No, it’s not a new officer of the Saskatoon Police Service’s canine unit, but you could be forgiven for thinking that at first glance of Lou Garou, the main character in Canadian werewolf movie WolfCop.
A werewolf in cop’s clothing, Garou (played by Leo Fafard) is the brainchild of filmmaker Lowell Dean. Garou hits the bottle a bit too hard occasionally, so he’s used to not remembering where he’s spent his nights. But now, instead of just waking up with a hangover, he finds himself investigating crime scenes that seem a little too familiar.
The tagline for WolfCop, which currently only exists as a trailer (see below), is “Dirty Hairy… only hairier.”
Dean is hoping to get funding to write and film the feature-length version of WolfCop through CineCoup — but to do that he needs to get enough people to vote for the project. According to the official website, “Out of the 90 trailers submitted across Canada, one film will receive $1,000,000 to produce the film with a nationwide theatrical run of the film in Cineplex theatres in January 2014.”
According to Dean, this week is an important one for keeping the project in the running.
“The first big voting period is March 21-24, a social vote,” he says. “Thirty or so projects will be cut, and only the top 60 will remain.” Anyone can vote, and it’s easy to sign up with CineCoup through Facebook. If you want to support Dean and see the story of Lou Garou on the big screen, click here.
Recently I had the chance to chat with Dean about getting WolfCop off the ground.
David Jón Fuller: What was the origin of WolfCop — who thought of it first and what was the inspiration for it?
Lowell Dean: WolfCop was my idea. I had just finished directing my first feature film (zombie movie 13 Eerie) and I was trying to decide on my next project. I was debating between writing a film-noir-style police movie and a supernatural werewolf movie. I jokingly said to a friend I should just combine the two ideas, and their reaction made me realize the potential. WolfCop was born!
DJF: How does this whole process work for getting the film made, and what has to happen next?
LD: For starters, we have applied to the CineCoup Film Accelerator, which is a nationwide competition (www.cinecoup.com).
Ninety film concepts are going head to head, and the winner will get a budget of up to a million dollars and a guarantee to screen theatrically across Canada. To be successful, we need to build a fanbase through the site, where people can easily register and rate trailers, watch and like weekly mission videos, all kinds of social interaction. It’s all about building a fans and running a strong campaign.
DJF: What will happen if WolfCop does not make it into the top 10 CineCoup projects?
LD: We are determined to make this movie no matter what! If things don’t work out with CineCoup, we will try alternate methods of funding and make it happen. WolfCop must live.
DJF: The trailer is reminiscent of werewolf movies (and the Werewolf TV show) of the 80s — old-school makeup and costume effects, and a touch of dark humour to the werewolf violence. Are 1980s werewolf movies like An American Werewolf in London, The Howling, or even Teen Wolf influences here?
LD: Very much so. I was Teen Wolf for Hallowe’en in grade three. An American Werewolf in London blew my mind in my teen years, with it’s clever mix of comedy and horror and outstanding practical effects. I aspire to make something that both honours those movies and adds a new twist on the wolf man genre.
DJF: Why do you want to make this film? Who do you hope embraces it?
LD: I want to make this film because, frankly, I want to watch it! I hope horror films embrace it mostly, and fans of monster movies. To me, it is a total throw back to the vibe of ’80s horror films. Ones that weren’t afraid to add a bit of comedy into the violence, like Sam Raimi and Peter Jackson’s earlier works. I also want to make this movie because, in a weird way, it’s like a really dark superhero origin story.
DJF: Will WolfCop be shot in Saskatchewan?
LD: I hope to shoot it in Saskatchewan, we have amazing crews, glorious skies, and great gothic landscapes. But I know that when you are working with an indie film, the budget can often dictate where you shoot. We will have to follow the money and right now other provinces are more competitive with their incentives!
DJF: Are Canadian actors being considered for roles? Who is the actor playing Lou Garou in the trailer?
LD: The lead actor is a Saskatchewan talent named Leo Fafard. He’s a great find and a wonderful WolfCop! The part was written with him in mind, and I’d like very much for him to play Lou. There are many interesting, twisted characters in the world of WolfCop and I’d love to bring in some bigger names for a few key roles, especially the love interest/femme fatale and the chief of police.
DJF: What do you think might distinguish a Canadian werewolf movie from others out there?
LD: I think Canadians have a great sense of humour, and sense of irony. That happens being next door to the United States. So I think we look at things with a slightly skewed perspective. I imagine this will be more ironic and a bit more twisted than a more straightforward or Hollywoodized werewolf movie. Just my first thought!
LD: The brilliant and talented Emersen Ziffle, my good friend who has been doing practical effects, self-taught, since childhood. Emersen has done practical effects on many films, including my first feature (13 Eerie, coming to DVD April 2).
DJF: What would be the dream outcome for WolfCop once it is completed? Horror film festivals? Wide release in theatres? Sequels? TV series? Oscar awards?
LD: Ha! I don’t see an Oscar in WolfCop’s feature. I just want to do it, do it right, and get it to the fans. People like me who embrace a good werewolf movie and who will watch it over and over again, both in the theatre and at home. I love this character and he has many adventures in store.
DJF: What is the most challenging aspect of the production so far?
LD: Money! It’s hard to finance a film, but I’m hoping once we get the word out and people see the trailer, they will realize it is a no brainer to fund this film!
DJF: What have you enjoyed the most about putting together WolfCop?
LD: Just how much fun it all is. It’s hard to be in a bad mood when you walk on set and see a werewolf dressed in a cop uniform.
For updates, you can follow WolfCop on Twitter.