A weary priest states, "The facts go back 500 years." The surprised police inspector echoes the thoughts of viewers everywhere: "Five hundred years? Is this going to be a long story?" Welcome to the world of The Howling: New Moon Rising, the seventh and last (so far) of the popular series. It's a surprisingly good-natured film, almost more a murder mystery than a horror film. But this is MonsterVision, not Scooby-Doo On Zombie Island, so rest assured that there's a vicious critter on the loose. You know how that goes: "Well, it looks like a wolf attack, but no wolf is that big." Guess again.|
Our epic opens with an Australian drifter pulling into a small California town (or at least a spot in the road with a bar and a few houses). It's the kind of place where everybody knows your name and the residents line-dance in dark rooms. The drifter gets a job at the bar, quickly making new friends. But wait, there's a second story to delight and edify us. Seems a body has been found, resulting in the above-mentioned meeting of a priest and a police inspector. The two apparently talk all night, though several days go by in the first story. Then the film tosses in flashbacks to earlier Howling films: In one, it's the mean ole Communists who let the werewolves loose. Then there are flashbacks to events in The Howling: New Moon Rising that we never got to see the first time. Even ace plot-twisters Tarantino and Alain Resnais didn't have the guts to do that.
The Howling: New Moon Rising is a real auteurist extravangza, since Mr. Clive Turner wrote, directed, produced, edited and starred in it. Now that's dedication! As best we can piece the story together, Turner started out in 1988 playing a tiny role in Howling IV. The following year he appeared in Howling V, which he co-wrote (perhaps one reason his character this time had a real name). The flashbacks actually tie together Turner's appearances in all three films -- so thoroughly perhaps, that he doesn't seem to have made any more movies.
The Howling: New Moon Rising was actually filmed in Yucca Valley, California, using real-life residents. That's why all the actors' names are the same as their characters. And despite what you may have read in some usually reliable sources, Elizabeth She is not Elizabeth Shue (who's never been in a Howling film). Whether the locals invented the zipper song (you probably don't want to know) is information we'd prefer not to have.
As our priest friend puts it, "You have presumed much, but there are gaps that need to be filled." So if you're ready for the world's only country music werewolf film with references to both Samuel Beckett and Abbott & Costello, then you'll need to tune into MonsterVision this week.
The Howling: New Moon Rising (1995)
Howling 3 Monstervision page
Last seen on Monstervision 100% Wierd, September 16, 2000 at 3:30am ET/PT
* Technically, this is the morning of September 17, but don't tell anyone.
Here's Professor Joe Bob Briggs:
"Howling 7: New Moon
"Now. There's a lot of resemblance between the
various "Howling" movies.
For example, they all have the word
"Howling" in their title. That's the main thing they have in common. I'll
still synopsize the missing "Howlings" for you, though, to put your mind
at ease as we skip to Part 7. "The Howling IV" takes place in a town
called Drago, and the werewolves look like German shepherds with a shag
rug strapped to their backs. That's all you need to know about that one.
Howling V is basically "Gilligan's Island" in a Hungarian castle with a
body count. Howling VI is pretty decent; it's sorta the feminist
"Howling." And that brings us to "The Howling VII." Remember when I said
that a bunch of people wrote in to warn me of the awfulness of the first half of tonight's Monstervision double-feature, The
Howling III? Where were you guys on THIS one? Number three is like
"Casablanca" compared to Number seven. Clive Turner wrote, produced,
directed, edited and stars as a two-steppin hippie cowboy who gets a job
in a small-town bar where a buncha locals stand around and tell each other
bad jokes while people get attacked by a werewolf off-camera. And the
locals of the town are played by the actual locals of the town, for better
or worse. I'll let you decide. Let's do the drive-in totals. We have:
23 dead bodies.
Four dead werewolves.
More gratuitous line-dancing.
I give it
about... one star. Check it out, and please don't leave me alone with this
[fading] I'm no longer allowed to advise the use of a cold
foamer to get through a movie. That's all I'm gonna say."
"Howling 7: New Moon Rising" Commercial Break #1
look at the hematomas on that gal Jacqueline. She never SPEAKS, but she
lets those Winnebagos do her talkin for her, doesn't she?
bet you didn't realize this was a musical, did you? Is that the most
depressing line-dancing you've ever seen? What are they doin in the dark?
It looks like line-dancing from Hell.
