Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Werewolf Clichés

Since I am both an expert on the representation of werewolves in the media and also a kind, generous soul*, I have decided to compile a list of obligatory werewolf clichés in film, TV, and the odd book. They are ranked from 15 – 1, counting down in order of just how obligatory they are.

Here we go.

15) The werewolf will be introduced to the scene by being hit by a car.
Seen in – Cursed, Ginger Snaps

14) The lead character will suddenly start acting like a wolf without realising they are doing as such, by displaying enhanced senses or eating raw meat or too much food.
Seen in – Wolf, Cursed

13) There will be a sequence where the werewolf wakes up in their own bed to see a series of footprints leading from their window to their bed, which begin as werewolf pawprints, then gradually metamorphose to human.
Seen in – The Wolfman, Van Helsing

12) There will be a spooky fortune teller who reads the lead character's palm, gets really scared, refuses to say any more and flees the film. A crystal ball is optional.
Seen in - Cursed, The Wolfman

11) Somewhere in the story, there will be a huge aggressive jock/reclusive insane hermit who screams ‘I’M A BIG HONKING WEREWOLF’ so loudly everyone within the story will suspect them unconditionally and without hesitation. At the end of the film, the aggressive jock will be revealed to be putting on a front in order to conceal an effeminate gay lifestyle, and the insane hermit will be revealed to be a respectable, friendly member of society and may even save the day Boo Radley style.
Seen in – Cursed, Buffy, The Werewolf of Fever Swamp

10) The werewolf will be a stereotypical dork complete with the stereotype dorky glasses and clothes, who gets routinely bullied by the bigger kids at school, especially in gym class. Then, after being bitten by the werewolf, he will turn into a cool suave player with perfect vision who goes to aforementioned gym class and kick ass completely. He may also pull the bully’s girlfriend.
Seen in – Buffy, Cursed, Teen Wolf, Ginger Snaps

9) The dog will growl at the werewolf, and will be the only living thing to recognise the beast for what it is.
Seen in - Ginger Snaps, Cursed, Fullmoon

8) That dog will get eaten.
Seen in – Ginger Snaps

7) If the lead character is a female, the werewolf will turn out to be her love interest. Gasp!
Seen in – Cursed, Bitten, The Howling, The Beast, An American Werewolf in Paris

6) The lead character will wake up naked in a forest with no idea how they got there.
Seen in – Buffy, An American Werewolf in Paris

5) The words "Was that some sort of big dog?" or "What was that, some kind of mutated bear?!" will be uttered, even though the monster in question stands on it's hind legs and looks like a frickin' werewolf.
Seen in - Ginger Snaps, Buffy (“Those pesky wild dogs!”)

4) Sentences along the lines of “Don't you just love the moon? It really *looks deep into the camera* brings out the (hinthinthint anvil is being dropped oh god hint it's an anvil hinthinthinthint) beast in me." will be uttered by the werewolf. Extra points awarded for lines such as 'the animal within' being said in inane situations, too.
Seen in The Wolfman in London, The Wolfman

3) When the enemy werewolf turns, the protagonist will do nothing but stand quite motionless while gaping at the transformation wide eyed. They do this without fail, despite the fact that while the enemy is in mid-transformation he is vulnerable and immobile and that that would really be the best time to shoot him (Nathaniel), stab him (Sarah) or throw acid in his face (whats’erface from the Howling) or just plain runthecrapaway.
Seen in – Underworld, The Company of Wolves, The Howling, Van Helsing, Dog Soldiers

2) The second the protagonist suspects his true nature, they will consult the local library. They will then return with dozens of useful straightforward information books about werewolves, complete with illustrations, diagrams, cures, etc. Take it from this here werewolf obsessive, that does-not-happen. I can only name two published books that treat werewolves as a real possibility and they are both as likely to be found in a library as a chav.

And at number one -

1) Throughout the entire film we will see nothing but annoying tantalising half-second glimpses of the beast. Toothy-looking-shadow here, shifty pawprint there, lots of growling and roaring off camera, and probably a camera shot from the POV of the werewolf (Cheapest. Substitute. EVER). We will not see the werewolf fully until the last fifteen minutes upon which the beast will be revealed and the entire remaining budget blown in one eighth of a second.
Seen in – Underworld, Cursed, Wolfen, The Company of Wolves, Ginger Snaps, Ginger Snaps III, An American Werewolf in London, Skinwalkers, Dog Soldiers

I just realised that this would make an excellent drinking game. Get some friends, grab a werewolf film, settle down, and take a drink every time you see one of the above clichés.

I take absolutely no responsibility for liver failure and/or death.

Drink sensibly. Werewolves rock.

*I am very bored

Sunday, October 19, 2008


I like books.

No, really? Will probably be the first response to spring to mind of anyone who has spent more than two seconds in my company. Occasionally I even wonder if I like books more than people, with a few exceptions.

I also like language. I am what is commonly described as (and popularised by 'Eats, Shoots, and Leaves') a stickler. I start to levitate from sheer rage whenever I see a spelling mistake or an abuse of grammar. Well, not really, but I try to. For example, in my hometown, there is a PC World. Outside of this PC world, there is a huge official printed sign with bright purple foot-high letters announcing


This sign caused me to ponder two things. Since when did a television become sentient enough to be regarded as a citizen, and was therefore granted the right to own possessions? What is this TV selling? Coffee mugs? Sheep? Biscuits? Stocks?

But most of all - how could a huge well-known company such as PC World fail to spot this mistake? If we judge their electronic equipment by the quality of their punctuation, I'm never buying a computer in there again in case it's a shell filled with sawdust. Speaking of being filled with sawdust, who the heck is in charge of their signs? I like to imagine that they're being hounded by dozens of obnoxious sticklers like myself, but the fact that that sign has been up for months leads me to believe that no one cares. What really pisses me off is the fact that I am currently struggling to find work, and somewhere, someone is getting paid money to print big purple signs that say 'TV's'. Aargh!

Before I go, here is a word manufactured by myself that I am going to insist is utilised by anyone who regards books as highly as I do. New words are added to our language every day, and I'd like to think that some day, a crazy woman ranting on the internet might be able to add to this.

* -verb [litt-ehr-gaz-uhm] A moment of heightened literary pleasure and excitement, experienced during the act of reading. [history] A word created by the devilishly attractive, eternally modest, renowned intellect 'The Raevyn' after experiencing the same situation numerous times - loving a book so very much, that she was rendered unable to verbally articulate just how much. The consequential frustration usually manifested itself in the form of her uttering some kind of fast-paced, vague, distinctly uneloquent statement, resulting in her sounding like a complete moron. This in turn would make her even more frustrated, and sometimes even lead to her smacking the person she conversed with over the head with the book in question.

"Its just so...so...goddamned AWESOME, man!" [WHACK]

Now, thanks to this word, less headaches are caused. One can merely say

"The Time Traveler's Wife gave me a litergasm!"
"Northern Lights gave me my very first litergasm."
"Harry Potter really failed to perform." etc etc.

If anyone reading this has access to the official publication of the dictionary, copy and paste this into it, pleez?

I have been accused of sexualising books in the past. I can't imagine why.

Saturday, October 04, 2008

If Microsoft made Terminators..