Written and Directed by: Jason Toler
Starring: Tori Black, Marek Matousek, and Torey D. Sutton
Reviewed by: Brett G.
Thereís something more dangerous prowling the streets tonightÖ
A werewolf-themed film starring adult film star Tori Black will no doubt arouse many preconceived notions and expectations. Couple that with some of the heavily erotic fare that Breaking Glass Pictures has been pumping out lately, and youíll surely think Half Moon is destined to find itself in a late night Skinemax rotation. I can at least say this wonít be the filmís fate, as it is actually a thoughtful, honest attempt to make an interesting werewolf film. Whether or not itís a successful one is an entirely different story.
Rose (Black) is a prostitute who endures nightly physical and emotional punishment from her pimp. Still, sheís back out on the streets under the glare of a full moon; she ends up intercepting a call intended for one of her fellow prostitutes, and she winds up in a nice hotel with a fairly abnormal client named Jacob (Matousek). Instead of the usual quickie, Jacob wants to have a nice dinner and conversation before getting down to business. As the night goes on, Rose learns that Jacob definitely isnít the sort of trick sheís used to turning.
Though the subject matter is rather lurid, particularly when Roseís pimp physically assaults her (several times), Half Moon is quite a ponderous movie that tries to ground the werewolf mythos into something a bit more realistic. It takes the same tortured-soul approach that many of these films take to show that being a werewolf really sucks (they really lack any of the Romantic allure of their vampire counterparts). Most of the film reveals itself through a series of long conversations that establish the characters and their backstories. Though itís a noble approach at character study, itís hardly riveting and the characters just really arenít that interesting. They talk about everything from baseball to lycanthropy, and it seems like most of the film is dedicated to the guy convincing our porn starlet that such a disease is in fact real. It gets a bit tedious, especially when you can figure out where itís all headed.
If anything, the film is economical--thereís literally only about 4 or 5 proper scenes, and most of the film takes place on the one set (the hotel room). I guess credit should be given to the actors involved for pulling off the long conversations and playing their characters convincingly enough. Black basically acts like a porn star in her first legit role, but sheís sort of likeable at times. With the exception of a rather dodgy CGI transformation effect during the filmís lone werewolf sequence, the production as a whole is crafted well, as itís obvious that Toler make the most out of a limited budget.
In the end, you just kind of wish something would happen. Talkative films work when the characters have something interesting to say, but thatís not the case here. Really, Half Moon feels half baked, like itís a short film thatís been stretched out to feature length for no good reason. Itís perhaps an interesting approach to familiar subject matter, but nothing more. Breaking Glass will bring this one home via its Vicious Circle Films label on March 1st, and the release will include a 4x3 transfer and Dolby 2.0 Surround sound. Special features will include an audio commentary with Toler and a behind-the-scenes featurette. Donít expect much howling--from excitement or laughter--if you check this one out, but give it a look if you enjoy werewolves. Rent it!
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