Howling III (1987)

Director: Phillipe Mora
Starring: Barry Otto, Max Fairchild, Imogen Annesley, Frank Thring, Michael Pate, Burnham Burnham, Barry Humphries. Australia . 1h 38m

Easily the most Australian of the Howling franchise and possibly the most Australian movie ever. If you’re a fan of the 80’s Australian Horror genre then you might just have a soft spot for this turd instalment in an iconic werewolf series. In saying that, if that’s not your into garish lit scenes, vulgar humor, vile body horror and ransom nun, commandos and Aboriginal spiritual warriors popping in at random points then this might be hard to get into. I do wholeheartedly agree that it’s not a brilliant made movie, it doesn’t really make sense, and is more comedy than horror, but is Howling 3 really that bad? A film so bad it didn’t even get a cinematic release in its home country?

It’s approach and style might be too much for the discerning cinema fanatic, but then Razorback(1984) and Dead Next Door (1989) have a very similar aesthetic.. There’s this harsh body horror that Austialin cinema thrives on, a desperate need for a gory mess isn’t just enough, it has to be vile and disgusting to get fans going! Somehow Howling 3 seems to get caught up with it’s marvelous idea of Were-Marsupials that it forgets to go whole hog with the special effects.

¡El terror está ahora en todas partes! (the only tagline for the movie was gifted in Mexico).

Jerboa (Annesley), she’s just run away from her oppressive clan in a small community called Flow (wolf backwards), leaving the harsh outback she stumbles onto a film set, lands a job as a leading lady and finds a lover. Hot on her heels the ladies from her clan dress as nuns and try to track her down. Meanwhile brilliant scientist Prof Harry Beckmeyer (Otto) discovers Were-Marsupials and attempts to uncover and investigate this new breed of Werewolf.

No, sir. I think he fell in love with the Russian Werewolf

-Prof Sharp

Despite all the claims, the movie is not based on the original books at all and it doesn’t have any of the original characters in it. It’s a whole new kettle of fish and side steps the franchise, but as a stand alone wolf movie it works ok, but as part of the biggest series of Werewolf history it’s a huge let down for so many. I feel that Howling 3 arrived near the end of a wave of many cult classic werewolf movies, throwing caution to the wind, it’s bold and very different, you’ll either love or hate it.

It’s important to at least take into consideration if this movie is entertaining, forget the good or bad, it will take you to places you’ve never been before and you’ll probably be uncomfortable along the journey. And ofcourse it stars Dame Adna Everage in the closing scene, no Aussie films should be released without her it should be made illegal.

Rating: 4/10

Related: Howling (1981), Wolfen (1981), Razorback (1984), Dead Next Door (1989), Body Melt (1993), Communion (1989)
Lists: A-Z of Aussie Cinema, A-Z Werewolf Movies, 17 Movies from 1987 Still Worth Talking About
Spotlight: Barry Humpfries

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