With the recent reports of wolves in France, no - that’s NOT an American Werewolf In Paris reference...I think it’s about time that I talked about a movie with a very ‘wolfy’ theme to it.
If you stayed around for the end of my previous review, you would know that I mentioned that this movie would be something Jack Nicholson related. Now if you know me, you’d know I fan-boy over Nicholson just as much as I do over Walken. Because Nicholson, like Walken is an acting badass who can get away with anything and everything and yet can do no wrong.
He can play mentally tortured characters with ease, he can play demented mad men with ease, and he can be sober and sarcastic as well. Jack can do it all, contrary to his characters - he is a very nice man in real life and is also a devoted Lakers fan. My first love and admiration for him started with Witches Of Eastwick with the character Daryl Van Horne. Now that’s a devil I wouldn’t mind selling my soul to! He can go from a movie like One Flew Over The Cuckoos Nest, The Shining or Easy Rider to something like Something’s Gotta Give, The Bucket List, About Schmidt, or Anger Management. With his iconic smile, he is like a humanized Cheshire Cat - that is if that nickname wasn’t taken by Tim Curry.
There’s even a fictional video game based on him called Crab Nicholson Extreme Sleepover. Yes, Jack Nicholson as a crab...having an extreme sleepover! And with no mittens and a rather menacing set of claws!
Now because this is a monster mash, this review is focussed on a werewolf movie. As a fan of shapeshifters, in particular werecreatures - I think it’s time I gave you a bit of a backstory. Because like vampires, werewolves/werecreatures in general have been around for centuries, invoking both fear and fascination in people’s minds and hearts.
A Werewolf is a man or woman who transforms from a human into a wolf-like beast every night, most of the time this is mentioned in werewolf media the full moon is involved, now scientifically speaking the actual span of a full moon is every 28 days and while in real life it is scientifically impossible to turn into a werewolf or any were-animal in general - there is such thing as clinical lycanthropy which is a mental disorder. There is also a couple of medical conditions that give you werewolfish attributes, including one that affects females.
Wolf, directed by Mike Nichols was released in 1994, starring Jack Nicholson as Will Randall, a struggling writer who is attacked and bitten by a wolf on a trip to Vermont after running said wolf over with his car.
From then on he undergoes the process of becoming well...wolf-like, getting inhuman strength and agility, growing ‘fur’, claws, fangs and not to mention heightened senses, increased confidence, increased aggression and an increased sex drive. In other words, he becomes quite the sexy beast - literally. Hmm...I wonder if that’s the reason why Russell Brand has so many fan-girls despite being so repulsive in appearance. I mean he’s hairy enough, do you think he could be….a werewolf?
Laura who is played by Michelle Pfeiffer even falls for him, but she doesn’t realize he’s transforming into a werewolf. I love her in this, she makes a great love interest for him in this movie. After all, she also played Catwoman and starred in Witches Of Eastwick alongside him.
And he pulls it off rather well. Jack is one pretty awesome werewolf! Well..he is Jack Nicholson after-all. His werewolf transformation is a gradual one and it’s more like a traditional Wolfman than a four-legged werewolf but it’s still pretty awesome, thanks to the makeup done by Rick Baker. He looks like a mix of Wolverine from the X-Men and Monroe in his woged state from the NBC series Grimm.
Nicholson rocked the Wolverine look before the X-Men movies were even made! And he looks awesome! I wouldn’t want to mess with him. Not to mention his smile is twice as terrifying here because of the fangs. Before Hugh Jackman, there was Jack!
He is given an amulet to control his transformation but it goes awry after he bites his rival who is played by James Spader, turning him into a werewolf as well. Now the fur really starts flying - literally!
I have to say that out of all the werewolf movies i’ve seen, only this one comes close to beating An American Werewolf In London, The Howling, both versions of the Wolfman and possibly Bad Moon, because it mixes the mythology of werewolves in with drama and office politics and also it’s got Jack Nicholson as our lead big bad wolf. Remember when he recited the Three Little Pigs in The Shining? Well...I guess it was leading up to him becoming a werewolf in this! What can I say? He’s Jack Nicholson! Before Crab Nicholson, there was werewolf Nicholson! Screw Team Jacob, i’m on team Nicholson!
You have to check this movie out if you love werecreatures, werecreature movies or if you love Jack Nicholson. It’s severely underrated and worth a watch if you’re in the mood for some wolf action.