We're at a complete loss when it comes to describing this hairy film from Down Under. It doesn't bear any resemblence to the original film that spawned it but it does focus on a commune of marsupial lycanthropes and a lot of other things like shape-shifting nuns, werewolf ballerinas, an Alfred Hitchcock lookalike, and an outcast wolf girl who lands a part in a horror film.
Don't skip Howling III just because it's got a Roman numeral in the title. This surprisingly clever sequel takes up the wicked sense of fun from the first film, skewering bad movies along with some real social problems. Hold those groans, though, since it's certainly not preachy. After all, this is a movie loaded with werewolves, explosions, scheming politicians, arrogant filmmakers, heavily armed hunters and a nice guy anthropologist. Not exactly your predictable cinematic fare.
Want werewolves? Well, we got a whole town full of them. OK, it's a really small town named Flow (spell it backwards), but it has werewolves nonetheless. Only furry young lass Jerboa doesn't like it and decides to head for the big city (oh, when will today's youth ever learn?). Since Jerboa is, as they say, a "looker" she quickly and accidentally lands a job in a horror movie directed by a Hitchcock gone awry. Only it turns out that a production assistant has fallen in love with her, an American scientist is tracking her down on direct orders of the President and a Russian ballerina-werewolf decides to enter the picture. Then things start to get complicated.
Howling III is a real treat for MonsterVision regulars since it makes fun of so many lame horror movie conventions. Just take a look at the film-within-the-film where those werewolf transformation scenes are played for all the silliness they're worth. But the filmmakers didn't skimp on the real special effects for the rest of the film. One particular challenge was the werewolf babies, which aren't as easy as you'd imagine. They first tried real babies in make-up, which was a disaster and then experimented with, of all things, mice in little costumes. As the director put it, "That didn't work at all."
Howling III was made in Australia using both Australian actors and American transplants who lived there. Imogen Annesley (as Jerboa) hasn't been in nearly enough films. You can catch her in Strapless, Garbo and Sweet Talker but not much else. Barry Otto (as Professor Beckmeyer), on the other hand, has a busy career stretching from arthouse hits like Bliss and Oscar & Lucinda, to Jackie Chan's Mr. Nice Guy. Frank Thring (as the demented director) played alongside Mick Jagger in Ned Kelly and Mel Gibson in Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome. Of course the awards presenter is known to British and Australian audiences (but few Americans) as Dame Edna, aka Barry Humphries. By the way, keep an eye out on the bedroom wall for a poster of The Beast Within, one of director Philippe Mora's earlier films. (Did anyone catch Snide and Prejudice, Mora's 1998 flick, with Mick Fleetwood as Picasso?)
We know you're bored with the same old werewolf films and we feel your pain. That's why MonsterVision uncages Howling III for your viewing pleasure.
Rating: TV-14-V. Now here's Joe Bob Briggs:
"Howling III" Intro
"I'm Joe Bob Briggs and it's Werewolf Night here at
"MonsterVision." Our first flick is "The Howling III: The Marsupials,"
which puts werewolves in the kangaroo family, and then we skip a few years
to "Howling VII," the one where the werewolves learn to line-dance at a
country-western bar outside Barstow.
Don't ask, just go with
I went to a wedding today. Ask me if I'm happy. It was one of
Wanda Bodine's 64 cousins--I'm not gonna name her on national TV-- but the
SIZE of these bridesmaids.
I mean, it wouldn't be so bad if it
wasn't for the bridesmaids outfits, but they had so much chiffon-- we're
talkin Weight Watchers From Outer Space. Why do women do that? You're
taking the Chrysler Building and puttin Victoria's Secret lingerie on it.
Silver mini-dresses with "Gone with the Wind" lace collars on em, like a
Star Trek convention that got freeze-dried.
I think the bride was
going for some kinda "Barbarella" effect, but you know what happens when
you put 300 pounds worth of direct downward pressure on a spiked high
heel? Besides tearin up the hardwood floors in the Methodist church? Those
things start to CRACK, little tiny fissures, like an earthquake or a
glacier, and you never know the exact moment it's gonna happen, but you
know at some point a bridesmaid is going down. They're standin up there by
the preacher, he's saying "Do you take this man..." and all of a sudden
three of em crack at once, like strippin paint off a chifferobe, and you
know those silver support struts are startin to wobble, and you can get a
domino effect. If one bridesmaid starts windmillin her arms to stay in
balance, the next one can get an eye poked out and end up plunging through
the baby-Jesus stained-glass window.
