by Logan Myerz
When it comes to sequels, especially in the horror genre, the second installment can either make or break the franchise. There have been many films that surpass the original in many ways, such as Evil Dead 2, The Conjuring 2, and even Aliens. And many films that killed off the franchise before it really took off, such as Blair Witch 2: Book of Shadows. As a filmmaker, it’s a chance you take to continue with the storyline and capturing what happens to the characters in the next chapter. Do they live or do they die? More importantly, does the sequel capture the chemistry and tones that made the original movie so compelling?
I had the chance to interview the director, Lowell Dean, and the alcoholic werewolf himself, Leo Fafard, about Another Wolfcop, the sequel to the 2014 underground smash hit Wolfcop. With a title like this and the films poster (a take on Sly Stallone’s Cobra), you know you’re in for some laughs, thrills, and a downright good time. Another Wolfcop is a sequel film that I’ve been awaiting since the original and can honestly say I enjoyed it more than the first movie. Today, I spoke with Lowell Dean about the continuation in this franchise, the challenges, and the process of making a sequel film. And with Leo, I found out what it’s like playing a werewolf, being doused in buckets of blood, and being banned from the U.S.
Sequels are a disease…..meet the cure!
Interview with Director Lowell Dean
CP: Hello Lowell, how are you doing today?
Lowell Dean: Good, how are you doing?
CP: I’m not too bad, thanks for asking! I’ve been really excited to talk to you about Another Wolfcop.
LD: Ok, great.
CP: We’re huge Wolfcop fans and have been patiently awaiting the sequel for some time. What was different this time around and were there any challenges making a sequel?
LD: I think so much was different. I usually thought it would be easier, but why are sequels so bad? Why’s it so hard to make sequels? Quite honestly, it’s harder than I thought. The first film was under the radar and not a lot of people knew about it, or cared about it. By the time we made the sequel, we had a lot of feedback, there’s a ton of reviews, and what people loved or didn’t love about it. It’s impossible not to listen to some of that. On top of that for me personally, I’ve learned so much since the first film, watched the film with a live audience, and what I wanted to do differently. The biggest difference is the weight on my shoulders, making a kick ass Wolfcop sequel that is so much better, and knowing you have to film it in 17 days, while not having a lot of resources. So it’s a catch 22, but your still making an independent film.
CP: I would guess there is a lot of stress going into making a sequel film especially in the horror movie genre.
LD: Yeah so much and way more input. It’s a weird thing with sequels. It’s an exciting adventure because you know people are looking forward to it, but it’s also scary at the same time. Hopefully, I didn’t screw this movie up.
CP: Well I think you did a damn good job and we really enjoyed it!
LD: Thank you!
CP: Do you have any favorite horror sequels or any movies you watched for inspiration?
LD: For this film, one of my horror movie sequels is Evil Dead 2! Obviously, it’s a different breed. I have a laundry list of films I wanted to pull from such as Lethal Weapon, Gremlins, Slapshot, and a few other ones.
CP: All excellent choices, I especially love Evil Dead 2! All great films in different ways.
CP: In Another Wolfcop, the practical effects are top notch. How involved were you with the effects team and what was it like working with buckets of blood and guts?
LD: I was very involved, Emersen Ziffle was the practical effects supervisor, and we’re good friends. For the first film and the sequel, we would drink a lot of coffee, draw things, and write things. Even with stuff that’s in the script, it’s based on what he says. Emersen is a true practical effects guy and we would sit down and wonder what would it look like with someone giving birth, part human, and part lizard. I wouldn’t put words in his mouth, but I would say “let’s talk about this.”
CP: That is a key element that I loved about Another Wolfcop is the use of practical effects, and not going the CGI route. From a filmmaking standpoint, it seems more authentic.
LD: I’m going to be honest, there are two or three shots in the film that I thought would look better with CGI, but we’re treating this film like it was made in 1980. In that respect, it’s a true grindhouse film because we don’t have stuff to cover our asses. This is the best that we can do with camera angles, lighting, and prosthetics.