Then we got that
weird choreographed scene with the guys in the sombreros sweeping up, with
the synchronized drinking.
And, of course, Pappy and Harriet's
musical number. I'm guessing that I don't really need to remind you that
these people are non-actors. That's the late Pappy Allen as Pappy, and
Harriet Allen as Harriet. So far I've found one guy with another film
credit: John Huff, who's playin the priest, starred in a silent movie when
he was a kid, back in 1925, a western called "Zander the Great." The
Laurence Olivier of the cast. All residents of the real Pioneer Town. Ask
me what Pioneer Town is. I have no idea. Okay, back to the
[fading] How much do you think this movie cost? About 150
bucks, right? Course, it was made back in 1996, when 150 bucks bought a
lot more. Today it would cost 152 bucks. YES, we're gonna watch the whole
"Howling 7: New Moon Rising" Commercial Break #2
Maybe it'll get better. Right? We're only 36 minutes into it. You know
those two guys, the priest and the police inspector? Every time they come
on the screen, I have to go . . . now WHO are these guys? Because the
priest doesn't really look or talk like a priest, and the cop SURE doesn't
look like a cop. And then, for some reason, whenever they start the
flashback story about what happened to the werewolves in the Hungarian
castle, the inspector guy goes "You know what? I'm tired. Could I take a
rain check on the rest of that story?"
Or "Before you finish that,
could we take a break and get a little fresh air." This might be the only
screenplay in the history of the movies that actually SHOWS PEOPLE taking
a break and getting a little fresh air.
"Hey, Cheryl." "Hey, Jim.
Have you seen Ted?" "He's over there." "Thanks, Jim." "Hey, Jim." "Hey,
Ted, Cheryl's lookin for you. She's over there." "Thanks, Jim." Screenplay
by Clive Turner, copyright 1995. Clive Turner is Ted, the Australian
As I mentioned, he's the auteur of this baby, although
there was apparently a co-director named Roger Nall who Clive stole the
full credit from. I'm sure Roger is really p.o.ed that his name got taken
off. And for those of you tracing your "Howling" history, we had some
flashbacks to Part 5 in there--all the Budapest stuff. Pretty much any
time you see something that looks like it cost more than a dollar, it's a
flashback to an earlier movie. I am kinda confused, though, cause in Part
5, Clive Turner played a guy named Ray, not Ted, so I don't know if some
OTHER guy played Ted, or they changed his name for some reason, or what.
But who cares? Let's do some more line-dancing! Roll it.
This is kinda like one of our favorites around here, Mystery Science Theater 3000's "The Legend of Boggy
Creek," which also stars real people. But "Boggy Creek" doesn't stop for
Satanic line-dancing every five minutes. It's a nice touch, isn't
"Howling 7: New Moon Rising" Commercial Break #3
movie just gets better and better, doesn't it? So it takes three years,
roughly the amount of time between sequels, for the werewolf to "develop
fully." And if there's a full moon it will become "engorged with an
awesome new power." That's what I used to say to my ex-wife. "No, really,
honey, at midnight, I become engorged with an awesome new power." My
favorite actor is Brock, the fat guy, who seems to specialize in sittin
around at the bar. Brock does the entire movie with one expression. Then,
of course, I mentioned before that chesty blonde gal Jacqueline, who DOES
speak after all. "Whatever it was, was not normal." That was HER line. And
by the way, that's Sybil Ramsden as Sybil, the priest's wacky secretary.
Sybil was also in, let's see . . . gee, this is her only credit. Huh. I
think she's married to John Ramsden, who plays the Inspector.
MUST have some other credits. Uh . . . hm, nothing for him either.
Well, it's almost time for another musical number.
next one features Pappy, doing his most famous song, "Stand Up."
This you're not gonna believe. Roll it.
[fading] It's a
musical, it's a comedy, it's a werewolf moov-- Oh, I knew there was
SOMETHING missing. They're not gonna line-dance again, are they?"
"Howling 7: New Moon Rising" Commercial Break #4
see, those wacky party animals from Pioneer Town go out in the desert and
find a dead body, but they decide not to tell anyone, "just bury him,"
because they find a newspaper clipping in his pocket revealing that he's a
murderer. Is that what just happened?
See, I missed it, because I
was still reeling from the chili scene. Pappy's chili goes bad. Pappy goes
for a drink. And how about that rousing Pappy Allen country song "Stand
Up"? You think that's available on CD? Now I see what was going on in the
minds of the TNT programming department, puttin these two flicks together.
