Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Wilczyca AKA She-Wolf (1983)

Wilczyca AKA She Wolf
Directed by: Marek Piestrak
Starring: Krzysztof Jasinski, Iwona Bielska, Stanislaw Brejdygant
Review by: "Machine Gun" Kristin 

Boy did I want to like this one! The opening to similar to "Don't Torture A Duckling", with horrific images of animals eating one another. In this case, a bird picks at a dead, mutilated horse, that looks much too realistic. Matter of fact, there are many scenes of animal cruelty in this that are pretty questionable. Are they real? Are they not? Horses basically scream like crazy in one scene and a dog looks like he's really hurt. The rarity of this film makes it difficult to trace the origins of its creation, so we don't know for sure if there were any animals actually hurt in the making of this movie.

I chose to watch "Wilczyca" solely based on the poster artwork. I know, I know, that could totally go either way. I know I was definitely duped by the Giallo film, "Eyeball". The poster is crazy! So of course, how bad could it be? Well, it stunk! haha. I've even done a past review here on TOG for it. Here in "Wilczyca", we're in Poland, which is unusual within itself. I don't know of too many Polish horror films in particular. They certainly run the gamut on insane poster artwork though. I guess I should've let that be a hint as to the incoherent storytelling I was about to suffer through. I actually did some reading of other reviews after I watched it, which I never do because I don't want to influence my opinion of a film before I start writing. In "She-Wolf's" case, I had to because I had no idea what was going on. There is so much regional, political back story that I didn't understand the events taking place much. There's a pretty concise review on Braineater that explains the plot completely. Even so, it still doesn't save this movie.

From what I could dig up research wise, those who are familiar with the Polish language have pandered the subtitled adaption to be pretty inaccurate in some spots. I'm just thankful that there's any attempt at a translation. I've watched a few movies in the past, (such as a VHS copy of "Cristo Te Ama" which is a 1970s drug infused Mexican exploitation film), that had no subtitles at all, so I had to sort of connect the dots based on visuals only. Apparently in "She Wolf", there's a scene where he refers to somebody as a "bumpkin", which is a goofy word to use within itself, but he actually meant something more complementary than that. Pretty funny. The main character, Casper is completely unlikable, scratch that, no one is likeable! hahaha. He beats his wife Myrna, who lays dying after after a botched abortion (scandalous!) in the opening scene. Casper's been away for months and has just come back. She says that she'll die like a bitch! Whoa! What a thing to say! Turns out, she's a bitch indeed-a dog, er, werewolf! She's even clutching a wrapped up paw from a wolf! Ewww! I guess the best thing to do when your husband is an asshole that beats you and then leaves you for months at a time, is to just pick up witchcraft to pass the time. I mean, hell, it's the 19th century, what else are you going to do? In a later scene, Casper's brother describes Myrna's bizarre behavior, while they're pulling her rough looking casket in the terrifyingly snowy backdrop. Other reviews of "Wilczyca" have described the drenched in snow scenery as "beautiful", but personally it creeped me out. It seemed like the most depressing place to possibly be. While they're burying her, the older brother (I forget his name), starts whittling a wooden steak and says nonchalantly that Casper has to hammer it into his dead wife's heart. Ughhhhh.

From here, the movie draaags. They introduce some more unlikable characters such as Juliet, who is played by the same actress as Myrna. I actually did not notice that until towards the end when Casper realizes it himself. The print of this I watched was pretty grainy, so that may have been why I didn't notice. Or maybe, I just didn't really care, haha. I'm sure there's more I could say about the actors, but I guess if you can't say anything nice, you probably shouldn't say anything.

Besides the beginning scene, the steak hammering and the real or not animal cruelty, the gore in this is pretty minimal. They basically save it all for the end of the film, which is a pity, because it's hard to say if anyone's even made it that far. Thankfully the film clocks in at about an hour and 38 minutes, so it's not excruciatingly long. "Wilczyca" has received some mixed reviews from what I could dig up. People seem to either love it or hate it. I can't say that I hated it, but I don't think I'm going to be watching it again anytime soon. It definitely did its job in creeping me out, but probably not in the way that the filmmakers intended.

RATING: 👨🏻👨🏻 2 mustaches!

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