CP: The WolfCop makeup work was really well done. Did you have an overall idea of how the werewolf would look in this film and was anything changed since the first movie?
LD: In the first film, we just dove in, and figured it out while we were making the movie. And by the time we made the sequel, we learned so much from the first film, and the two years in between going to comic cons, and practicing the makeup. Even though it’s a small film, we benefited from a long pre-production period where Emersen and I drew five different versions of the character. Including the eyes, the nose, and we loved the way that Wolfcop turned out. If we do another film, I don’t want to change the way the werewolf looks because he looks perfect.
CP: I got a TeenWolf, American Werewolf in London, and the Wolfman vibe all intertwined into one.
LD: It was a little bit of everything. We spent so much time looking at the silhouette, the eyes, and the nose.
CP: What is different about Lou in the sequel film or how has he evolved since the first movie?
LD: I think Lou has evolved a decent amount and is a work in progress. In the first film, he was at his lowest, he was pathetic, he knew it, and was almost giving up on life. Since he became a werewolf, he is more confident this time around and I even wrote on my binder while making this movie “every wolf needs his pack.” He realizes he’s got these powers, these claws, and can rip these people apart. This movie begins with “I can do anything,” but Lou realizes he needs his team. He needs Willie and Tina to make it through because he doesn’t know what’s out there.
CP: How difficult was it to throw in the comedy aspect into a film that is horror driven?
LD: It was a definite choice. The first film, I was very insecure on how much comedy I should throw into the movie, but it’s called ‘Wolfcop’ and if we don’t have comedy, we’re going to get lynched. I wanted to strike a comic book tone for the first movie, and it doesn’t get funny until Lou becomes a werewolf. But with this movie, we wanted to continue with the movie and the next chapter. We already know Lou’s a werewolf and the comedy came quite naturally. I think we pushed it really far this time around because of people’s responses from the first movie and things I was really insecure about. Such as the sex scene or the dick transformation. It was giving me permission to go further this time around.
CP: Those are some of the greatest scenes from the movie, and we couldn’t stop laughing!
LD: Haha, good to hear.
CP: It’s rare to have werewolves having sex in movies and showing off their wolf penises, but with this movie we get the best of both worlds. What was it like filming these scenes and was there a lot of laughs on set?
LD: The sex scene in the second film was so ridiculous, that for the first time in my life I had to leave the set while we were shooting, and I’m the director. I actually ruined a take because I was laughing so hard. I said “action,” closed my eyes, and walked away. There were days like that where I wondered how am I allowed to have this much fun? Clearly if you responded that way, other people will want to see it, and laugh about it as well.
CP: Just with the horror and comedy elements, and the werewolf sex scene, we need more films like this!
LD: I agree. I’m told horror comedies are hard to do, but I hope not because I love doing these movies.
CP: I’m part of a horror movie Facebook group called ‘Killer Flicks,’ and one of the members wanted me to ask you will we ever see a WolfCop vs. Toxic Avenger film?
LD: It’s tough making character vs. character movies because it all comes down to rights. If the right people wanted to do, including the producers, I’m all about more Wolfcop movies. I would love to see a movie where the other character is anti-wolfcop in a lot of ways, including personality wise. I would love to see more Wolfcops, cross-over films, and TV shows.
CP: I would love to see Wolfcop in the Troma universe.
CP: Is this the last time we will see Wolfcop or are there other sequel films in the works?
LD: There’s nothing in development right now, but never say never. It took a while to get Another Wolfcop out. I love it and I love the character. I have ideas ready and waiting, but it depends on how vocal people are, and how they react with this movie.
CP: I’m really excited for everyone to see this movie and hopefully we will see more sequel films in the future, but only time will tell.
LD: Me too and I’m ready for more.