Anyhow, that was depressing
enough, but this was also one of those Reformed Slut weddings. This gal
qualified three years in a row as a United Way Agency.
my question: Why is it that, whenever a girl like this gets married, she
always marries a bald-headed religious guy? We're talking about a woman
who has never had both legs in the same zip code at the same time, and
she's gonna go get a little starter home in the suburbs with Buster the
Baptist Deacon. And my other question is: what's in it for Buster? What
are they gonna do afterwards? Discuss Leviticus? And doesn't it ever occur
to Buster that, if she's been having sex 947 times a day for the last ten
years, maybe he might be a little lean in the leotards when it comes to
satisfying this woman?
If she cheats on him, what's he gonna say
to the divorce court judge: "Well, I knew she was a floozy, but I thought
it was her dream to cook and clean all day for me and our eight little
dirty-faced barefoot kids."
Meanwhile, we all stand around eating
cheap angel food cake that tastes like cardboard and sipping white wine
out of a plastic cup and saying "Aren't they BEAUTIFUL together?"
How did this tradition get started anyway?
of howling at the moon, we have one of the best "Howling" sequels coming
up right now, "Howling III," and then, in the interest of scientific
comparison, later on we'll have one of the LOONIEST "Howlings," "Howling
VII," which was apparently made after they started licensing the "Howling"
name to anybody with an 8-millimeter Kodak camera. Anyway, this first one
is about a couple of Austrileyan character actors who help a wild and sexy
gal with hair on her tummy, her little rodent were-baby, and a Russian
ballerina escape extinction by the Pope and the President of the United
States--who for some reason has an Australian accent--even though they
turn into werewolves and start eating folks every time somebody takes
Point being: werewolves are people,
We'll do the drive-in totals in the first
[fading] Yall don't think I'm cynical about marriage, do
you? I'm not cynical about marriage. I think everybody should get married
at least three or four times just to understand the suffering of
"Howling III" Commercial Break #1
"Ah yes, the science
fiction classic "It Came From Uranus." This is one goofy movie--I really
like it. The original "Howling" was made in 1981, and was directed by the
sometimes brilliant and sometimes not-so-brilliant Joe Dante. "The
Howling," as we know, is a great flick. "The Howling II," on the other
hand, was so pitiful they had to put lipstick on Christopher Lee, dress
Sybil Danning up in a wolf suit, and then run an instant replay of Sybil
ripping off her blouse 14 times during the closing credits.
other words, pretty durn lame. But here's what's weird. The director of
that movie, Philippe Mora, which was maybe the WORST one in the whole
series, and it's not a great series, also made THIS one, because by the
time the second one came out he was already signed up to do this one. And
what do these guys always do when they think their horror franchise is
getting lame? They make the next one CAMPY. They put a crazy guy named
Junior in it, or use all kinds of fish-eye lenses, or put a cheesy horror
movie-within-a-movie in it, to show that they can laugh at themselves. And
that's what we have here, isn't it?
Well, it's kinda campy, and
kinda like something you'd see on the Discovery Channel.
wrote to me from a U.S. Naval Base -- where they're apparently desperate
for entertainment -- and said it should be called "Those Amazing
Marsupials!" But I'm gettin ahead of myself.
29 dead bodies. One dead kangaroo. No
breasts. Throat-ripping. Exploding tent. Killer nuns.
Marsupial child-birth. Werewolf ballet. Werewolf voodoo.
Cheesy movie-within-a-movie. Hypnosis Fu.
Check it out, and we'll be here for the full "Howling" experience. Roll
[fading] Did I just say "Howling 2" was the worst sequel in the
series? The only reason I can say that now is that they haven't seen our
second feature, "Howling VII," yet. You could actually have entire
academic seminars devoted to the topic "Which is the worst 'Howling'
sequel? And you're not allowed to say 'All of them.' Vote only once and
don't look at your neighbor's ballot." When the moon gets waxy, the were
"Howling III" Commercial Break #2
"You gotta love a movie
with werewolf nuns. But I feel like we're missing a few scenes here, cause
I'm confused--did she get hit by a car, or did she just collapse in the
street mid- transformation, or what? That's Imogen Annesley as Jerboa the
wolf-babe, and she is a fine looking woman, isn't she? Even if she does
have stomach hair. She looks a little bit like Linda Hamilton. Linda
Hamilton mixed with Milla Jovovich -- remember her, from the immortal
"Return to the Blue Lagoon"? She's some kinda L'Oreal spokesmodel now.
