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Oct 312011

Happy Halloween, everybody! Vampires and zombies are not the only top monsters of the horror genre. Another classic beast is the werewolf a.k.a. lyconthropes. The curse of the werewolf is easily spread like a zombie virus, courtesy of its sharp claws and teeth. When the full moon is out, the victim becomes a wild beast that’s out of control and allergic to silver. These are my most favorite werewolves.

#10) Scott Howard from Teen Wolf: Scott is an underdog teenager, who comes from a family of werewolves. Sure, the full moon causes his transformation, but it can also be triggered by anger. However, Scott is always cautious about anyone seeing him wolf out in public, even when it can be useful.

On a side note, Michael J. Fox played Scott Howard on the original Teen Wolf movie and Jason Bateman played the role in the sequel, Teen Wolf 2, but it was the cartoon series I remember best.

#9) Velkan (Will Kemp) from Van Helsing: He was a werewolf hunter along with his sister Anna until their latest catch broke free and attacked. Now Velkan is a werewolf that can smoothly crawl up walls, run long distances, and has the strength to kill vampires. The transformation was graphical because both his clothes and skin get ripped up. Now isn’t that just creepy?

#8) Jack de Wolfe (Joey Fatone) from Red Riding Hood: Now here’s a unique werewolf. He’s a shape shifter with a huge appetite for human beings. However, Jack’s transformations are limited to only his eaten victims, but mostly prefers the form of his very first victim.

#7) Ginger (Katherine Isabelle) from Ginger Snaps: She was a gothic teen along with her sister Brigitte. After being attacked by a werewolf she becomes more dangerous, not only as a wolf girl, but also as a girl who is not afraid to take vengeance on her tormentors with deadly results. However, Ginger does fear the extra hair from her scratches and the tail growing from her tailbone. Of course, who wouldn’t be?

#6) Fangface from Fangface: Unlike most werewolves, he is eager, friendly, and heroic, like a superhero. Fangface’s transformations are entirely based on whether he sees the sun or the moon. That can be easily controlled with any pictures of the sun or the moon. The only time Fangface gets out of control is when anyone mentions food, which makes him want to eat his friend Pugsy. Rubbing Fangface’s paw is the only way to calm him down if that were to happen.

#5) Professor Lupin (David Thewlis) from Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban: During Harry Potter’s third year at Hogwarts, Lupin was the Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher. When the moon is out, he becomes a werewolf with the posture of a human and not as hairy compared to other werewolves. This curse prevents Lupin from teaching, but still remains to be a great ally in later Harry Potter films.

#4) Oz (Seth Green) from Buffy the Vampire Slayer: As a human, he’s a young bass player and Willow’s love interest. Every night of the full moon, Oz becomes a dangerous werewolf. What’s really touching is that Willow still loves Oz for he is still a good soul. It’s too bad the relationship didn’t last after awhile.

#3) Free from Soul Eater: He’s an immortal wolfman with amazing powers that control ice and snow. However, Free likes to brag and is a bit of a klutz, which makes him hilarious. However, Free is still a very dangerous opponent because he’s a lot tougher than most keshans.

#2) Fangster from Ghostbusters: He’s a futuristic ghost werewolf that’s strong and muscular as he is scary. Like his other ghostly comrades, Fangster can sneak into tight places by materializing into spirit form. However, he never reveals his human form and the closest Fangster has ever come to infecting anyone with the werewolf curse is by turning dogs into savage werewolf slaves with a magical arch built out of bones.

#1) Lawrence Talbot (Benicio Del Toro) from The Wolfman (2010 version): This was the latest remake based on the old movie monster. Talbot was an American citizen, who was summoned to England to search for his missing brother, only to be attacked by a werewolf and possess the curse. Now he’s a graphical beast that smoothly slashes up innocent people at random with his claws. Even though that movie was slow-paced, it still makes me think of how far this mythical monster has come over the years in both movies and TV shows.



Honorable mentions: Believe it or not, werewolves have left their mark on video games also. In the Super NES game Zombies Ate my Neighbors, the werewolves were fierce, but were easily defeated with silverware. Now isn’t that just silly?

The video game I remember best from this category is Werewolf: The Last Warrior for the NES. The hero is a man, who becomes a werewolf by picking up red ‘W’s. (Blue ‘W’s weaken him.) The more wolf he is, the more powerful he becomes in order to fight evil. Here’s an example that I found on YouTube to help set the mood for the werewolf’s howling success.

