Project Wolf Hunting (2022) Review
Project Wolf Hunting begins with a mass return of Korean criminals captured in the Philippines. As they’re being led through Seoul airport somebody with a grudge against one of them detonates a suicide bomb killing himself, his target, and everyone else in the vicinity. To avoid a repeat of this, the next group is to be transported on the Frontier Titan, a specially fitted out cargo ship and delivered to a pier in Busan harbor to which the public doesn’t have access. I guess simply flying them into a military base never crossed anyone’s mind.
The Frontier Titan leaves Manilla with forty-seven criminals, twenty guards, two medics, and the ship’s crew. At least that’s what they think they’re leaving with because several of the crew have been replaced with gang members And there’s a forty-first passenger in the hold who is more dangerous than any of them could know.
From the start of its festival run Project Wolf Hunting was consistently described as an incredibly brutal and bloody film. That’s putting it mildly. After a slow buildup through the first half hour, the film becomes an exercise in carnage for the rest of its two-hour running time. Jong Du (Seo In-Guk, Doraemon the Movie: Nobita’s Treasure Island, Doom at Your Service) and Do Il (Dong-Yoon Jang, Joseon Exorcist, Just Dance) escape and begin killing the guards and freeing the other prisoners.
From there the ship becomes a bloody battleground as the two sides fight for control and survival. Knives, guns, fists, and bolt cutters are all put to use as writer/director Hongsun Kim (The Chase, Byeonshin) stages a seemingly endless series of battles everywhere from the ship’s bridge to the engine room and cargo holds. It is relentlessly bloody and brutal but not to the same degree as last year’s festival favourite bloodbath, The Sadness.
Scattered throughout the first half of Project Wolf Hunting are glimpses of what appears to be a maggot-infested corpse on life support stashed in one of the ship’s holds. This, is Alpha (Choi Gwi-hwa, Train to Busan, The Wailing), the product of Project Wolf Hunting, an attempt at creating a super soldier. Unfortunately, rather than creating Captain Korea, they created a super strong zombielike killing machine. Jason Voorhees crossed with Universal Soldier for lack of a better description.
At this point, Project Wolf Hunting manages to up the carnage level to eleven or maybe even twelve as Alpha, showing no favoritism, begins killing anyone who crosses his path. That includes the brutal sledgehammer killing of what I thought was going to be one of the film’s main characters.
But by the time we’re finally clued in as to the actual extent of Alpha’s powers, and his connection to one of the few survivors it’s clear that most of the cast are/were there simply to be stabbed, shot, have their head crushed or an arm ripped off and beaten to death with it. It’s an 80s slasher not only on steroids but with a bad case of roid rage.
Not for those with a weak stomach or who need much in the way of plot or characterizations, Project Wolf Hunting starts out as a bloodsoaked action film before turning into a hellish bloodbath that, while not as sadistic as Terrifier 2, has it beat for the sheer number and quality of effects. Hongsun Kim says there are fifty-seven deaths and that two and a half tons of blood were used. I see no reason to doubt either statement.
Well Go USA released Project Wolf Hunting to theatres in the US and Canada on October 7th. A date for Blu-ray and Digital availability hasn’t been announced yet. You can check their website or Facebook page for announcements. For those in the area, it will be screening Friday, November 18th as part of this year’s Saskatoon Fantastic Film Festival. And if that’s not enough action for you, FilmTagger can suggest a few more titles.