Tuesday, March 16, 2010

BMC MOVIE OF THE WEEK: WEREWOLVES ON WHEELS

Werewolves On Wheels movie poster
    The Devil’s Advocates - an outlaw gang of Harley-riding hellions led by Adam (Stephen Oliver of "Motor Psycho" and "Peyton Place" fame) and his ol’ lady Helen (D.J. Anderson) - troll the dusty highways of the American Southwest in search of the next great kick, whether it be sex, drugs, or violence. After dispatching a pair of rednecks unfriendly to their lifestyle, the Advocates run roughshod over a gas station before taking to the road again, where they encounter a cloistered sect of Satanic monks led by high priest One (Severn Darden). A mass-drugging, a ritual sacrifice, a topless snake-dance, and a scene-clearing fistfight ensue, but it’s too late: the spell has been cast, and two shall become… Werewolves on Wheels!
    42% liked it

    R, 1 hr. 25 min.

    Director: Michel Levesque

    March 14, 2010: Fourth Sunday of Lent (Year C)

    Werewolves On Wheels may not be the movie for you. First off, you have to be the kind of person who would purposely watch a movie called Werewolves On Wheels to begin with.

    Next, you have to be willing to accept that the title is somewhat misleading. Oh sure, there’s the obligatory throat-ripping or two, a bit of gratuitous nudity, and, yes, a werewolf riding a motorcycle. But first time director Michel Levesque spends little time on that stuff, preferring to concentrate more on atmosphere than he does exploitation. Most of the movie is filled with meandering shots of the desert, bikers having semi-meaningful conversations around campfires, oodles of male-on-male hugging, and tons of groovy fuzz guitar played real slow over it all. Heck, you don’t even really see a full-on werewolf until the third act of the film.

    Finally, you can’t be a werewolf purist. There are no gypsy curses, full moons, or silver bullets to be found in Werewolves On Wheels. Instead, the lycanthropy in this flick comes about through the character of Helen’s participation in a satanic ritual. Although at first hypnotized into taking part in the rite, Helen’s wholehearted acquiescence to Satan by the end of the ceremony somehow brings out the hairy beast in her, a trait which she then passes on to her boyfriend by giving him a hickey.

    Okay, so it may not be your standard way of becoming a werewolf, but it does makes sense in a bizarre sort of way. (Um, the Satan part, not the hickey.) Think of it as kind of a dark reversal of this week’s second reading in which St. Paul tells us, “Whoever is in Christ is a new creation: the old things have passed away; behold, new things have come. And all this is from God.”

    Reflecting on this verse, Pope Benedict XVI comments, “We become new if we allow ourselves to be possessed and formed by the New Man, Jesus Christ… Paul makes this process of "re-fusion" even clearer, saying that we become new if we transform our way of thinking. That which we translate here as "way of thinking" is the Greek term nous. It is a complex word. It can be translated as spirit, sentiment, reason, and precisely, even as "way of thinking." Our very reasoning should become new. This surprises us. We may perhaps have expected that the renewal would apply to an attitude: something in the way we behave that should be changed, a precept of alteration. But no - renewal must be through and through. Our way of looking at the world, of comprehending reality, all our thinking should change from its very bases.”

    So what you get in Werewolves On Wheels is a perversion of this truth. Helen gives herself over to Satan and in doing so becomes a new creature. The problem is that with Ol’ Scratch, the emphasis isn’t on the new, but rather the CREATURE.

    2 comments:

    romishgraffiti said...

    First off, you have to be the kind of person who would purposely watch a movie called Werewolves On Wheels to begin with.

    I guess my only objection is that according to you, it doesn't really deliver what the title promises. So give me Snakes on a Plane! :)

    EegahInc said...

    Now wait a minute. We're Catholics. We're not required to be literalists all the time, you know :)

    But, yeah, one werewolf on one motorcycle for a few minutes doesn't exactly count as Werewolves On Wheels.