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Skinwalkers (2006)

  Tags: action, Elia Koteas, James Isaac, Jason Behr, Kim Coates, lycans, Matthew Knight, Natassia Malthe, Rhona Mitra, Sarah Carter, Shawn Roberts, Skinwalkers, Tom Jackson

Your rating: None Average: 4.7 (3 votes)
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James Isaac
110 minutes
Natassia Malthe, Shawn Roberts, Sarah Carter, Kim Coates, Tom Jackson, Matthew Knight, Jason Behr, Elia Koteas, Shawn Roberts, Rhona Mitra

Loosely based on the Native American legend of a person with the supernatural ability to turn into any animal they desire, this film specifically focuses on the werewolf aspect, with Jason X director James (Jim) Isaac returning behind the cameras. The film was originally slapped with an R-rating, but the violence and nudity was trimmed down (even going as far as removing all the blood from the poster and replacing it with saliva) to receive the PG-13 rating they were aiming for. It makes sense since the movie itself seemed to be aimed more towards a young male audience.

The project was questionable from the start, but once the MPAA rating came in, it was pretty much set to fail. This is essentially just an action flick with some werewolves thrown in for the hell of it, and you actually don't see much lycan action until the last 20-minutes-or-so. The rest of the film is pretty much just a bunch of running and gunfights. The movie has received a lot of slack from fans, and I don't blame them, this is barely a werewolf film, but as an action film, it's decent, and I was mildly-entertained by it.

The story basically follows two groups of werewolves: one that is hunting down a young boy, whom is the key to the end of their kind, and the second group that grew up with the boy as his guardians and will die to save the child. Small on story, but heavy on action, they've attempted to add modern-day twists to an old legend, and have the two groups use guns rather than their brute strength and claws to take out one another. The film started out pretty solid with a nice gunfight in a small town, but then starts to go downhill as we go from one location and gunfight after the other. It would have been nice to see more werewolf action, but (as I said earlier) we don't get anything like that until towards the end. Sadly, for a werewolf film, there's barely any blood or guts, since most of the deaths were delivered by guns, we get some shots to the head and a little blood splatter here and there.

Veteran effects artist Stan Winston did look of the werewolves, which I personally though were decent-looking, but a little too human for my liking. The female lycan looked more like a cat, while the males looked like hairy bikers with sharp teeth. Sometimes a good werewolf transformation makes up for a bad movie, but there's nothing special about the transformations in this flick. Although the CGI was better than what was delivered in the horrible American Werewolf in Paris, the transformation itself wasn't much of a step-up from practical effects. The movie was released today via After Dark Films to less than a 1,000 theaters, and will likely flop at the box office.

As an action flick, it's a decent watch, but as a werewolf flick, it's yet another disappointment to the genre. If you go in expecting a lot of gunfights then that's what you'll get, but don't expect much more than that.

Posted on July 20, 2010 - 5:35am | FrighT MasteR