The Rabid Dog’s House is a recurring feature at Wicked Horror where contributor Justin Steele uncovers hidden gems, lost classics, and overlooked indie offerings with a little bite. Flying solo or with his co-host Zena Dixon, he will discuss an array of topics covering film, literature, and television. Check out the latest installment below. In this episode we’re looking back at 1994’s Wolf!
Directed by Mike Nichols, Wolf follows Will Randall (Jack Nicholson), a senior editor at a publishing firm who is at risk of losing his job after a recent company takeover. He is a kind and considerate fellow, but Will’s noble qualities are often taken for granted. One snowy evening, Will accidentally hits a wolf, and after being bitten, he soon begins taking on his own wolfish qualities that brings out his more assertive side. Those that previously took Will for granted, including his protégé (James Spader), are now forced to take notice of Will’s more ruthless side. Unfortunately, the senior editor’s transformation is not only affecting his personality, and he finds out that his recent gift is more of a curse. Will seeks help from Laura Alden (Michelle Pfeiffer), his boss’ daughter, and is desperate to not succumb to the dangerous nature of his new wolfish personality.
Wolf is a stylish look at the werewolf genre that delivers on the typical tropes but centers on more mature themes. The film deftly balances between expected gore and high-brow metaphors exploring the canine within us all. Wolf is for the horror fan that enjoys the werewolf subgenre, strong performances, and a terrific looking film.