Blu-ray Review: Howling III (1987)

January 13, 2019

Written by DanXIII

Daniel XIII; the result of an arcane ritual involving a King Diamond album, a box of Count Chocula, and a copy of Swank magazine, is a screenwriter, director, producer, actor, artist, and reviewer of fright flicks…Who hates ya baby?

Anthropologist Harry Beckmeyer (Barry Otto) witnesses some old-ass footage that purportedly shows a werewolf, and hears of a lycanthrope on the prowl in Siberia, so does what any rational human being would do; contacts the President of the United States and warns him of a worldwide werewolf epidemic. Spoiler: Prez blows that shit off. Wonder why?
Meanwhile, comely marsupial werewolf Jerboa (Imogen Annesley) has fled from her abusive home and has been discovered living on the streets by Donny Martin (Leigh Biolos) who gets her a gig starring in the fright flick ‘Shape Shifters Part 8′. Jerboa reveals she is a real life werewolf, but Donny being the typical red-blooded male fucks her anyway…I mean, it’s only half bestiality, so it’s all good, right bro?  (shudder)
Soon Jerboa’s estranged family come a-lookin’ for her, and Beckmeyer crosses their path…and falls in love with a werewolf ballerina…and then ancient phantom werewolves are summoned…and there’s an award show…and a baby werewolf…and…and…ME FUCKIN’ BRAIN HURTS!!!
All kidding aside, Howling III is a delightfully bat-shit, and incredibly self-aware entry in the long running film series. Directed by Philippe Mora, who also brought us the immensely enjoyable (and also insane) Howling II: … Your Sister Is a Werewolf , as well as the brilliant film version of Whitley Strieber’s alien encounter story CommunionHowling III is a tongue-in-cheek deconstruction of not only werewolf cinema (and the ability of the low-brow to be true art), but also low-budget film making, and the public’s ability to overlook the monstrous qualities that celebrities often posses…not to mention the mechanics of dysfunctional families…pretty heady stuff; yet it’s all presented in an over-the-top, absolutely ridiculous way that makes the whole fever-dream affair immensely entertaining.
Along with the fang-tastically freaky feature, Scream Factory have chucked some fun extras on this Blu-ray for our viewing displeasure! First up we get an absolutely incredible commentary with Mora that covers his entire career and features some truly amazing (and hilarious) stories. Also included is an interview with Mora covering both Howling II and III, archival interview footage (featuring Mora and Special Make-Up Effects Artist Bob McCarron) taken from the documentary Not Quite Hollywood: The Wild, Untold Story of Ozploitation! , and the film’s “theatrical trailer”…but I swear this plays more as a home video preview…
Bottom line, Mora is a genius in my beastly book, and Howling III is an intentionally insane blast from beginning to end, and shouldn’t be missed by horror hounds that dig on the more absurdist creature features our beloved biz has to offer!


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