The Howling III: The Marsupials (1987)

Director Phillipe Mora wrote and directed The Howling III: The Marsupials as a retort to an unhappy production on his previous film The Howling II, which saw scenes and extra nudity being inserted without his consent. And it’s pretty easy to see the stabs and kicks he’s making, falling, as they do, with the subtlety of elephant diarrhea.

The Howling III sees Jebra (Imogen Annesley); a young shape shifter running away from her village in the Australian outback, as well as her abusive step-father. Arriving in Sydney, she becomes the lead in a trashy horror franchise, directed by a Hitchcock lookalike who works actors into the ground. Falling in love with a member of the production crew, Jebra must hide her lycanthrope secret from him, not knowing that Daddy Dearest has sent her sisters out to get her back.

The whole thing is a patchy affair that, with its psychic werewolf ballerinas and birthing scenes, makes next to no sense. Though the same thing could be said for the original Howling, it at least had some capable talent on board as well as a modicum of a budget. This second sequel seems to blow its load on a transformation sequence that doesn’t really happen to our protagonists. Rather it happens within the film they find themselves watching in the local cinema.

Whilst it may seem petty to criticize a horror comedy for being silly, the fact is that with barely a titter to be had or a scare to be seen, the silliness is all that’s left. It’s like watching your grandma dance around in her pants – No one is laughing and there’s a deep concern for all involved.

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