Lycan Colony (2006) Review
Do you like bad movies? If your answer was yes, then you are going to love Lycan Colony, a 2006 shot on video obscurity that Wild Eye’s Visual Vengeance label has not only resurrected but released as the kind of collector’s edition Blu-ray normally reserved for films with a significant cult following, not one almost nobody has heard of. And most of those who have, know it from its Rifftrax version.
A pre-titles scene shows a trio of hunters chasing down a young boy who they run down and start to taunt, “Where’s your pack now, little pup?” As if on cue, howling breaks out in the woods around them and, for the only time in the movie, the image shifts into a sort of infrared Predator vision. From there, we meet Dr. Dan (Bill Sykes) who drank himself out of a chief surgeon’s job at a major hospital, something his wife Sandy (Kadrolsha Ona Carole, The Vast of Night, Morbius) constantly reminds him of, and now works in a small town in the middle of the New Hampshire forest.
While he’s at his AA meeting, his son Stewart (Ryan Roy) gets a visit from Sarah (Libby Collins, Thunderstruck, Love, Weddings & Other Disasters) who apparently climbed up the side of their house and in his bedroom window. She convinces him to go make out in a graveyard. In the midst of that, she looks up at the moon, which isn’t full, sprouts fangs and bites him. That being a major mood killer for some reason, I wouldn’t have let a hickey ruin a good evening, he goes home and promptly turns into a werewolf.
That’s just the first twenty minutes, and Lycan Colony only gets weirder from there. Dan and his AA sponsor Dave (Sean Burgoyne) head to a bar, seriously, where they meet Doug (Bill Finley) and his sister Russ (Gretchen Weisiger) who are looking for their father, who went missing on a hunting trip. By an odd coincidence, Dan knew him when they were in the military. By an even stranger coincidence, the bartender (Steve Pascucci) has his watch and the resulting confrontation leads to one of the cheesiest looking werewolf attacks in history.
You have to give Rob Roy, who wrote, directed and handled just about every behind the camera role on Lycan Colony, credit for being ambitious with his DIY tale of a town full of werewolves. Unfortunately, he lacked the money, technology and talent to pull it off. The story is all over the place, eventually pulling in the legend of the Wendigo and a 119-year-old shapeshifting witch (Kristi Lynn, Infected, Ghost Bridge).
But it’s the film’s technical aspects that really stand out. According to both the commentary track and interview with Roy, it didn’t take long for him to realize he was in way over his head, and that’s extremely obvious. Several scenes are so dark you can’t tell what’s happening. Others were obviously shot day for night. Several scenes start in the woods, move to footage of the actors in front of a green screen of the woods, then go back to footage shot on location. And many of them were shot through colour filters for no apparent reason.
Perhaps the most puzzling bit of footage involves the tattoo on the back of Doug’s neck. Despite the obvious ease with which that could be stencilled on, Roy chose to add it digitally and, as a result, it floats all over the place. The werewolves themselves are suits, well, one actual suit and an entirely different looking mask and set of claws. They actually look better than the full suit, though with this film that shouldn’t be a surprise.
The result is a jaw dropping piece of WTF cinema that really should be seen at least once by SOV cinema fans and completists, bad movie buffs and anyone with a taste for the absurd. The closest I can come to an equivalent to watching Lycan Colony is another example of digital filmmaking run amuck, the original Birdemic. Either that or the kind of dream you have when you go to bed stoned off your ass.
The result is a jaw dropping piece of WTF cinema that really should be seen at least once by SOV cinema fans and completests, bad movie buffs and anyone with a taste for the absurd. The closest I can come to an equivalent to watching Lycan Colony is another example of digital mayhem, the original Birdemic.
Visual Vengeance have produced what is probably as good-looking a version of Lycan Colony as its original elements will allow. The Dolby Digital 2.0 sound is good as well, although some of the dialogue between Stewart and Sarah was a bit hard to make out. It’s all rounded out with plenty of features, including the Rifftrax version and trailers for the likes of Repligator and Suburban Sasquatch. For those that are leary of dropping that kind of cash on a complete unknown, it’s also available on various Digital Platforms, including Tubi.
All Region Blu-ray
Limited Edition Slipcase – FIRST PRESSING ONLY
Limited Edition ‘New Hampshire Forest Scent’ Air Freshener – FIRST PRESSING ONLY
Commentary with director Rob Roy
Commentary with Sam Panico of B&S About Movies and Bill Van Ryn of Drive-In Asylum
New 2022 Interview with director Rob Roy
The full Rifftrax version of Lycan Colony
Lycan Colony Music Video
Visual Vengeance Trailers
Four page liner notes/ essay by Sam Panico
Collectible Folded mini-poster
‘Stick your own’ VHS sticker set
Reversible Blu-ray sleeve
Optional English subtitles