The Werewolf Reborn! (1998)

It’s another episode of “Filmonsters!” and while I appreciate the inherent idea behind Full Moon composing hour long movies with broadly written monsters that vaguely resembled Universal’s staples, this second movie isn’t good. In fact it’s almost the exact same movie as “Frankenstein Reborn!” To evoke emotions in the vein of RL Stine’s “Goosebumps” the producers make a young girl the star of their story. I think if it took off, every “Filmonsters!” would have had young teenagers who realize something about themselves or their families while fighting monsters. I wonder if there would have been a “Gillman Reborn!” with a young girl realizing she’s from a family of ancient lizard people or something.

You can tell that Empire and Moonbeam were trying very hard to market off of the young adult horror television shows, because there is a lot of menace of the Full Moon horror movies with none of the depravity or gore. It’s a very simple narrative when you get down to it; there’s no time for examination or build up, it just is what it is. Ashley Lyn Cafagna is Eleanore, a young girl visiting her uncle in Romania who lives in a castle. She gets a cold reception from the Romanian villagers because she’s American, and upon arriving at her uncle Peter’s home, begins to hear rumors that he’s a werewolf. She begins investigating his history with local gypsies after witnessing his supernatural healing ability, and makes friends with a gypsy boy and his grandmother.

They provide about ninety percent of the exposition, and even Eleanore the bullets necessary in ending her uncle’s reign of terror. In the end she has to either stick by her uncle and risk being murdered, or end his havoc as the werewolf. Of course she opts for logic, and that’s about all she wrote. The second and final installment in the movie is bargain basement with a lot of the sets and locales completely reused. The writers do come up with good reasons for not including a lot of props.

They probably couldn’t afford a car, so in the script Eleanore is forced to walk to her uncle’s home, and in the finale she is forced to go home alone on the train after enduring such a traumatic event. There’s no confrontation with her parents, no one comes to see her, she’s not held by Romanian authorities. There’s not even an implication she might have some werewolf in her DNA. It just ends on her standing at the train tracks ready to go home with a very downbeat final scene. “Filmonsters!” has admirable intentions, but fails as a coherent attempt as a children’s horror series. With a bigger budget, I think this could have been neat, but in the end, it’s another stale werewolf movie.