Arizona Werewolf (1996) from Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy; Greg Wroblewski)

Arizona Werewolf (aka Werewolf) is another film from Tony Zarindast, the director of one of our favorite bad movies, Hardcase and Fist. MST3000 selected it for one show, and that choice transformed it from an obscure piece of trash to a famous piece of trash. There are 36 comments about this film at IMDb, and 470 votes! The film probably could merit its place in the bottom 100 without the help of MST3000, but it could never have actually achieved that singular honor without the notoriety it received by being dishonored by Crow and Servo.

If you want to see this movie, I have to suggest seeing it on MST300 if you get a chance. Although I haven't seen that episode of Mystery Science Theater, I have to think it would have to be more fun than trying to watch it on a DVD. Don't try to rent it and watch it for the joy of watching a bad movie, because it's generally not the kind of bad movie that is also fun. There are hilarious segments, but it is generally slow-paced, some of the sub-plots seem irrelevant, you can't tell some of the characters apart, continuity is non-existent, some of the action doesn't seem to follow from the previous action, some scenes are illogically re-dubbed, there is an infinite amount of time-wasting (like a billiards scene that seems to serve no purpose except for the cast members to play billiards, and a museum tour which simply eats up screen time) and the overall editing is as choppy as any movie I've ever seen. It's basically an unwatchable movie unless you have Mike and the 'bots as your guides. 

Oh, yeah, did I mention that all of the starring actors speak with some kind of strange foreign accents ("Wahrwolf"), and the lead actress has no concept of English at all (at one point she says something like "The doctor and Tom is actually  ....".) The best actor in the film is Joe Estevez(!!), who appears briefly at the beginning, until his character is simply dropped from the script without explanation.

There were a few things that cracked me up. 

  • The werewolves actually look like a cross between bears and apes, or rather like chubby teenagers wearing bear masks for Halloween.
  • You know how in werewolf movies, the people are always running from the wolves? Well, in this movie, the wolves run from the people, because the people just want to put them in cages and study them. Only one problem. Once the humans do catch up, the wolves rip them limb from limb. That in itself wasn't funny, but one of the chases was a car chase in which the werewolf tried to get away from the lab assistant by driving a family sedan and wearing a baseball cap, all while gradually doing the whole nutty human-to-wolf thing.  By the way, that is multi-talented Tony Zarindast himself as the motorist-werewolf (below).



Adrianna Miles plays billiards while wearing a t-shirt with little or nothing beneath


  • There is a scene where a young couple are making out in a car. The girl spies a werewolf, gets out of the car and starts running. Although the werewolf is crawling, he catches her almost immediately.
  • There is another scene in which a guy spots another guy turning into a werewolf in the bathroom. He simply says "Hi, Tom", and walks out calmly as if he had simply seen the guy combing his hair.
  • Then again, you have to love anyplace where the full moon is out every night. If romantic full moons or lycanthropes are your thing, I heartily recommend Flagstaff, Arizona based upon this film.

DVD info from Amazon.

  • 1.33:1 full screen version

  • no features, no widescreen

  • They couldn't do the on-camera transformations with their budget and technical skills, so when a transformation was needed, they would cut to another scene or simply to a shot of the full moon until they came back to show the werewolf transformed a bit further. Repeat as necessary.

The Critics Vote

  • General consensus: no major reviewers have discussed this film.

The People Vote ...

  • With their votes ... IMDB summary: IMDb voters score it 1.8, making it the 33rd lowest rated movie in the history of mankind's stay on this planet. And that might be a bit high.
  • With their dollars ... no theatrical release
IMDb guideline: 7.5 usually indicates a level of excellence, about like three and a half stars from the critics. 6.0 usually indicates lukewarm watchability, about like two and a half stars from the critics. The fives are generally not worthwhile unless they are really your kind of material, about like two stars from the critics. Films under five are generally awful even if you like that kind of film, equivalent to about one and a half stars from the critics or less, depending on just how far below five the rating is.

My own guideline: A means the movie is so good it will appeal to you even if you hate the genre. B means the movie is not good enough to win you over if you hate the genre, but is good enough to do so if you have an open mind about this type of film. C means it will only appeal to genre addicts, and has no crossover appeal. D means you'll hate it even if you like the genre. E means that you'll hate it even if you love the genre. F means that the film is not only unappealing across-the-board, but technically inept as well.

Based on this description, this film is an E - can't rate it F because the picture is generally sharp, the lighting isn't bad, and the colors are good, so it isn't a total mess technically. But the film certainly deserves the minimal score otherwise available to films with clearly visible images.

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