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Friday, June 27, 2014

Howling IV: The Original Nightmare (1988)

I’m not going to even pun the title of this one!  Howling IV is supposed to be an “origins” story.  However, the plot is strikingly similar to the first Howling movie which is, by far, the best of the bunch.  This is one franchise that should have died but didn’t.

As Howling IV begins we have a successful author who is having a bit or a meltdown…or is she?  The doctor prescribes a few weeks away from the hectic pace of LA and she lands right smack in the middle of werewolf USA!  Romy Windsor is actually quite good as Marie, the main character in this lycan melodrama.  Everyone else seems a bit stiff and unable to show real emotion except for the woman who plays the owner of an art store.  [Who the #*^@ needs an art store in a town this small?] 

The plot moves along nicely at the start but eventually devolves into gibberish and inconsistent special effects.  Every single werewolf in this flick looks different.  Some are simply wolves like one would find in nature.  Other are cartoonish like the ones in the detestable film The Marsupials: The Howling III (1987).  Precious few remotely resemble what most modern viewers think a werewolf should look like.  And let’s not talk about Marie’s incredible, melting boyfriend.  What was up with that?  Shame on director Jon Hough [The Legend of Hell House] for thinking he got it right and Anni Bartels [key makeup artist] and her crew for the red hot mess they put together and called werewolves.

I don’t need to say much more.  Its a shame the sequels never matched the brilliance of Joe Dante’s original The Howling.  It could have been a great ride.  Unfortunately they decided to go for the quick buck instead of making wonderful films.


For more info check out the film's entry in IMDB.

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