Howling III: The Marsupials Review
The Howling is one of my favorite films and to see the series get a third release was something of great interest for me, but I hadn't sat down and watched it for a long time. Since I have time on my hands, I decided to check out this Australian sequel to the werewolf lore, and was surprised to see that Ozploitation really manage to take the elements of the series and really poke holes into it, and bleed it out into an entertaining piece of horror.
The first thing you need to know is that this is not part of the original films. Yes, it is called The Howling but it's only because the name was purchased and this film has nothing to do with the books of the same name. Yes, there are some interesting views that are similar to the novels, but the third book in the Howling series is nothing like this movie, in terms of plot. The director of this film also did Howling II, but this is NOT part of the original ore, and it's interesting to see that the rating on this film is pg-13, and really is tame in a lot of ways. Much like Halloween 3: Season of the Witch is it's only stand alone film, this one stands apart in the series.
If you like a ton of subplots, you're going to get it here. There is a lot of things going on. This is not your average "centralized" plotted horror movie, and the viewer really has to pay attention to catch everything. There is a main plot, and it involves a professor that is working on werewolves and culture, tied together in a strange cult. A woman is found on a park bench and is placed in a film and she starts to attract attention after being hit by a car. There's a film within a film as we are treated to a mockery of the genre, when the newly found woman turns out to be, a werewolf!
There is a lot of tongue and cheek humor found in this film, and it's not really scary. There are some of the most ridiculous and cheese ball effects utilized to make this film fit into the previous films scope. The original films had a sort of traditional werewolf lore, while this one tries to inject science, religion, and breeding into the mix. The whole premise of a scientist experimenting on werewolves makes the film seem odd. The movie is notorious for making werewolves become anti-hero's here, and some might even try to shoehorn political movements, religious condemnation, and race relations as being the catalyst for the film's message. I felt as though the film was trying to make me feel bad for the werewolf, and that's where I just started to hate the film. The wolf is NOT supposed to be loved, or is it? My favorite parts of the film have to be the Alien Baby sequence and the terrible "movie within a movie within a movie" subplot, which was brief, but hilarious.
The funny elements of this film make for a more comedic movie rather than a true horror film. I am ok with comedy horror films, but I felt cheated with this one. I really felt as though I was going to get something along the lines of the original, or even the sequel, but instead this just seemed to lack gusto. I liked it, it's entertaining, but it's not scary at all, and really is a major departure from the previous entries. The parody elements go a bit too far at times, and I just miss more serious toned werewolf films. Check out Howling III: The Marsupials if you're a fan of the series, otherwise, you're not missing a whole lot. You'll laugh more often than not, so don't think this is going to be a great one to turn the lights out and scare yourself with, because it won't even be remotely scary. Unless you're scared of Australian made B-film. Hey, at least it's not British right? Just sayin.