Actually, I don't think she spokes. Ever since "Blue Lagoon," they don't
let Milla talk very much. And that's Leigh Biolos as Donny. This was the
first in a series of one movies for Leigh.
All righty, the
werewolf nuns just killed 16 people in one-fell-swoop, so let's roll it.
We got another good scene coming up here.
[fading] Milla Jovovich
was actually in that Bruce Willis flick, "The Fifth Element." I didn't see
that--did they give her any lines in that? She also put an album out a few
years ago. Probly funded by proceeds from her Banana Republic ads. I know
more about Milla Jovovich than any man alive. Whenever they have that
Milla Jovovich category on "Jeopardy," I kill. She shaves her armpits
twice a week."
"Howling III" Commercial Break #3
"All right. Now. I ask
you. Is that one of THE most original characters in horror film history?
The aging Russian ballerina werewolfess who journeys to Australia to mate
with her bald-headed stud wolf she feels a spiritual bond with.
And the wolf transformation WHILE ON POINTE -- I think we may be
in the hands of a genius here. Australian writer/director Philippe Mora.
Maker of the killer pig flick, "Razorback." But I have a question. Jerboa
shows Donny the little slime-monster, and what does he say?
beautiful." It's not beautiful!
It looks like Yoda! It's like a
shaved rat with K-Y jelly smeared all over it. I don't think he was
looking at the little fetus, I think he was looking at her chest of
drawers, if you know what I mean and I think you do. Now THAT inspires an
Okay, back to el flick-o.
practicing my Spanish. Got a trip to Mexico planned for this year's
Chihuahua Perfecta. Ernie's teaching me what to say. "A hundred pesos on
numero uno to win, por favor." "Donde esta la cerveza?" What's the other
one, Ernie? "Tu madre esta una estacionamiento. Your mother is the size of
a parking lot. They love it when you speak like a native."
"Howling III" Commercial Break #4
"One of the few marsupial
carnivores, descended from the extinct Tasmanian wolf. Of course! I love
this story. Now, if you're like me, you may be wondering: was there REALLY
a Tasmanian wolf. Yes! The crack TNT research department has FOUND the
Tasmanian wolf. What happened is that, when settlers moved into Tasmania,
the Tasmanian wolf, or thylacine, killed all their sheep, so a land
company put a bounty on em. Then the government took over, paying 25 bucks
a scalp, which was a lot a dough in 1890. Kill a coupla those guys, you
could open up a little pub in the outback--you were MADE. But in 1910, the
Tasmanian guvment stopped paying for the skins, and after the last one
died in a zoo in the 1930s, the guvment said anyone who killed a thylacine
had to pay a $500 fine. Poor planning, considering there weren't any LEFT.
Shoulda charged people a fine when they were cartin the carcasses into
town by the truckload. This is why guvments always have to raise the dang
taxes. And speaking of poor planning, real smart giving half the
exposition scenes to the Russian actress. "We are likenfrome. Baht human.
Baht wolf." Ask me how many times I had to play it back to figure THAT
out. She's actually Czech--Dagmar Blahova is her name. Makes movies in the
Czech Republic called, like, "Pasti pasti pasticky" and "A pozdravuji
vlastovky," which I believe translates to "Sorority Babes in Prague: The
Spandex Revolution." Okay, let's go. "Howling III: The
[fading] My favorite Dagmar Blahova flick is "Nechci
nic slyset," which means "Attack of the Killer Loaf of Rye Bread."
"Howling III" Commercial Break #5
Okay, while the hunters
venture into the bush, and since I have NO IDEA what they were just
talking about, I'd say it's time for "Joe Bob's Jail Break," where we read
some mail from the fine penal institutions of America. And here to help us
out is one of my favorite members of the species, [enters] Rusty, the TNT
Mail Girl. You know, Rusty, we're venturing into the bush
JB: Yes, it's Animal Rights
MG: [boots] What are those, snakeskin?
