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#1 2004-11-18 10:55:46

Chris Prunckle
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Why have werewolves been given the shaft?

Maybe it is just me, but it seems like werewolves have been given the shaft in terms of horror movies.  You have Vampires which have been blessed with the sex appeal of the horror genre.  You then have the zombie movies, which have been made everywhich way under the sun.  There are the slasher movies which are inexpensive and artistic in the gory bliss of death.  There are the supernatural suspense movies with ghosts vomit spewing on little boys.  After all this is the werewolf.  I know there have been a good amount of werewolf movies made, but most of them are lame and really pathetic in their puppetry or cartoony in their CGI.  To find a good one is few and far between.  The werewolf is one of the original horror themes so why are they the red-headed stepchild of the horror genre.  We have had enough Werewolves in the Hood type movies.  Why are more movies not dealing with the pure animalistic terror and ferocity that is involved?  I don't want to see quick cuts of a wolf head going in and out of the screen each time coming back in view with more blood splattered on it.  Give me a beast slicing the internals out of its prey.  Also what about the animal sexual nature?  Give me sex and blood.  Mix the two together to make it even better.  I have seen some decent representations, but man I think the ball is being dropped on this one. There is a mythic beauty to the werewolf.  Make there werewolf an animalistic beast that will make me crap my pants, weep in terror, and cheer for the fountains of blood.  I want a werewolf movie as fierce as what I see on the Discovery Channel or Animal Planet.  No more toned down, faded out representations.

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#2 2004-11-18 13:28:50

The Busboy
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Re: Why have werewolves been given the shaft?

Chris Prunckle, you made me laugh!  Great post Dude!  Werewolves must see more glory days in film!  Long live the werewolves!

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#3 2004-11-18 14:23:27

Chris Prunckle
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Re: Why have werewolves been given the shaft?

Exactly.  Zombie movies, which are some of my favorite, are probably the most gruesome of the horror genre.  If the zombie gene can make people resort to chaotic blood baths, I would think that a pure carnivorous gene would make things that much more violent.

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#4 2004-11-18 15:47:24

Speedbump
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Re: Why have werewolves been given the shaft?

It takes money to make a decent, on-screen werewolf. Most of the movies don't have the budget for that, or those that do lack the vision to pull it off properly. I thought Van Helsing had by far the best-looking werewolf in movie history (speaking only of the final scenes, not the Wolfman from the first 30 minutes), but it was a dorky plot that had no substance besides fluffy action.

Most werewolf movies botch the CG completely and settle for having their werewolves look like pitbulls with downs syndrome. It's a damn shame, but amazingly enough, we're all still dedicated to this genre despite all this.

Last edited by Speedbump (2004-11-18 15:48:39)

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#5 2004-11-18 16:17:37

Chris Prunckle
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Re: Why have werewolves been given the shaft?

See I think my favorite CG werewolf is in Underwold.  For coolness factor alone it rocked.  I also enjoyed Van Helsing so don't get me wrong.  The Ginger Snaps movies were solid and of course the transformation process from American Werewolf in London is classic.  The thing is could you imagine taking the werewolves from Underworld and putting them in a true blue horror movie.  I think I just filled the cup.

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#6 2004-11-18 16:34:00

Speedbump
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Re: Why have werewolves been given the shaft?

I agree, but all of the high-budget werewolf films are written for the trendy fluff-loving audience to garnish as much money as possible. So having great werewolf visuals and a great werewolf storyline simultaneously will be a difficult task for Hollywood to produce.

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#7 2004-11-18 16:49:19

Chris Prunckle
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Re: Why have werewolves been given the shaft?

I believe anything is possible if somebody has the testicular fortitude to get it done.  The fact that independent movies (Ginger Snaps, Dog Soldiers, etc.) can put out a quality movie for a lower cost makes me believe that an individual in Holyweird could get it done.  I have faith in Wes and maybe he can get it together for the beast.

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#8 2004-11-18 16:52:55

Chris Prunckle
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Re: Why have werewolves been given the shaft?

Oh and Speedbump, I must say that one thing I felt Van Helsing aced was the end scene with Hugh turning from a werewolf back into himself while holding Kate.  It was wonderfully sexy.

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#9 2004-11-18 17:23:42

Speedbump
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Re: Why have werewolves been given the shaft?

