A "tongue-in-pouch" horror comedy!
Matthew C. Lupoli | North Haven, CT United States | 08/03/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"PLOT: The film opens with archival footage labeled as "Cape York, Australia, 1905." A group of Aborigines are posing with a dead werewolf that is tied to a tree. The film then jumps to modern day. The U.S. government intercepts a KGB report of a werewolf killing three villagers in a small Siberian village and that a special army has been dispatched to take care of the beast. Some think that the Soviets are using the word "werewolf" as a code name. Others think that it is the real thing. Next, the film introduces us to Professor Harry Beckmeyer (Barry Otto), an anthropologist. He shows his class the archival footage from the beginning of the film. The footage was made by his grandfather on an anthropological expedition of the Australian outback. He never returned but this was the footage that was found. The Aborigines are shown dancing around the werewolf tied to a tree. Then they throw spears at it and kill it. Harry says that the werewolf is a woman wearing an unbelievably lifelike wolf-mask, but he secretly believes that it is a real werewolf. The U.S. government later summons Harry and informs him about the KGB reports. He admits that he thinks that werewolves really exist and that they live in places like Russia and Australia. Harry goes back to Sydney, Australia and meets up with his colleague Professor Sharp (Ralph Cotterill). He tells Sharp about his plans to get evidence of the existence of werewolves. The film next takes us to a small outback village outside of Sydney named Flow (that's Wolf spelled backwards.) A beautiful young werewolf woman there named Jerboa (Imogen Annesley) is being mistreated by her stepfather (and den leader) Thylo (Max Fairchild). She hits him and runs off. She charters a bus to Sydney. A priest on board asks her why she is running away. She simply replies, "Because my stepfather tried to rape me and he's a werewolf." After arriving in Sydney, Jerboa spends the night on a park bench. Two drunken Australians start harassing her. She quickly starts sprouting fangs and green werewolf eyes and scares them away. The next morning, Jerboa awakens to see the beauty that is Sydney. A young man driving by (Leigh Biolos) sees Jerboa on the park bench and falls in love with her at first sight. He parks his car and starts to approach her. Jerboa, fearing the man might want to hurt her, runs off. The man chases her to a dead end and quickly proclaims that he is not trying to hurt her but that he wants to offer her a job. He says that his name is Donny and that he is the assistant director on a horror film called "Shape Shifters Part 8." He says that she is perfect for the female part because she is "beautiful and wild-looking." He tells her that she won't get much money, being that it is a low-budget film, but she agrees to take the part anyway. It turns out that Donny gets a lot more than he bargained for.
COMMENTS: This is the first Howling sequel that has nothing to do with the original, or any of the other films for that matter. It was also the last one to be released theatrically. Philippe Mora, who directed Howling II, also directed this film. He felt that the producers and editors ruined Howling II, so he made sure that no one got in the way of this one. The story and screenplay were written by Mora himself. He cites Gary Brandner's novel "The Howling III: Echoes" (1985) as the source material, but it is an extremely unfaithful adaptation. The novel takes place in the same village from the original Howling. I've got to give Mora an A+ for originality here. He's an Australian so he thought it would be cool to have a movie about Australian werewolves which descended from the thylacine (Tasmanian wolf), a marsupial predator that carried its young in a pouch. I think that this was a great idea and it makes the film stand out as one of the better Howling sequels. Mora shows that the werewolves are people like anybody else and he makes the audience feel sorry for them. It is also the only Howling film to get a PG-13 rating. Mora intended for this film to not be very gory and be sort of a "tongue-in-pouch" horror comedy. In many ways it is a spoof of the first two films. The makeup and special effects are a big improvement over Howling II, though they still don't match up with Rob Bottin's makeup and special effects from the original Howling. The werewolves in this film resemble the original Howling werewolves a lot more than the ones in Howling II. A contradictory problem with this film is that some of the werewolves seem to be killed when shot by regular bullets, as opposed to silver ones. If there is one thing that the Howling series introduced us to, it is sexy female werewolves (i.e. Elisabeth Brooks, Marsha A. Hunt, Sybil Danning) and Imogen Annesley as Jerboa is no exception. The franchise also introduced us to "werewolf sex scenes", which is replaced in this film by a "werewolf birth scene". I would recommend this film to most horror fans and all werewolf fans. This new DVD version is pretty nice. The picture and sound have been completely remastered and it is presented in the original widescreen theatrical ratio. It also features a photo gallery, original promotional trailer, TV spot, and an interesting commentary by Philippe Mora. He mentions how the film within the film is called "Shape Shifters Part 8" and how the Howling franchise ironically made it up to Part 7. Check out my reviews for The Howling and Howling II DVDs as well.
A great DVD for a not so great movie
Lunar Strain | United States | 10/02/2003
(2 out of 5 stars)
"Howling III is one wacked out movie. Director Philip Mora must have had his tongue firmly stuck in his cheek when he wrote and directed this film. It's about Marsupial werewolfs for goodness sake! It you take it for what it is, Howling III is entertaining for the first half. It's so odd that it keeps you interested. The last half tends to drag, and seems to overstay its welcome. This DVD is beautifully remastered, in widescreen, and comes with plenty of extras. I can't believe this movie was treated so well on its DVD release when it's not even liked that well by horror movie fans? It just strikes me as strange. Anyway, I have to say I liked the Director's communtary by Philip Mora. He seems to take this movie so seriously, saying that he "wanted to make a Howling movie he could call his own since Howling II (which he also directed) was the product of the editors and producers". I can't say that Howling III is much better than Howling II. Both are pretty lame in my book. Anyway, I like these wacked out horror movies every once-in-awhile. Make sure to also pick up the MGM's new special edition of The Howling and the Artisan double feature Howling V/Howling VI DVD to help complete your oddball werewolf collection. I wonder if Howling II and Howling IV will be released on DVD soon. I'd like to complete my collection, and lets pray that Howling (7): New Moon Rising never gets released."
Ty Gaitan | Burbank, CA United States | 05/20/2007
(2 out of 5 stars)
"I dont understand how some people can give this flick 4 stars!? I will not watch this movie again."
Great DVD for a okay werewolf flick.
Ty Gaitan | 12/21/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"(I am over 13 by the way, this is just easier.) HOWLING III is a really weird film. But it is so weird that it is really entertaining. It takes place in Austrailia, and a new race of werewolves have been born. Marsuplial-werewolves (hence the name). Believe it or not, there are werewolf nuns in this movie! But the DVD is the best part. It has been beautifully remastered and now is in widescreen. There are two really good extras worth mentioning. The trailer and the Director's Commitary. You should check them both out. Special effects are cheezy, but what did you expect?"