Matthew B. Hafen || Interview with a werewolf

What got you into werewolves and how old were you when you discovered them?

I was first exposed to werewolves or the first werewolf scene I’ve seen was in Beethoven (1997). You know the St. Bernard. There was a scene in there a minute long and it was showing a clip from The Wolf Man (1941). It got me excited about werewolves, at that age I knew what it was and it didn’t frighten me.

 

 Do you share the same love of other types of shapeshifters?

Venom, Carnage, Mystique, and the Hulk.

 

What do you think it is that attracts you to werewolves?

The wild nature, mysterious nature. Not quite animal, not quite wolf, a combination of the two, a ferocious beast. It wasn’t the speed nor strength, it their wild animalistic nature.

 

Do you prefer a gory werewolf tale or a more serene, nature loving version?

Depends on how it is presented and stays to the core principle of what a werewolf is. A werewolf is both man and wolf, a beast. People tend to forget that part, think it is all monster or a demonic curse. The truth is, a werewolf cannot be what it is without man part and vice versa.

 

What does the ideal werewolf look like in your opinion? Give some Cinematic examples if you have any.

Again depends on the style and how it is presented. Also, you have to key into the factor that there are other types of werewolves out there. Therians, Loup-garu/rugaru, lycans, and manbeasts. There are different type of werewolves from many cultures. In central America there’s a werewolf that is also part fish. There’s a werewolf in Europe that embodies blue flames. There’s a werewolf in Ireland that stays in the woods and protect lost travellers from the dangers of the woods. You also have cursed werewolves, the ones that are forced to become beasts. There are many varieties and so it is hard to pick out which is the best one, because at that point, it’s just an opinion.

 

What should a werewolf NOT look like in your opinion?

To be honest, exaggerated Tumblr werewolves with multicolor furs to outlandish version. Something that borderlines an extremely creative furry design and one that has a mysticism atmosphere.

 

Give a cinematic example of a werewolf that didn’t quite meet your expectations.

Howl and Late Phases.

 

Stepping away from the cinematic side of things, what is your favourite werewolf novel and why?

Alpha & Omega series by Patricia Briggs followed by Bitten by Kelly Armstrong, because these series cover the relationship between man and beast. Both series end crossing over to the human world and what their reaction would be. It is also quite interesting to see how individual characters handle and deal with the beast. Oftentimes some stories just want to cover that the beast is some demonic evil possession and it lacks human growth. They also cover the internal pack relationship and most importantly, they have the human element involved.

 

Back to cinema, what is your favourite werewolf film?

Wolf Children an Anime film, but as for live action, Jack Nicholson the Wolf.

 

Do you have any werewolf related songs to recommend?

7 Days to the Wolves by Nightwish.

Hungry like a Wolf by Duran Duran.

Animal by Greenday.

 

 Do you have a particular favourite werewolf artist, what is it about their art that you love?

I don’t have a particular favorite, for the style of the individual artist is unique and blends with skill and taste of the creator. You can learn a lot from the creator from one piece and that is what is remarkable about art.

 

What do you think of the way representation of werewolves has changed over the years? (In both literature and cinema.)

Definitely on how they are viewed and with people’s different take on them. Some would choose the classic monster by night, human by day, others go along with it is a daily struggle trying to find out how to use or get rid of the beast. Romanticism and realism seem to be the major contributor to the change.

 

Tell me something that makes the werewolves in your works unique. What makes them special?

I take an unique path, for I believe the beast side of werewolf is only the true primal side. For the beast is an image of you only in a pure animalistic mind. Though the separation can happen if the beast and man refuse to work with each other, thus create tension and pressure. Here’s how I see it, you and the beast are opposite sides of the same the coin. He’s you and you’re him.

 

What are you other passions within the horror genre or out of it?

To entertain and give the audience a surreal experience. I would work on bringing in the audience more and have them feel that their lives could be in danger.

 

 Tell me about your most recent werewolf related work.

Currently, I’m writing two werewolf stories, actually three, but the third has a werewolf side-character. The first one is a feature film about an ex-con cop returning to the life of crime, because he has no other choice and crosses path with a werewolf and gets turned into one himself. The second is about a rookie detective who is brought on the SPBI (Supernatural and Paranormal Bureau of Investigation) for her attentive skill and able to make quick analysis of the situation. She is on a case to find the whereabouts of a rogue mutated werewolf who has a personal vendetta against the human race, before he disappears again.

 

 Who is your favourite character within your own work and why?

David Ulfric, he’s a former SPBI Agent who takes on the role as private investigator. He’s a werewolf who experienced the feral, wild, and domesticated life. He has such a redeemable backstory, tragedy and misfortune often follows him. To prevent all life, humans, Supernatural, or Paranormal from experiencing all he went through, he sets out and saves them.

 

Do you have any big upcoming plans relating to werewolves? Any new works on the way?

I’m still working on the first draft of each. Haven’t been given time to complete it.

 

Will you be available to meet other werewolf lover and fans in the near future, are you doing any outings or signings, or attending any conventions?

Not yet, but someday.

 

 

 Do you have any places online where other werewolf fans can contact you to discuss your work or anything lycanthropy related?

I do have a Tumblr page, Degva the Werewolf. He is my true werewolf persona. I use the Tumblr page to search other werewolf content and comment on it and give in my two cents. I do have a portfolio site and Twitter page. In addition, I have created a review YouTube channel called the Storyhunter Pack.

 

 Vampires and zombies have both become seriously popular within the horror genre in movies, do you think that as technology continues to improve werewolves will eventually reach the same kind of status?

Oh, they are really high in the competition, they are rivals. The only problem is, people often follow a less-creative outlet or have multiple lores working at once when it comes to werewolves.

 

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