The opening scenes introduce us to teenage girl Dakota (Renee Porada), sat in her bedroom on an evening engaging in a chatroom conversation on her PC. Nothing unusual there? Well, the conversation she's having is about how she's tried unsuccessfully to prevent herself from transforming into a werewolf each month.

Then, to illustrate this point, she retires to the bathroom and begins to endure a painful (read: painfully badly acted) transformation. When several people approach the bathroom you think they may be there to help. Instead, they bolt the door - leaving Dakota to resort to fleeing through the window and escaping through the surrounding woods.

Dakota, you see, hates being part of a werewolf commune and has secretly been taking medication designed to prevent her from becoming a monster. It seems to have been working, as she's still human when she reaches the end of the woods and knocks on the door of an old couple's house, convinced that she's being chased.

The couple let Dakota in and tend to the cuts she's suffered in the woods, only for the house to be attacked by a werewolf. The man is torn apart and, ultimately, Dakota is dragged back to her clan.

Cue a dodgy metal soundtrack and fiery opening titles sequence.

Dakota awakens back in the commune house, where pack member James (Alex Bolla) gives her a dressing down, reminding her that her "curse" should be viewed upon as a privilege. Besides, leader Michael (Todd Humes) will be most unhappy to hear of her attempts at fleeing the nest.

When Michael gets to see the dishevelled Dakota, he instructs his minions to let her go ... "for a while".

We next meet Dakota six months later, where we find her working in a vet's office. Which is convenient, because this means she can stay late and steal medication from the office to keep her affliction at bay.

On the first day that we meet Dakota at her job, however, she's required to fend off a gang of would-be rapists on her way home. This enrages so much that she can't help but later turn into a wolf (Rick Baker, eat your heart out).

Unfortunately this draws the attention of Michael and his gang, who are quickly on her scent ...

Fucking hell, this is a long film. It clocks in at 105 minutes in length, and every one of those minutes is felt like a wolf's claw tearing through the flesh.

From the dodgy Metallica rip-off theme tune to the ropy FX and frankly woeful script from director Len Kabasinki (FIST OF THE VAMPIRE; SWAMP ZOMBIES), to the fight scenes - the inadvertent highpoints of a crummy film for all the wrong reasons - CURSE OF THE WOLF is a daft and rather shabbily cobbled-together affair.

Still, casting bad dialogue and acting aside, forgiving and forgetting the murky photography and relentlessly ugly compositions, ignoring the irritating soundtrack and horrendous attempts at humour, CURSE OF THE WOLF has a couple of things going for it. Namely Darian Caine in the role of Ivy, and some nice pert breasts that get displayed on occasion.

It pains me to say that, because there's a fair amount of homage going on here that suggests this film is at the very least a well-intended one. But, sincerity aside, its crap. Albeit, sometimes enjoyably so.

CURSE OF THE WOLF is presented in a 1.85:1 transfer that has not been enhanced for 16x9 TV sets. It's generally overly dark and colours come on too strong. Grain is evident and images tend to be a tad soft. For a budget release, it will suffice.

English 2.0 audio does a decent job throughout, offering an evenly balanced mix that's free from hiss or other interference.

The disc opens with an animated main menu page that leads into an animated scene-selection menu allowing access to CURSE OF THE WOLF via 4 chapters.

The only extras on Brain Damage's DVD are a 2-minute trailer for CURSE OF THE WOLF, along with trailers for the remaining titles in their second run of releases: AWAKEN THE DEAD, HELLHOUSE, CURSE OF THE WOLF, BACHELOR PARTY IN THE BUNGALOW OF THE DAMNED, Kabasinki's FIST OF THE VAMPIRE and TASTE OF FLESH.

Minor gore, some welcome nudity and Seduction Cinema regular Darian Caine are CURSE OF THE WOLF's plus points. But are they enough to convince people to part with 2.99?

Review by Stu Willis

Released by Brain Damage Films
Region 2 - PAL
Rated 18
Extras :
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