Home The Show The Brains Rantings Stuff Hook Ups Brain Board

When it so happens you stumble upon a film that no one seems to have seen, a film no one has bothered to review, and it’s tiny cast or crew have disappeared into a filmless oblivion, it is many times safe to assume that the film in question isn’t that great, if it was, well you know, it would have garnered at least a modicum of attention somewhere. So when Mark Johnston from Shocking Videos mentioned that he had gotten his hands on a little crumpet of 80s American cinema that he had not heard anything about and not only that, but the film featured a Fascist-style high school football team and that it was a sleazy new entry to his already overloaded catalog, well, I had to get my grubby paws on it. Call me old fashoned, but a Jew-baiting, neo-Nazi bunch of soda crackers roughing up drug addled metalheads in between hoisting the pigskin just sounds like entertainment to to me. Oh, sports sucks you say and so do Nazis, bah, I say.

WOLFPACK starts like so many mid-80s clunkers, on the football field of a big high school football game. The Wake High Wolfpack are horrid, they haven’t won a game since their old coach drove them to the state championship before he made the jump to the next level, State University. That was two years ago. The current Wolfpack coach seems to only be interested in his son getting some playing time as quarterback. We are shown a series of very bad offensive plays as the coach’s son, Ralphie, demonstrates the lack of any true athletic ability. Ralph actual begs his dad to take him out of the game. But of course, “no son of mine is a quitter,” is the coach’s cry. On the sidelines is a chiseled faced, second stringer anxiously awaiting a chance to prove himself. That future Kurt (Jesus Woshipping) Warner is Jack Butkowski. The angry crowd in the bleachers is screaming for a replacement but the coach ignores them, choosing to keep his son in the game. Butkowski gives a wink to one of the lineman, something must be done. On the next play from scrimmage, as the quarterback rolls out he is nailed from behind “accidentally” by one of his own linemen and is knocked unconscious. We see a shot of him, neck brace and all being loaded into an ambulance. Jack Butkowski will get his chance, now. Of course, the Wolfpack stage a triumphant comeback on the shoulders of Jack Butkowski, to the chants from the crowd of Jack Boot, Jack Boot, Jack Boot! WOLFPACK begins.

One thing is apparent about WOLFPACK as the opening credits roll, you don’t recognize any of the names involved. But the film is so drenched in the 80s aura you feel as if you’ve seen all these faces before. Sam Adams arrives in town with his mother, Sam is slightly older than high school age to the casual viewer but nonetheless, he’s got a year left before heading to college. Princeton is his dream, he tells the owner of the house that he and his mother are moving into. He’s gonna play tight end and along with his good grades he’s looking to get a scholarship, full ride, of course. His new landlord is Pudge Purdy, a retired auto shop teacher from Wake High, Pudge loves his football as well, and tells Sam that watching him on the field will be like “watching one of his own.” HIs boy played back in the state championship days...until a bad accident left him ...DEAD.

Sam’s first day of school is ripe with all the classic high school movie bullshit. Sam enters the bathroom full of dope smoking “punks,” he of course, gets warned by them to say “it’s alright” so they know he ain’t “the man.” He also drops his books in the lunch line and is helped out by a cute gal that is very anti-jock. Inevidably, he gets punched by Wedge Randozzo, the team’s linebacker while trying to defend her honor. Jack Butkowski steps up to help Sam and flashes a big smile, is very articulate and gives Sam a place to sit at his lunch table, while inviting Sam to football practice. Jack, is the sort of all-American QB we all went to high school with, he wears his jersey everyday to school, his hair is impeccably parted on the side, his teeth white, his chin like Gibralter and he says all the right things. Jack describes to Sam, how he trying to capture the school spirit, to bring back pride in the team and in the school itself. It all sounds just fucking great. If you don't mind the smell of a gas chamber.