All my boots are sharkskin.
MAIL GIRL: Sharks are living creatures,
JB: Not anymore they're not. Right now this shark is a boot. I
always stop by the Tony Lama factory in El Paso when I go down to Juarez
for the bullfights.
MAIL GIRL: You shouldn't go to bullfights!
They're totally cruel and inhumane!
JB: They don't kill the bulls
in Juarez. They just torture em a little bit.
MAIL GIRL: Promise me
you won't go to them anymore.
JB: What'll you give me if I
MAIL GIRL: Um
JB: Will you have a drink with me
after the show?
MAIL GIRL: You'll NEVER support those terrible
JB: Bullfighting is cruel and inhumane.
GIRL: Okaaaay. One quick drink. And I'm paying for it myself.
But you'll actually drink it, right? You have a letter for me?
GIRL: This is from Michael P. at South Central Prison in Clifton,
"Dear Joe Bob and Bunny,"
Who's Bunny? [Mail Girl
"Just another letter from South Central in Tennessee.
Thought you might like to know a few other luxuries about this pit.
Handball, volleyball, shuffle board, arts and crafts, drug and alcohol
rehab, softball, school, a library with no law library, tattoos, etc. We
thought we were getting a good deal over a minimum wage job, except half
goes to living expenses (we are wards of the state), 25 per cent goes to
Victims Compensation, five percent goes toward the Release Upon Parole
which you can't touch, and the other 20 per cent goes into an account in
which these dolts collect interest.
"The clinic has found a miracle
drug that heals arthritis, cancer, AIDS, gout and the common pain in the
butt. Tylenol!!! But, for them to tell you that secret, you have to pay
three dollars to see a nurse.
"My roommate would like to see Bunny
n*de (*censored), but I would love to have an autographed picture of
"Your friend, Michael P., aka Kilo, South Central
Well, Michael, if you mean RUSTY, your roommate's not the
only one who'd like to see her nude, if you know what I mean. And I'm sure
she'll be happy to know that they won't have to do any more animal testing
for cancer and AIDS, since your prison has found the cure. Good going,
South Central! South Central Prison is located in Clifton, Tennessee,
population 700. 1506 male inmates, medium to minimum security, most in for
long terms. Michael pretty much covered what they do for fun there.
Thanks for writin in, Mike. We love a captive audience. Free your
mind and your butt will follow. [to Rusty] So, I'll swing by your dressing
room after the show?
MAIL GIRL: You promise no more
JB: Absolutely. Wait'll the guys down at the dog track
hear I'm goin out with you.
MAIL GIRL: Joe Bob! Don't patronize dog
JB: Lemme ask you something. You have a dog?
JB: What do you feed it?
MG: Dog food.
You know what's in dog food? ANIMALS!
MAIL GIRL: You're such a
JB: So I'll see you a little later, huh? Rusty?
Bunny? We'll go to Blockbuster and watch Bambi. I love the scene where
Bambi's mother is KILLED IN COLD BLOOD! Only kidding.
"Howling III" Commercial Break #6
"Isn't that a great
goofball scene when the guy in the wolf suit attacks the hunters and none
of them get off a single shot? Did all their shotguns jam at the same
moment? Then we had the attack by the skeleton werewolf, and then, of
course, it goes without saying, the huge explosion when the Army has to
turn the bazooka on Philo, the now sympathetic Nazi werewolf leader of a
decimated people. The special effects on this picture were done by Bob
McCarron, who also did that killer pig movie, "Razorback," which I
mentioned earlier. And he worked on the "Mad Max" flicks, and some people
say his BEST work was transforming Linda Hunt into Mel Gibson's male
sidekick in "The Year of Living Dangerously." But how hard is that, making
Linda Hunt look like a guy?
Okay, it's time for the exciting
conclusion to "The Howling III: The Marsupials." Go.
Making Linda Hunt look like a woman-- now THAT'S a special
"Howling III" Outro
"The plot of that movie just
continually spins in new and unexpected directions. And the woman presenting the Oscar at the end is Barry Humphries in drag. The guy who does Dame Edna Everage. Great movie. Unfortunately, our next movie is "The Howling VII," which was apparently made by three drunk rednecks with a camcorder."