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Film / Full Eclipse

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There's a new police force on the streets...and they only come out at night.

Full Eclipse is a science fiction/horror/action film directed by Anthony Hickox that was released on HBO in 1993. It stars Mario Van Peebles as LAPD detective Max Dire, who is considering leaving the force after his wife accuses him of being too invested in the job and his partner Jim (Tony Denison) gets blown into the ICU following a botched hostage situation, comes out as "Dirty Harry on crack" (as Max puts it) then blows his own head off in the middle of a cop bar. This brings Max to the attention of Adam Garou (Bruce Payne), a high-ranking officer distinguished by his success in reducing crime in other big cities who invites him to join him and a group of other police officers who are experiencing similar problems. Turns out, the group is actually a special tactical unit specializing in brutal raids and assaults on criminals.

Oh, and they're all werewolves.

Max is brought into the fold by Garou's girlfriend, Casey Spencer (Patsy Kensit) who reveals that Garou has developed a serum that makes them all faster, stronger and more capable to take on the revved up criminals of Los Angeles. At first, Max dives headlong into the team's activities until he starts to realize that Garou may not be the benevolent cop he originally thought he was. As the full eclipse edges closer and Garou's plans near fruition, only Max stands in his way.

The film received mixed to positive reviews upon its release and has become something of a cult classic. Bruce Payne's performance is generally looked upon as one of the best things about it, even today.

This film provides examples of:

  • A Father to His Men: Severely averted. Garou has no qualms with basically raping one of the women under his command and treats all of them as expendable once the full eclipse hits.
  • And This Is for...: Max calls out Jim's name as he injects a transformed Garou with a lethal silver nitrate drug cocktail in the climax.
  • Ate His Gun: How Jim kills himself under the effects of Garou's serum.
  • The Bad Guy Wins: Garou convinces Max to absorb his power and continue his quest to rid cities of crime and protect the innocent.
  • Break the Cutie: male example for Jim, see came back wrong for more details. He was originally one of the best and nicest characters in the movie.
  • Came Back Wrong: Max's partner Jim was about to retire and get married to his longtime girlfriend and was reluctant to follow Max into the Club Zero hostage situation in the opening of the film. After Doug injects him with Garou's serum, the drug interaction with morphine, codeine and Demerol causes him to awake from his coma as an Ax-Crazy Big Eater Cowboy Cop that's eventually Driven to Suicide.
  • Chekhov's Gun: Max creates a silver nitrate cocktail mixed with heavy concentrations of opioids to take down Garou after the same thing inadvertently happened to his partner.
  • Chewing the Scenery: Garou is in love with this so much he may as well marry it.
  • Cowboy Cop: Max has shades of this.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Anytime the Pack takes on criminals.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: Everyone on Garou's team:
    • Garou's entire family was hunted down and slaughtered for being lycanthropes.
    • Casey's husband was murdered during a home invasion that she failed to stop.
    • Liza was attempting to stop a pimp from beating one of his prostitutes...she got a blade shoved in her back for her trouble and was stuck on a desk until Garou's serum returned her physical abilities to their peak.
    • Perez's sister was killed in a gang war crossfire.
    • Doug's gambling addiction cost him his savings, his home and his family.
  • Decoy Protagonist: Jim.
  • Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: Max takes on Garou in his full-giant wolf form during a full eclipse and WINS!
  • Domestic Abuse: Garou and Casey's relationship
  • Driven to Suicide: Jim can't handle the various coma drugs interacting with Garou's serum and shoots himself in the head in front of Max and all of their cop friends.
  • Freudian Excuse: Garou relates how his family was hunted down and that he hated being a werewolf at first.
  • Guns Akimbo: Max constantly thinks he's in a John Woo movie.
  • Healing Factor: Garou's serum allows his team to heal from any wound instantly, even if they haven't taken it in a while.
  • Mauve Shirt: Silvano and his two bodyguards who escape the drug lab raid and try to blow up Garou's team with a car bomb afterwards.
  • The Nose Knows: Garou is able to tell that Casey shot and had sex with Max just from smelling the blood he left on the carpet in his apartment.
  • No-Sell: Silvano thinks he's won when he attacks the Pack with a car bomb....then they emerge from the smoke and rubble transformed and pissed.
  • Not Quite the Right Thing: Doug realizes injecting Jim with Garou's serum was this.
  • Oh, Crap!: Max and Perez's reaction when Garou fully transforms.
  • Our Werewolves Are Different: Apparently, injecting brain fluid from a werewolf intravenously will give you their powers. Also, a full eclipse grants them Nigh-Invulnerability.
  • Painful Transformation: The first couple of times Casey injects Max with the serum, it causes him considerable discomfort.
  • Pet the Dog: Doug going behind Garou's back to inject a comatose Jim with some of the serum is an example of this, although it turned out disastrously.
  • Precision F-Strike: One of Teague's henchmen utterly loses his shit when reporting about Max and Casey's raid on one of their warehouses.
    Silvano: Special team?! They were FUCKING animals!
  • Psycho Serum: Prolonged use of Garou's serum results in degraded, feral appearance and behavior.
    Det. Tom Davies: I took it too many times. You can't go back! It strips your glands. Leaves you....unemployable.
  • Rank Scales with Asskicking: Garou is the leader of "The Pack", thus every other member is firmly under his heel. Once Max defeats him, he absorbs his power and becomes the new "top dog".
  • Really 700 Years Old: It's implied through his story about his family and old newspaper clippings about what are assumed to be werewolf massacres that Garou is at least 150 years old!
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here: Doug tries to do this after seeing what the serum did to Jim but Garou won’t let him.
  • Sole Survivor: Detective Tom Davies is revealed as this for a former pack in Miami. He managed to escape when Garou killed them all during a full eclipse.
    • At the end of the film, Max is this for the LAPD pack.
  • This Was His True Form: When a werewolf dies, their body turns human again. Seen happening to Detective Davies after Garou kills him with a Silver Bullet.
  • Too Dumb to Live: After having watched Garou viciously kill Doug for disobeying him and attempt to do the same to Casey, Liza thinks the best thing to do when he goes after Max is to try and stop him. Take a guess on how that works out...
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: At his core, Garou is just a good cop who hates crime and wants to give back to the country that gave him a fresh start by cleaning up all of its major cities.
  • Werewolf Theme Naming: Adam Garou, the leader of the werewolf pack, is named for loup-garou, the French word for werewolf.
  • Wham Shot: In the second to last shot of the film when Max's wife accidentally slices her finger cutting vegetables and it immediately heals!
  • Wolverine Claws: The werewolves in this film sport these when they're taking on criminals.