“THE WOLVES OF KROMER”–a gay allegory


A Gay Allegory

Amos Lassen

There is something about werewolves that holds an interest for gay men and First Run Features has provided us with a DVD to satisfy that interest, “The Wolves of Kromer”. “Wolves” is a modern day fairy tale fueled by themes of lust, greed and murder. Two separate plots mesh together to provide a suspenseful mystery which is filled with intrigue. A mysterious murder, committed by two old maids, is the backdrop for the movie. They frame local wolves (who are really local models) and this arouses the interest of the fundamentalist religious zealots and this propels a group of strange and bizarre characters to come forth and what results is a very unique fantasy film which is very odd.

The story of werewolves is an allegory for the gay experience but what is hard to decide is whether this is a horror film or a drama or is it just plain fantasy?

In the beginning of the movie is a scene in which two young men, dressed shabbily, are sitting in a forest; there is something supernatural about them, their nails are pointed and sharp but otherwise they look perfectly normal. As an older woman passes where they are sitting she is aghast at the sight of them and runs as if she had seen real wolves. The two young men, Gabriel and Seth, are regarded by the townsfolk as wolves. To us who are watching the movie and to themselves they look like handsome young men. This is obviously the set up for the fantasy. Do we see them as others see them or do we see them as we want to? Suddenly we notice that they are carrying stuffed wolf tales and we are led to believe that the director is showing us to actors pretending to be wolves.

There is a lot to interest the viewer and to keep him intrigued in the movie. I have read where some critics have tossed the movie aside as a silly diversion and I take issue with that. I think it takes several viewings to really understand what is going on. I agree that the wolf get-up looks silly; seeing young men dressed in fashionable clothes which are fashionably torn is a bit much. However, the facts that they have long nails and pointed ears make them look like wolves to a degree. They are unshod and shirtless but they wear ratty fur coats and live as outcasts in the woods and have to resort to petty theft in order to get food to eat and cash t play arcade games with. When the wolves are accused of killing the old lady the movie begins a rapid shift.

The allegory between the wolves and homosexuals is very clear—they are both outcasts and regarded as pariahs in society. It may take a great deal of patience to understand the film fully but it is a film worth seeing and thinking about. It is not a usual kind of film because you are forced to think about what you see but that is what I find enjoyable, so much more enjoyable than watching fluff.

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