She Wolf Rising (2016)


USA. 2016.


Director/Screenplay – Marc Leland, Producer – Carl Burrows, Photography – Ben Wolf, Music – Joshua Benash & Tom Burns, Visual Effects – Michael Berkman, Makeup Effects – Jeremy Selenfriend, Wolf Effects – Liz Bolick & Therese Schorn. Production Company – C.A.T. Productions/Triboro Pictures


Tiffany Shepis (Gina Skylar), Timothy Mandala (Jake Bubar), J. Edmund Fond (Robert Lonzo), Brandon Ellis (Ryan Smith), Allegra Leland (Chiara Lupenau), Debbie Rochon (Porcia), Alan Rowe Kelly (Tess the Agent), Kate Rose Reynolds (Flame Bell), William White (Charlie Graves), Ruby La Rocca (Lace/Lillian), Tina Krause (Hitch Hiker)


Jake Bubar relates to his best friend Ryan how he met Scream Queen Gina Skylar in a convenience store after she spotted him reading a magazine article about her. Gina came onto Jake and persuaded him to help her in retrieving the stolen print of her latest horror film. Posing as a journalist, Jake set out to investigate what happened on the set of the film, This led him in search of a never-filmed script called The True Scream Queen. In the course of tracking down the script, he learned that Gina was in fact a werewolf whose transformation could be brought on by reciting lines from classic horror films.

She Wolf Rising was a debut film for director/writer Marc Leland. Leland is clearly a genre fan – he casts Scream Queen Tiffany Shepis as a Scream Queen, while also getting in a cameo from 90s Scream Queen Debbie Rochon. He writes a plot that takes place around a horror movie set and one of the key elements is how the werewolf transformation is brought on by reciting classic lines from horror movies. You suspect that a certain amount of the film’s basic story also acts as wish fulfilment in that it concerns a young fan who is seduced into aiding a drop dead gorgeous Scream Queen while later bedding her.

The film’s basic idea of a Scream Queen who is also a werewolf has a certain cheesy amusement. On the other hand, Marc Leland fumbles all of the potential in a nonsensical script. The film seems filled with random scenes – Tiffany Shepis sends Timothy Mandala to her apartment where he is greeted by two girls who proceed to make out with one another before he finds out Tiffany isn’t there at all. In a later scene in the studio warehouse, one of the girls from the apartment turns up as a zombie for no apparent reason (although this is never referred to again). One of the aspects driving the plot is that Tiffany asks Timothy to help her retrieve the print of her last film. For some reason, this has him playing amateur detective while posing as a journalist and interviewing everyone associated with the film and then sidetracking off to follow her mention of the title of an unmade script, although this proves to be a subplot that never goes anywhere.

It is a mishmash of scenes that seems to lack any coherent plot holding them together. To add to the confusion, in mid-film Leland pulls back to reveal that everything we have seen is all part of a film being watched at a cast and crew screening. From there, he has director J. Edmund Fond, who also plays the director in the film, snap and start killing everybody. Rather absurdly, Tiffany Shepis is able to stand up to him by finding the ability her character in the film has to transform into a wolf by reciting lines from classic horror movies apparently works in real life too.

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