The next day at school, Sam and his classmates are given a lesson about messages and the medium they are delivered. The history teacher has decided to use a Nazi propaganda film in class to demonstrate his point. He quotes Hitler and even throws in super Anti-Semite Henry Ford for good measure. He also gives Jack Butkowski the floor to spin his bit of wisdom regarding “The Big Lie, ” asking ”Is it really a lie, at all, whatever a really great man decides is true, people eventually believe, so then it becomes true.” This Jack, has that homespun, “aw shucks” sincerity. This Jack is good, he sounds like a leader. My quess Jack missed his Bah Mitzvah and opted for bologna instead of chopped liver for the shiva.

But football isn’t the only thing going down at Wake High, there is also a student election, Jack is of course, running as is the school’s uber-nerd. Walter Abrams, conveniently Jewish, by the way. Walter's slogan is priceless “Anybody but Jack Boot!” Myra, Sam’s cute gal helper is Walter’s friend, she wants Sam to side with her and the nerds to help keep Jack from winning the elction, but after Sam’s initial success on the field he whines to her “I don’t care about politics.” But like all pussy whipped high school seniors he relents and decides to go to Walter’s campaign headquarters with her. The obviously Yiddish Walter is pure asshole, which is strange really, given the blatant anti-fascist slant the film takes, Walter is very difficult to like even though he has good ideas regarding the school's politics. The filmmakers consciously decided to make Walter a sniveling, paranoid little Jew caricature of sorts, instead of just making him the school's "nerd."

On the field, Jack and Sam are a great pair and now that the coach is basically powerless, Jack calls all the plays, when they want a player from the opposing team out of the line up, no big deal, they just key on him and he hits the ambulance. The Wolfpack racks up the points. The school spirit is at an all time high, the victories keep coming and Jack’s popularity soars. The whole thing plays sort of like RUDY meets MEIN KAMPF. Everyone is merrily following along with whatever the Wolfpack wants. Soon the escapades begin to run their course off field, Jack is fixing test scores, the Wolfpack is beating down the dopeheads in the bathroom and Jack Boot's disciples have little problem ripping poor old unlikable Walter’s campaign posters off the walls. With all the fervor of a bad high school Pep Rally, Jack Boot typifies the Reagan youth of the time period, he’s becoming the school’s leader, and even the school’s administration doesn’t seem to mind. After all the Wolfpack just may win the state championship and who wants to go in a bathroom full of cigarette smoke anyway. Jack Boot! Jack Boot! We’re #1, We’re #1 goes the populace. Meanwhile the school has taken on a “mob rule” mentality, of course, that mob is a the Wolfpack and Jack Boot is King Shit of Fuck Mountain. Or I shoudl say Der Furher Shit of ...you get my point. He has linebacker cronies to do his bidding, cheerleader molls to satify his urges and the backing of the school’s intellectual elite, most of the schools adults. I’m not giving much away to say that all this control shit escalates as the film hits its stride and ultimately Sam and Jack are going to butt heads, teachers will be implicated, folks might die and Wake High might become it’s own little Fascist State, albeit with a State Title.

If you are my age, you remember how in the underground of America, i.e. America’s Hardcore Punk era of the early and mid 80s. The punks were scared of what WhitebreadTM American might do to this country and to everyone's collected freedoms, Jack Boot is the epitomy of what punks feared might happen. Screw individuality, let’s have “pride’ in our sameness and let’s crush those who stand against us. The scary thing about that period in U.S.History is that most young adults bought into the greed, lock, stock and barrel with money and power becoming the real-world equivalent of Wake High’s State Title…win at any cost and fucking have no mercy on those who ain't into the game.

