Follow TV Tropes


Film / Wolf Girl

Go To

Wolf Girl, also called Blood Moon, is a 2001 Made-for-TV Movie about a teenage girl named Tara (Victoria Sanchez) afflicted with hypertrichosis (a disease that makes people abnormally hairy).

Tara is a part of a traveling freak-show run by carnie Harley Dune (played by none-other than Tim Curry). Attractions of the freak show include a bearded lady, a strong-man, Athena the fattest woman on earth, several little-people, and gender-bender Christoph/Christine (Grace Jones). Upon the side-show arriving in a new town, Tara encounters a gang of bullies and a nerdy-boy by the name of Ryan who offers her a potential cure for hair removal in the form of an intravenous shot. Keyword being potential since the shots are in the trial stage. Beauty may be only skin deep, but shots aren't and they certainly can cause side-effects...

Wolf Girl contains examples of...

  • Aborted Arc: Ryan was last seen sparing a completely feral Tara who left without a goodbye and frustratingly there was no resolution to their budding relationship.
  • Adults Are Useless: Exactly what it says on the tin. Harley actually keeping Tara on a shorter-leash (pun intended) would've helped avert the situation.
  • Artistic License – Biology: In the finale, a wild wolf stumbled upon Ryan, a tongueless Krystal, and the now feral Tara, upon which Ryan shot the wolf dead so that it would take the fall for Tara's rampage. Real life modern wolves fear humans more than humans fear them, and thus it is implausible that a wolf would calmly approach a human stranger - let alone three of them! To be fair though, the wolf's appearance is clearly stock footage spliced together with the finale.
  • Beauty Is Bad: Superficially the film COULD be seen this way. The resident teenage bullies Krystal and Beau are normal-looking and attractive. Conversely, while the people in the freak-show are not necessarily nice, they are consistently portrayed as normal people outside of their physical appearance - That includes Tara too. Once Tara turned into a beautiful girl, she became completely feral. However, Hidden Depths was arguably the true overarching theme of the film.
  • Body Horror: Many of the deformed people in Harley's freak-show gave off Body Horror vibes, which may partly explain the film being given a horror subgenre. In fact, the dwarfs, the obese Athena, the transgender girls, and even Tara almost looked normal compared to the rest of their fellow colleagues.
  • Bully Magnet: Tara is often ridiculed by the local teens due to her appearance.
  • Cruel Twist Ending: Tara looks like a werewolf, behaves like a meek but normal teenage girl, and resides in decent living quarters. She wished to be rid of her werewolf appearance. By the end of the film, she looks like a beautiful girl, behaves like a feral beast, and roams in the wilderness.
  • Downer Ending: No, there's nothing bittersweet about this even though Tara succeeded getting rid of her hypertrichosis. That came at a terrible cost - Her inner humanity, which is more precious than her outward appearance. Her only family was the freak-show crew, and they were forced to abandon her after the ruckus she caused in her new feral state had the townspeople went on a werewolf hunt. Left alone in the wild, she's no longer in any mental condition that can allow her to appreciate her new physical beauty...
  • Drugs Are Bad: The movie was never about portraying how bad are illicit drugs, but seeing Tara's increasing desperation when she started injecting herself with greater doses of the drug without Ryan's approval, gave off strong vibes of drug addiction.
  • Fan Disservice:
    • Where to begin? Tara's Shower Scene, fur and all.
    • Having a long look at Beau's Teeny Weenie before and after his death.
    • A set-up to a make-out only to have Tara bite part of Krystal's tongue off and eat it.
    • In-Universe examples:
      • The transgender showgirls stripping during Christoph/Christine's second act elicits the reaction you'd expect from surprised male patrons at the end.
      • Played With when Athena seductively eats cotton-candy and, after staring for quite a while, Krystal pukes. However, the young boys who go to see Athena seem enamored by her awe-inducing power. Krystal actually forced herself to vomit, probably because of thinking that it was sexy and that just wouldn't be acceptable.
  • Fanservice; The cover has a shot that shows the lead fully nude lying on the ground with her butt exposed.
  • Fate Worse than Death: Tara's ending... Not that she can comprehend it though, so its more from our perspective.
  • Firing One-Handed: Probably the reason why Beau can't shoot a single thing. Krystal, notably, uses two-hands.
  • Foreshadowing: The film was really heavy-handed on hinting Tara's descent into feral state, which was shown gradually. Besides the hallucinations Tara had from time to time, there's tiny moments of impatience and frustration hinting she's growing beyond her original meek personality, and not to forget the clearly Out-of-Character Moment when she starts licking up water from a toilet bowl - Compared to the start of the film when she was humiliated by the bullies throwing dog poo at her. Given that this was also a drama film, the obvious yet gradual changes in Tara's personality and behavior was probably intentional.
  • The Gunslinger: Averted. Krystal certainly thinks she is and she's got the skills to boot. The problem is she isn't exactly heroic.
  • Hidden Depths: One of the main overarching themes of the film, if not THE biggest theme, is that everyone is a freak in some way or another.
    • The people in Harley's freak-show are physically deformed, but besides that they are portrayed as completely normal - Their personalities were neither overly nice nor overly rotten, and their lives outside of their work are no different from that of any other regular person.
    • Harley Dune the owner of the freak-show. While he undeniably relies on his freak-show business to earn a living, he is also a Reasonable Authority Figure and he actually cares for his employees. His main flaw is his almost overt insensitivity towards his employees' feelings (Namely Tara). Interestingly too, Harley was portrayed by the actor Tim Curry who was usually typecast as an antagonist in many other films.
    • Ryan, the meek and nerdy-looking boy, finds a kindred soul in Tara (of sorts) and is attracted to her despite Tara looking like a werewolf.
    • Ryan's mother is both an average concerned mother yet a shady, unethical scientist.
