Reviews

Miss Werewolf (2001)

Outside of the Music Box Theatre in Chicago, Janet Lynn (aka Miss Werewolf) looks into the camera and says: “I bet people think we’re nuts around here.” David “The Rock” Nelson says, “Yeah! But we’re proud to be weird. It’s fun to be weird, ain’t it?” Janet smiles, and nods a reassuring yes.

Moments like this make me happy.

While on a routine zoo outing, Janet is bitten by a wolf. In keeping with her other bizarre performances in the Rock’s films, Janet looks directly into the camera and laughs after almost every line. Then she disappears for awhile. Detective Rock (David “The Rock” Nelson) gets down to bizness: time for some eats! Fried chicken, quesadillas, doughnuts, and other stuff go down Detective Rock’s gullet and we see all of it. Meanwhile, Dr. Weirdo (David “The Rock” Nelson) argues with Detective Rock, and other characters like Dinosaur Woman (David “The Rock” Nelson), Rocksella (David “The Rock” Nelson), and Rock’s parents . . . who are usually sleeping.

Miss Werewolf reemerges and “air-claws” through a reign of destruction. She attacks everybody from children to someone named Herbert “The Fiend” Bussowitz. Many tangents happen. Some occur within context of the movie, but most involve just hanging out, eating, and watching monster movies. But the movie’s true highlight is when Miss Werewolf castrates some poor sap and we see a dildo slathered with ketchup fly across the screen. The Rock calls it a “wiener whistle” and what else do you need to know?

Nothing is linear in the cosmos of David “The Rock” Nelson. Like Frankenstein Stalks, the Rock’s previous stab at a full-length video, Miss Werewolf is a relentless onslaught of dimestore monster action and fascinating cinéma vérité non-action. None of it makes much sense, but all of it feels like we’ve hopped a space shuttle to another galaxy and there’s no return flight scheduled. This film overflows with eccentricities: Detective Rock endlessly howling at the camera (“It’s gibberish! Hearsay! Old wives’ tales!”) an innocent bystander interrupting filming to ask what’s going on, tours of Chicago’s Resurrection Cemetery and Chet’s Melody Lounge, Nelson falling asleep while watching one of his own films, and the glorious soundtrack, comprised of 1940s soundtrack bursts and spooky organs. At one point in the video, Janet sits down on a tree stump. Peering through her rubber Miss Werewolf mask, she says, “I just ran out of gas!”

There are 6.432 billion people on this planet. But only one of them is David “The Rock” Nelson. The Rock isn’t out to save the world, or even his block. He’s not clamoring to be famous. Nelson is simply having fun making obsessive, lunatic monster movies in and around his home in Des Plaines, Illinois. These stupifying video visions are unique slices of life that demand celebration. So what better way to celebrate than with a movie called Miss Werewolf?

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