I too have a great deal of faith in independent films since they're creating ideas they find enjoyable instead of gearing everything towards pleasing the entire general public. Blockbusters please the masses temporarily, but a good indie flick will be a life-long memorable experience for the small group of people that will see it.

That's why I'm so eager to see what the Rio crew do with "Lycan Rising." It seems like it's going to be geared towards real werewolf fans and not the CG-inflated action movie fans.

Last edited by Speedbump (2004-11-18 17:25:01)

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#10 2004-11-18 19:54:07

The Busboy
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Re: Why have werewolves been given the shaft?

Speedy, I agree, I mostly only watch independant films these days (I buy them from amazon.com).  I also picked up a few independant horror films at horror convention recently.  Speedy and Chris, to get in along with the other posts here, I must say that I liked "Underworld," "Dog Soldiers," "Van Helsing" and all the "Ginger Snaps" movies too.

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#11 2004-11-18 20:03:36

The Busboy
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Re: Why have werewolves been given the shaft?

If I had a wish, I'ld wish someone would make a werewolf movie and fly us all out to be on the set as consultants, because you KNOW that movie would totally rock!  I can see it now:
Speedbump: "Uh, no jokes in the movie, cause that "Darkwolf" movie was so lame."
Chris Prunckle: "More blood, more blood!"
The Busboy: "Can you use a little less CGI."
Chris Prunckle: "More gore, more gore!"
Speedbump: "Can you throw in a pinch of the "Van Helsing" werewolf in there?"
The Busboy: "Yeah, and can you add a big dash of "The Howling" minus the "werepekinese" werewolf at the end?"
Speedbump: "Don't "sell out" on this movie, make it REALLY good."
Chris Prunckle: "Yeah, see my first post about that."

and the input goes on and on....

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#12 2004-11-18 22:57:34

Speedbump
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Re: Why have werewolves been given the shaft?

Hahaha

Don't forget the most important thing:
Speedbump: "This flick needs more boobs and adult situations dealing with lesbians and baby oil."

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#13 2004-11-19 00:03:00

WolfVanZandt
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Re: Why have werewolves been given the shaft?

O.o

And, here, I was wanting to see movies that cast Werewolves in a  positive light.....

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#14 2004-11-19 01:24:00

slave2moonlight
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Re: Why have werewolves been given the shaft?

I gotta go with Wolf Van Zandt on this. When I first saw this thread, I thought it would be about how unfair it was that werewolves are always portrayed as evil. I love a good horror movie, even a werewolf one, but speaking as a werewolf, it's a huge misconception. If you wanted to get "real" with the werewolves, basing them more on real wolves (which I'd be all for), you wouldn't have increased sexuality, and the killing would be much less, if at all. Real wolves don't go around randomly killing for the fun of it, and wolves don't whore around the way your average pet dog seems to. If it's blood and sex you want, better to look to the slasher flicks. Humans are more obsessed with blood and sex than any other creature it would seem, so they can hardly be called "animalistic" urges.

Still, all that aside, everyone here knows I fully appreciate a great horror film, even with werewolves as bloodthirsty baddies. I have to agree with what was previously said. You have big budget films, and you have indie films. The big budget stuff is, as has been stated, totally trying to be hip and cool. Usually, that means the story suffers, and sometimes even the effects, what with the CGI craze and all. Independents get more into the stories, but usually don't have much to spend, resulting in crappy effects (which turn off werewolf fans as quickly as a bad story).  But occasionally, you have masterpieces from either side, in all genres. I think, when it comes to werewolves, the independents have been more pleasing lately, particularly with "Dog Soldiers" (can't wait for part 2!). Actually, I LOVED Van Helsing, and I LOVED the werewolves in it (the other two more than the Velkan one), but it was more action/adventure than horror. And, as much as I love all the Harry Potter films (I know, not horror either), I was very disappointed in the look of the werewolf (the black dog looked more like an appropriate werewolf to me), and the fact that werewolves were depicted as flat out vicious once transformed, as usual. Underworld was not a horrible movie, but I found it far more dull than I'd expected, and the werewolves, though I appreciated how real they looked, not only didn't get enough screen time (in wolf form) for me, but if I remember correctly, they didn't have much hair to speak of! I HATE that! That was one of the things that bugged me about the Potter werewolves! I think Van Helsing's had the best overall look to date. But for horror, I don't think anyone could handle it better than "An American Werewolf In London." Of course, we all know how it was done by now, with the werewolf head prop and all, but before we were seeing behind the scenes clips or slow-motioning the VCR, it was pretty effective! "Howling" did an excellent job of showing the werewolves and still being FREAKY, and "Silver Bullet" wasn't bad (if a bit bear-like)! I've only seen the first "Ginger Snaps," and it was a long time ago. I can't say I remember it THAT well, so I really shouldn't comment. I guess it didn't blow me away though. In the horror genre, I don't think more gore is all that necessary (or effective), but I would like to see better werewolves (in the vein of Howling 1, American Werewolf in London, Van Helsing, and stuff like that). Actually, I'd prefer they avoid CGI, even though I loved the look of Van Helsing's creatures, but I know CGI is here to stay. I think it will always be unbelievable in horror films though (not just werewolf ones, either). CGI is good for enhancing stuff, but not for making your entire "monster" out of. Not if you want to scare viewers.

