Year of Release: 1987
IMDB Rating: 2.7 / 10
Level of Awful: High
WHAT IT’S ABOUT:
When I first discovered the joys of buying b-grade movies in bulk this was one of the first movies I ever took out of the box and watched and, admittedly, have seen far more times than any individual ever should. Not being a great fan of the werewolf sub-genre I’ve never seen any of the other Howling movies but, from what I’ve gathered, it was all pretty much all downhill after the first one. If it got worse after this I really don’t know how they managed it. The concept is just plain daft, but not daft in a good way. On the up side, at least we get a rare opportunity to understand how werewolves, like any other species, evolved and adapted to suit their particular niche in the world. Good on Nicole Kidman for saying no to the lead role!
Deep, deep in the barren wastelands of Australia’s outback evolution has decided to give the human race the finger. For many years we’ve all suspected that werewolves walked amongst us and wondered why some of our friends can never meet for drinks on a night when there’s a full moon. What we didn’t suspect was that different varieties of werewolves existed, each specially adapted to its natural environment. Here, in the outback, a very special variety of werewolves has existed under the noses of us humans: the marsupial werewolf. Like the kangaroo or the koala the female marsupial werewolf has a pouch on her stomach where the embryonic baby climbs into a few weeks after the mother became pregnant. They tend to live in little family groups, most often headed by an alpha male and several subservient females. This is where our tale of a little marsupial werewolf with a big dream begins…
Apart from her pouch and the fact that she’s never known a world outside of her little clan Jerboa is your average young woman bursting with dreams of a better life. As she has now come of age the alpha male has had his eye on her and the other women have every intention of holding her down if that’s what the situation requires and Jerboa just isn’t that kind of girl; she wants to see the city, the lights, the Sydney Opera House! So off she runs one day, catches a bus and makes her way to the big city. Now the city can be a strange and dangerous place to an innocent young woman like Jerboa so it’s very fortunate that she runs into Donny who offers her the lead role in a new horror movie called Shapeshifters. Not knowing what a movie is or what the hell she’ll be expected to do Jerboa agrees anyway because this is one of those situations where it’s love at first sight and they can’t stand to be apart and so on and so on and so forth. If only life could be that simple…
Turns out that the pack Jerboa ran away from isn’t too wild about the fact that they’ve lost a female capable of breeding so somehow they manage to dig up three nuns’ outfits and send three of the women off to Sydney to track her down and bring her back home. The problem with this is that Jerboa and Donny have already done the deed and she currently has a little rat-like creature in her pouch just waiting to grow into something resembling a human. The only choice for the young couple? Make a mad run for it. Fortunately for them they won’t be doing it alone; on their side is Professor Beckmyer, a man obsessed with discovering the true nature of the werewolf and the injustices they have suffered at the hands of mankind, Olga, a Siberian werewolf who wants to mate with one of the marsupials to try and strengthen the bloodline (marsupial werewolves having the advantage of not having to carry their offspring to term) and Thylo, the alpha male of Jerboa’s pack, who escaped when the US government rounded them all up. All they have to do now is hide out in the wilderness and wait for a time when the world will be more accepting of their kind.
LIFE’S LESSONS LEARNED:
- Horror directors will allow any old creature to star in their movies.
- In Australia any old creature can win a Best Actress award.
- Strobe lighting brings on a whole other kind of epilepsy in a marsupial werewolf.
- Young men are not at all disturbed when they find out the girl they fell madly in love with yesterday has a pouch.
- Young men won’t think twice about running off into the bush and abandoning their lives for said woman with a pouch.
- Just because it’s a werewolf skeleton it doesn’t mean it can’t still attack you.
- No ballerina’s outfit will ever make a werewolf look pretty.
- With time the Vatican will be shown to be tolerant of virtually anything.
HOWLING III: THE MARSUPIALS TRAILER