By the time “The Howling III” rolled around, the studios basically stopped continuing the storyline from the original Joe Dante movie and just turned the movie series in to an anthology. The only connection “The Howling” movies have with one another is that they have werewolves in them. The rest of the movies are basically of varying quality with drastically different narratives. Ironically latter day sequels (The Howling: New Moon Rising) would use clips from the former films as a crutch to make up for lack of story and the painfully low budget.
In this new tale, director Phillipe Mora focuses on a group of Marsupial-like werewolves that have the ability to breed. When her pack of werewolves is being hunted, the gorgeous Jerboa retreats to Russia. While there she tries to survive on the streets and is discovered by a filmmaker named Donny who casts her based on her beauty. She is cast as the lead in a werewolf movie he’s making, and as she tries to remain incognito, especially in the face of odd stimuli that can make her transform against her will, she and Donny begin falling in love, and she’s impregnated. Meanwhile a doctor is testing on marsupial werewolves, and begins to fall for a female werewolf.
“The Howling III” is a bizarre movie that dives in to the European invasion of the eighties. While the first film explored the overtones of the cult scare of the early eighties, and the sequel tapped in to the new wave craze, “Marsupials” is a wholly Euro take on the werewolf tale. It also tries its hand at basically re-inventing the werewolf lore and creating brand new werewolves that are more like wild animals. All the while More turns dabbles in all kinds of themes, turning his film in to a drama, then a horror romance, and even a satire on the cult of celebrity.
“The Howling III” is probably the least horror based sequel in the entire “The Howling” movie series as it is based more around the whole fractured romance of Jerboa and Donny, and how they have to work around her lycanthropy. Meanwhile Mora stages her werewolf transformations as more of a genetic deformity she’s trying to hide and side steps the inherent terror we saw in the first two films. Even “Your Sister is a Werewolf” had more terror based werewolf moments, but Mora opts to turn the whole werewolf idea in to a nature based genetic defect that also symbolizes Jerboa’s feelings of scrutiny, and shame about her culture. “The Howling III” is terrible, but it’s also so bizarre it ends up being a fascinating disaster of a pseudo-sequel.
The new release from Shout! Factory includes an audio commentary with writer/director Philippe Mora, moderated by filmmaker Jamie Blanks. There’s a twenty seven interview With Writer/Director Philippe Mora, which includes his experience working on “Howling II,” and his revelation of being sent monkey suits from the “Planet of the Apes” to use for the werewolves. There’s a vintage interview from the documentary “Not Quite Hollywood: The Wild, Untold Story of Ozploitation! by director Mark Hartley, which features interviews about “Howling III” with Phillipe Mora and Bob McCarron. Finally, there’s the original theatrical trailer.