Awfully Good: Helen Keller vs. Nightwolves + Octopussy (Video)

Last Updated on August 5, 2021


Helen Keller vs. Nightwolves (2015)


Director: Ross Patterson
Stars: Jessie Wiseman, Lin Shaye, Barry Bostwick


After losing her sight and hearing in a vicious wolf attack, Helen Keller uses her remaining senses to become an unstoppable lycan-murdering machine. 

We've covered plenty of movies with funny titles in this column, but HELEN KELLER VS NIGHTWOLVES is the only one that makes me laugh every time I hear it. (Sorry, SORORITY BABES IN THE SLIMEBALL BOWL-O-RAMA…)  

Wolverine's career as an optometrist was mercifully short.

This hallmark of cinema comes to us from Ross Patterson, director of FDR: AMERICAN BADASS, one of my favorite Awfully Good movies in recent years. HELEN KELLER is more of the same for fans of FDR, and that's definitely not a bad thing. Patterson embraces the miniscule budget and uses it to his comedic advantage. The most obvious example are the title creatures themselves. In case you're not entirely sure what a "nightwolf" is, they're literally just wolves that attack mostly at night (…mostly). And the movie hilariously brings them to life through borrowed nature footage, stationary taxidermy wolves, and stuffed animals that are just one step above Pound Puppies. Now imagine a violent action sequence built around that and you have a pretty good idea of what you're in for.


Like FDR, the film moves at a breakneck pace, throwing jokes at the screen constantly to see what sticks. (And at barely an hour and ten minutes, it doesn't overstay its welcome.) There are tons of memorable, quotable lines and Patterson seizes the opportunity to be as politically incorrect as possible given the historical subject matter. Seriously, the movie contains enough blind and deaf jokes to cause a full-on riot at the Special Olympics. There's also a lot of completely random insanity to let you know that HELEN KELLER VS. NIGHTWOLVES is working on an intellectual level as well, including random dubbing, fourth wall-breaking meta commentary, outtakes included in the actual film, and a straight up advertisement for a real-life law firm in the middle of the third act. And don't worry, Mr. Patterson, I totally understood what the random cutaways to an American man dressed as a geisha was saying about societal gender norms in a context of cultural imperialism. This is next-level stuff right here.

"Dammit, Jerry!"

Actress Jessie Wiseman plays the title character and she gives a solid performance, selling the goofiness of it all, as well as some not-so-easy lines, like, "What's the difference between Helen Keller and a normal person who can hear and see? I'm not a f*cking pussy!" She's also got some good back up from a cast of Patterson's favorites, including INSIDIOUS star Lin Shaye, OFFICE SPACE's Richard Riehle, WAITING's Alana Urbach, Parks and Recreation's Jerry (Jim O'Heir), and even Al from Step by Step (Christine Lakin). However, it's no surprise that FDR himself Barry Bostwick again steals the show as a veteran nightwolf hunter who trains and romances Helen Keller. Bostwick is game to do and say anything Patterson throws at him, from having wolf excrement slowly rubbed in his face to saying lines like this with complete seriousness: "They're among us and when they want blood, they take it. They prey on peoples weaknesses. I was terrible at backgammon. They knew that! They exploited my weakness. And that's why they killed my entire family!"

You should also see Oliver Stone's U TURN silverware set. 

In conclusion, HELEN KELLER VS. NIGHTWOLVES is a good time with a few beers. I don't think it tops FDR: AMERICAN BADASS for me, but it's still an enjoyably ridiculous B-movie and Ross Patterson is someone worth paying attention to. Even Helen Keller can see that.


Some of the best Helen Keller jokes and Barry Bostwick's best lines.

Enjoy this taste of nightwolf action. 

The wolves go bottomless.  

A sight for sore eyes! Buy this movie here!

Take a shot or drink every time:

  • Someone makes a Helen Keller joke
  • Someone yells in slow motion
  • The film questions itself
  • Someone's voice is dubbed
  • Someone drinks an alcoholic root beer
  • You spot a stuntman of a differing gender

Double shot if:

  • Someone says, "This is some hardcore shit, man!"

But wait! There's more! Still reeling from last week's SPECTRE and need to work out some Bond issues? We've got you covered with this week's Awfully Good Movies video column as host Jesse Shade tackles the relentlessly silly Octopussy starring Roger Moore. Put on your best clown make-up and take a look below!

Seen a movie that should be featured on this column? Shoot Jason an email or follow him on Twitter and give him an excuse to drink.



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