But, honestly, I don't think there have been THAT many great vampire movies either. TONS of them, but not so many great ones. More werewolf films are being made lately, so that might balance out someday. I don't know how "Lycan Rising" will come out at all. I'm curious and excited to find out and to be involved. I'd be surprised if it's got an effects dept anything like "Dog Soldiers" (I'm sure the budget will be much lower), and maybe I'm basing that too much on the pictures on the site) but I'll be interested in seeing what the final product is like, and hopefully, getting my name somewhere in the credits.

As for independent films, I like them more everyday, but I still love the big-budget shlock too, and sometimes they're pretty awesome in all aspects! Look at Spider-Man 2! Also, I've many independent studios act like the big studios, trying to simply make a film that will please an audience. But, with a low budget, that usually doesn't work, so it's not really much to worry about, except for the fact that the horror films usually fall into this category.

A final note: For my money, even if it had some goofy stuff in it here and there, the film that best captures a werewolf persona is "Wolf." Of course, I haven't seen EVERY werewolf film ever made.

Last edited by slave2moonlight (2004-11-19 01:46:05)


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#15 2004-11-19 04:03:45

Speedbump
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Re: Why have werewolves been given the shaft?

I was more or less joking about the boobs thing. It seems that most of the movies in the werewolf genre also follow all the prerequisites for a typical B movie. For it to be successful, it needs gratuitous amounts of blood/gore and tits extraordinaire. I've seen tons of werewolf movies, but I've yet to see a sincere werewolf movie (besides "Wolf") that didn't cater to either the B-movie crowd or the mainstream fluff crowd.

Part of that deals with the usage of CG. There's no way a movie can capture the true essence of a werewolf with prosthetics alone. It takes a ton of CG to make it work, but the technology isn't quite there yet. I'm a professional graphics designer, and part of my training came from 3d modeling, but quite honestly, Lightwave and Maya aren't quite up to par *YET* in dealing with realistic-looking fur textures. It can be done, but requires a huge monetary, and time, investment to accomplish a realistic werewolf.

Fortunately, the 3d technology has been advancing rapidly over the last few years. I went to Sigraph two years ago in New Orleans and got to preview the newest 3d hair effects. We tested a model's CG-rendered hair under various simulated weather effects, and it turned out great. That means that realistic fur renders should be on the horizon for those programs. Once those 3d programs can incorporate automatic, realistic fur effects, production houses will be able to use those effects quickly and cheaply.

We'll probably see a dramatic increase in the number of werewolf flicks released in the next five years or so due to those cheaper production costs. Hopefully, they'll use the surplus budget to hire good writers (hint-hint to the writers that frequent this forum).

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#16 2004-11-19 10:31:48

Chris Prunckle
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Re: Why have werewolves been given the shaft?

I have a lot to say about these most recent posts, and I am fairly certain that I will end up ticking someone off so fair warning. 

Werewolves will never be a sympathetic creature.  The creature in general is a rage induced bi-product of animalistic behavior.  I'm sorry I don't buy snuggling up to a big furry half man half wolf.  If you want that watch Teen Wolf.  Werewolves always have and always will be a beast, not a creature for us to empathize with.  The only pity we may be allowed to give is towards the individual is when they are in human form.  The werewolf folklore has always been used to teach a lesson.  "Don't give in to your animalistic natures.  If you do you will loose control of what separates you from being an animal." 

