REVIEW: THE HOWLING REBORN

CAST

Lindsey Shaw (Pretty Little Liars)
Landon Liboiron (Burning Bodhi)
Ivana Miličević (Jerry Maguire)
Jesse Rath (Aaron Stone)
Niels Schneider (Heartbeats)

Kathryn Kidman is attacked and apparently killed by a werewolf. Many years later, her son Will is living with his father and is enrolled in a high school with an advanced security system. His best friend, Sachin, is making a horror film and is planning to broadcast it by hacking into news channels illegally. Will has a crush on Eliana Wynters, but her current boyfriend scares him away. Later, Eliana invites him to a party where a creature attacks. Will escapes. He later asks Sachin about werewolf lore. Will cuts himself and the wound heals instantaneously, proving that he is a werewolf.

It is revealed that Kathryn is still alive but has become a werewolf. Kathryn kills Will’s father, then goes to Will’s school to explain Will’s werewolf heritage to him. Confronted with this truth, Will saves Eliana from other members of Kathryn’s wolf pack. The invasion sets off the security system and the school enters automated lockdown mode, cutting off the school from the outside world. Will remembers Sachin’s advice that werewolves can only be killed by silver bullets or fire, so he and Eliana equip themselves with homemade flame throwers. They find Sachin just in time to see him killed by a werewolf. Sneaking off to the basement, they discover that Kathryn is raising an army of werewolves.

They fight their way out of the school. Eliana tries to goad Will to turn her into a werewolf, but he manages to restrain himself. Kathryn captures Eliana to force Will to become a werewolf. Will fights Kathryn with weapons, but Kathryn is too powerful to be killed by silver bullets. Another werewolf attacks her and rips her heart out. The werewolf is Eliana, who was previously wounded by Will. Eliana and Will burn down the school to kill the other new werewolves. Will creates a video in which he transforms on camera and warns the world about werewolves. It is circulated all over the world, and humans prepare to battle against the new threat.A decent enough glossy American highschool werewolf movie. The acting is good, picture excellent and story is ok, if not spectacular.

Advertisements

REVIEW: THE HOWLING VI: THE FREAKS

 

CAST

Brendan Hughes (Return To Horror High)
Michele Matheson (Kingpin)
Sean Sullivan (Wayne’s World)
Antonio Fargas (Foxy Brown)
Carol Lynley (The Poseidon Adventure)
Jered Barclay (Whore)
Bruce Payne (Highlander: Endgame)
Deep Roy (Charlie and The Chocolae Factory)

Image result for the howling vi

Ian, a likeable but severely solitary drifter, takes a job making repairs at the local church in the barren rural town of Canton Bluff. Eschewing human contact, Ian seems unnaturally leery of the impending full moon. Aware that Ian is a genuine werewolf, R.B. Harker (the owner of a traveling carnival) captures and forces the young man to work for his carnival, where he is put on display with other human oddities. To further complicate matters, Harker is revealed to have a monstrous secret of his own – he is a vampire.

Image result for the howling vi

This installment of this odd series gets an A for effort. There’s a lot of good to be found here, but also a few faults. The main issues appear to be the low budget and script, which could have used some reworking. It’s too bad because there is a lot of potential here, but still it’s an interesting watch. It’s also the last film in the series that can be recommended because after this things really took a dive.

REVIEW: THE HOWLING IV: THE ORIGINAL NIGHTMARE

CAST

Romy Windsor (Face/Off)
Michael T. Weiss (The Pretender)
Anthoyn Hamilton (Mission: Impossible)
Susanne Severeid (Hollywood High)

