Writers: Martin Dallard, Gary Organ, Dean Eyre
Producers: Martin Dallard, Gary Organ, Dean Eyre
Cast: Martin Dallard, Gary Organ, Dean Eyre (and some other people, to be fair)
Year of release: 2016
Reviewed from: YouTube
This amateur feature shot around Gloucester in 2012 completely escaped my notice when it had its one and only screening at the end of June 2013. Two and a half years later, it has popped up on YouTube, necessitating my watching it to check what it’s like.
I don’t think I’m being cruel in saying that this is a film that could only have any interest for members of three groups: family and friends of those involved; British horror completists like myself; or hardcore werewolf fans. Because yes, this is another in the surprisingly extensive field of modern British werewolf pictures. It certainly perks up when the werewolves finally appear, but by golly it takes a long time to get there.
The setting is a privately run hostel for homeless people, and we spend a full 50 minutes of this 86-minute film just watching what goes on there. There’s a Christmas meal. There’s an exercise class. There’s a slightly creepy ‘Circle of Trust’ meeting. I guess this is supposed to help us get to know these people, but we don’t, partly because there are way too many characters. It’s nigh on impossible to work out all the positions and relationships here. It’s not even easy to tell sometimes who’s meant to be homeless and who’s meant to be a worker/volunteer as the ‘guests’ mostly dress quite well and have decent haircuts.
Eventually, the staff and ‘guests’ all go off camping in the countryside where the homeless people are split into three teams and sent off orienteering. Seems a bit needlessly cruel, that. Surely if someone has spent months walking the streets and sleeping rough, the last thing they want to do is walk across fields and sleep under canvas. Comfy bed and a roof over their head, that’s what they want.
That night, around the campifire, people tell each other spooky stories until the hostel manager (I think) announces that the really spooky thing is they’re all going to be killed and eaten. It turns out that all the staff (some of whom are, I think, related to each other in some way) are a pack of werewolves. The rest of the movie is the poor homeless sods running through the woods, being chased by the lycanthropes. It’s all shot day-for-night so it’s too dark to see what’s happening and, even if we knew who all these people were, we wouldn’t be able to recognise them. Eventually it all sort of ends with one survivor.
The actual credits are pretty sparse. The film was “Written, produced, directed, shot and edited by Martin Dallard, Gary Organ and Dean Eyre”, all three of whom you will notice are also in the above cast list. The make-up and effects, which are probably quite gory but simply can’t be seen properly, are credited to ‘D.E.A.D. FX’. And that, apart from a few extras and some music credits, is that.
There’s no real story, just the stuff at the hostel and the stuff in the woods, with a slice of ‘wandering through the countryside’ inbetween. Way, way too many characters means I couldn’t even begin to identify or name most of them. If this was drastically cut down to about 20 minutes, it might sort of work, and certainly wouldn’t outstay its welcome the way it does at this length.
MJS rating: D+