I decided that I've been neglecting this whole sub-genre of 'gay werewolf' movies, that's been going on at least since 1988's amusingly-titled "Curse of the Queerwolf". So here it is, finally, in all its glory -- "The Wolves of Kromer". And I promise I'll try to hold back on any Brokeback Mountain references that come to mind, although it doesn't help that the lead 'wolf' looks suspiciously like Jake Gyllenhall. I kept waiting for a scene where the two hungry werewolves are stalking a flock of sheep and one of them turns to the other and says, "I wish I knew how to quit ewe!"
Ahem. Once upon a time, there were two wolves who lived happily together in the village of Kromer. The villagers didn't understand the wolves, and feared them since they spread disease and caused trouble wherever they went. When two old grannies plot together to kill their mistress in order to inherit her fortune, they decide to frame the wolves for the crime and this begins a tragic series of events which climax in a wolf-hunt led by the local priest. Meanwhile, the two wolves in question both wrestle with their strong feelings for one another.
"Wolves of Kromer" is a well-written, well-acted and interesting piece of work. In a way it is reminiscent of the surreal dream fairy-tale world of "Company of Wolves", which can't be a bad thing. It is, from start to finish, extremely homoerotic and it is clearly much more than just a simple, subtle metaphor or subtext on show here. Given that the two lead actors spend the entire film prancing around in fur coats and tails it may well have degenerated into a farce, but the actors play it straight and it comes all across as surprisingly charming and above all touching. There are moments when it does lower itself into what can only be described as immaturity, such as in a shot when it is revealed that the gowns of the homophobic priest are, in fact, concealing his very own tail, and in the 'angry village mob' scene I could have sworn I saw somebody in a KKK outfit. I mean, what?
All the same, "The Wolves of Kromer" is an important film that takes a clever concept and milks it for all it's worth. It may not be much of a 'werewolf' movie, but it's still worth checking out.
There are no marks given for subtlety as far as this movie is concerned. It's all rather cheeky and tongue-in-cheek, and anyone who doesn't in the first five minutes understand what the story is REALLY about can't have been paying all that much attention. Quite simply, wolves = gays. Why wolves, you ask? Well, wolves are misunderstood creatures. People fear them when really they don't generally mean any harm to people whatsoever. At least, I'm presuming that's what the concept behind this movie is.
There aren't rather any werewolves in this movie. They are simply referred to as 'wolves', and are men who walk around wearing fur coats and tails (see pics). This is an peculiar idea, and could easily have just looked silly ... okay, so it does look silly. But in the context of the film, it works perfectly well. They reminded me a bit of Scott Cohen's 'half-wolf' character from "The Tenth Kingdom".