Digging a little deeper into some of the names involved with the making of WOLFPACK you find a common thread, low-budget exploitation. WOLFPACK is directed by William Milling. Milling had a small career as a writer/producer, his most recognizable project was SILENT MADNESS, a mid-80s entry into slasherdom, which for some reason is basically overlooked even though it features among others one of personal favorites Sydney Lassick in a bit part. SILENT MADNESS was also released in 3-D, making it a rather strange picture given the context. Milling also produced and wrote a couple of strange children’s features THE MAGIC PNEY RIDE and THE MAGIC HAT. I can’t find any other information on directors gigs, who knows, no one knew of this one either. Sam Adams, the Princeton bound hero is handled ably by Jim Abele, Jim pops up in a few of Chuck Vincent’s softcore teen comedies around the same time. The most notable, STUDENT AFFAIRS, which features Vincent regular Veronica Hart, as well as Ron Sullivan aka Henri Pachard and even David Friedman shows up. Abele floated around the late 80s in and out of zero budget teen comedies and still seems to get a taste of the business now in tiny roles. Jack Boot is the real star of WOLFPACK and the actor responsible for Jack’s believable character, Tony Carlin, comes from good stock, his mother is TV and movie character actress, Frances Sternhagen, whose face is instantly recongnizable from her numerous re occurring appearances on everything from Sex in the City to Cliff Clavin’s mom on Cheers. Tony’s Pops was acclaimed stage actor, Tom Carlin, Carlin is best known to numbnuts like me as Sandy McFiddish, head groundskeeper in CADDYSHACK. Tony has picked up small parts in decent films and continues to act. Sadly most of the rest of WOLFPACK are as unknown as the film they had parts in.

Should WOLFPACK be better known, I think so, if there is a fault that might relate to its obscurity, it doesn’t seem to take it’s initial rumblings at neo-Nazism far enough as a plot device. Although Jack and his thugs are quite ruthless on the field and have no problem ridding themselves of opposition, the pro-American, pro-Fascism message is implied rather than really driven home, Jack uses the words “pride” and “control” a lot but the film fails to really develop into a hard punching 3rd Reichish tome. That being said, it is effective as a good “what-if” statement about high school clichés and organized sports. There is a lot of truth in WOLFPACK, but it’s doubtful that most high school quarterbacks have the intelligence of Jack Boot to wield the power they no doubt might possess over the mindless minions who Rah, Rah and Sis, Boom, Bah every Friday night in Hometown, USA. Had Milling turned up the cruelty it’s possible that WOLFPACK would be considered another of the 80’s classic “bad kids” films, on par with CLASS OF 84 or MY BODYGUARD. Bottom line, if you like your movies with a smidge of Reagan era ideology and a nod to bad fashion, feathered hair and tight Levis then WOLFPACK is a nice time capsule, if you want to see how a dangerous subject like neo-Fascism was addressed in that era, that is another reason to catch a viewing of WOLFPACK. If you try real hard, we can all think of a potential Jack Boot in our high school histories, many of them are probably the guys you buy your cars from I bet these days. Get yourself a copy of WOLFPACK real easy-like from Shocking Videos. Tell Mark, Tread sent you.

This guy went up against the Wolfpack...pre-stretcher era I guess...

If I had directed WOLFPACK I would have made Jack make a sexual pass at Sam, just for fun.

