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Wolf Lake (2001)
Movie Review by The Gravedigger

Wolf Lake (2001) Set in the Pacific Northwest, the nine episodes of this Fox TV series was about a community of werewolves who lived around Wolf Lake. In the first episode, detective John Kanin (Lou Diamond Phillips) goes there to try and find his vanished girlfriend, Ruby (Mia Kirshner of CROW 2, DRACULA: THE SERIES). But when he starts asking around the townspeople all deny she's there (though she really is). What had happened is that she was captured by her own kind and taken back to the community, as she's promised to wed another werewolf for political reasons. Kanin, however, doesn't give up and ends up being appointed Deputy of Sheriff Donner (Tim Matheson) while he continues the investigation on his own time. Donner also happens to be a werewolf, but gave up the transformation/urge in order to raise his daughter, Sophie (Mary Elizabeth Winstead of DEATH PROOF, DIE HARD 4), who is beginning to have those wolfish urges.

Overall, I liked this series, particularly the whole werewolf hierarchy and seeing what lengths they'll go to preserve their secret. The idea of a whole colony of werewolves is also cool, as well as how they are depicted. Although we see some instances where they are partly transformed, when they change shape they become full wolves. They can also transform any time they want and retain their intelligent, not reverting to 'wild beasts'. Ruby, the girl Kanin is after, changes into a rare white wolf. In the last shot episode, Kanin is given a blood transfusion from Ruby, in her wolf form, so there was the possibility he'd be changing into a werewolf as well in the near future.

However, some things didn't work. The search for Ruby by John Kanin gets boring pretty quickly, particularly after the viewer knows she's in town and is trying to avoid contact with him. Graham Greene is extremely irritating as the science teacher, know-it-all friend of the werewolves, who may also be a six-thousand year-old Native American. And in the first episode, when Kanin comes to the town he immediately sees the big statue of Romulus and Remus in the town square and a few references/visuals of women having triplets (like a canine). Yet in the rest of the series we don't see so much as a pair of twins.

The unaired pilot of WOLF LAKE is totally different and far more intriguing in story. Here, Lou Diamond Phillips is working for the State's nature department, not a cop, and there's no Ruby or search for Ruby. In a voice-over by Graham Greene at the beginning, he explains that there's a war going on between two different groups of werewolves, which I assume are the European descended ones and the Native American ones. In fact, Sheriff Donner's wife (and Sophie's mother) is revealed as a Native American woman and werewolf, who had disappeared for a while. I think that if the producers would have stuck with this version/premise of the show it might have aired a bit longer than nine episodes.

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