Sunday, September 30, 2012

How to Kill a Film Franchise in Ninety Minutes: "Howling: New Moon Rising" (1995)



"The Howling" series limps to its merciful conclusion with one of the worst films of all-time.

Writer-director Clive Turner, looking like Gregg Allman, plays Aussie Ted. He arrives in Pioneer Town in the California desert and quickly finds work at the local bar. The losers and hangers-on there welcome him with open arms, yet assorted folks start ending up dead. A police inspector and overly serious priest are on the case as the towns people suspect Ted of more than an obsession with the music of George Jones.

I cannot stress how inept this film is. Turner tries to tie this entry to two other entries in the series, and borrows liberally from these lousy, but better films, without providing any permissions or rights in the credits (IMDB says he cowrote and acted in them). He decides to shoot using non-actors, all using their real names as their character names. The non-actors non-act, giving us the stiffest performances ever seen this side of a gay porn film. The editing is a mess, watch for the useless flashbacks, and the climax features one of the unintentionally funniest werewolf transformation scenes in film history. The real townspeople center around a country bar, so the viewer is punished with non-stop scenes of terrible country songs and bored line dancing. The "comedy bits" are obviously dramatized reenactments of old high-lar-i-ous bar stories, and would not be funny even after your twentieth Coors. Turner has no budget, so the gore looks like ketchup and baby powder.

This was filmed almost ten years ago, and no more "The Howling" sequels are on the horizon. If I didn't hate this film so much, I would be tempted to write Clive Turner a thank you note.

Hollywood, let us not revisit this series. Reader, do not rent this junk. (*) out of five stars. Get this movie now!: Howling: New Moon Rising