Miss Werewolf VHS

Furry Femme causes Freakout!

David “the Rock” Nelson spells out a warning right on the busy collage cover of his latest video: “…may strip touchy critics of their dignity.” Well, I’ve reviewed more of Nelson’s crazy little monster films than any other critic. Perhaps some day I should do a book-length interview with the man, such as Truffaut did with Hitchcock. (Or maybe I should hang myself first.) If the experience hasn’t stripped me of my dignity yet, then I didn’t have any to begin with. One of Nelson’s funniest gags ever comes right at the “Intermission Time” beginning of the show, in which he offers free blindfolds and earplugs available at the concession stand.

Miss Werewolf stars Nelson’s long-suffering girlfriend Janet Lynn as a young woman taking a vacation in Chicago. While visiting the Lincoln Park Zoo, Janet gets chased by a wolf and bit in┬áthe haunted crypt.

Soon after – or seven years ago, to judge by the recycled footage – Janet starts to turn into a werewolf and eat people. When she’s not eating people she eats quesadillas.

God help us, but Nelson’s films have begun to follow a formula. First, the menace appears and kills one or more of Nelson’s buddies. Then, Detective Rock (Nelson) is called in on the case. Rock refuses to believe in whatever the menace is, despite evidence presented by a medical authority, in this case Dr. Weirdo (Nelson). This has no bearing on the detective’s investigation, since he spends all his time in the basement of his aging parent’s suburban home, chowing down on snacks, sleeping, and watching monster movies (art imitates life). Meanwhile, the menace continues to kill adults and frighten wildlife, some of which takes place in re-edited scenes from Nelson’s other movies. Some of the victims are celebrities that Nelson has been brash enough to ambush with his camera rolling. Mostly, they’re just folks that happen to be there when he wants to tape. I bite the dust at about the hour mark, in a scene the farsighted Nelson filmed at least four years ago.

The flick is spiced up now and then by visits to exotic locations. This time, we get to see a haunted drive-in theater, and a tour of Chet’s Melody Lounge, just across the road from the famous Resurrection Cemetery. The movie fares best when it ventures furthest from the formula – significantly, this is the first Nelson flick to feature a castration scene.

If Nelson can’t get anybody to act in a scene, he just plays all the parts himself. This can be hilarious, as when Dr. Weirdo tests crime scene blood stains by tasting them, or when “Rocksella” (a drag tribute to Ed Wood) takes a break from mourning a victim to profess her ambition to become a pin-up girl. During one ironic scene, Nelson actually sleeps through one of his own movies. Other bits, such as the endless eating scenes (even the narrator pigs out at one point) and the overuse of video f/x, have overstayed their welcome.

Nelson seems to feel his viewers would rather have a full tape at any cost, even if it means re-using a lot of old material. This is not the case. At 123 minutes, Miss Werewolf is just plain excessive. The only excuse for its length is that you can miss 15 minutes of it without losing track of the story. That’s 15 minutes that could easily be edited out – just pick any 15 minutes. Remember, less is more – and nothing is everything.

How does it end? Nelson’s flicks are like a 9-year old’s drawings on the back of a school notebook – he just keeps going until the canvas is full. Following his present formula, Nelson ends a movie by running out of tape.

Visit David “the Rock” Nelson’s BASEMENT OF BLOODY HORROR!!

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