Wolfhound (2002) *1/2
D: Donovan Kelly
C: Julie Cialini, Allen Scotti, Jennifer Courtney, Brian Monaghan, Samantha Keaveney
Plot Synopsis: A writer trying to trace his ancestral roots in Ireland falls under the spell of a mysterious, shape shifting woman, but finds himself torn between his family and his new found passion for this mysterious stranger.
Review: Going into a film released under Roger Corman's New Concorde label with Playboy Playmate Julie Cialini half naked on the cover, I knew what I was getting into. This was going to be a film designed to feature Cialini in various stages of undress and on that level, Wolfhound delivers. Not only is Cialini naked throughout, but there's a bevy of big breasted women that get naked as well.
On the other hand, I couldn't ignore the potential of the material. The film deals with a writer who packs his family off to Ireland in order to trace his roots. It's there, in Ireland, that this writer encounters a mysterious woman and an array of shape shifters. For these shape shifters, their human side is only one facet into who they are. The premise is intriguing since it deals with the animalistic urges that lie within us. This is the type of premise that they could've done so much with, but other then placing the main character in a foreign land and having some of the characters shape shift into animals that represent their personality, that's about all there is in terms of substance.
I could picture some of Roger Corman's alumni such as Katt Shea (Poison Ivy) or Amy Holden Jones (Mystic Pizza) having a field day with this kind of material. After all, both Shea & Jones have worked on films that dealt with sexuality, but were also thoughtful and that had something to say.
I went into Wolfhound not expecting much of anything. Usually, these low budget Skinamax type films feature the bare minimum of plot & character development and plenty of sex & nudity. Yet, I couldn't help walking away from Wolfhound feeling cheated and betrayed. The film takes an arresting concept and reduces it down to soft core formulas. [R] 80 / 86 mins.
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