Sunday, August 19, 2007


We're Bad

The poster may look menacing, but Skinwalkers is actually a tame pussycat. In the hands of ordinary filmmakers, this is what you get - mediocre, "have we seen this before" moments, and plenty of unintentional comedy, for a werewolf genre that tried to reinvent itself, and exhausted its game plan. To give itself a mystical feel, it developed its own uninteresting mythos about some prophecy (not again!) that will come true after the appearance of the red moon.

Zoom past the intertitles, and hey, the red moon! From then on, it's Terminator-hasta-la-vista baby! The prophecy seemed to dwell on the fate of a 12 year old boy, who is said to have some rocking puberty mumbo-jumbo happening to him (no, it's not the sudden growth of extra hair in certain parts). So his mother, Rachel (Rhona Mitra) becomes an unwitting, uninspiring Sarah Conner clone, while relying on a bunch of rag tag team mates led by Jonas (Elias Koteas), to keep them alive. Jonas and gang however, have a deep dark secret. They're werewolves, but good ones, who get strapped up before dusk so that they can be artificially restrain their blood lust.

On the other hand, the bad mofos (who are also werewolves) are led by Lorenzo Lamas. Wait a minute, that couldn't be him! He's still looking... so young! No, it's Jason Behr, who I swear in his unshaven face, and wavy shoulder length hair, shades and bad attitude, seemed to have crawled out of a typical Lamas made-for-video movie. As with the many Lamas movies, it's almost guaranteed to have bad cheapskate action. It screams B-Flick with sirens blaring and strobe lights flashing, and frankly, Skinwalkers is nothing except that.

Like I mentioned, it's Terminator all over again. Bad guys want to annihilate the kid so that they can prevent the prophecy from coming true (whatever that is, which they have no clue whatsoever). In between, they kill and have edited sex, which is bad, in both sense. The good guys just want to stand in the way (hey, we don't feed on blood, so we're cool) and they too have no idea just in case the kid turns into some hybrid - ok, wrong movie - while we see the toughening up of Sarah Con, I mean Mitra's Rachel, that it all reeked of plagiarism.

If anything can justify labelling a werewolf movie as cheap, then it is the distinct lack of on-screen transformation. The wolves just appear, in full hairy costume, bad teeth and probably stinky breath and all, without any attempts to allow a glimpse at the transformation. Not only that, the local distributors, in attempts to make money hence requesting this to be passed with a lower rating, removed all sex scenes. No wonder we see macabre, gruesome high profile killings, and low birth rates. We can't even watch sexy on screen. Bring the sexy back!

Anyway I digress. Skinwalkers was pretty bad from the get go. Hokey prophecies, cheap makeup, and horrors, guns are used with glee from all quarters, and the gunplay's probably the laziest I've seen in a long time. Laughable effort, especially when you realize the cop out made just for the bigger names in this picture. Only suitable for that DVD rental on a lazy weekend afternoon at best.

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