Rental Corner: “Howling” VII: A Big Joke
The word “franchise” has been used and milked to the bone these days. In the past, it has shown to be a magical word to some moviegoers on some films like “Planet of the Apes” or “Star Wars.” But then we have those that just won’t die like “Land Before Time.” Studios think they can continue with basic “rehashing the premise of the first” or just going in a different direction. Case and point, The Howling: New Moon Rising.
“The Howling” is a classic werewolf flick that was made by Joe Dante and has been a popular title among cult horror fans. But since its release, many have tried to duplicate the success and charm of the original with sequel after sequel. While some dispute the third entry, “The Marsupials,” as the worst, I feel some should reconsider after watching this one.
“New Moon Rising” deals with a small Western town where an Australian newcomer named Ted comes in and starts to fit right in with the locals. However, he is mainly there to study them considering how previous convicts have originated there. At the same time, strange killings are taking place as the residence feels the work of a large animal is at play. Instead of focusing on scenes of investigation, we get treated to them sitting around in bars or line dancing about 85 percent of the movie.
It should be noted that the film’s director (who also wrote, produced and stars in this turkey) used the locals of the place. And if you ask me, I feel this was their first and last movie ever made. A huge portion doesn’t feel like a horror movie but great amounts of footage taken from a bar’s happy hour. This takes up the film as a subplot between a priest and a detective are hastily shoe-horned in, as they flashback to the previous events of the previous films. The sole purpose is more than connect this one with the others, but feels like one could have a better time watching the other sequels then this one. As if “Howling VII” wasn’t desperate enough already, they attempt to make a plot with nothing and place this pointless addition that goes nowhere.
Throughout “Howling VII,” it offers no redemption and doesn’t come close to a horror movie. It feels like a big joke to the viewers and doesn’t feel like a movie. Its more like a SNL parody that was expanded into a 90 minute romp of Western bar moments you would find on a cheap postcard and rejected country songs that sound half-hearted written. The only good thing I can say is how obscure this is to find, considering the massive negative response it received, which resulted in New Line Cinema to have it exist on VHS only. Only recommended to those who are looking for the worst movie ever made out there. This is about 10 times as horrible as the B-movies on “Mystery Science Theater 3000” to the max and a possible candidate that would find better life as a midnight movie paired with Tommy Wiseau’s “The Room” for its laughable but painful quality.
Oh, did I forget to mention there was a werewolf? The only problem is that its on-screen presence lasts less than 40 seconds as it gets shot down by the entire community. Such an appropriate way to end a disappointing and miserable feature.