A prisoner extradition gone wrong proves a thrilling, messy genre treat.

Review disc provided by Well Go USA. Images subject to copyright.

One of my favorite genre movie tropes is when a movie gets “interrupted” by a different movie. Like how the pulpy crime action that opens Deep Rising gives way to near-Lovecraftian creature horror, or when the Predator shows up in the motion picture Predator. Writer/director Hongsun Kim combines the thrill of unexpected developments with a (literally) breakneck pace and grisly violence for a story assembled with familiar pieces, but dripping with style and a bevy of gnarly stunts. Project Wolf Hunting has its own distinct flavor.

Images provided by Well Go USA.

Following the transportation of a group of dangerous criminals who are being extradited to South Korea, Project Wolf Hunting follows police officers escorting a commandeered cargo ship transporting a group of dangerous criminals who have been extradited to South Korea. Sinister forces hiding aboard threaten to tear both sides to pieces. The criminal group’s sadistic leader, Park Jong-doo (Seo In-guk), stages a breakout that leads to a bloodbath among the crew and police escorts, and the ensuing riot becomes a running fight for survival.

As luck would have it, this ship is also transporting something far more dangerous than murderers and gangsters: The true precious cargo is “Alpha,” a ruthless and terrifyingly efficient killing machine with inhuman strength who doesn’t take kindly to. . . well, anything..

The film doesn’t waste much time, barely introducing characters and dynamics before flipping tables and stacking the body count. One of the treats of the film’s structure is how familiar faces emerge as characters with ongoing stories, including no-nonsense officer Lee Da-yeon (Jung So-min) and her superior officer Lee Seok-woo (Park Ho-san), conflicted criminal Lee Do-il (Dong-Yoon Jang), and coast guard captain Oh Dae-woong (Dong-il Sung), who tries to secure the vessel as it drifts off course. The film is built as a sequence of violent outbursts, each one more extreme than the last as the secrets of the lower decks are revealed. I really can’t oversell how intense the carnage gets, even as a fan of the red stuff. People are biting off ears and delivering spurting head wounds before the “weird genre stuff” even gets up to speed, and just when you thought you’d seen every version of “these folks are about to die real messy-like,” Kim and his stunt team introduce a new wrinkle or challenge or advantage that cranks the knob to 11 again.

Images provided by Well Go USA.

While this approach keeps the pacing tight, the back half of the film tries to cram in a little bit too much from outside the central theatre. The way the film reveals information that’s key to character motivations and actions sometimes feels either like shorthand or a clumsy road to only vaguely-earned dramatic beats. And while that reshuffling has a definite appeal early on, it’s hard not to want more time for these characters to breathe as they’re telling us how their stories end. However, the movie lands enough of its narrative punches that the enterprise is more than just a collection of sequences where people get turned into a red mess on a big old boat.

But it’s also that, and a real dope version of that to boot. Action and horror nuts should ideally have Project Wolf Hunting on their radar already. From ambushes and shootouts to massive brawls and full-on slasher sequences, the sheer volume of blood spilled onscreen is only matched by the enthusiasm with which the movie paints with it.

Images provided by Well Go USA.


Well Go USA has become very reliable at putting together solid meat-and-potatoes A/V packages, and Project Wolf Hunting is no exception. Given how dark the setting is (mostly nighttime during a sea storm), it’s easy to imagine a murky version of this film. But between cinematographer Ju-Hwan Yun’s slick interior work, which differentiates between levels of the ship as well as time periods, and the combination of light and silhouette when above deck, every inch of the carnage is on beautiful display. The sound mix is also one of the wettest—the Foley sounds like the image in your brain when you say “gooey.” This is a compliment.

Bonus Content:

This release isn’t quite “bare bones,” but it’s not exactly stacked with extras. The special features consist of a couple featurettes and a collection of trailers. I’d have loved a full hour just breaking down the different stunts and makeup gags, because what’s here only whets my appetite for more about how the film was made.

Images provided by Well Go USA.

Behind the Scenes (4:46) — A brief check-in with actors and Kim covering some highlights of making the film, giving a taste at characterization and prep work as well as showing a few glimpses of how the action scenes were filmed.

Making the Alpha (1:24) — Actor Gwi-hwa Choi shares his insights on creating the film’s human wrecking ball, as well as a glimpse at his makeup process.

Previews — Coming attractions from Well Go USA projects.

Project Wolf Hunting is available on streaming platforms and Blu-ray and DVD.

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