MVD Entertainment Group will be guiding to market on Sept. 26 both DVD and Blu-ray editions of writer/director Bev Land’s Lycan. A brief theatrical run by Parade Deck Films is planned for Aug. 4.
You know that you are going to be in for a horror “joy ride” when your professor (played by Vanessa Angel) assigns a group project. Yes, group projects in college are hellish experiences … there are always slackers who let the others do all of the heavy lifting.
But, the group assignment itself, while fraught with perils, is not the real horror tale here, but what the little cadre is assigned to research. It’s 1986 and the six students (which genre fans will immediately recognize as “the victim pool”) are to gather what they can and report back on a series of events that took place roughly 100 years ago in their home state of Georgia.
The story, the legend of the Talbot County Werewolf, has been passed down over the years. Emily Isabelle Burt (a real person), the daughter of a wealthy widow by the name of Mildred Burt, returned home from a year at boarding school in Europe and began to act strangely. She would go off into the nearby (spooky) woods at night. She also began to grow body hair (as the legend says) and her teeth grew “pointed” (the legend also). In the meantime, the local farmers were perplexed by the wholesale slaughter of their livestock.
You can see where this is going. Strange girl, dead livestock and a local man (from somewhere in “Eastern” Europe) who warned his neighbors what was afoot, which they naturally dismissed as nonsense … that was until their efforts to track and kill the beast that was slaughtering their farm animals was to no avail.
He basically told them that they had to wait until the next full moon and prepare by gathering all of the silver that they could and fashion the silver into bullets to properly hunt the beast. The full moon came, they went on their hunt, cornered it, shot it, but it escaped howling into the woods … meanwhile, Emily was out wandering and her mother heard the commotion and went to investigate and found her daughter wounded. The legend was born.
This is the backdrop for Land’s horror tale — a real, honest to goodness, story about a local werewolf. So Isabella (Dania Ramirez — as “Jacinda” in the Once Upon a Time TV series and as “Maya” in Heroes) and her five classmates head off into the local countryside (filmed in around Columbus for the campus scenes and in nearby Upatoi, which is on the northern edge of Fort Benning, for atmosphere) to complete their assignment.
The assignment is only the pretext for a fun-packed weekend of camping and “other stuff” (wink wink, nod nod). But suppose, just for the sake of argument, that the legend was more than just a legend passed down over the years by the local “backwoods” folks!
Filmmaker Bev Land has delivered a terrific entry into the canon of werewolf-based film tales … backed with a solid script that blends mystery with your prerequisite horror jolts and it is served up with a twist that you are unlikely to ferret out in advance. Lycan, Sept. 26 on DVD and Blu-ray, put it on your must-see list, especially if you can’t catch a local screening.
Bonus goodies include video sessions with cast members Dania Ramirez, Rebekah Graf and Vanessa Angel, writer/director Bev Land, co-writer Michael Mordler, second unit director Steve C. Pitts and actress-turned-producer Crystal Hunt (Magic Mike XXL, Sydney White and as Stacy on One Life to Live), plus there is a panel discussion with Lycan producers and writers.