CP: Thanks so much for getting interviewed for Cinephellas.com and we ABSOLUTELY loved this film and can’t wait for everyone else to enjoy it as much we did.
LD: Thank you Logan and thanks for spreading the word.
CP: Keep up the good work my friend and we’ll talk soon.
LD: Thank you, have a good day.
Interview with Actor Leo Fafard
CP: Hello Leo, how are you doing today?
Leo Fafard: Hello Logan, I’m doing good.
CP: Great, we’re all huge fans of these two movies, loved your performance as Lou Garou/Wolfcop, and had some questions for you.
LF: Fire away buddy.
CP: What was it like bringing WolfCop to life in Another Wolfcop?
LF: It was awesome! I love playing this character and had a lot of fun creating the character with the director, Lowell Dean. More importantly, I loved the opportunity to play this character at any chance and opportunity. If it’s at comic con, fan expo, or whatever, anytime I can put on the suit and be an asshole, I’m all about it.
CP: Do you guys ever come through Chicago for any conventions?
LF: Well, I’m not allowed in your country.
CP: Really? Why’s that?
LD: I’ll let my lawyer tell you sometime, haha. It’s nothing terrible. Let’s just saying playing Wolfcop isn’t the only time I’ve been an asshole in my life. Honestly, I don’t have a criminal record up here in Canada per say. I was invited to a Comic Con in Ft. Lauderdale a few years ago, I had my criminal record checked out, and my passport was up to date. We hit Minneapolis first to switch planes and I was yanked out of line by Homeland Security.
CP: Oh shit.
LF: Yeah, they arrested me there in front of my wife. They took me to the security office, grilled me for half an hour, and told me they’re not letting me into the U.S. based on my arrest record in Canada. I told them I don’t have a criminal record and they said that doesn’t matter. I’ve never been to the states, but Homeland Security said I’ve been arrested too many times. I only had one conviction, but being arrested so many times, they wouldn’t let me fly to Florida. Last, they said I’m a character of poor moral standing and they didn’t want me in the U.S. They proceeded to take my mugshot, my finger prints, pictures of my tattoos, and pulled up my file. In the file it said I couldn’t return to the United States without a travel waiver or something of that effect. So the moral of the story, I can’t come to your country unfortunately.
CP: I guess we’ll have to travel to Canada to hang out with you and the cast. We’ve never been there before.
LF: Come on up, it’s a fucking blast!
CP: It’s been on our bucket list, and if we go to Canada, we probably won’t want to come back to the U.S.
LF: You’ll have so much fun that you will end up staying for a few years.
CP: That’s what we’re thinking and not returning to Chicago wouldn’t be a bad thing.
LF: Eventually, I’ll get the paperwork done, and Homeland Security won’t have a real reason to not let me in, so I’ll make it to the States one of these days.
CP: That would be great, we would love to meet you.
CP: Do you have any favorite horror sequels or any movies you watched for inspiration?
LF: Nope not at all. I’ve never been a horror movie fan. Not that I don’t like horror and I understand why people enjoy the genre, but I tend to laugh at them more than I should. I view them like ‘Wolfcops’ and I haven’t seen a movie that really made me jump or made me scared. Some people have different thrills, but I mostly watch comedies and actions movies. I get more of a thrill watching a really fucking good car chase. Having said that, I really enjoy shooting this genre because of the practical effects and it’s so much fun. Maybe I’m partial because of Lowell, Emersen, and the rest of the crew that are all my friends and family. I enjoy being around them so much and having so much fun making these movies. Like ice skating with blood everywhere. I’ve been involved with some pretty rowdy hockey games and spilled my share of blood on the skating rink, but not this much blood.
CP: It looked like it was a blast filming this movie will all the blood and practical effects.
LF: You betcha, it was a non-stop good time.
CP: How long did it take each day to get all the prosthetics and the full Wolfcop gear on?
