WEREWOLF (1995) Reviews and overview

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‘Rest in… beast.’

Werewolf – aka Arizona Werewolf – is a 1995 [released January 1996] American supernatural horror film produced and directed by Iranian-born Tony Zarrindast (Red RoomCat in the Cage) from a screenplay co-written with Brad Hornacher.


Archaeologists working in Arizona find a werewolf skeleton. The ill-tempered foreman, Yuri (played by Jorge Rivero) gets into a fight with his crew: Tommy, Joel, and Bill. In the course of the fight, Tommy is scratched by the werewolf skeleton. This greatly alarms his fellow diggers, especially Joel. The head archaeologist, Noel, details what he knows of werewolf behaviour, which he bases on American Indian mythology.

Tommy is taken to the hospital, where he begins showing signs of lycanthropy, and he eventually turns into a werewolf. Joel and Bill arm themselves with shotguns and silver bullets and succeed in killing their doomed former co-worker.

Meanwhile, a writer named Paul Niles (Federico Cavalli) arrives at a house in suburban Flagstaff that he has inherited. At a party, he is introduced to one of the archaeologists, Natalie Burke (Adrianna Miles) and takes a romantic interest in her. Yuri is jealous and behaves badly, which leads to his expulsion from the party by his boss Noel.

Yuri conspires to create a new werewolf; at the laboratory he drugs a security guard (played by director Tony Zarindast) and injects him with blood he earlier drew from the werewolf, Tommy. However, the creature makes the unfortunate choice of driving home, and having crashed into some oil drums, dies in the ensuing fire.

The following day, Paul visits the lab. He gets into a fight with Yuri, who attacks him with the werewolf skull. Paul is scratched by the skull, and starts showing symptoms of lycanthropy…


“The plot remains what I would call “serviceable” — in other words, it’s adequate if not particularly enchanting or thrilling. Kind of what you might expect a computer to spit out if you fed it the scripts of all the other werewolf movies plus a few X-Files plots and said, “Okay, shake and bake.” But the real problem here is the plethora of bizarre flaws.” Brandt Sponseller, Classic-Horror.com

“Wow, this is all kinds of bad. Slow moving broken up with some hilarious moments of ineptitude. Not to mention, the main stars after Lynch and Estevez all speak English as a second language, and sound stilted and unnatural when they deliver their lines, making for more unintentionally funny moments. What makes it a tough watch though is the long periods of inactivity.”  Matt Poirier, Direct to Video Connoisseur

” …don’t let the unusual sentences distract you from Yuri’s hair styles. His hair grows, shrinks, changes from black to brown to a reddish hue, and rises into a pompadour, and all within ten minutes. Now that’s exciting hair. If only the werewolves had been as interesting and frightening as that hair… Foster on Film

“Another astonishing fact is that there are no less than FOUR werewolves in this movie and none of them are any good.  Seriously, the make-up in this flick makes the werewolf from Teen Wolf Too look like An American Werewolf in London. Not only that, but the ending totally rips off of Wolf as well.” Mitch Lovell, The Video Vacuum

Choice dialogue:

Sam the Keeper: “I just found out that Count Dracula was a faggot.”

Cast and characters:

  • Jorge Rivero as Yuri + Conquest
  • Richard Lynch as Noel + Dark Fields; Halloween; Mil Mascaras vs. the Aztec Mummy; Good Against Evil
  • Federico Cavalli as Paul Miles
  • Adrianna Miles as Natalie Burke
  • Joe Estevez as Joel
  • R.C. Bates as Sam the Keeper
  • Randall Oliver as Billy

Filming locations:

Bishop, La Brea Tar Pits and Susanville, California
Glendale Community College in Glendale, California

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