Thursday, October 10, 2013

Franchise Review: Howling 3: The Marsupials (1987)

What have I gotten myself into with these Howling sequels? So far, they are beyond words bad. All I can say is that Howling 2 is damn near Gone With the Wind next to this ungodly ridiculous sequel, Howling 3: The Marsupials. I'm actually quite flabbergasted at the suckiness of this movie, but it is most definitely one of those movies that if you're in the right mood when you watch it, you can have a most interesting time.

I don't even know how to synopsize the movie like I usually try to do. Let me give it a go: Okay, there's a professor named Beckmeyer whose grandfather got footage of apparently a real werewolf being killed in Australia in 1905. Wanting real proof, Beckmeyer travels to Australia and it surprisingly doesn't take him that long to find a bunch of werewolves just all over the fucking place. He studies them with some other eggheads. We also meet the young, beautiful werewolf Jerboa, who escapes her werewolf tribe and falls in love with an American, and they have a little marsupial rat baby together. A lot of other insane stuff happens too but I don't have the brain power to work it all out right now.

Similar to its predecessor, Howling 3 is a movie that makes no sense from one scene to the next, and instead of having an actual, you know, plot or something insane like that, the "filmmakers" instead choose to just throw into the movie every bad or crazy idea they could come up with. Then they apparently just edited the scenes together - probably while drunk - hoping that everything turns out all right in the end. It doesn't. There are a lot of different subplots going on and they never mesh together right. There is a serious lack of exposition for pretty much all of these subplots, and instead the audience is expected to just jump right in and immediately know what the hell is going on and who these characters are. In a way, the movie at times does seem to take itself rather seriously, and other times it seems to revel in its own absurdity. So many things are going on with Howling 3: confusion, hilarity, bewilderment. I was laughing hysterically by the end credits making me wonder if I was going crazy or not.

Again, I'm stuck on where to begin with the specifics. The dialogue? The schizophrenic plot? The three werewolf chicks dressed as nuns? Let's start with a few things that weren't all that terrible. I liked the actress playing Jerboa, even though she was really bad at playing an actress for the "Shape Shifters Part 8" movie within the movie. I loved the little clips of the movie that Jerboa and Donny go to see at the theater because that was HILARIOUS. I kind of loved all the cheesy camera angles they used where the people's faces were too close to the camera because you don't see that very often. For good reason, too, it looks really amateur. The movie also did actually have one good action scene when the military guys (that came from... somewhere? to hunt down... someone?) are attacked by a werewolf in the woods. Another good thing? The ending! Yes, the ending to Howling 3 comes completely out of nowhere from where the movie started out, and yet it still manages to be strangely satisfying, at least it was for me.

The werewolf related stuff is surprisingly not that bad, though definitely not the best either. With the exception of the weird, hairless little things that the nuns turn into, many of the special effects are well done. Jerboa's birthing scene when she has her little rat baby thing is incredibly strange and made me feel a little bit sleazy, but the effects don't suck that much. Jerboa's got a nice... pouch. Gosh, that's so weird. It's weird for me to think of a werewolf having a freaking pouch, being a freaking marsupial, when I thought those were completely different things! They might have explained the whole reasoning behind that hogwash somewhere in the movie but I must have gotten lost in the sea of the choppy plot. It was also very unbelievable when Jerboa shows the father Donny the baby thing in her pouch. Donny is not the least bit freaked out by the fact that a) he has a baby with someone he just had sex with a couple of days ago or something, b) the baby is barely humanoid, or c) that the mother is carrying the baby around in a POUCH.

Again, there are almost too many bad things about this movie to talk about them all in one review. All the crap with Beckmeyer and his experiments. Thylo. My goodness, I could write a novel about Thylo, my pervy little bald-headed werewolf. So Howling 3: The Marsupials is a bad movie. There is almost nothing remotely redeemable about it except for the fact that it is so shitty. And if you're in the kind of slap-happy mood I was in when I watched it (after being awake for nearly 20 hours), you can appreciate the hilarity of the badness. Can't wait to see what Howling 4 has in store for me, although now I am more than a little worried...


  1. Great Blog and review, congratulations from:

  2. I have to agree with your review. This movie was just ridiculously bad, in so many ways. I have to say, though, there IS an attempt to make sense of the Marsupial thing: these are not wereWOLVES, they're wereTHYLACINES (the thylacine is variously known as the Tasmanian tiger and the Tasmanian wolf, though in fact, it is neither.)

    Not that this makes the movie any better, mind you... ;)