Image result for the howling iv

After experiencing visions of a nun, author Marie Adams (Romy Windsor) is in the middle of a meeting with her agent, Tom Billings (Antony Hamilton), when she has another vision of a wolf-like creature lunging from a fire, and begins to scream hysterically. Marie’s husband, Richard (Michael T. Weiss), discusses her condition with her doctor, agreeing that Marie’s overactive imagination is leading her into some dangerous territory. The doctor advises Richard to take Marie away from the pressures of her life for a few weeks. Richard locates a cottage in the small town of Drago, some hours from Los Angeles. Tom drives Marie there, but then departs quickly in the face of Richard. Marie looks around the cottage and declares it to be perfect; but that night, while she and Richard are making love, Marie is disturbed by the sound of howling out in the woods.The next day, Marie and Richard look around Drago, where they meet the mysterious Eleanor (Lamya Derval), a local artist who owns a shop of antiques and knick-knacks, and the Ormsteads, who run the local store. Marie takes her dog for a walk, and becomes distressed when he runs off. That night, Marie dreams of wolves, of herself running through the woods, and of the same nun of whom she had visions. Richard drives into Los Angeles for a meeting, and Marie spends time chatting with Mrs. Ormstead, who tells her about the previous couple to occupy the cottage, and that they left town without a word. Marie is walking home through the woods when, suddenly, she sees before her the nun of her visions. She runs after her – but it turns out to be Eleanor in a dark cape. Eleanor points out a shortcut to the cottage, which Marie takes. She discovers a cave on the way, and what’s left of her dog.Image result for the howling ivIn horror, Marie runs through the woods, suddenly aware that she is being pursued. At the cottage, Richard quiets his hysterical wife and checks outside, but sees nothing; not even the dark figure nearby. The next morning, Marie witnesses a strange apparition: an elderly man and woman who appear in her living-room and who warn her to go away. Marie is momentarily distracted by a car pulling up outside, and the next instant her ghostly visitors are gone. The newcomer is Janice Hatch (Susanne Severeid), who is holidaying in the area and is a fan of Marie’s writing. Marie invites her in and, as they are talking, mentions the howling that she hears at night. After some hesitation, Janice reveals that she used to be a nun, and that her closest friend, Sister Ruth (Megan Kruskal), disappeared over a year ago, only to be found in Drago speaking incoherently of the devil, and a bell, and the sound of howling. After a long illness, Ruth died without ever being able to explain what happened to her; and Janice, determined to discover the truth, left the convent. Marie is disturbed by the mention of a nun, and becomes even more so when Janice shows her a photograph of Sister Ruth: it is the nun from her visions. Meanwhile, Richard, becoming frustrated with Marie’s instability and visions, becomes drawn to Eleanor and sleeps with her.

Image result for the howling ivMarie eventually learns that all the inhabitants of the village are werewolves and Sister Ruth was babbling “Werewolves here” rather than “We’re all in fear” as everyone had assumed. When she tells Richard what she’s learned, he angrily dismisses her claims and goes for a walk in the woods by their house. As he’s walking, he sees Eleanor seemingly waiting for him. As the two begin to get intimate, the evil Eleanor transforms into a werewolf, bites Richard, and runs off. He stumbles back to the house and tells Marie he saw the werewolf. But that night after being examined by the town doctor, he claims he just fell down. Richard begins acting strangely and the next night as he’s walking in the woods, transforms into a werewolf as the villagers, who are also revealed as werewolves look on and then attempt to attack Marie. Marie escapes and following the storyline of the original folk tale she lures the inhabitants to the local church using its bell and then burns them all alive, including Richard. The film ends with a burning werewolf lunging at Marie out of the fire just as she had foretold in her vision.Image result for the howling iv

The only flaw I want to emphasize is that the early scenes in this film, much like the opening credits, are too quick to be effective. This one however is more faithful to the novel than the original, and once you get past the first 15 minutes, it doesn’t seem so rushed.

REVIEW: HOWLING III: THE MARSUPIALS

CAST

Barry Otto (The Great Gatsby)
Imogen Annesley (Queen of The Damned)
Max Fairchild (Mad Max)
Barry Humphries (The Hobbit)