LF: By the end of filming ‘Another Wolfcop,’ it would only take an hour to an hour and fifteen minutes to get all makeup and costume on. When we started filming the first movie, it was four hours to get all the prosthetics on and cut it down to one hour with the second movie.
CP: Wow, that’s impressive. I would have guessed four to six hours considering all the detail they put into the Werewolf face.
LF: Emersen and I got really good at it and keep in mind, I’ve been in this makeup over thirty times. I would sit there and Emersen would do his work on my face. I’m sure there’s a dozen pictures out there of Emersen tea bagging me.
CP: Haha, I’ll have to search Google for those.
LF: I’m not sure if I want to see those, Emersen’s a pretty hairy guy.
CP: What was the most difficult part of playing WolfCop in this movie?
LF: There were a couple days the filming was quite long, staying focused, and staying in character until the end of the day. We had a couple days where I was on set for fifteen hours. We really had a great set with great chemistry, and everyone did their jobs well. I was given room to do what I needed to do to make my shit work. But overall, I can’t think of any hardships, it was a really enjoyable experience.
CP: I would have guessed skating on ice with the full wolfcop costume on. That looked pretty damn difficult, but again I’m not good at ice skating.
LF: That was one of the easiest parts of shooting the movie. You’ve got a million and half dollars to shoot, do stunts, effects, and seventeen days to shoot it in. The pressure put on by the time we needed to get this movie done by was the hardest part. There were moments where we wanted to shoot certain scenes a few more times, to get the perfect shot, or a better performance, but it didn’t always work out that way. Really, the biggest hassle was fighting the clock every day. It’s really tough making a movie in seventeen days.
CP: That’s insane, I can’t believe this movie was filmed in under three weeks.
LF: It’s really tough making a movie in under 30 days, but we did it.
CP: Do you have any crazy or funny stories from filming Another Wolfcop?
LF: The only one that pops into my head, is trying to convince my wife that I wasn’t hanging out at the strip club, while they were filming all the titty scenes.
CP: Hahaha, that’s totally understandable.
LF: Yeah, it was really tough getting her on board with that scene. Between me and you, it was awkward when we were at the world premiere in Montreal, and it was the scene where I’m going down on a big hairy cat, and my wife’s sitting next to me in the audience. During the shooting though, the fight scene with the big robot man, he threw me across the stage, and my head bounced off the stage. Which isn’t a big deal since my head is like a big rock. But having said that, three hours later, I was done for the day and had to get the makeup off. I pulled the makeup off while on set and people really got a kick out of it when I would just pull the makeup off, since it’s glued to my face. So essentially, I pulled it off, people were taking pictures with their phones, and I ripped off part of my skin. Just above my eyebrow, I was bleeding, and I could see the look of horror on everyone’s faces when the makeup was off, and I was bleeding profusely. I had a few days before I had to film the parts as a human, so I had a few days for the wound to scab over, before I played Lou. In the movie, Lou gets his ass handed to him as Wolfcop, so when I had the wound on my face, everything worked out while filming, haha.
CP: Is this the last time we will see you suited up as WolfCop or are there other sequel films in the works?
LF: I’m leaning heavily toward not doing another Wolfcop. But having said that, if Lowell walked up to me with the right script and timeline, it would be way too much fun to say no.
CP: Do you have any upcoming projects?
LF: We have a show we filmed last year called ‘SuperGrid’ hitting the scene that Lowell Dean directed. I play the lead with Marshall Williams, that’s a fast-paced story and we fuck up some cars. There’s lots of guns, violence, and lots of woman. It’s a great show and will be released soon. I also have some other projects in the works as well to be on the lookout for.
CP: Awesome! Thanks so much for getting interviewed for Cinephellas.com, we ABSOLUTELY loved this film, and can’t wait for everyone else to enjoy it as much we did.
LF: It was great talking to you Logan and I’ll see you soon. Have a great day my friend!
Another Wolfcop is now available on Blu-Ray, DVD, and Digital HD.