Thursday, September 27, 2012

Countdown to 31 Days of Fright... WOLVESBAYNE (2009)

With Halloween a little over a month away I figured now was a good time to start transitioning from action flicks into some more horror-oriented stuff and the action-horror mash-up WOLVESBAYNE (2009) seemed like a good way to ease from one genre into the next.

Russell Bayne (a puffy Jeremy London) is a douchey land developer who needs the store owned by Alex Layton (Christy Romano) in order to complete his deal with the city and ensure that the world has more Starbucks. After Layton warns Bayne that he's in danger, a late-night ride on a secluded road leads to him being bitten by a werewolf. And if decades of cinema have taught us anything it's that vampires and werewolves are mortal enemies, so Bayne is enlisted into service with a team of vampire-hunters led by a motorcycle-riding Van Helsing descendent (Rhett Giles).

And good thing, too, as the vampire Von Griem (Mark Dascascos in painful-looking vampire makeup and dialogue-obscuring teeth) is hell bent on reanimating Lilith (Yancy Butler), a vampire queen who has been "dead" for over 400 hundred years because she was TOO BAD ASS FOR OTHER VAMPIRES! Despite protestations from the heads of other vampire clans, Von Griem presses forward with his plans while Bane, Alex, Van Helsing and Co. are hot on his trail.

WOLVESBAYNE feels like an unsold pilot for a SyFy channel series, which makes sense as this apparently premiered on the cable channel back in 2009. There's plenty of cable-friendly gunplay and blood-sucking, some stakes (and spike-heeled shoes) to the heart, CGI vampire disintegration, light lesbo-vampirism action, and even a little fu and swordplay (though not nearly enough for this Dascascos fan).

Bayne's werewolf transformations are better than expected, though I wish they'd put a little more money into better audio and vampire teeth for Dascascos (half of his dialogue is either muffled or indecipherable). There's a lot of unexplored backstory and other plot threads that feel like they were left dangling for a potential series, but they're not crucial enough that you'll feel let down. Let's face it… if this is your kinda thing this is your kinda thing.

Kudos to Yancy Butler who gives it her all as the reanimated Lilith. While most of the cast plays the Leigh Scott (HOUSE OF BONES, QUANTUM APOCALYPSE and the underrated THE BEAST OF BRAY ROAD) script like it's Shakespeare, Butler sinks her teeth into the role and hams it up with the gusto that WOLVESBAYNE so desperately needs.

WOLVESBAYNE is available from Amazon.

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