Contributed by Guest Writer, Gorey Bits
Dir. Seth Breedlove (2022)
When you’re resting at home, do you ever wonder what the noisy neighbor is up to? When you’re out getting groceries, do you suspect the other shoppers of having a secret in their basement? This world is full of monsters, and you never know what evil may be lurking around the corner. We as human beings are so obsessed with the unknown, to the point where we are glued to the television wanting to learn as much as we can about what’s possible. What lurks in the woods out in the middle of the night? What was that strange howling? Do werewolves exist? If you’ve ever asked yourself that question, then I’ve got the perfect recommendation for you.
I recently watched a documentary called American Werewolves. It’s the latest release from the production company Small Town Monsters. The documentary chases one of mankind’s biggest mysteries, covering cases of shocking deaths and disappearances in North America. American Werewolves brings you eye witness testimony from a few brave investigators, presenting their theories that may prove that the ancient evil referred to as “Dogman” exists.
I personally don’t believe in things like religion, or legends such as “Bigfoot” and the “Loch Ness Monster.” I enjoy watching movies about them; I just can’t buy into the idea that these kinds of creatures exist, and somehow manage to stay hidden from the general public. Oddly enough, Ohio based filmmaker Seth Breedlove has made many documentaries covering famous legends like Bigfoot, The Mothman, Momo (the Missouri Monster) and the Boggy Creek monster. American Werewolves is a thought provoking documentary presented in a way that’s easy to digest. While some of the testimonies are a bit shocking to hear, American Werewolves is a safe watch content wise.
I went into American Werewolves as I do with every other movie I watch. Truth be told, it has more in common with the Unsolved Mysteries style of television shows you would find on basic cable. This particular documentary would be perfect to watch on a Friday night, right after America’s Funniest Home Videos. I watched American Werewolves for the entertainment value, and somehow I was so sucked into it that I ended up going down a google rabbit hole afterwards. I couldn’t help but try to find as much as I could about shapeshifters, and I blame that on this awesome documentary.
Small Town Monsters does a tremendous job of incorporating interviews to go with the “recreation” footage of a werewolf in the outskirts of America. American Werewolves centers on interviews with common townsfolk. Some of the stories told are downright scary. The testimonials edited together with the werewolf footage made it an engaging experience, although I think the documentary would’ve benefited from having “re-enacted” footage to enhance the stories being told. Watching this was a bit refreshing; it’s unlike anything I’ve ever reviewed.
The werewolves depicted in the documentary look great. So great in fact that I would compare it films like The Howling and Silver Bullet. What’s most peculiar about American Werewolves is that there’s no narration. No host to introduce and ease you into the subject matter. Everything about this documentary feels genuine. None of the interviews feel overly produced, and the cast of interviewees don’t come off like they’re being fed a script. Perhaps it’s ignorant of me to think that the contents of this documentary were fabricated from the beginning. Regardless of where you may fall on the “fact or fiction” aspect of this, American Werewolves is a documentary that you should be watching.
American Werewolves is available to watch on most video-on-demand platforms. If you’re a fan of werewolves or documentaries that cover legendary myths and monsters, then this new film from director Seth Breedlove and researcher/writer Heather Moser will be right up your alley. It’s a well crafted and informative documentary that held my attention from start to finish. American Werewolves was my first experience watching a Small Town Monsters production, and I’m proud to say that it won’t be a last.
I give American Werewolves:
8 out of 10 local carnivorous beasts.