The Movie Sleuth recently had a chance to talk to Lowell Dean, the director of the upcoming release, WolfCop!
TMS: I’m gonna start off with the big question. How the hell did you come up with this awesome premise? I mean seriously, a werewolf cop? How awesome is that? You sir are a genius.
LD: Thank you for your kind words. If I am being honest, the idea came about almost by accident. I was developing a number of different projects in my brain, as one often is. My two main ideas were a cop script and a werewolf script. I jokingly considered smashing them together, and WolfCop was born. The visual of a werewolf cop was too great to ignore!
TMS: Who would you say are you biggest influences as filmmakers? And why?
LD: I'm a big film fan, so I have countless influences! I would say that for this project, I was heavily inspired by filmmakers like Sam Raimi, Peter Jackson, and John Landis. I also admire the work of Edgar Wright. These are filmmakers who have balanced story, humour, and horror - which was always the goal (and challenge) of WolfCop.
TMS: With the current trends in movie making typically leaning towards blockbusters and huge studio releases, was it hard to get funding for WolfCop? And how did you go about getting the financial backing for something that is quite obviously a passion project?
LD: It was a BIG challenge securing funding for WolfCop. In the end, we got it made through the first ever CineCoup Accelerator. Once I had written the script, we shot a two minute concept trailer to sell the tone and attract financiers. We were turned down by many traditional funding agencies before we heard about CineCoup, which is an online film financing platform. While not officially a “contest”, CineCoup challenges filmmakers to submit their concept trailers and hustle for votes and media attention over an intense three month period.
Luckily for us, WolfCop got a lot of attention, both in Canada and internationally. It was clear there was an audience for our movie. After three months in CineCoup, our project was selected for production – securing one million dollars of financing and a theatrical release in Canada. It is certainly a new and unique way of getting a film made – finding your audience first - but I think you'll see a lot more of it in the future.
TMS: How have the reviews been so far for WolfCop and how do you deal with possible negative criticisms of your work? It’s gotta be hard putting yourself out there. Is it something you’ve adapted to over time or is it still a challenge to deal with naysayers?
LD: To be honest, I was expecting far more negativity from WolfCop reviews! When you name your movie WolfCop and openly embrace a lot of B movie tropes, you kind of brace yourself for an onslaught of attacks from critics and non genre fans. I'm overjoyed by how many people “get” what we were trying to do. That being said, the more your project is seen, the more negative reviews you'll face - so I'm getting used to it. WolfCop is a very independent movie and the whole team (cast and crew) poured their heart into this little project. We literally bled for it at times. I truly believe we did the best we could with the time and resources we had, so I am nothing but proud of it. I'm overjoyed when critics and fans embrace it and champion it online!
TMS: I’d say there has been a vast difference in the quality of werewolf films over the years. Personally, I’d say An American Werewolf in London is my favorite. That movie had great practical effects and an awesomely dark tone. What would you say is your favorite and why?
LD: I have to agree, An American Werewolf In London is my personal favorite. A huge inspiration. I must also mention Teen Wolf and Ginger Snaps, two wildly different werewolf films that I also love.
TMS: Following along those lines, do you consider yourself a horror fan? What is your favorite horror film and what do you think of the current trends in the genre?
LD: I'm a horror fan. It is hard to single out just one favorite, but I'd say George A. Romero's Dawn of the Dead was quite influential. In terms of different styles of horror, my personal leanings are toward the high concept and the truly messed up.
But just because you are doing something messed up doesn't mean you always need to show it. I prefer tension and suspense to torture porn, or just gore for the sake of gore. I like film that play with the audiences's imagination. One horror movie trend I'm not really into is PG-13, because unless the suspense is TRULY killer, it often feels like a neutered concept. A half baked idea.
TMS: Where can people see WolfCop and when will it be available on blu-ray?
LD: After travelling all around the world like a drunk Santa Claus, WolfCop is finally coming home to Canada and the States. It'll be on DVD, Blu-Ray and VOD March 10th. If you want to bring WolfCop to a theatre near you, check us out on Tugg: . For more information on the project, check out . Our webpage has a wealth of pictures, videos, and information!
TMS: What’s next for you? Are you already on to your next project?
LD: I'm working on WolfCop 2 at the moment, which is going to be insane. I also have a couple other horror features in development. Some pretty absurd stuff. I'm hoping to tackle them next!
TMS: Lastly, what would be your dream film? Is there a certain movie you’ve been longing to make?
LD: I've got a bucket list. I'd love to do a superhero film. A western. I've also got a couple personal ideas I've been developing since childhood. Big, original projects that would need at least 50 million dollar budgets. I've got those tucked away in a drawer. You know, in case I get lucky!