Opening January 23, 2020
Directed by: Tim Trageser
Writing credits: Marc Hillefeld
Principal actors: Aaron Kissiov, Johanna Schraml, Arsseni Bultmann, Rick Kavanian, Christian Berkle
Teenager Vlad (Aaron Kissiov) and his father Barnabas (Rick Kavanian) move to Crailsfelden where Barnabas opens an antique shop and Vlad starts seventh grade at Penner Academy. Not surprisingly Vlad is mobbed by his classmates for being “different.” He makes friends with Faye (Johanna Schraml) and Wolf (Arsseni Bultmann), who are also outcasts. As a strong team of three, they set out to save the world. Sound familiar? Yes, actually, not very original, including the moral of the story: be true to yourself, and others will learn to accept you.
But stop: actually, much is unusual here. Vlad and his father are vampires. Penner Academy has existed for 700 years, training fairies, witches, trolls, midgets, mummies and vampires. Vlad is an outsider due to his inability to cope with blood, although he wears a necklace with a blood-colored crystal hanging on it – a present from his deceased mother. Faye is an elf (also called a fairy) who is afraid to fly. Wolf is a werewolf who is allergic to animal hair. Barnabas must cope with Rübezahl, the head of the town tax office, who wants money. Most dangerous is the mayor of the city, Louis Ziffer (Christian Berkle). Pronounce his name quickly and what do you get: Lucifer! He’s a devil and his secretary Frau Circemeyer (Sonja Gerhardt) is a witch. They plan to steal Vlad’s red crystal and destroy the world during the upcoming solar eclipse. Vlad, Faye, and Wolf must prevent this catastrophe with the help of the friendly school janitor Hannappel (Axel Stein).
Die Wolf-Gäng is originally a series of popular books for younger readers by Wolfgang Hohlbein. The young actors, ages 14-16, successfully keep one’s attention, especially Arron Kissiov, quite darling as Vlad. Your whole family, beginning at age eight, can go for fun or to pick up some ideas for the next Halloween costumes. (Becky T.)