Don't give me this crap about wolves being violent only cause of man.  My uncle had a half wolf/ half german shepard.  The thing could pick up a cinder block in its mouth.  It was loyal as can be to him and a great guard dog.  If you notice I am using the past tense here.  The reason is cause his neighbors poodle got into his backyard and his dog ate it.  Didn't just kill it, but actually began eating it.  He didn't starve it or anything, the dog ate like a pig.  If anything it could be seen as a domination thing.  Of course he got in big trouble for the having a non-domesticated animal half-breed and had to put it down. 

This also reminds me of the bunk that surfaced during the past presidential election.  "W" had a marketing campaign using wolves to symbolize terrorists.  A wildlife organization (along with a member of Black Sabath) came out saying it was portraying wolves in a bad light.  Give me a break.  If you don't like the politics that is fine, but don't say the ad is hurting the wolves feelings.  You want me to protect a wolf's habitat, I will.  You want me to protect a wolf from having to see an animal shrink, I think you need to look in the mirror.  Animals are animals for a reason. 

People are problematic don't get me wrong.  We are obsessed with power and overcoming others.  Do you think this is just going to fade away if a person became a werewolf?  The one thing that should keep us in line is our conscience.   Well what if that wasn't there and we gave in to our blood lust.  Look at the evil that man does.  If man aquired the supreme power of a werewolf do you think he is going to be paper trained?  No he is going to go out there eat what he wants, screw what he wants, and crap where he wants.  There are people who do this now.  Is there some werewolf code of conduct that turns werewolves into hippie animals who are about peace and not violence.  (By the way hippies are some of the most angry and violent people I have had the pleasure of knowing.) 

Aside from all this, when I see a werewolf I don't want to see a sniveling coward that is crying cause the rest of his pack picks on him.  Werewolves are not meant to win the academy awards, they are meant to excite and frighten us.  Hollywood can make a huge big budget werewolf movie and make it successful.  Look at all the other click themes they have turned into massive successes.  Star Wars was a huge epic that was on a fantastic scale (only the original three count cause this new stuff is the equal to manure).  Spiderman is one of the top grossing films of all time and this is based on a comic book.  How many academy awards did Lord of the Rings walk away with?  Nerds can have their day in hollywood.  Don't hate just cause a movie has a budget.  Most independent movies are independent cause they suck, not because they are too out there for hollywood. 

I love blood and gore.  Give it to me and give it to me sloppy.  Don't dare turn my beloved werewolf into a nature advocate or someone who is crying in a confessional booth because of all of the sheep he has eaten throughout his life.  If I have pissed you off, well such is life.  Maybe you'll let your animal side out.

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#17 2004-11-19 15:33:36

The Busboy
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Re: Why have werewolves been given the shaft?

Hey everybody, I gotta say I see everyone's point, as I know some of your thoughts pretty well by now, after being on these forums for so long.  I do like the fact that everyone brings something different to the table/den.  Everybody seems to have a slightly different perspective on werewolves, some people go off of mythology only, some go off of multi-media they have seen, some go off of their own feelings, some go off of what they read in books, some go off of what they read in comic books, some people have a connection to wolves, and etc. etc. so there are so many aspects and feelings about what a werewolf should be or do or act like based on individual experiences and I find that absolutley facinating (especially from an anthropological aspect).  The true things that I know about werewolves are based on the numerous nonfiction books that I have read that are based on old tales and little actual written documentation and from mythology (the werewolves of those stories aren't exactly what I would want to see in a movie, although I would like to see a great and accurate movie of the beast of Le Gevaudan).  No werewolf movie has ever reflected the type of werwolves I've read about, but that's o.k., it's entertaining to me, I like having my select favorite movie werewolves, my comic werewolves, my friends here on this site and the true mythology of werewolves.  I learn a lot of things from these forums.  So, my personal thoughts on werewolves are different too, and I have reflected that through a book that I was writing on it.  I can relate how different people want to see werewolves portrayed, as obviously it is a very personal thing.  I do believe that there are different kinds of werewolves, and this is all based on ancient or much older histories and cultures, out of which we all come from different backgrounds, you gotta admit, it's facinating.  You also gotta admit the lack of proper documentation of werewolves (vampires, zombies and whatever else) also fuels the imagination, adds to the mystery, and creates all these different types of thoughts, no one can ever be on the same page on this especially the more and more you know about it.

