After a couple camping in the woods is torn apart by a mystery beast, Detective Guidry (Leroy Verdin), referred to as “Chief” (more for his role as a Native American chieftain as opposed to, say, his rank as a cop), takes the case. Stumped about what kind of animal could do this type of damage, Chief seeks counsel with his Shaman, Dorian (writer/director Dorian Dardar), suspecting something far more sinister than a traditional predator. When a hunting party seeking the beast is killed, save for one survivor, the beast is referred to by the traumatized survivor as an “industrial ghost-wolf.” And it’s no longer confined to the woods.
The Legend of Industrial Ghost-Wolf is the type of film that feels like someone is playing a horrible joke on the audience. Because it is bad. Really bad. Unfortunately for the film, it never makes that wonderful turn from bad and nearly unwatchable to comedy gold, where it can be appreciated for its awfulness (see: Sharknado).
Instead, the film is a collection of poorly shot footage illustrating a boring storyline. For the most part, we have a detective that doesn’t do very much, a supposedly powerful shaman who could do something but won’t and a series of victims that get killed by something ferociously invisible. What is an “industrial ghost-wolf” anyway? We get explanations ranging from chaos incarnate to something given life because of negativity. It isn’t until the end of the film that we actually see anything resembling this “industrial ghost-wolf” and, when we do, it’s better left unseen. While the film won’t win any awards for its digital effects work anyway, the final representation of its main antagonist is particularly laughable.
There’s no emotional connection to the film, no dramatic stakes or conflicts that you actually care about. Characters, save one or two, are usually only introduced right before they are killed off. And while the film seems to be consistent with classic slasher film rules, with drugs and/or sex usually the precursor to death, it’s adherence doesn’t make it a good film, horror or otherwise.
Technically, the audio mix in this film is particularly bad. If you told me that all the audio in this film was recorded via the microphone on the camera itself, I would believe you because it is that noisy. On top of that, the video doesn’t look all that great (and there’s at least one moment where you get a good look at the camera-op in a glass door’s reflection), and you’ve got the poorly executed effects that I mentioned earlier. If anything works in this film, I didn’t see it.
There is an outside chance that this film knows that it’s bad, and that was the point. I say this because the shaman character is played by the writer-director, and his behavior in the film is silly at worst and indifferent at best. And as it continually frustrates our detective hero that the shaman could supposedly end this ghost-wolf nonsense, but does nothing for most of the film, I got the feeling that this filmmaker could’ve also eliminated a number of the problems inherent with this one, and chose to present it as is instead. Defiantly. Shamelessly.
In the end, The Legend of Industrial Ghost-Wolf is a horrible film. It makes little to no sense, looks and sounds awful and is as boring as they come until the very end. Then it might elicit an unintentional giggle or two, if you’re even paying attention at that point.
I’m giving this a half star instead of zero because at least the filmmaker knows how to use an editing program (if not the delete option), and the effects at the end, for as bad as they are, are the best looking footage in the entire film. Except the ghost-wolf. That thing has to be a joke.
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