Marc Leland’s (Gone with the Wieners 2009, The Grey Lady 2016) first Horror feature film She Wolf Rising hit screens in January 2016, distributed by Cat Productions and Triboro Pictures. Leland also directed, wrote, as well as assisting in other aspects of the filming process. Also known under the title Horrotica, She Wolf Rising was filmed in a number of locations around New Jersey and is quite a different kind of film that will intrigue Horror fans.
The story is told by an observational point of view, an outside observer, and involves a story within a story, within a story. Renowned scream queen actress Gina Skylar (played by real life scream queen Tiffany Shepis – Sharknado 2: The Second One 2014, Hallow’s Eve 2014) is tired of getting the same roles. She speaks to her agent, Tess (Alan Rowe Kelly: Tales of Poe 2014, Grindsploitation 2016), about finding her other jobs, and breaking out of the Horror rut she is in. Tess does not take her seriously, which greatly irritates Gina. Gina fundamentally works for Horror movie legend Robert Lonzo (J. Edmund Fond: City of Dreams 2013), who believes he has just made his best film, and Gina’s finest work. When the film is stolen, Gina is determined to find it, and believes it will be her breakout film.
She meets a dedicated fan named Jake Bubar (Timothy Mandala: All My Children 2008-2009, 30 Rock 2009), and easily talks him into helping her find the film. Gina lures Jake into underground filming, and all its ugly truths. Jake sees only good things in Gina’s eyes, who it appears is not who she seems. Their journey takes Jake into a dark, gritty underworld he initially struggles to understand. When Gina’s true self is revealed, Jake discovers everyone is as crazy as each other, and he must decide once and for all whose side he is on.
She Wolf Rising is, without a doubt, a unique film Horror fans will either love or hate. Its intense pace does not let up from beginning to end, and there is plenty of blood, gore and disgusting special effects to please most hardcore fans. However, the storyline does deviate from time to time into unrelated segways, and backstory. The character of Jake does change a couple of times during the course of the film from hardcore Horror fan to some kind of Science nerd, and back again.
In addition, She Wolf Rising is not a film to watch for viewers that just wants to sit back and enjoy an easy movie. It does take some figuring out, and putting pieces together, to understand. It is crazy, messy, mental, strange, unusual, imaginative, and yet the viewer cannot pull their eyes away from it. There is quite a lot of graphic sexual and violent content, and it is not for the faint-hearted.
The cinematography by Benjamin Wolf (The Hunter’s Anthology 2015, American Masters 2015) does an excellent job of keeping up with the constant change of pace and action through the movie. The musical score by Joshua M. Benash (Cinch Marks 2011, Bleeding Hearts 2015) provides tension, and builds suspense alongside each scene. With the events set in modern times, Tris Tiffany had an array of choice for costume designs, and did a great job for her first film. Leland and Shepis are ones to keep an eye out for, in fact the whole cast and crew work well together. She Wolf Rising is a must watch for those who want their mind and stomach challenged. The film will be released on DVD via Indie Rights April 19th, so be on the look out. CrypticRock gives She Wolf Rising 3 out of 5 stars.