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Review: LYCANIMATOR (2018)

With a poster and title that invoke both lycanthropy and the film, Re-Animator Sébastien Godin’s (Ouija Mummy) Lycanimator conjures up expectations of a film as daftly entertaining as Project Metalbeast. Which is fitting as it claims to be another throwback to the films of the 80s and 90s. But with so many films claiming this, can it stand out from the crowd?

Two couples, May (Cayt Feinics, Clownado, Wrestlemassacre) ad Jeff (Jonathan E. Smith) and Brian (Kii Hornick, Creekers) and Nikki (Briana Wyman) are going off for the weekend. Their friend Allie (Karina Nieves) is waiting for them at the place they’ve rented. They haven’t even left before the bickering starts. It gets bad enough they have to pull over to break up a fight between Jeff and Brian. Niven (Joel D. Wynkoop, Taste Me: Death-scort Service Part 3) wanders over and, hearing that they’re heading to the old Phillips place, tries to warn them off.

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They laugh off his stories of strange experiments and even stranger creatures. We know better, though, we saw the prologue. Once they arrive at the house, the drinking commences. Running out of booze they search the house for more. Finding some familiar looking green liquid in the cellar, Brian pours it down Jeff’s throat to see if it’s safe. Later that night, in the middle of sex Jeff starts to transform…

Despite what the film’s makers said, with its trippy lighting and twisted, distorted visuals, Lycanimator looks more like something from the 60s or early 70s. There’s a definite psychedelic/bad trip vibe to many of the scenes. And the creature itself looks like something that was meant to be viewed under black light.

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The film’s bizarre look fits right in with the script. Lycanimator is a high energy film, but it’s not one to be taken overly seriously. The opening narration by Giovanni Lombardo Radice (Canibal Ferox/Make Them Die Slowly, Beyond Fury) and a mad scientist named Dr. Howard Phillips (Dustin Hubbard) playing with a green serum should be the first clues. If not then Joel Wynkoop’s hysterically over the top performance should do it. He’s great here, constantly over-emoting as though he just snorted half of South America. And yes, that is veteran director Todd Sheets (Bonehill Road, Losing It At The Devil’s Whorehouse) in a scene with him.

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For a film with such a low budget and short running time Lycanimator manages to toss a lot at the audience. Transformations, attacks, gore, some skin courtesy of Ms. Feinics, tentacles, and one of the oddest looking werewolves ever. It’s certainly not going to appeal to those who want a serious film. But others should find it a great way to kill forty-five minutes.

Lycanimator is available to stream via Wild Eye Releasing. You can check the film’s Facebook page for more details.

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