HOWLING III THE MARSUPIALS_DVD
A mutant and deadly strain of werewolves has survived as an Australian genus evolved from the now-extinct marsupial wolf. Sociologist Professor Harry Beckmeyer (Barry Otto), is studying the species and stumbles on one of the females, the she-wolf Jerboa (Imogen Annesley), who is carrying a werewolf child of her new normal human boyfriend Donny (Leigh Biolos). The Professor learns of a connection with Serbian werewolves and elicits the help of defector Russian ballerina Olga (Dasha Blahova); and soon falls in love with her, while trying to help her escape a gang of angry hunters keen to eradicate the rabid marsupials. Togethere with Jerboa and Donny, he and Olga stay hidden at an idyllic riverside camp, avoiding human contact, raising their kids. Jerboa and Donny eventually move out, but the Beckmeyers remain - until years later they all end up in Hollywood ...
Review by Andrew L. Urban:
The third of the Howling series is also the least reverential to Joe Dante's original horror movie, with Philippe Mora's tongue firmly in his cheek from the opening credits. The mishy mashy story flings together touches of early 50s sci fi horror and 80s social commentary, the latter using werewolves as symbols of minority groups who find intolerance hard to live with, poor things.
Barry Otto is solid as the Professor whose scientific interest overrides his common sense in a very 50s style 'save 'em to study 'em' manner, while his associate, Professor Sharp (Ralph Cotterill) tries to play the straight man. Imogen Annesley is at her peak - both in performance and in looks - as she gives her all to a marsupial human with a pouch for her baby, and Frank Thring is in his element as a 'leading director' of horror films. Michael Pate does a grave turn as the easy-to-access President and Burnham Burnham is a jovial Aboriginal werewolf - very few of them around. Barry Humphries makes a cameo as Dame Edna in the final reel, as it were, and Max Fairchild plays a bald, thuggish werewolf with pantomime skills.
Although it's not as consistently funny as we'd like, the ridiculous often serves as humour and the locations in Sydney and in the bush are great. Mora's commentary is of interest, as he explains much of his intent with the style of the film, and also notes how this was a rare Australian production for the 80s which got wide international release. He also offers bits of trivia for the buffs.
Published January 22, 2009
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HOWLING III THE MARSUPIALS_DVD (M)
CAST: Barry Otto, Max Fairchild, Imogen Annesley, Dasha Blahova, Leigh Biolos, Ralph Cotterill, Frank Thring, Michael Pate, Jon Ewing, Barry Humphries, William Yang, Deby Wightman, Christopher Pate, Carole Skinner, Burnham Burnham
PRODUCER: Philippe Mora, Charles Waterstreet
DIRECTOR: Philippe Mora
SCRIPT: Philippe Mora (novel by Gary Brandner)
CINEMATOGRAPHER: Louis Irving
EDITOR: Lee Smith
MUSIC: Allan Zavod
PRODUCTION DESIGN: Ross Major
OTHER: Bob McCarron (special make up effects)
RUNNING TIME: 96 minutes
PRESENTATION: 16:9; DD 5.1
SPECIAL FEATURES: Commentary by Philippe Mora; stills, trailer;
DVD DISTRIBUTOR: Umbrella
DVD RELEASE: January 10, 2009
RIVERSIDE SCREEN PREMIERES
A program of premiere screenings of new movies prior to their commercial release
on 6 consecutive Tuesdays, starts February 17, 2015 at Riverside Theatre,
Curated & presented by Andrew L. Urban, discussion to
follow with special guests. Briefing notes provided.