I’m not a big fan of director Fred Olen Ray but he has a lot of films behind him of which Dire Wolf (2009) is just one of them. I wasn’t expecting much from this film but I must say I was pleasantly surprised. The film is written by Dan Golden and Patrick Moran and for the most part is a solid-monster-escapes-laboratory-and-wreaks-havoc-on-small-town film. In this case science has decided to splice the human DNA with that of a dire wolf. When the creature awakens from its sleep it escapes the lab into the open world and kills just about everyone in its path. The only person that can stop it is Sheriff Parker (a superb Maxwell Caulfield) and his son and several special agents who were sent in to capture the science-gone-amok creature alive.
The monster kills and a lot of people die in gruesome fashion as fitting a good horror film. Horror fans will delight in the chaos and bloodshed on display in the film despite the very familiar storyline but it is Caulfield as the Sheriff who really shines. He runs his police office like something out of David Lynch’s Twin Peaks adding a bit of originality and humor to the film. By the end of the film I was wishing for the Sheriff to get his own TV series from the same town where bad things just always happen but the Sheriff will get to it in his own time.
This being said the rest of the film is pretty standard stuff but its standard stuff done very well and therefore will entertain you from beginning to end. Now if you can’t stand the cliché monster film then this is definitely not the film for you but if you enjoy a good cup of coffee with your monster movie then this film just might be what you’re looking for.