Is it a bad sign when you watch a film's trailer and have a hard time sitting through it?
Is it an even worse sign when you watch a film and find yourself thinking of the infamously awful indie production Royal Face-Off, an ultra-indie project universally panned by even the web's most indie friendly film critics?
The Legend of Industrial Ghost Wolf is a film as convoluted and pointless as its title, a title that is badly explained even in the film's PR materials despite reportedly based upon work by Simon J. Mabile, whose work I now know to avoid. Described as a "campy Supernatural-horror No-Budget Rogue Feature," The Legend of Industrial Ghost Wolf kicks off with a couple being torn apart in the woods and Detective Guidry (Leroy Verdin) picking up the case and trying to figure out exactly what kind of beast could have done it. A "chief" in the Native American sense, Guidry consults with a shaman named Dorian (Dorian Dardar) and, for reasons never well explained, after a hunting party trying to locate the beast is nearly slaughtered the beast ends up being called an "industrial ghost wolf."
To be fair, The Legend of Industrial Ghost Wolf is actually a better film than Royal Face-Off, a film that received the same rating but truly had nothing in the way of a redeeming quality or cinematic value. While I couldn't quite talk myself into bumping up this film a notch, the truth is I've seen a couple of these cast members before, such as Megan Few and Aaron J. Rome, and know for a fact they're talented performers.
It's just not here.
While the last film from Badninja9 wasn't exactly award-winning fare, Just Another Noir took full advantage of its low-budget indie vibe and was a decent if not particularly memorable film. So, I'm fully aware that Dorian Dardar is a promising filmmaker and that this film is, at least I hope, just a glitch on the journey.
It is, however, a glitch.
While it's opening acknowledged that the film is going for a "campy" vibe, The Legend of Industrial Ghost Wolf never really makes it to campy and instead just settles for being uncomfortably bad. There are films, Troma makes a ton of them, that are so bad they're good or at least so bad they're fun to watch. There's nothing fun about watching The Legend of Industrial Ghost Wolf, a film that occasionally follows the horror school guidebook but still ends up going nowhere. The story itself is painfully boring, the performances feel off pace and completely lacking in purpose, and tech credits, while expected to be slight given the "no budget" nature of the film, are weak to the point of distraction.
As someone who takes great pride in empowering the indie film community, it always pains me to write scathing reviews of ultra-indie, microcinema productions. That said, sometimes it's absolutely necessary.
The Legend of the Industrial Ghost Wolf is a film that doesn't feel done. From script to performances to everything behind the scenes, The Legend of the Industrial Ghost Wolf simply never connects and wasn't ready to be presented for review. The film's sound mix is out of balance and abysmal, not exactly rare among ultra-indies, while the film's special effects are only effective in a couple of spots.
Perhaps legendary for all the wrong reasons, The Legend of the Industrial Ghost Wolf is, when it comes right down to it, downright beastly.
Written by Richard Propes
The Independent Critic