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#18 2004-11-19 16:52:11

Chris Prunckle
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Re: Why have werewolves been given the shaft?

Busboy you are right and I agree.  What is garbage to one is treasure for another!  I will openly admit I love playing devil's advocate and starting debates.  I might want to see more rage while another wants to see more love.  Whatever you may want we all can agree on one thing, there need to be more high quality werewolf movies out there.

Last edited by Chris Prunckle (2004-11-19 16:52:49)

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#19 2004-11-19 19:05:09

The Busboy
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Re: Why have werewolves been given the shaft?

Chris, I agree with you that it would be great to have more high quality werewolf movies out there, I think you are right on target with that.  I think the book I was writiing has some great premise, but I'ld like to have a cowriter or someone to fine tune and rework parts of it.  This site inspires me to start writing again, I plan to this winter, I bought about 15 werewolf books in the past 6 months too, mostly nonfiction, as I was doing some research on the origin, mythology and cultural aspects that define real werewolves.  I also want to go for a factor of a story that is 100% believeable and accurate, we'll see.  I would really like to know the whole story and see all the actual paper translated documentation of the beast of Le Gevaudan, I know I would totally be inspired if I could get my hands on some real documentaion from France.  The stuff I have read in some books doesn't match other things I have read in others, so the books I have contradict themselves and I don't know which ones to go with.  When people write nonfiction, it should be nonfiction, I wish it were all real nonfiction, as nonfictional sources should never contradict each other, nonfinction is suppoesed to be nonfiction, oy.

Last edited by The Busboy (2004-11-19 19:10:57)

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#20 2004-11-19 19:25:00

WolfVanZandt
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From: Broomfield, Colorado
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Re: Why have werewolves been given the shaft?

Well, certainly Wolf (Jack Nicolson's Werewolf) was a sympathetic character and was popular. I think that a well made Werewolf movie with a sympathetic Werewolf (say based on The Wolf's Hour, St. Peter's Wolf, Howling Mad, or one of Alice Borchardt's novels) would go over very well. The problem is getting someone to do a decent movie with a sympathetic Were character. Wolf is the only one I can think of. (Teen Wolf was entertaining, but "good"? I don't think so.)

Frankly, I'm an advocate for sympathetic Were characters for an entirely selfish reason. RL Therians have their biggest battle dealing with the rest of society in that the average nonWere can't get past the horror movie and novel images enough to actually get to know us.

I enjoy the horror Werewolf movies but a few more positive representations would certainly help us in PR.

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#21 2004-11-19 19:54:53

Speedbump
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Re: Why have werewolves been given the shaft?

Busboy:  If you ever need proofreading and editing services, let me know. I'm currently editing a sci-fi novel for my cousin and having a blast doing so. I'd like even more chances like that so I can determine if I want to pursue a career in publishing later on in life.

I'd like to dabble in writing as well. I've got loads of novel and short story ideas, as well as several fully sketched story arcs, but my pacing leaves much to be desired. I love what I write as I write it, then turn around and hate it the next day.

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#22 2004-11-19 20:31:49

The Busboy
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Re: Why have werewolves been given the shaft?

Speedy, thank you, that's very nice of you.  I did have 3 people already edit the 6 chapters I had written and the outline of the entire book.  I had a sample audience of about 15 to 20 people read various chapters also (3 of which read the entire thing, as they said they couldn't put it down or wanted to read it all).  I do have a famous author who wants to read it already, and I have a literature major as one of my editors and as a "coach."  I just need to make the time to finish it, I recently got more direction from my "coach" on how to tie it together and got the insight I wanted on my characters, it was exactly what I wanted, so that was good.  I also needed a new place to finish writing (so I'ld be uninterupted and comfortable writing), and I just worked that out with a library by my place a few weeks ago, now I just gotta stop being so tired from my 2 to 3 jobs I work and do it.  I do plan to take some vacation time and go to the places I am writing about in my book, so we'll see.  By the way Sppedy, I hope this vampire party works out for next Halloween, as I am already looking forward to that idea and still tenatively planning on it.

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#23 2004-11-19 23:02:31

slave2moonlight
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Re: Why have werewolves been given the shaft?

