This week we are covering genre films from down under. Howling 3: The Marsupials is currently available on instant Netflix
AVOID: Howling 3: The Marsupials (1987) – rated PG-13
“Professor Harry Beckmeyer (Barry Otto) is convinced that werewolves exist — a belief stemming from video footage shot in 1905 by his grandfather in Australia. In the footage, a group of aborigines stand in front of what appears to be a werewolf that they’ve tied to a tree and killed with their spears. When Beckmeyer hears reports of werewolf sightings in Australia, his longtime dream starts to become a reality.”
Jerboa, our heroine, is on the run from a tribe (ok just a bunch of people dressed in rags) of werewolves (weremarsupials?). Donny, a member of a film crew filming Shape Shifters 8, finds her on a park bench and gets her cast in his movie. She is being chased by three weremarsupials dressed as nuns. There is also a Russian ballerina who defects and is a werewolf. Anthropologists, various military officers, and U.S. National Intelligence Agency are on the trail of the weremarsupials as well. Confused yet?
Donny finds out that Jerboa has never seen a movie before. Donny takes Jerboa to go see a terrible horror movie called “It Came From Uranus” which oddly also appears to be about a werewolf. This should already give you an idea of the caliber of writing in this film.
The acting is also pretty bad. There is a priest on a bus that delivers some of the worst line readings I’ve ever heard while addressing the camera instead of the person his character is talking to. The ballerina’s performance is wildly uneven. No one in the film is particularly good.
The werewolf transformation sequences, a key ingredient in werewolf movies since at least Werewolf of London (1935) are just dreadful. Many of them are accompanied by a strobe light that naturally isn’t easy on the eyes. Werewolf point of view is represented by a fish-eye lens. The special effects sadly just aren’t.
There are a few good gags in the film – a fall from a building, a skeleton, a bazooka. Unfortunately they also make no sense. The fall from a building occurs from the roof except that the character wasn’t on the roof. Why does one of the hunters have a bazooka? How do they have way more weapons and equipment than they were carrying?
Finally the movie just doesn’t know how to end. We have the climax and then the movie just keeps going and going because they try to set up a gag similar to the ending of the original movie. Avoid this movie unless you really need a reason to understand why The Howling II: Your Sister is a Werewolf wasn’t as bad as the series gets. Disclaimer: I have not seen episodes 4-7 so I cannot comment on where the series goes from here.
People Watch: Another film so bad that I am reporting on who was not in it. Nicole Kidman had been considered for a role but thankfully didn’t get it.