In this movie, Australian werewolves have evolved separate from the rest of the werewolf population. They are marsupials – the female werewolves give birth to partly developed young which then makes its way to a pouch for further development.Harry Beckmeyer (Barry Otto), an Australian anthropologist, has somehow obtained footage filmed in 1905 which appears to depict Australian Aborigines ceremonially sacrificing a wolf-like creature. Meanwhile, reports of a werewolf killing a man in Russia reach Beckmeyer and he seeks an audience with the U.S. President to try and warn him that there is a widespread case of lycanthropy afoot in the world. The President (Michael Pate) is dismissive.Image result for howling 3A young Australian werewolf named Jerboa (Imogen Annesley) runs away from the rest of her pack into the city to avoid her step-father Thylo (Max Fairchild) and his physical and sexual abuse, all of which her family condones. She ends up spending the night on a park bench in Sydney near the Opera House and in the morning is spotted by an American man named Donny Martin (Leigh Biolos). The young man is infatuated with her instantly and attempts to approach her. Jerboa runs away frightened and he chases her through the park before finally catching up and telling her that due to her beautiful and naturally wild looks, she would be perfect for the female lead in a horror film he is helping to make: Shape Shifters Part VIII. While filming in Sydney’s Hyde Park, Jack Citron (Frank Thring), the director of the film, hires her immediately due to her natural talent. Jerboa and Donny quickly fall in love and Donny takes Jerboa to see a movie (a fake werewolf film entitled: “It came from Uranus”) in which a “werewolf” transforms and Jerboa tells Donny that the transformation “doesn’t happen like that” which leaves Donny puzzled. Later, after making love, Donny is curious as to why Jerboa refused to take off her top while they were together and notices that Jerboa’s lower abdomen is covered in downy white fur and what appears to be a long scar, but he does not question her about it. It is shown that a full moon has risen outside.Image result for howling 3Later, while at the wrap party for the movie, Jerboa is exposed to strobe lights and the flashing lights cause her to start changing into a werewolf. She flees the party with Donny in short pursuit. Due to the stress of the changing, she runs into traffic and is hit by a car. The doctors at the hospital realize that there is something very strange about Jerboa; she has striped fur on her back (like on the thylacine), and a pouch. They also deduce that due to her high amount of hormones, Jerboa is pregnant from Donny.Image result for howling 3Meanwhile, Beckmeyer’s father has disappeared in the Outback shortly after recording a film of tribal villagers apparently killing a werewolf. His investigation is short lived as three of Jerboa’s sisters (disguised as nuns) show up in the city, track her down and murder anyone in the way to take her back to their pack’s hidden werewolf town, Flow ( being wolf spelled backward). Deprived of a werewolf, Beckmeyer and his colleague Professor Sharp (Ralph Cotterill) spend the evening watching a visiting ballet troupe practice. However, they get to see the prima ballerina, Russian Olga Gorki (Dasha Blahova) transform into a werewolf to the horror of her troupe. She is captured and researched but quickly runs away, somehow making her way to Flow where the pack have been chanting to call her to be Thylo’s mate (since Jerboa is pregnant). Jerboa soon gives birth to a baby werewolf.Image result for howling 3Donny informs Beckmeyer that his girlfriend was from Flow and he goes along with him to find her. Instead, Jerboa smells Donny nearby and goes to him at night, presenting their baby boy and informs him of the impending danger and the family flee into the hills.

Image result for howling 3The next morning a government task force captures the werewolf pack, but not before having several soldiers killed. Beckmeyer enlists the help of Olga, who he is attracted to, to allow her and Thylo to be researched. After many surveys and investigations (including an incident where Thylo was tortured with strobe lights to make him transform) Beckmeyer starts to fret over the injustice done to the werewolves, including the U.S. Army hunting them in 1889, and so he frees Olga and Thylo. The trio escape into the Outback and eventually find Kendi (Burnham Burnham), Donny, Jerboa, and the baby. They are pursued by hunters but Kendi calls on to the spirit of their legendary phantom wolf and massacres them to ensure the safety of the family. He is cremated in a makeshift ceremony but the smoke alerts some soldiers who are still pursuing them. They are attacked by Kendi’s skeleton who manages to hurt and scare them before being destroyed by one of the soldier’s machine guns. At night, Thylo also calls unto the spirit and is transformed into a huge wolf who attacks the remaining soldiers before being killed by a bazooka blast that destroys the rest of the encampment.Image result for howling 3At last, no longer being pursued by soldiers, Olga and Beckmeyer fall in love and together with Jerboa and Donny, hide and make a homestead at an idyllic riverside camp, avoiding human contact and raising their children in peace. After some time, Jerboa and Donny eventually move out, with the intentions of assuming different identities and the Beckmeyers remain behind raising their daughter and newborn son. Eventually, Harry is tracked down by Sharp and informed that all lycanthropes have been given papal amnesty due to the crimes committed against their kind and the Beckmeyers move back to the city. While teaching a class in Los Angeles and showing the reel seen at the beginning of the movie, Beckmeyer pauses to tell his class about Jerboa and how though he and Olga searched for her and Donny but never found them. At the end of the class he is approached by a young man who Beckmeyer notes looks familiar but cannot recognize. The young man introduces himself as Zack. He is Jerboa and Donny’s son. He informs Beckmeyer that him and his parents are now living in Los Angeles and his mother is now the famous actress “Loretta Carson” and his father is now the famous director “Sully Spellingberg”.Image result for howling 3That night, Olga and Beckmeyer are watching a television award show in which Jerboa has won the best actress award. Her sisters are seen living in a cave in their half transformed states celebrating her win. As Jerboa accepts her award and tries to give her speech, the flashing cameras and stage lights cause her to start changing into a werewolf. This also prompts Olga to start her change much to her husband’s dismay. Jerboa goes on the attack as her sisters howl in glee and Sharp is seen in his living room smiling deviously.The final shot shows a picture of a thylacine, or Tasmanian tiger, a marsupial carnivore which was hunted to extinction by Australian farmers to protect their sheep as it was the inspiration for the film.Image result for howling 3Overall this film has no pretensions it knows what it is and works well within its limitations producing an entertaining colourful werewolf romp.