It's the Australian connection. They thought, "Well, we COULD show
'Howling VI,' which has a couple of decent monsters, as well as actual
ACTORS in it, or we could show 'Howling VII,' which has some Aussies
living out in the California desert who decided to each contribute a
nickel to make a werewolf movie without any werewolves in it.
Yeah, let's show THAT one."
By the way, I should point out
that that's Janos [Yanos] as Janos, Dolores as Dolores, and. . . well, you
get the idea. Back to the flick.
[fading] All these little
character bits really add to the story, don't they? Pappy's chili. The
woman playin the spoons. The George Jones discussions.
I can't even WAIT till you guys see what's comin
up. This might be the only werewolf movie in history to feature a fat
woman playing the spoons."
"Howling 7: New Moon Rising" Commercial Break #5
wondering when they would do a fart joke, weren't you? Because you can't
even THINK about making a decent werewolf movie without a good fart joke.
Can we have who's ever not workin a camera to come up here and do
that "Deep in the Heart of Texas" thing with the zippers with me?
Aw, come on, you babies.
All right, forget it. I have to
show a clip, anyway. I just want you guys to watch this dramatic moment
again. Watch how long it takes Pappy to say his line here.
Talk about your pregnant pause, huh? I think ole Pappy
really WAS having a few nips between takes. I wonder who was standing off
screen waving their arms trying to get him to remember he had a line
there. I should let you know that we have an actual actress in the movie
now-- Romy Walthall as Marie.
She was in "Howling IV," known as
Romy Windsor back then. And that was a flashback to the big money shot
from Part 4, the one where the guy melts down to his bones and then turns
into a werewolf. Okay, back to "Howling VII." Go.
VII," the only werewolf movie where the werewolf hunters say the line,
"We're wasting valuable drinking time." How apropos. "
"Howling 7: New Moon Rising" Commercial Break #6
horror! The horror! Have you ever seen people sitting around a campfire
who sway in perfect unison to a song about using drugs? Now you have. And
how about that blurry red lens, which signifies . . . Werewolf Vision!
It's becoming clearer and clearer why Clive Turner chose the people of
Pioneer Town for his movie. What a talented bunch. And that cop looks like
he's right off the force, doesn't he? They like em scruffy out in Barstow.
You guys know where Barstow is? When you're drivin from El Lay to
Vegas, that's the town you stop in to gas up and use the facilities.
Pioneer Town is where the Barstow people go to get away from it all. Very
Okay, thrilling conclusion to the immortal
[fading] I haven't been to Vegas in ages. Not since
they made the old, cheap part of it into a mall.
I always felt at
home in the old, cheap part. Some of us are old. Some of us are cheap.
Most of us are old and cheap. That's what Vegas is all about, isn't
"Howling 7: New Moon Rising" Outro
Is it over? Those people
aren't gonna sing another song, are they? Wasn't that sweet? A student
film made by elderly drunk cowboys. "The Howling VII," written, directed,
edited by and starring the great Aussie hippie, Clive Turner.
I wanna remind you that next week, we have the great low-budget "Gremlins"
rip-off and its successor, "Ghoulies" and "Ghoulies II," so be sure you're
around for that.
That's it for me, Joe Bob Briggs, reminding you
that the sight of a bald eagle has thrilled human beings for years.
The sight of a bald man, though, does absolutely nothing for the
Hey, you guys know what a zebra is?
26 sizes larger than
Joe Bob Briggs, reminding you that the drive-in will
[fading] What do you get when you cross an elephant with
a skin doctor?
What do you call four
bullfighters in quicksand?
Why do walruses go to
To find a tight seal.
How do you turn a fox
into a cow?
How do you stop a rhinoceros from charging?
Take away his credit card.
Click here for vhs video availablity & cast list by the folks at Amazon.com
Howling movies are also available on DVD
Howling 2 Joe Bob review
Howling 5 Joe Bob review
Howling 6 Joe Bob review
Hey, remember when MonsterVision visited A Company Of Wolves? "One of the artsy-fartsiest werewolf movies in the history of cinema. It's kind of "Little Red Riding Hood" as told by Dennis Hopper" Joe Bob
Or click here for Northern Exposure's wolves (954k wav)
Monstervision Movie description above from 2/20/99 broadcast
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