Goregirl’s Werewolf Project: HOWLING V: THE REBIRTH (1989)
I am a big fan of the 1981 film The Howling, so I decided to watch every single Howling sequel for this project. These sequels are pretty damn awful for the most part, but still, I only disliked one of them as much as Blood and Chocolate and Cursed and that was the newest entry in the franchise, the 2011 film Howling Reborn. There is no way I am reviewing all seven sequels! That is right there are eight Howling films! I have no idea what I was thinking. Bloody hell! The Howling III (1987), Howling IV: The Original Nightmare (1988) and Howling VII: New Moon Rising (1995) were pretty awful and I wouldn’t recommend any of these. They each had a moment or two that was entertaining but are mostly dreck. Howling 2: Stirba: Werewolf Bitch (1985) is the only sequel that connects itself to the original in any way. It is an absolute mess but does have some humorous and bizarre moments. It also has Christopher Lee and Sybil Danning. It is very 80s and it is bad but I would give it a borderline pass. Howling VI: Freaks has freaks! I am not joking when I say I love carnivals and circuses and all the hokum that comes with them! By no means am I saying this is a good film, but it did have some aspects I found rather appealing. I would also give this one a borderline pass. Howling V: The Rebirth was the only Howling sequel I thought had much quality. It has a great castle setting, a sorta whodunit plot, and the acting was better than I expected it to be. Howling V: The Rebirth isn’t exactly good but in my opinion it was the best of the sequels which is why it garnered an actual review.
A group of (mostly) strangers pile on to a bus to tour a castle that was abandoned five hundred years previous. The guests will be the first to tour the castle since the mysterious event. The group begin to surmise their invitations were not random. They discover that they have certain things in common like an identical birthmark on the inside of their arm and they are all orphans. One of the group may be a werewolf and suspects are eliminated narrowing the choices as the film moves along.
Howling V: The Rebirth has a similar plot to another film I reviewed for this feature; Amicus’ The Beast Must Die; although certainly not as entertaining. There is some humour through Howling V, but not all of it is intentional. There are at least two instances in the film where a character acknowledges an unseen person and then we see a furry paw grab them. What is the deal with that? The unseen person is instantaneously turning into a werewolf? You never see a transformation at any point, which apparently happens literally in a blink of an eye anyway! You mainly get obscured views or paw shots of the werewolf. The couple decent head shots you get are very quick. This werewolf is pretty ugly and what in the hell was up with those weird looking teeth? It is not great, but I’ve seen worse. The characters are a real mixed bag. There were two in particular that got on my last nerve. There is one super bitchy female character that is hugely obnoxious early in the film and than makes a complete turn later. She goes from ice queen to suddenly giving a shit and is even willing to risk her life for this bunch of strangers. She has a back-story with the arrogant male character of the group. He was a bit of a non-entity until bitchy woman gets nice, he becomes a huge prick. Outside of these two, others are relatively tolerable. I was surprised to find the film’s airheaded female to be likable. Airheads are generally bimbos whose role is to get naked; but this Victoria Jackson clone is anything but easy. I even felt just a bit sorry for a couple of the victims. The dialog for the most part isn’t too bad, which is good since there is a fair amount of chat. They stick to relevant plot stuff for the most part; but of course there is some filler, and yes, some of it is irritating. There is only a teeny-tiny bit of nudity and gore, and be warned, you do not get to see the kills, just the aftermath. Howling V: Rebirth has plenty of issues, but in the Howling series of sequels I thought it was definitely the best of em. Like Howling 2: Stirba: Werewolf Bitch and Howling VI: Freaks I would give Howling V: The Rebirth a borderline pass but wouldn’t exactly recommend it. For hardcore werewolf junkies and people who love big eighties hair only. Speaking of big hair, here is a picture of me from 1989…