Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Game of Werewolves (2011)

GLOUBON: Ah, Socrates, how was your trip to 2011?

SOCRATES: Quite enjoyable, Gloubon.  An empire named America has been ruled by a series of supermen.  But there was also talk of Game of Werewolves, which some call Attack of the Werewolves and others call Lobos de Arga.  

GLOUBON: Game of Werewolves?  It must be frightening, indeed.

SOCRATES: Alas, no.  In the future, storytellers tend to present frolicsome rather than fearful material.  

GLOUBON: Well, tell me of it.

SOCRATES: We first see a fully grown man and woman engaged in bedded love—

GLOUBON: That sounds rather horrifying!

SOCRATES: Well, times have changed and the Greek taste for man-boy interactions has fallen from favour, although the director of Jeepers Creepers would fit well in our Athens.


GLOUBON: And was this unseemly penetration interrupted by werewolves?

SOCRATES: No, despite the many titles that swear otherwise, werewolves are rather difficult to find here.  They are absent for a majority of the movie.  Instead, we spent time with an assemblage of fools and are presented with their foolery.

GLOUBON: Like the works of Simon Pegg?  Ah, so this is a horror-comedy then!

SOCRATES: Some would call it thus, but let wrestle with these words until we find the truth.  Would you say that horror is horror because of its attributes or because of its essence?

GLOUBON: I fail to understand your meaning.

SOCRATES: Let me plain things up.  Would you say that horror is horror simply because it includes monstrous beings?  That is, if an editor were to insert a CHUD into The Girl from Samos or Pretty Woman, would those then be works of horror?

GLOUBON: Well, I should think not, not simply by that addition.


SOCRATES: And if we presented Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, but with fifty more gallons of stage blood, it would still not be horror?

GLOUBON: Assuredly not.

SOCRATES: It appears that we cannot look to appurtenances as proof of true horror.  So let us take up the opposite tack.  Can we recognize horror in its essence?

GLOUBON: I am not sure I understand.

SOCRATES: Here is an analogy that might help.  How would you recognize a man as a cook?  Would you look for a spoon in his hand?

GLOUBON: Why, yes, cooks often carry spoons.

SOCRATES: Ah, but so do cocaine enthusiasts and set designers for The Room and none would accuse them of being cooks.

GLOUBON: No, I see what you mean!

SOCRATES: So may we say that the best way of defining a cook is through his acts of cooking?

GLOUBON: That certainly seems reasonable.


SOCRATES: Therefore, may we not say that horror is most recognizable in its attempts to horrify?  And we cannot call something horror simply because it has werewolves or zombies or Bill Moseley?

GLOUBON: I think that you are correct.

SOCRATES: So may we also conclude that the term "horror-comedy" must be applied to works that seek to both terrify and amuse? 

GLOUBON: Yes.

SOCRATES: But the majority of works labeled "horror-comedy" make no attempt to horrify at all.  They certainly include monsters, but rarely ever make serious efforts at scaring their viewers.  Rather, they are clown shows as performed by established beasts.

GLOUBON: Um.

SOCRATES: But none could deny that these works, such as our Game of Werewolves, include monsters.  So, while it might be unable to present themselves as "horror" without stretching the truth, we could certainly call them "monster-comedies" with some justice.

GLOUBON: Yes, I quite agree.  And now that we know that Game of Werewolves is a monster-comedy and not at all a horror film, please tell me what you thought of it.


SOCRATES: Well, it was okay.  I mean, I laughed about three times and the werewolves looked decent, but it did seem like a poor copy of Simon Pegg's stuff.  The jokes that fell flat made for pretty tedious viewing, but the last fourth or so of the movie was all right.  I don't really understand why it was so hyped, but I think the fact that nobody ever mentioned it after its original wave of interest says a lot about it.


**3/4

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