Oct 292010

Here’s a new special treat for Halloween. The horror genre is highly popular, not only in movies, but also in video games, especially with the amazing graphics that make it look more like a realistic exploration. Here are some of my favorite video games that provide adventure and spooky delight. No, I’m not talking about the ghost house levels from the Super Mario Bros. franchise. These go even further with facing monsters in creepy venues, but without too much gore. I’ve also included clips from each game, which I found on YouTube, to help set the mood.

#10) Resident Evil 4 (Play Station 2): Personally, I prefer the movie versions to the video games, but this one was adventurous with a commando shooting zombies in villages and castles. What I don’t understand is why Alice isn’t the hero this time around.

#9) Condemned: Criminal Origins (X-Box 360): I don’t own an X-Box console, but I found out about this game from a series that was on the Gameplay HD network called Cinemaddicts. The idea of a framed FBI agent looking for a killer who kills serial killers with their own methods makes for an interesting mystery/horror story. I miss the Gameplay HD network. What could’ve happened to it?

#8) A Nightmare on Elm Street (NES): Although I wasn’t hugely into the movie versions (with the exception of the very first one) this game was pretty adventurous. You go through all kinds of buildings while punching out all sorts of enemies and bosses that are Freddy Kruger-like. However, you have to search around for bones scattered throughout every area and find them all before you can move on. That can get a little tiresome. If you were to compare this Freddy to the one in the horror film franchise, he’s practically a pushover.

#7) Monster House (Play Station 2): I don’t care how tame this game (based on the movie) is, based on other reviews. Exploring the inside of a possessed house with evil living objects at every turn can be plenty spooky. Considering that the kids’ only ammo is water and the joystick vibrates like a heartbeat in order for you to feel the adrenaline they’re experiencing.

#6) Super Ghouls ‘n Ghosts (Super NES): After getting used to the newer joystick and better graphics on Super Mario World, I tried my hand at other games for the Super NES, starting with this one. The graphics and story line were amazing and the levels are full of scary monsters. What I remember most were the zombies that rise out of the ground in their caskets. However, the hero Arthur doesn’t take many hit points, so I found the challenge frustrating.

#5) Zombies Ate my Neighbors (Super NES): Compared to most video games with the horror genre, the graphics are a bit cartoonish. However, this game has every basic type of horror movie monster in the book. The heroes are young teens, Zeke and Julie, who are armed with water pistols and various objects, on the search for victims in all sorts of places. The levels do seem endless, but the concept is still great.

#4) House of the Dead 3 (Nintendo Wii): Shooters are fun at the arcades, but this was the first shooter I’ve played for the Nintendo Wii and I loved it. The story line mostly takes place at a science facility because that’s where the various zombies were regenerated. One boss that really sticks out is the muscular security guard that’s highly persistent. Seriously, how many bullets to the face does it take to kill this guy?

#3) Super Castlevania 4 (Super NES): Even though the Castlevania franchise continues in popularity, I still find this game a classic monster quest. Simon Belmont whips his way through all sorts of creepy areas that are haunted with eerie spirits and bosses that are at least twice his size. And don’t forget about how the skeletons explode when whipped. That is so cool.

#2) Shivers (CD-ROM): Sorry, but I just had to mention this old classic from the 90s. It’s one of the first games I’ve played in which you’re exploring from the young hero’s viewpoint. Although there are only ten evil Ixupi spirits in the whole game, they could be hiding anywhere in the haunted museum waiting to strike. The horror is mostly in the suspense.

#1) House of the Dead Overkill (Nintendo Wii): This is definitely the ultimate horror shooter for the Nintendo Wii. There are all sorts of zombies and/or mutants in this one, some of which I’ve never even imagined. All the better the reason to use a machinegun, unless you’re aiming for combo points. On the other hand, who would actually think about that in a real zombie situation? Of course you have to be careful not to shoot any civilians.

On a side note, when my sister and I were playing this, there was a level that had clowns in it. At first we weren’t certain if they were enemies or not, but she didn’t care either way. It was hilarious, even if the clowns did turn out to be zombies.

Disclaimer: Due to the X-rated gore and constant use of the ‘F’ word, you’ll have to settle for images instead of a YouTube video clip. I apologize for the inconvenience.