    • Beau is one of the resident bullies with good looks but rotten personalities. It turned out that he was hiding a major insecurity where he had a micro-penis, which suggests that he was overcompensating for it with his bullying nature.
    • Similar to Beau but more subdued in presentation, Krystal turned out to be a lesbian with hints of bulimia.
    • Tragically, Tara too. She looks like a werewolf and acts out that way in the freak-show attraction as well, but is otherwise a relatively meek teenage girl.
  • Idiot Ball: Beau is such a lousy shot that he lost his car in a bet to Krystal but when he goes berserk and he decides that the best way to kill Tara is with a pistol; it doesn't work out too well for him. While out on a hunt for Tara, who killed Beau, Krystal finds a random girl in the woods who doesn't speak at all and looks suspiciously similar to Tara. Krystal decides to finally stop repressing her sexuality by trying to kiss the now entirely feral Tara. That works out as well as you might expect. Although to be fair, Krystal wasn't aware that Tara lost her abnormal hair growth.
  • I Just Want to Be Normal: Tara throughout the film.
  • Informed Deformity: Of all the deformed people in the freak-show, the bullies pick on Tara because they found her appearance "disgusting". Although this trope may be justified since many of the deformed people are in the Body Horror territory while Tara merely had abnormal hair growth which makes her "easier" to approach for bullying.
  • Jerkass: Beau and Krystal, two of the four resident bullies in the movie. The other two are either not as significant to the narrative or is a Token Good Teammate.
  • Karmic Death: Beau dies with his Teeny Weenie bared for all the world to see.
  • Large Ham: Harley Dune, of course being a carnie and played by Tim Curry means this is practically a job requirement.
  • Meaningful Name: 'Beau' means handsome in French and he is a physically handsome character.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Ryan really shouldn't have given Tara hopes about the illicit serum, and given that he seemed intelligent and articulate enough to explain that the drug wasn't approved and may have side effects, it seemed to be a really stupid decision to make for someone he just met.
  • Out-of-Character Alert: Harley, the owner of the freak-show attraction, had this as a low-key reaction when he learnt that Tara breaking out of her cage to attack Beau wasn't staged at all.
  • Out-of-Character Moment: Tara. She was originally a meek teenage girl who only pretends to be violent when in a freak-show act, but ever since she started taking the illicit serum, she began having mood swings, short moments of aggression and at times even violence. She showed her topless self to Ryan, her inhibitions seemingly lost. Not only that, Tara was also seen having a weird compulsion in licking water from the toilet bowl - Compared to the start of the film when she was humiliated by the bullies throwing dog poo at her. All these foreshadows her final fate.
  • The Peeping Tom:
    • Ryan (By accident) when he is watching the intimate moment of a little-man and a woman.
    • Tara, as well. She goes to Beau’s house and looks through the window to find him naked, which leads to her discovering his humiliating secret of having a micropenis.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Harley is essentially a businessman making a living from freak-show exhibitions. While making money is important and practical, he cares about his employees and is upset when people bullies or shows disrespect to them. Unfortunately, during the events of the film he was so delighted with the profits that he was slow to react to Tara's various out of character moments. By the time he tries to intervene she was far too moody and he gave up right then, probably attributing it to teenage mood-swings. Advertising Tara as the new "Wolf-Woman" proved to be his next big mistake since he still did not realize what was actually happening to Tara.
  • Spoiler Cover: The poster showing Tara at the lake is the very final scene in the film.
  • Super-Persistent Predator: Both justified and downplayed for the most part. Tara's periodic reversion into her feral states had her eventually stalk and kill Beau - Tara after all still had shades of humanity left in her at that point in time and Beau was a bully who planned to kill her, so its likely that she unleashed her back-seated anger. However, after her complete transformation into a feral human, she seemed to be acting out of self-defense and knows when to retreat.
  • Teens Are Monsters: The 4 resident bullies, especially Beau and Krystal. Probably playing for Black Comedy, revelation of Beau's death doesn't seem to register much shock on the rest of the bullies.
  • Token Good Teammate: Whiffer. Out of the four bullies he is easily the most sympathetic. He thinks Tara is weird but never calls her a "freak". He doesn't partake in For the Evulz by throwing dog-poop and later, darts at a defenseless person nor does he laugh at it like Cory. Whiffer profusely apologizes to Beau for spilling food on Beau's leather-jacket. After Beau dies he suggests that it was deserved.
  • Token Romance: Ryan and Tara shared a kiss/romantic moment, which beyond this scene their romance is barely addressed/referenced. Ryan and Tara's relationship could just be re-written as a platonic friendship and the movie's plot/narrative would still be more or less the same. There is barely any reason why this movie should have romance as a sub-genre.
  • Tongue Trauma: Krystal gets her tongue bitten off by Tara.
  • Undignified Death: Beau. He's mauled to death by the same girl he bullied throughout the entire film after a failed attempt to kill her for her seeing him naked and learning of his Teeny Weenie. After he dies, his friends discover his pants-less corpse and have a full view of his nether regions themselves, with Krystal calling him a freak.
  • Unkempt Beauty: The ending, showing a nude Tara who lost all her abnormal hair growth and ironically her inner beauty too.
  • Yank the Dog's Chain: Tara repeatedly underwent illicit medical treatment in hopes of getting rid of her hypertrichosis. A neat twist on this trope: It eventually works but at the terrible cost of her inner humanity.
  • You Are What You Hate: The movie treats Beau as one. Beau's Teeny Weenie is a major source of his insecurity that drove him to bully other "freaks" and even go as far as attempting to murder those who found out about his secret.