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The LA police department have a special team of officers with a talent for reducing big-time crime. The team leader has an excellent track record for crime reduction in other big cities, but his methods are unconventional, and so is he - he's a werewolf. Written by
Anthony Hickox at this time of his career could have been seen as a horror journeyman with such films behind him like; ""Sundown: the Vampire in Retreat", "Hellraiser III", the first two "Warlock" features and the two "Waxwork" films. Also he acted in some other features around this time too. So "Full Eclipse" was another addition to the cycle.
Los Angeles is filled with crime, as detective Max Dire sees his partner brutally gunned down and to make matters worse his girlfriend left him. Soon he's invited to join an elite police group, who would do anything to cut down on crime. Their leader Adam Garou has a serum which he injects into his team that gives them the ability to take on criminals. However Max is hesitant about it, but soon he is seduced into joining them.
After a tough, cracking opening half-hour, from then on it becomes a brooding cop melodrama with a supernatural edge that harboured character conflicts, bemused performances and plenty of posturing. It's a formulaic cop feature with a werewolf twist, but while the pulpy b-grade premise is thoughtfully laid out it's not as rocking as it could have been. More so it gradually gets silly and then lumbers along. While the first half-hour consists of vigorous, but ultra slow-motion action. And boy did director Hickox go mad with his glorious slow-mo. At least the energy levels were high and the violence quite bloody. However when the werewolf angle kicks in (an elite group of cops are dosing up on a serum that gives them superhuman abilities to tackle crooks), it can get sidetracked (you know the stress of the job) and becomes a little preachy (with some sort of parallel to drug addiction -- "At least try it" and "Just watch, then decide."). Where you just wished it would pump out the action. Sure it still stays quite graphic, but then some things happen off screen and its climax pretty much ends on a whimper to only cement its obvious low-budget. Even with these restrictions, Hickox's handling remains crisp with some flashy techniques, slick decors and smooth camera-work.
The stunt-work also has a lot of people rev up and jumping around, especially through things and these werewolves leave plenty of destruction ("He's Acting like Dirty Harry on crack"). As for the make-up effects it's quite standard and minor. The usual sharp teeth, pointy ears, morphed facials and long claws. Nothing special, but acceptable. Although in the latter stages we do get some guy dressed up in a werewolf costume. Someone says "You want to see something really scary." and then there we go. Even though for me it looked like a fury bear at times. Also these werewolves like to growl like a panther. Yeah it sounds like something out of those old jungle movies. The performances are agreeable, notwithstanding the stereotypical character arches. Mario Van Pebbles gets by, that is because of that powerful name "Max Dire". Bruce Payne camps it up in a very cold, but lethal manner and Patsy Kensit simply sizzles.
Junky, but mildly satisfying.
"Sometimes its good to know your not alone."
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