Gainesville, Florida – Werewolf film buffs were thrilled when, as part of its “Wolf to Wooof” exhibit, the Florida Museum of Natural History announced a month-long series of werewolf movies starting in mid-July.
Prior to the start of the series, one lycan film blogger wrote, “Finally, a film festival about us, and for us.”
But what the museum learned at the July 11’s screening of 1941 classic The Wolf Man starring Lon Chaney, Jr. is that werewolf cineastes spare no film from their critical wrath.
As Jane M., a mother of three from Gainesville, put it: “My kids and I were trying to watch the movie, and every five minutes those werewolves in the back would start trash-talking the screen with some high-minded cinema blah-dee-blah. It was incredibly annoying.
“Then after the movie, instead of talking about how cool movie werewolves are, my kids kept asking me why real werewolves are such pretentious assholes. I didn’t even know my kids knew the word pretentious.”
As a local film professor told WereWatchers, “Viewing one of the great works of werewolf cinema while hearing it be critically eviscerated by actual werewolves was a bit too meta for my taste. I can talk about Eisenstein all day long, but come on, not during The Wolf Man. It’s just a damn movie for Chrissake.
Based on reports, the lycan filmgoers’ main point of criticism was about the dates special effects, which most would forgive, given that the film was made over 60 years ago.
“Not werewolf film buffs,” one lycan film critic told us, on the condition of anonymity. “They don’t let filmmakers off the hook for anything. They’re the personification of merciless.”
And their criticism did not stop at the effects, as evidenced by the bounty of commentary in the lycan Twitterverse the day after the screening. A few examples:
- @Were-Da-Movie-666: Where was the color cinematography? Wizard of Oz could do it in 1939. Why not this movie? Lazy filmmaking.
- @LyCannes-Film-Fest: The story-telling was completely one-sided, immediately assuming the werewolf would be self-loathing. Why not have the village hate itself a little? Why not have him decide being a werewolf is pretty awesome?
- @WhistleHowler8: I took umbrage at the wolfman’s exaggerated underbite. Lycan underbites, such as mine, for instance, and the whistle sound they create while howling, are truly beautiful. This hate-mongering movie was obviously produced in an insensitive time.
This incident comes two weeks after Carnegie Hall announced a ban on werewolves due to overly enthusiastic howling during music performances. (See WereWatchers article for more.)
As of Wednesday, Florida Museum officials had made no official comment about the disruptive film criticism.
Though rumor has it that for the screening of American Werewolf In London this Friday, the security staff has been instructed to take all measures necessary for a more quiet viewing experience, including use of anti-lycan mace spray.
“Just in case some werewolf goes Pauline Kael on us again,” one museum insider told us.