BADass SINema Unearthed - Blu-ray Review

Howling III (1987) - Blu-ray Review

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Howling III (1987) - Blu-ray

Werewolf nuns, Imogen Annesley’s marsupial “pouch” right up in your face, and Tasmanian tigers.  That’s what is tucked inside this hairy mess of a werewolf film.  With a clever and humorous nod to cheesy B-movies, the third film in The Howling franchise was for many the last straw.  For some, though, it was a new beginning.  Marking the end of the theatrical distribution of this series, Howling III somehow manages to stay in the conversation thanks to its sympathetic portrayal of these transforming beasts.

"a sprawling film that winds up being one long chase movie through the outback as the Aussies go to war against this werewolf’s clan and those who support them.  Interesting, yes, just not all together that successful."


It is a film that most have no patience for.  I get the reason for it, too.  Coming to sit in front of this film willfully is not easily done.  Howling III, featuring the return of director Philippe Mora (Howling II, A Breed Apart) to the franchise, might have little to do with the original film, but it does have its “down under” following.  It is now, thanks to Scream Factory, out on blu-ray this week, too, so expect there to be a new appreciation for what it does do successfully…

…which is to transplant the whole werewolf uprising to Australia and then, thanks to an award show in Hollywood that goes completely bonkers, bring it back to the United States thanks to the magic of movies.  I can already hear you groaning.  Stop.  Howling III is not nearly as bad as its reputation would have you believe . . . it just isn’t a Howling movie.  At least, it doesn’t EVER feel like one. 

Sure, the tone is still QUIRKY but, outside of a horror director who is meant to be Alfred Hitchcock and a handful of schlocky scenes, Howling III is just plain dull.  That being said, it must be praised for the awesome “mommy” moment between Annesley and her newborn pup.  Birthed in a pile of hay and immediately thrust upon her furry privates, the cute puppy wiggles its way into her pouch and stays there for marsupial safety.   And the PG-13 rating doesn't do it any favors.

Starring Barry Otto as a sympathetic professor to the cause of conservation and of wildlife, Annesley as a beautiful werewolf running from her abusive past, Max Fairchild as her sexually abusive father, Leigh Biolos as the American who casts Annesley in a horror film (wink, wink, nudge, nudge), and character actor Frank Thring as the film’s director, Howling III is a sprawling film that winds up being one long chase movie through the outback as the Aussies go to war against this werewolf’s clan and those who support them.  Interesting, yes, just not all together that successful. 

Howling III (1987) - Blu-ray

Because the tone of this film, generated by rare footage of the Tasmanian tiger, is often all over the place and never consistent, the scares miss their targets (are they ever even frightening?!) and the comedy falls flat.  For me, only on the set of the cheesy B-movie – which features a werewolf – does the film work.  Of course, that comedic moment, in which Annesley leans over and says that transformations don’t look like that, is mere seconds . . . and this film stomps on and on.

With a brand-new HD digital transfer sponsored by The National Film and Sound Archive Of Australia, Howling III is unleashed yet again.

2 beers

Howling III (1987) - Blu-ray

MPAA Rating: PG-13.
Runtime:
94 mins
Director
: Philippe Mora
Writer:
Philippe Mora
Cast:
Barry Otto, William Yang, Imogen Annesley
Genre
: Horror
Tagline:
Just When You Thought It Was Safe To Go Down Under.
Memorable Movie Quote: "Because my stepfather tried to rape me, and he's a werewolf."
Theatrical Distributor:
Square Pictures
Official Site:
Release Date:
November 13, 1987
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
January 15, 2019
Synopsis: Long ago, the now-extinct marsupial wolf (a.k.a. Tasmanian Tiger) roamed the Australian Outback. Today, a werewolf colony that has descended from these marsupials has taken over the land. This race of human-like creatures roams the outback, preying on the unsuspecting to feed their growing numbers. The race for survival is on as the humans struggle to contain these out of control creatures.

Howling III (1987) - Blu-ray

Blu-ray

Blu-ray Details:

Home Video Distributor: Shout Factory
Available on Blu-ray
- January 15, 2018
Screen Formats: 1.85:1
Subtitles
: English SDH
Audio:

Discs: Blu-ray Disc; single disc
Region Encoding: Locked to Region A

Howling III is presented on Blu-ray courtesy of Shout! Factory's Scream Factory imprint with an AVC encoded 1080p transfer in 1.85:1. For the most part, this is a significant upgrade from the previous edition, with better clarity, improved contrast and more robust color. Oh, the greens of the outback!  Colors are bold and energetic with rich saturation in the primaries, adding to the film's sly self-aware sense of humor. Black levels are true and accurate for the most part with some of the best moments taking place at night.  Generally speaking, this is a really nice looking high definition presentation that makes a few minor missteps, none of them fatal.

Supplements:

Commentary:

  • Attempting to bring some thought into the discussion and appreciation of Howling III is the feature length commentary from Writer/Director Philippe Mora.  It is moderated by Filmmaker Jamie Blanks.

Special Features:

With a new transfer and a new commentary, Howling III’s reintroduction is made complete by a NEW interview with Mora, some vintage interviews, and a theatrical trailer.

  • A Conversation With Philippe Mora – An Interview With The Writer/Director
  • Vintage Interviews From The Documentary Not Quite Hollywood: The Wild, Untold Story of Ozploitation! By Director Mark Hartley
  • Theatrical Trailer

Howling III (1987) - Blu-ray

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