Wednesday, September 28, 2011

The Marsupials: The Howling III (1987)

The Howling is like the slutty cheerleader of horror franchises, everyone who want’s to fuck her can do it without much work or pay. It seems so anyway. But for a person like me who are very fond of trashy unrelated sequels this is of course a godsend. The Howling III is one of the least loved parts in this long series of failures, but I like Philippe Mora’s often very outrageous viewpoint at his source material. His movies are often over-the-top (just watch The Howling 2, probably the craziest sequel ever produced) and injected with an interesting tongue-in-cheek approach which both can been seen as very stupid… or brave.

This movie starts in something claimed to be Siberia, which is just a place with very little snow and an Asian dude in a fur coat. He’s killed by a werewolf and suddenly we cut to Australia were a woman is found in a park by a young man, a filmmaker. He falls in love with her directly, gives her a part in the movie (“Shapeshifters part 8”, which is kinda ironic because soon Howling Reborn, part 8 in the series is being released on DVD and Blu-ray). But soon she’s kidnapped back by three werewolf nuns to her tribe in the backwoods and a ballet dancer also finds herself called out in the wilderness. The government wants to kill them all, but a friendly scientist understands that they are humans like us, just a bit hairier…

First of all, as you might understand when you see the title, this is not werewolves, this is weresupials (complete with a pouch on the belly and everything) based on the Australian animal species. One of the characters is a Tasmanian Devil for example, which is kinda cool. Second of all, this is by no means a scary movie. It’s mostly a very absurd take on the werewolf-myth, and to be honest, if it wasn’t for the Howling-title this would probably have gotten a bit better reputation over the years. It’s quite original, have an off-beat humour and a couple of very cheap and unconvincing transformation scenes, but the sheer amount of twists and absurd characters makes it more entertaining than I expected at first. Just don’t expect any gore or violence; this is something very different from the other movies in the series.

I’m sure this movie came to existence in this way: someone realized they could make some good money by producing a movie in Australia, something with tax returns or… well, something like that. They gave Mora the mission and he just decided to have fun with it, just be silly. Partly a send-up on other Hollywood-movies, maybe satirizing the concept of Hollywood and silly sequels and at the same time make something closely connected to his home country. A former painter and involved in the art circles of Australian, I’m sure that affected his work as a filmmaker and gave him the confidence to do something far-out every time he got the chance. Right now he’s making Dali 3D with Alan Cummings, examining the art of Salvador Dali… in 3D of course.

But back to Howling III, watch it on your own risk and don’t blame it on me if you don’t like it!

1 comment:

Rich Flannagan said...

I do like this film. As you say, its not scary in the slightest, but were-marsupials are a great idea!