A secret military project to create the ultimate soldier unleashes a metal skinned werewolf on a team of unarmed science nerds in this excellent horror/science fiction hybrid from the naughty nineties.
It all starts in 1974with a secret mission to a remote Carpathian area. Only two soldiers are aboard to infiltrate the castle of a suspected werewolf. One is armed with a camera and he gets some awesome footage of the creature as it proceeds to tear him apart .The other ,Butler, calmly waits for a clear shot and then takes down the beast with three well placed silver bullets.
Back in the states Butler meets up with his partner, and team leader, Miller. He hands him the blood that was extracted from the monster. Miller , in turn , gives it to a lab team to run tests before they can begin experimenting. The lab geeks use up most of the sample and come back with inconclusive results. This strict adherence to procedure angers the impatient Butler who decides to dose himself with the remaining fluid.
The good news is that Miller now has a whole body’s worth of werewolf blood . The downside is Butler promptly changes into a lycanthrope and brutally assaults a female lab tech. Miller doesn’t want to put down his friend so he has him flash frozen until such time as medical advances might help move the project along.
Cut to 1994 . A scientist, Anna De Carlo , has developed a synthetic skin , dubbed Bioferin, that is laced with metal. While not perfected yet the hybrid material seems perfect for military application. Miller has De Carlo’s team folded into his werewolf restoration project and orders them to test it on a frozen cadaver(Butler).
Performing the operation Di Salvo’s team notices three bullets embedded in the corpse. Since nobody seems familiar with wolfman movies they remove the silver shells . The ensuing chaos is Miller’s fault for not sharing the true nature of the corpse but it falls under ‘need to know” as far as he’s concerned. That’s military intelligence for you.
The team is justifiably astonished when the body wakes up . Pretty soon Butler is on the prowl and he devours the lab geeks like cocktail weenies. For scientists they hero up in a hurry . Realizing the monster can’t be allowed to escape they opt to lock down the facility and trap themselves in with the armored wolfman . What ensues is a lot of fun as the creature proceeds to do what it does best while the egg heads work together to brainstorm some way to kill it.
This is well rendered thanks to a lean approach that doesn’t try to develop the characters . They just get on with it . The robo-wolf is awesome and its attacks are gruesome to say the least . Great make-up and a nice performance by Kane Hodder(Jason in plenty of ‘Friday the 13th ’ flicks)underneath the monster suit. Kim Delaney (NYPD Blue) is a decent female scientist in distress but the film belongs to Barry Bostwick(Rocky Horror Picture Show) as the reckless, and vain, Miller. He has the best moment which finds him grasped by the beats and about to be killed- he calmly slicks his hair back and takes one for the team without even a whimper. Great stuff.
Best Lines: “That cadaver didn’t just fall out of the sky.”
“Why’d you send a body to us with bullets in it?”
Tom Doty is a columnist for The Floyd County Times.