The protagonist's nihilistic attitude, his age and his allover bitterness. The effects are solid, with both Bob Kurtzman and David Greathouse constructing the creature. If these sort of films won awards, Damici might even be a strong contender. More points for originality come from the setting itself, a sort of village full of elderly people. How about Tom Noonan in supporting role - the trade he's mastered during his long career? Dumped by his son is this 'community for they soon-dying', and as such with no one to depend on I felt more tension to the battle as with most Lycanthrope themed films.
Secretly though, he loves comedy! Cheesy creature feature, far and between but loud and clear gore don't sound inviting? Well, none of the flaws is big enough to ruin the story, but I can't just ignore all the little goofs, and the costumes do look daffy after all. Played by Mr Damici, I found him quite fascinating. So why not a better note? Leading the way is Nick Damici, who makes a very believable blind veteran. It's used in the right places and doesn't turn the battles into cheesiness. I always loved grumpy old guys in films, and after Eastwood's Kowalski there was little left to desire. Even the music score has a couple of great moments.
Greathouse even wears the costume, apparently. Original spin on the lycanthropic horror flick with Damici aces as an aged, blind Vietnam vet who discovers a werewolf in amidst his new housing community and attempts to prepare for the next attack within the month of a new full moon. Great cinematography, perhaps a bit off pace now and then, but patched up and ready to proceed with good action sequences and surprising dynamics withing community. Great ensemble of veteran character actors some get the short shrift while others shine make a fine guessing game of who's the creature. Ambrose McKinley doesn't waste too much time investigating, instead he instantly figures out the root of this evil and does his own prepping in order to face the threat. Other than this being a community of elderly folks, there is no similarity.
Horror fans ought to know his background, too: mentored by Michael Moriarty a Larry Cohen regular , Damici came into the realm of Jim Mickle and Larry Fessenden who produced this picture. Werewolf films are few and far between, and good ones are even more rare. The music might get a bit'too' epic once in a while, but it adds to the tragic situation I think. So Late Phases are laced with subtle and quirky comedy aspects, it never takes itself too seriously. It's about an old Vietnam veteran's fight against the werewolf. The protagonist of the story is one I really felt for.
What's rather unusual is that the best bits don't come from the creatures but from the main character, his personality, and the way he deals with things. He tends to be the less-often-mentioned part of this team, but should be mentioned in the same breath. Wounded war vet Ambrose Nick Damici moves to a place where people are dying from mysterious circumstances. One of the better efforts of the werewolf genre. Elderly, blind vet moves to retirement community on the edge of a forest to spend the rest of his days in peace, but as he quickly learns, there's trouble lurking in front of residents' lawns killing them quickly and efficiently.
Normally, the abundance of humor in a horror flick is major offense by me, but here, it simply works. . With only 2 reviews at this point I felt I should lure more people towards this film. Many things are done right, like going into action right from the start and showing the creature in the first minutes. Oh yeah, and he's blind too! Bogliano's something of a curious case, he never limits himself to one or two subgenres the man does it all. I felt a bit of Rambo in this film.
I'd call this a throwback although the cinematography is authentically modern, effects, creature feature and humor resemble 80's flicks. Weird, offbeat but never dull, this is quite original werewolf film, first remarkable wereflick after Ginger Snaps, in my opinion. This is the most pleasant surprise in the horror genre in quite a while. If you need your dose of creature feature, Late Phases may not be a great one, but it is a pleasant one nonetheless. .
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