you can go anywhere."
The film was financed through the CineCoup Film Accelerator, which Dean admirably referred to as the “American Idol for filmmaking.”
He explained that they first created a trailer for WolfCop to prove their concept and were originally looking for some werewolf-loving financial backers. But when that didn't go as planned, they entered the CineCoup competition in Canada with the movie trailer and became a part of the three-month filmmaking program.
With the support of CineCoup and voters nationwide for their film, the won the program and had WolfCop featured in Cineplex Theaters in Canada. The attention the program brought to the film was electrifying, and though he had control over the crafting process of the movie, Dean noted that "directing on an independent budget level is like fighting for your baby. It’s almost like… you have this great idea… wanting to paint this great painting that you have in your head, and then someone gives you just two brushes, and goes ‘ok, make it.’” Low budget restraints aside, WolfCop is a remarkable product of an intense workshop filmmaking experience. It seems as though two brushes were enough for Dean to unfold a unique new classic for werewolf fans everywhere.
So how does someone get started writing comedy-horror cult classics? Having a love for monster movies, of course. You might be surprised to learn though, that werewolves had not been Dean’s only recent focus within the horror genre. “I think horror is a really great genre, and truthfully, I spent the last five years kind of developing zombie things. And as much as I love zombies, and I still really do, you reach a certain point where you think, ‘Well, does the world need another zombie movie right now?’”
To design a new comedy-horror film, Dean went back to his youth for inspiration in what got him hooked on the genre in the first place. “Teenwolf was my gateway drug,” Dean explained. “In hindsight, it’s a super weird movie. I just remember as a kid being kind of obsessed with that. It was a weird, darker kind of a thing.”
In crafting his own film for this unique film genre, Dean explained that his inspirations for WolfCop were “born out of frustration with what [he] wasn’t seeing" from other werewolf films.
"I wanted to bring it back to the 80s feeling and practical effects, the actual guy in a costume versus a digital werewolf,” Dean said. “I guess kind of back to the whole Teenwolf thing… the idea of him being a good guy. Werewolves are typically the thing is the shadows everyone’s running from, and I liked the idea that he was the one chasing the bad guys.”
“As soon as werewolf fans heard about the idea, they were honestly very supportive of the movie. They were voting for us at CineCoup… There was a werewolf fan who drove from the States up to Vancouver just to see it! They all seemed pretty supportive. I think they think we added a bit to the mythology, hopefully.”
To create his own spin on some of the lore, he had to brainstorm and create new twists on some classic “werewolf rules”. Dean started by looking back at films from the 1930s with the idea of werewolves being created by a curse and took off from there to set some new standards, while still honoring the classics.
With nods to laughable police stereotypes and classic werewolf lore, Dean shared that once the script was drafted, there was an entire edit that was dedicated to adding in puns and nods to other famous tales (including the admission of both Little Red Riding Hood and the Three Little Pigs… in their own uniquely twisted, comedic style). And of course, it wouldn’t be a police film without doughnuts. Lots and lots of doughnuts.
Despite his nervousness about how werewolf fans would react to his film, Dean is proud of how WolfCop has added a chapter to the anthology of films. “It’s so cool, especially for this small movie… you feel like ‘Do we have a place?’ and [werewolf fans] are getting behind it.”
When asked if the media’s reaction to the film was what he had been expecting it to be, he immediately replied, “It’s better. I was expecting to get one or two good reviews and cut them out for a scrapbook, but there have been a lot!”
He admitted he was concerned that people would write the movie off as a joke, but he feels that the audience has mostly come into the experience knowing what kind of a genre they’re getting with WolfCop.
“It’s a drinking movie; it’s a midnight movie with your friends. It’s not something you should watch alone. It’s a communal experience in the honor of the late-night drive-in movies… It’s a party movie. Check your intellect at the door and just come and have fun. Get your friends together with liquor, and doughnuts, and come watch it!”
Even though WolfCop was released in Canada last June, it re-launched last week in the United States on DVD/Blu-ray. The film features Leo Fafard, Amy Matysio, and Sarah Lind. Check out the trailer below and be sure to grab your copy of the DVD!!https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Spd_v-d5-xs&h=500