Mail or
Discuss this baby.
More reviews.
Black Gestapo Black Exploitation?
Girl From Tobacco Row It's Good!
Rape Squad Join Today!
The Meateater Do Not Touch!
Dixie Dynamite POW!
Run Stranger Run Run Opie!
Horror House On Hwy 5 Sheesh!
Behind Locked Doors It's Dirty!
Nailgun Massacre Some Like It.
Bat Pussy It had to be done
Thunder Alley It is Rock.
Trucker's Woman Truck. Woman.
Blood Freak A Classic for You!
The Geek Bigfoot Porn
High School Ghosthustlers Wow!
Frankenstein Island You Must See!
SuperCock Not that kinda Cock!
The Alienator Feeling Alienated?
Angel Midnight Fantasy
Tanya's Island Vanity and the Beast
Killing Spree Tim Ritter's $0 budget wonder
Nightmare Prof. Tread still can't sleep.
Shanty Tramp She is sumpin' else.
If Footmen Tire You...? Heavy religiosity!
Viva' Knievel Evel of Course!
The Killing Of A Chinese Bookie! Smart Guy.
The Pink Angels Gayness, and Bikes
The Burning The 80's, ahhh the 80's.
Q - The Winged Serpant! Larry Cohen rules!
Fight For Your Life! WARNING Racist content
Walking Tall Buford Pusser in the Hizouse!
Sleepaway Camp Internet Geeks Unite!
Born Losers Ya Loser!
Shriek of the Mutilated Bro. George gets busy.
Bury Me An Angel Gal Biker and more.
The Grim Reaper Reap on.
Abby One of William Girdler's triumphs.
Deadbeat At Dawn A Modern Classic.
Sonny Boy Carradine, Dress, Dourif!
Great Hollywood Rape-Slaughter Rare expose'.
Savage Weekend. Take a break.
Dead and Buried. A Should-be Classic.
Hot Summer In Barefoot County. PeeUww!
Night Train To Terror Choo Choo!
I Drink Your Blood Glug, glug!
Vixen Russ Meyer and breasts!
Truck Stop Women Honnnk HonnnnK!
Daddy's Deadly Darling! Pigs!
Flesh Feast Maggots!
Soapy the Germ Fighter! Clean up!
Why Doesn't Cathy Eat Breakfast? Why?!
Moonshine County Express! Glug, Glug!
Twirl! Batons!
The Night God Screamed! Boo!
White Dog Racists Pets!
Hunter's Blood City Slickers get offed!
Devil Times Five Sean MacGregor's Titantic!
Terror at the Red Wolf Inn Burp!
Headless Eyes See It
World's Greatest Sinner One of the best!
The Baby! Goo Goo!
Summer Camp Nightmare Viva the Revolution!
Attack of the Beast Creatures Booga!
Let's Play Dead Incest craziness!
Island of Death Vacation madness!
Evil Come, Evil Go! Bye, Bye Sinners!
Darktown Strutters Get Black Sucker!
Poor Pretty Eddie Deep South Craziness!
Miami Golem Jewish Folklore or what?
Tenement NYC Apartment Blues
To Kill A Clown Alan Alda Vietnam Vet!
The Spook Who Sat Next To The Door Booya!
I Woke Up Early The Day I Died Mr. Ed Wood.
The Mutilation Man Andy Copp goes arty on us!
The People Across The Lake Good TV!
Wolfpack Shoulder-padded Nazis!
The Woman Hunt Load Up Gents.
The Devil At You Heels Daring Devil.
These Are The Damned Dammit!
Crowhaven Farm TV movie Classic!
Fascism and Football, some would say they go hand in hand....

Chris Wayne
Jack Butkowski, the intellectual leader of the Wolfpack, discusses something without his shirt on to one of his cronies....

It's a little known fact that Hitler gave some of his most rabble rousing speeches dressed only in a towel...Note that camel toe at 7 o'clock...no wonder they call him Wedge.

Jack Boot steps under center.....

He lets one fly down field to his new tight end....

Sam Adams, Sam takes this one in for 6 and the Wolfpack begins its roll towards title town.

Sam's gal, Myra, from the Facts of Life school of fashion.


Wake High's "punks." I think they might actual be a ittle more metal cuz they even like sports.

How about goosestepping cheerbabes? I call that funny.

Pudge and Jack have a slight disagreement...

Which really isn't to Pudge's best interest as some masked Wolves surround his DeLorean....

Pudge ends up with a bad headache....and more.

How's that for symbolism at the old pep rally?

Ever wonder where the band The Hives got their "look?"

Jack Boot, we all had ours in high school.

What I wouldn't give for one of those postes dammit! Ebay, here I come..

Jack Boot's history-teaching mentor...Heil you doing teach?
Brains On Film 2003