The Direct to Video Connoisseur

I'm a huge fan of action, horror, sci-fi, and comedy, especially of the Direct to Video variety. In this blog I review some of my favorites and not so favorites, and encourage people to comment and add to the discussion. If you click on an image, it will take you to that post's image page, which includes many more pics from the film and other goodies I couldn't fit in the actual review. For announcements and updates, don't forget to Follow us on Twitter and Like our Facebook page. If you're the director, producer, distributor, etc. of a low-budget feature length film and you'd like to send me a copy to review, you can contact me at dtvconnoisseur[at]yahoo.com. I'd love to check out what you got.

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Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Howling III: The Marsupials (1987)

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The Howling 2 is probably to werewolf movies what Blade is to the vampire genre. That being said, it's a no-brainer that one would want to see what the sequel to all that awesomeness was all about. Blade 2 was pretty sweet, so this film had a lot to live up to. Maybe that's not really fair, but life isn't fair.

Howling III: The Marsupials has nothing whatsoever to do with it's amazing predecessor. It takes place in Australia, where a sociologist thinks an old film of an Aboriginal tribal ritual is proof of the existence of werewolves. He's right, but not before a runaway hot chick/werewolf is impregnated by a dude who looks like my cousin Kevin. She has a fit in public, and the Aussies decide werewolves suck, and they take over their compound, imprisoning the werewolves so they can experiment on them. The sociologist feels bad, and he helps some of them escape and lives with them. That's it.

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According to the trailer included in the DVD, this was lauded as the best werewolf movie of 1987. I did a little research, and found three other werewolf films that year. First, Monster Squad, is only tangentially a werewolf film, so it doesn't count. That leaves Teen Wolf Too, which the less said about that, the better; and Werewolf, the TV movie pilot to the TV series. I need some help on that, but I think that show was on USA after the Hitchhiker or something. That one may have been better than this, but I don't remember it well enough to have a solid opinion, and it may not matter anyway, because a TV movie pilot might not count when a trailer is bragging about its film.

This film totally reworked the werewolf genre, and I'm not sure if it worked. The idea is supposed to be that they're just a genetic off-shoot of homo sapien sapien. With that in mind, the story is preaching acceptance and understanding. There was still plenty of savage eating of people, so it wasn't all Up With People, but on the other hand, it didn't have that real horror movie feel that I want when I rent a werewolf picture. I need silver bullets and full moons. I need Christopher Lee toting a crossbow. This just didn't do it for me.

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That doesn't mean it didn't have its good points. There's the great image of the nun werewolves that looked like the dog from the Snausages (sp?) commercials. I don't know who thought they were werewolves instead of dog people, but I owe whoever it was a beer. There were a couple of great werewolf attacks by these teddy bear-esque creatures that looked more huggable than scary, and it was amazing to see them in action. The head werewolf looked like a fat, bald Colm Meany, and I was extremely disappointed it wasn't actually him.

This movie spoofs on other horror films, and there's a director who's supposed to be an homage to Alfred Hitchcock who's making one of these bad films. This is a much better homage than that atrocious Psycho remake that came out however many years ago. That shit hurt. It was also better than Mission Impossible 2, which was a total rip-off of Notorious. I love Thandie Newton and Tom Cruise as much as the next guy, but they're no Cary Grant and Ingrid Bergman.

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The sociologist in this picture does what we in the biz call Going Native. It's a very un-PC term, and I'm sure the American Anthropological Association would frown on its usage, but I can't think of a better way to put it. He falls in love with one of the people he's studying, and gives up his entire life to be with her and raise a child. I totally understand the allure of the foreign, and can see an anthropologist studying actual people falling for someone he or she is doing field work on; but a werewolf is a different story. Maybe I'm just old fashioned.

Speaking of old fashioned, I noticed Rampage, the arcade game, show up in the film for a few seconds. I had no idea that game was that old, or that I was that young when I was playing it. 20 years ago seems like a long time. The one thing I remember when playing it on the Nintendo was how you could keep hitting B to get your guy to come back to life. I thought I was the only one who knew that, and scored like however many million, and I looked at Nintendo Power to see how my high score compared, only to find everyone else had 9,999,999.

I'm giving this a tentative no. If you're a big werewolf fan you've probably already seen it, and if you haven't, you may want to give it a shot because it's so different. Otherwise, it's just pretty blah. You'd think with all the Australian accents that I'd be all over it, and if it had more than just a few bright spots, I'm sure I would've been.

For more info: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0093227/

1 comment:

  1. ONe of the worst movies ever made in my opinion. But its amusing to watch it solely for that, its so bad...its still bad, but you cant take your eyes of it. Kind of like Troll II.

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