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Australia 1987
Directed by
Philippe Mora
95 minutes
Rated M

Reviewed by
Bernard Hemingway
3 stars

Howling III: The Marsupials

Philippe Mora directed the second in The Howling franchise, 1985’s Howling II: ...Your Sister Is a Werewolf, a self-parodic, sexploitational effort which is an embarassment to all concerned. Despite sharing a title with Gary Brandner’s book "Howling III", Howling III: The Marsupials has no plot or character connection with any of the Howling series. Mora, who wrote the script, takes the myth of the werewolf Downunder and hybridizes it with the real Tasmanian tiger or Thylacine.

Barry Otto plays a scientist, Harry Beckmeyer, obsessed with the legend of an Antipodean marsupial werewolf. He eventually finds one (Imogen Annesley, in her second feature film role who has had a patchy career since, largely on television) who spawns a tacker that she keeps in a pouch (thanks to prosthetic work by Bob Carron) and ends up becoming an award-winning Hollywood starlet, whilst Harry himself falls in love with another of her kind, a Russian ballerina (Czech actress, Dasha Blahova) who has defected to Australia. Well, that’s some of the plot but don’t worry too much about that, Howling III: The Marsupials is a gleeful parody with not the slightest concession to cinematic quality.

When Mora goes flat chat with the spoofing the film is very amusing, when he slows down for some attempt at B grade narrative development the film is dire (which is the point, but even so...). Notwithstanding, with cameos from Frank Thring, Edna Everage and Bill Collins (and extensive showcasing of other Aussie icons such as the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Sydney Opera House) along with a lycanthropic birth scene and an excellently-awful horror movie-within-a-horror movie sequence this is vintage Aussie trash and enjoyable on those terms. Serious horror aficionadi will no doubt scorn it, 

FYi: The film was independently financed with American money and never theatrically released, the backers, however, apparently making a handsome return on DVD sales in the US.

DVD Extras: Director's commentary: TV Spot; Trailer; Stills Gallery

Available from: Umbrella Entertainment




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