Wolf Guy Blu-ray Review (Blu-ray + DVD)- Arrow Video

By | May 17, 2017 Leave a Comment
Wolf Guy is a rare film. So rare that there isn't even a trailer on Youtube, as of this writing. Wolf Guy is a film that tries so hard and so little at the same time that it creates a film that is easy to watch, but hard to follow.







THE FEATURES ⭐⭐⭐


Kazuhiko Yamaguchi: Movie With Guts (10m 31s, HD)

Talks about his start in the business with Delinquent Girl Boss, continues through his career, and then speaks about working with Sonny Chiba.

Toru Yoshida: The Movie Master (17m 30s, HD)

Yoshida gives us a career overview before talking about Wolf Guy. He says that he would like to see the film remade “properly with CGI” and regrets some of the choices made on the film.

Sonny Chiba: A Life in Action Vol. 1 (14m 31s, HD)

Chiba speaks mostly about the Japanese Actors Club that he started, but he does talk a little bit about his own work.

Theatrical Trailer (2m 55s, HD)

Plays like a condensed version of the film. Gives away most of the film.

THE PACKAGING N/A

As this was a screener provided to me by Arrow Video, I can not comment about the packaging, but I can tell you that the release is a blu-ray/dvd combo pack, the cover will be reversible, and there will 
be a booklet with essays.

Here is what the release will look like (don’t mind the UK ratings symbol: this will be available in the states:


The blu-ray is REGION FREE and the DVD is REGION ONE

THE PICTURE ⭐⭐⭐


Wolf Cop looks pretty good, although I suspect that this transfer was not taken from the best materials out there. There are times where detail is high and then other times where it looks like a thin layer of vaseline was smeared on the lens. Some shots are slightly out of focus and film grain goes in and out. I will say that when the picture is nice, it is really nice. I will say that this is a problem with the materials and not the transfer itself.

THE SOUND ⭐⭐⭐


We get a LPCM Mono track and it is good, but has some problems. There were times where many were happening and the track became overloaded. There is also a semblance problem, but it isn’t as bad a Black Christmas. Outside of those complaints the track is fine.

THE FILM ⭐⭐1/2


THE FOLLOWING SECTION CONTAINS SPOILERS!! READ AT YOUR OWN RISK!!!
Chiba stars as Akira Inugami, the only survivor of a clan of ancient werewolves who relies on his supernatural powers to solve mysterious crimes. After a series of bloody killings perpetrated by an unseen force, Inugami uncovers a conspiracy involving a murdered cabaret singer, corrupt politicians, and a plot by the J-CIA to harvest his blood in order to steal his lycanthropic powers! At the same time, Inugami also discovers the truth behind his family heritage, and that he may not be the last of his kind.

Ok. Where to begin? I saw this film without knowing too much about it. I didn’t watch any trailers (although at the time of this writing there are no trailers to be found online) and I tried to keep my expectations in check. I was hoping that the film would be a cheese-fest with crappy werewolf effects and would be a hell of a time to watch. I was wrong on a view of these things

The first thing that I will say is that the film IS a cheese fest, just not the one I thought it was going to be. The film is melodramatic and has a soap opera feel to it at times, but still has that 70’s dirt to it. There are times when the film just stops to let a character unload whatever burden they have. This is par for the course when it comes to films like this, but here it brought the film to a dead halt.

The film also makes little to no sense, at least at first. We are dumped into a film that is already happening, with characters whom we have never met, along with names we don’t know. Then some graphic violence happens and we are still scratching our heads as to what the hell is going on. It wasn’t until about halfway through the film that I started to piece things together. This just reeks of a piss poor script and, in the special features, the producer says that the film was rushed.

This being a 70’s film, one would expect there to be some sleaze and on that front the film delivers. Sonny Chiba sleeps with every female character in the film and it even develops into a plot point later in the film. There is also the beginnings of a gang rape that thankfully didn’t go any further onscreen. 
The dialogue plays a big part in sleaze factor too. Lines like “Would you fuck me if I didn’t have syphilis and was not a drug addict?” are one of the many funny lines you will find here. The characters bring up the fact that the female lead has syphilis many, many times throughout the film and it becomes a joke the more they say it.

The film is violent, which helps stay away the boredom. Within the first five minutes, a crazed man a shredded up all nice and bloody by an unseen force. While this added to the confusion in regards to the plot, it did offer some nice visuals to offset the confusion. Again, this film knows that it is confusing its audience and throws boobs and gore at us to help ease the confusion. I will have to say that it worked about half the time.

The one thing that made me mad about this film is:

Sonny Chiba NEVER turns into a werewolf. I mean come on. You have a film called WOLF GUY and there is talk about werewolves in the film, but we never once see him as a wolf. There is a guy whose hair is made out to look like a lion’s mane, but he dies very quickly and A LION IS NOT THE SAME THING AS A FUCKING TIGER! If I had paid to see this at the theaters in the 70’s I would have asked for my money back because the film lied to me. I guess I can see how that woman sued the makers of Drive because they advertised the film as a Fast and Furious style film. I finally get that. She was sold one thing and given another. They could have done at least one werewolf at the end when Chiba faces off against that small army, but they didn’t.


One more thing before I end this review. There is a scene where Sonny Chiba is fighting a guy in a striped suit. Striped Suit (as he will be known as) is losing the fight because he is fighting Sonny Fucking Chiba. Striped Suit reaches into his pocket and pulls out a mouse and throws it on the ground. The mouse makes some noises and runs for safety. Chiba looks at the mouse and then continues to beat Striped Suit’s ass. I was left pondering this scene. Why did Striped Suit throw down a mouse? Did he think that Chiba was going to go after the mouse instead of him, so that he could make an escape? Do werewolves have an infinity for mice? Why did that guy have a mouse in his pocket? Does he carry mice around, you know, just in case? So many questions for a scene that lasts no more than 30 seconds.

There are a lot of things to like about Wolf Guy, but not enough to recommend. I figured that if the film was bad it would be funny bad. It isn’t. When the action, nudity, or questionable scenes aren’t happening the film slows to a crawl I wanted this film to be the newest discovery, but it turned out to be just a crazy film that can’t reach about acceptable.

OVERALL ⭐⭐1/2


While I was not enamored with Wolf Guy, I am glad that I watched it. I am always looking for new films to see and this is one of the strangest. While the film doesn't succeed, it does try and I have to give it points for that. Arrow has given the film a better treatment than any other label would have. We get good picture and sound and the special features, while short, are worth the watch. If you love Sonny Chiba or Japanese cinema, then give the film a watch.


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