Trouble with requesting more "high quality werewolf movies," is that (effects aside) that means something different to everyone. From this thread alone, you can see that what is high quality to one is low quality to another. As Chris said, one man's garbage is another's treasure (Quite frankly, I'm a hardcore classic Star Wars fan since childhood, and I'm lovin' the prequels, though they're not perfect).

Anyway, I'm not ticked off about anything that's been said, but it sadly shows a lot of ignorance to the fact that werewolves were not invented by Hollywood (reinvented, I'll grant you), and that their "evil" activities are hardly wolf-like. An example of a wolf-dog making a pig of itself is hardly solid evidence. I had a chow-lab mix that acted the same way (including picking up the cinder blocks in our yard, which is NOT violent activity), and a female friend of mine had a pet that was almost pure wolf, and her biggest problem was the escape skills. I could also throw in here that most people I know seem to make carnivorous pigs of themselves, and they're quite human. 

Strange that people can't "buy" snuggling up with a half-human/half-wolf, when people snuggle up to humans, dogs, and wolf-dogs everyday, and to define a werewolf as "a rage induced bi-product of animalistic behavior," well, hmm, that's just strange. Sounds more like the Incredible Hulk, actually.

"Werewolves always have and always will be a beast, not a creature for us to empathize with." This is a bold statement, since I know some people who have thoroughly researched the history of werewolves that would completely disagree. I'm going to assume you meant "in popular culture." Though that still would be incorrect. You can't discount films like Wolf, Teen Wolf, or the series, Werewolf, even if you dislike them or they don't match your ideal of what it means to be a werewolf. And certainly, Wolf and Werewolf hardly depicted werewolves as sniveling wimps, hippies, or anything of that nature. Frankly, I'm not a big hippie fan myself.

"People are problematic don't get me wrong.  We are obsessed with power and overcoming others.  Do you think this is just going to fade away if a person became a werewolf?"
Not at all, but not all people are like that. Anyway, this makes your ideal werewolf confusing? Exactly how much of their human identity would you want them to retain? In most of these films, the human completely loses his identity in werewolf form, when he goes around rampaging and killing. Supposedly, he's taken on the (very inaccurate) personality of a wolf. Which is why such films really do contradict themselves.

"Look at the evil that man does.  If man aquired the supreme power of a werewolf do you think he is going to be paper trained?"

Again, you are describing man as violent creatures in general, that would only become more violent in werewolf form. Not all people are interested in killing others, and most would do so discriminately if they had the power to. So, sure, I'll agree that a serial killer becoming a werewolf would be more dangerous than ever, but most human beings only have the desire to kill people who REALLY piss them off. If you are the type who desires the freedom to just randomly kill for the fun of it, you need to get help or something. It's not a trait you can blame on your wolfish side.

"No he is going to go out there eat what he wants, screw what he wants, and crap where he wants."
That all depends on how much of him is still human. Is this a wereWOLF or a weredog. The more wolf-like he is, the less likely he is going to be randomly screwing. I'll give you the crapping. As for eating what he wants, there's really no logic to werewolves going around eating humans. They're half human for one thing, and only a starving wolf would attack a human for food. Heck, there are actual cases of human children raised by wolves (and other animals) in this world. 

"Most independent movies are independent cause they suck, not because they are too out there for hollywood."
I will agree with this to a certain degree. Although, they're also an excellent source of masterpieces. And lots of times, the low budget is the whole reason they suck.

"I love blood and gore.  Give it to me and give it to me sloppy."

See, that is such a human characteristic. Projecting it upon wolves (and werewolves) really isn't fair at all. Quite frankly, I've noticed that animals introduced to cooked meat can often become spoiled for it over gory, raw stuff. 

Okay, Chris, I understand that your demands are for what you want werewolf films to be like, and that's cool. Just know that that in no way is a realistic or accurate depiction of what werewolves and wolves really are, were, or should be. It's purely the mass hysteria and pop-culture reinvention. But, as I said, I can get your point of view, because I've gotten into similar debates about Witches with some sensitive Wiccans in the past, who didn't share my love for broomstick riding hags on film (it was quite funny, because they were total hypocrites when it came to MY religion).

