DVD/Blu Ray

Late Phases: Night of the Wolf (15) | Home Ents Review



Dir. Adrián García Bogliano, US, 2014, 95 mins

Cast: Nick Damici, Ethan Embry, Tom Noonan, Lance Guest, Tina Louise, Rutanya Alda, Erin Cummings, Al Sapienza, Larry Fessenden

Late Phases is a straight-to-DVD nasty that’s probably best enjoyed with a tumbler of whiskey in your hand. Nick Damici, the charismatic presence from the underseen and underappreciated Stakeland, plays cantankerous blind Vietnam vet Ambrose. Checked into a peaceful, idyllic retirement community by his concerned son Will (a most welcome Ethan Embry, having an indie shlock resurgence of late), he’s soon attacked by what the title informs you is most likely a werewolf (if the brief flashes of prosthetics and a shot of the full moon don’t do that for you).

What ensues is an enjoyable build-up between the first full moon and the next, as Ambrose ably starts deducing what’s happening.

Damici is a pleasure to watch, his gruff demeanour obviously hiding a hardy heart of gold. Embry provides the emotional connection, resulting in more than one stirring scene of a father-son bond hardened by the senior man’s experiences of war. When Tom Noonan shows up as a concerned, if suspicious priest, the film steps up a notch and turns into a whodunit (or rather, a who-wolfed-out, as most werewolf films tend to go). These elements are all enjoyable, resulting in a finale that has to be seen to be believed, as the blind Ambrose goes toe-to-toe with a pack of werewolves – which ends up feeling pretty believable.

You’ll be cheering for him the entire time, and the ending may just pluck one or two heartstrings. The shlock value of watching an old, grizzled, blind war veteran go head to head with a pack of werewolves is certain to excite. Especially if you have that tumbler of whiskey mentioned earlier.

Late Phases’ B movie roots are almost fighting to remind you of its roots, as the production value is basic. Redemption comes with the prosthetics and creature effects of the werewolves; it’s basically as good as it’s going to get – which isn’t half bad at all. The film gives you exactly what you’re expecting, if you’re going in expecting the right thing.

A strong B movie which probably won’t get the props it deserves for lack of attention or press, I strongly recommend those of you reading this review to check Late Phases out if you get the chance. There are worse ways to spend 95 minutes.

Review by Daniel Woburn

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Late Phases: Night of the Wolf is out on DVD now.