Werewolves Chasing Tales

January, 2010 by Ray Bendici
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wolfmanOne of the great things about the internet is how a search for one thing can be like pulling a string on a sweater -- what seems like a simple thread can turn out to be surprisingly more complicated. In this case, I went searching for some stuff about werewolves and ended up possibly chasing down an old college classmate. So here's where I started -- with the upcoming film The Wolfman. Due out on Feb. 12 and starring Benicio del Toro, Anthony Hopkins, Emily Blunt and Hugo Weaving, it looks to be a CGI-heavy remake of the classic story of lycanthropy gone wrong (as if it ever goes right). Most of you kids probably don't remember the original film starring Lon Chaney Jr. as the titular character, but it's an iconic Universal horror flick that also features fright masters Bela Lugosi and Claude Rains. I'm sure the new version will be heavy on the blood, guts and violence, with plenty of quick cuts and a smooth super special effects that often look more cartoony than real (to me, anyway). And I'm sure I'll go see it anyway because I love this kind of stuff -- although my wife couldn't drag me to see New Moon. Sorry. Sparkly emo "monsters" are just not my thing. (Quick Twilight-Connecticut trivia: Author Stephenie Meyer was born in Hartford, but moved away when she was fairly young.) But because of this blog, I started thinking about werewolves and Connecticut, and pretty quickly realized we don't have much here in the way of strong lycanthropic history here. The first thing that came to mind is the famous case of a "real life" werewolf investigated by The Warrens back in the 1970s. In a nutshell: Ed and Lorraine were called to England to investigate the claims of Bill Ramsey, a man who believed he was possessed by demons who turned him into a werewolf. It was one of their most famous investigations, and was fully documented in Werewolf: A True Story of Demonic Possession. When Steve and I went to see Lorraine last October, they brought out the old footage of Ramsey's exorcism, which is sort of compelling in the sense that I think he may have been more a victim of mental illness than demonic doings. But then again, what do I know? I was never bit by the guy. Still, he was in old England, not New England. Not exactly the Connecticut connection I was hoping for. So I decided to do what any intrepid blogger would do -- I Googled "Connecticut" and "werewolves," and came up with two fun things. The first is a band from Kensington called Werewolf Police. Not exactly my kind of music, and I don't think there is any sort of lycanthropic connection other than the name sounds cool. But then again, I've never seen the band play during a full moon, so I don't know for sure. The second is a movie filmed here in Connecticut about two years ago called Werewolf: The Devil's Hound, distributed by our old pals at LionsGate. Here's the trailer -- It's available on DVD, if you're interested. As I was going through the information about the film, however, I realized that it was executive produced and written by Bonnie Farley-Lucas, who according to IMDB.com is also involved with a few other local damned-type films: Banshee, Sasquatch Assault and the upcoming Werewolf: Curse of the Jersey Devil. I wouldn't expect any of you to know -- or Bonnie to remember -- but we were classmates at Southern Connecticut State University back in the 1980s, and both communications majors. We were both bitten by the communications monster, so to speak, but ended up with dramatically different transformations -- now Dr. Farley-Lucas, she has gone on to what looks to be a distinguished career in academia, while I ... well, I'm here, aren't I?

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Submitted by Bonnie (not verified) on
Hi Ray, Nice to bump into you again since the Honors College and Communication days at SCSU. Interesting how DAMNED interconnected we all are in CT! Kudos for an excellent visual ride. Nice to know that you are still doing your homework. Best wishes, Bonnie