Last edited by slave2moonlight (2004-11-20 04:01:04)


"Good, bad, I'm the guy with the gun." -- "You'll shoot your eye out, kid!" -- "What's that star on the wall for?" -- "I've got a bad feeling about this." -- "I didn't get a 'harumph' outta that guy!" -- "You wanna talk to God? Let's go see him together. I've got nothing better to do."

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#24 2004-11-20 02:59:23

WolfVanZandt
Member
From: Broomfield, Colorado
Registered: 2004-09-01
Posts: 4711
Website

Re: Why have werewolves been given the shaft?

Historically, Werewolves only became "bad" after the church demonized them during the Inquisition. After that, "Werewolves" were nothing like before. In fact, they were finally recognized as mentally ill humans.

Before the 15th Century, people that were known as Werewolves were not evil (necessarily), nor were they mentally ill. In literature, there was Bisclaveret (a betrayed husband that was rescued by King Arthur and made one of his knights), Gorgolon (a bandit turned hero), William of Palerne's Werewolf (a hero),  the soldier in The Satyracon (a rake but not a murderer), an Olympic athlete, and Lycos (well, he was bad). The Werewolves of northern Europe were Banandantes and made it a point of protecting the people around them. Of the numerous saints associated with Werewolves, St. Christopher was one and St. Mercurius commanded an army of Werewolves. The patron saints of Werewolves are none other than St. Peter (which is why they're called Saint Peter's Wolves) and his brother St. Andrew (who with Bartholomew, was the first missionary to the Neuri, who were Werewolves). Between the 5th and 15th Centuries in Europe, Werewolves were looked on in a generally favorable light and that contiues in Eastern Europe even today. The Serbians have a tradition that they are decended from a huge black wolf and they call themselves Sons of the Wolf. And, on the average, modern Werewolves tend to be altruistic (if not always the most friendly) people.

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#25 2004-11-20 06:09:55

Speedbump
Member
From: Louisiana
Registered: 2004-09-21
Posts: 1140

Re: Why have werewolves been given the shaft?

Well, everyone is entitled to their own opinions, and a forum dedicated to an oft-misunderstood genre is a great place to learn things from different angles.

That being said, I disagree whole-heartedly with almost everything Chris has said. Granted, I'm a bit biased because I look at werewolf folklore from a shamanistic point of view. I believe that humans are a species of animal that unwillingly traded primal survival techniques for the technological luxuries we currently enjoy. Think about it... humans have actually devolved over time. We're nowhere near the sensory perceptions of most animals, very few of our kind know how to survive in the wilderness, and we're one of the few species of animal-kind that actually kill for pleasure. Sure, we can reason and invent, but how much have we lost to gain these new traits?

Now, I don't want to come across as being anti-human. I'm willing to speak at great lengths about mankind's failing in the face of being part of the natural order, but I do recognize that we, as humans, have a designated role. We have the ability to do a great deal of good for the betterment of the world as long as we put aside our various cultural (and religious) differences. The problem is that most average humans are incapable of doing so, and easily succumb to our instinctual desires of dominance and territorialism, not unlike wolves, but much on a more extreme level. Our ancestors have killed others of our species for much less than survival purposes.

By that notion, I like to see werewolf films that reinforce the natural order being restored. I feel (speaking extremely generally) that humans have grown more powerful than meant to be, and that the imbalance we cause dampers everything around us. We're bored in our own futility, and destruction is our crutch.

Werewolf movies, to me, give back a sense of freedom that we've shoved aside as humans. The werewolves are able to do things that most of us can only dream of. Unfortunately, most of these werewolf movies end tragically to confirm that freedom's price is never cheap; that instinct must usually take a back-seat to logic in order to survive in the current world. It's all a gigantic metaphor for the lives we desire to lead, but can't due to social structures. Werewolves know not of bashfulness or embarrassment, or even prudence. They exist only because they can exist, and that alone is enough to justify their being, whereas humans invent deeper meanings to console themselves into believing that there's more to life than simply living.

I'm going to go ahead and end things right here. I've already typed more than I planned to, and anytime I've got alcohol in my system, things quickly escalate into a full-blown religious debate. I absolutely love to argue, but it's not particularly wise to make enemies in a genre that so few people share an interest in. I'm more than happy to agree to disagree and focus on working together to create better ideas for the people that will follow in our footsteps and redefine our genre yet again..

Last edited by Speedbump (2004-11-20 06:11:12)

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