WOLVES OF KROMER, THE

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Reviews

Imagine a pair of gay wolves, Seth (Lee Williams) and Gabriel (James Layton). Throw in an English country village of scared residents. Add one topsy-turvy household, where two dotty maids (Rita Davies, Margaret Towner) plot the murder of their mistress Mrs. Drax (Rosemary Dunham). Blame the wolves for the crime. Mix this all up and you have The Wolves of Kromer, undoubtedly one of the year's most bizarre film entries.

Writer Charles Lambert and director Will Gould are both very young and it shows, although not to their advantage. The film attempts to be a cry for tolerance and has the wolves mouthing woe-is-us lines like, 'They say this is just a phase' and 'Why do they hate us so? What have we ever done to them?' (When a love affair goes bad, one of them says of his ex, 'He went back to the wife and cubs.') There's a fanatical cleric (Kevin Moore), who constantly rails about these homicidal degenerates from the pulpit, inciting his parishioners to hunt them down. There's a young boy (Matthew Dean), fascinated by the local goings-on, who himself may just be a budding wolf on the verge of 'coming out of the cave,' as it were.

If all this sounds both trite and unbearably twee, it is. It's the kind of thing that might have sounded clever in first-year Creative Writing for about a minute, but, stretched to feature-length, is merely inane and completely uninvolving. The wolves look and act like male models (which, indeed, the actors are), carrying on like lupine versions of boys on Old Compton Road, London's equivalent of Manhattan's Chelsea. Over fetchingly bare torsos, they wear fur coats (with attached tails), which look as if they've spent a particularly hard night on the back of Tallulah Bankhead. The Drax household provides no relief from the dramatic abysmalness, as those murderous maids are an ultra-annoying pair of biddies and their employers merely screeching, haute-bourgeois clichs. Boy George's narration only adds to the overall, super-smarmy preciousness.

--David Noh