Review by Sharon Foss
Once upon a time, 15 girls disappeared from their homes, never to be seen again. The murders are coined the Red Riding Hood murders because of the message left by the killer—“Are you the woodcutter?” The fascination of the little girls travels decades, so long that one of the victim’s brothers grew up and became a cop, joining the investigation of the murders.
Medium Raw: Night of the Wolf is a triple threat by Andrew Cymek. He wrote, directed, and starred in the movie, along with his wife, Brigitte Kingsley. Cymek plays Johnny Morgan, the brother of a long-ago victim who plays a major role in catching The Wolf (a name given by the media to the murderer).
The Wolf (Greg Dunham) is sentenced to spend his days in a sanitarium, coincidentally where Johnny’s wife Jamie (Kingsley) is a doctor. Shot in the throat during his capture, the killer is unable to speak to tell authorities where the bodies of all those dead girls now rest. This makes Johnny a very mad man, so much so that he decides to do what he needs to do to feel justice has been served.
The night The Wolf arrives to his new resting home of steel walls is the night that Johnny decides to pay the killer a visit to finish the job the cop once began. Johnny’s got his own problems to worry about—the demise of his marriage, his feelings of payback toward the monster who murdered his sister—but his list grows longer when the power is extinguished at the sanitarium.
The obvious happens and all patients are left to wander the halls to explore their illnesses with absolute freedom. Apparently a sanitarium that houses the most dangerous criminals does not have a backup system generator.
I have never been in a sanitarium, nor will I ever choose to enter one, but if how it is portrayed in this movie is any indication, then I almost feel sorry for those who are bound there. This sanitarium keeps its prisoners in chains and wearing electric neck braces like rabid dogs and employs staff members who do not take their jobs seriously (i.e., two staff members fooling around outside a patient’s door). The patients themselves also seem…how do you say…criminally animalistic.
Medium Raw: Night of the Wolf also stars John Rhys-Davies and William B. Davis. There is some sick humor in it, namely by a patient named Mabel (Sandi Ross) who enjoys cooking some good, old-fashioned meat in the kitchen, but overall, the acting leaves a lot to be desired. It’s a typical, yet far fetched, premise for people to think that a home for the deranged would not have a backup generator. How about calling for help outside of the building? There are some redeeming qualities (wassup Mabel!), however, this movie is not one I’d go out of my way to recommend.