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Gladiators v. Werewolves

By Steven Lloyd Wilson | Industry | March 25, 2010 |

By Steven Lloyd Wilson | Industry | March 25, 2010 |

It’s the bastard love child of late night Saturdays on the History Channel and SyFy Channel. As many others are noting online, this is exactly the sort of film that bored fourth graders doodle in their notebooks. Gladiators! Versus! Werewolves!

Here’s the synopsis:

The Hunt. The Trap. The Games.

AD 160. The Romans occupy Britain, and the great Hadrian’s Wall divides the land, built to keep back the northern warrior tribes, and something far more dangerous; a clan of savage wolf-like creatures which roam the lowlands.

Word reaches Governor Flavius that the Emperor has decreed that new, more fearsome beasts should be captured for the games. The ambitious Governor, having heard rumours of the fierce wolf-beasts beyond the great wall, senses an opportunity to win favour with the Emperor and even a place in the senate.

The heroic Centurian, Titus, is tasked with hunting and trapping the wolf-creatures. Titus and his legionaries track the beasts to their mountain lair and discover a warrior clan who transform at will into mighty, armour clad werewolves. In a fierce battle, the beasts slaughter half of the legionaries. Titus and his surviving men escape and ensnare the pursuing werewolves.

The Governor is delighted he has his prized new fighting savages, but Titus realizes that anyone bitten by a werewolf is cursed to become one of their kind. He warns the Governor that the werewolves pose a grave threat if they increase their numbers. Titus’ reward for challenging the Governor is to be stripped of his rank and thrown into the arena where the beasts’ savagery will be tested.

Excited spectators cram the amphitheatre. Titus and the land’s best gladiators are pitted against the ferocious werewolves, but the beasts are powerful and smart. For every two fighters they slay, they leave one wounded and alive. Titus’ fears are confirmed; the werewolves are building an army. The final day of the games will be a blood and thunder battle, more savage than any Roman has seen or experienced before.

How awesomely bad does this movie have to be if even the synopsis for the press releases is just stream of consciousness incoherent? It’s the little details they shove into there that put it over the top. Why do they transform into armour clad werewolves? Because the only thing cooler than a werewolf is one wearing armour. Duh. Why does the Governor make the werewolves fight in an arena? Because arenas are fucking cool, duh. You know somebody’s going to be in there with a trident.

The effort is being produced, written and directed by Rob Green, who hasn’t done much of anything else, but somehow managed to raise funding for a film he storyboarded in detention when he was eight.


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Steven Lloyd Wilson is the sci-fi and history editor. You can email him here or follow him on Twitter.