Thursday, January 22, 2015

The Howling 3: The Marsupials - 1987

Wow does this movie get a bad rap.  This movie is one where you either love it or hate it for the most part.  And I have to say that if you were to watch The Howling, and maybe skip Howling 2, just go right for The Marsupials, your head would be spinning and you’d be saying “what the FUCK?”

Think of Howling 3: The Marsupials more like Halloween 3: Season of the Witch.  For those of you who don’t know, Halloween 3 was a reimagining of the Halloween franchise.  Instead of following serial killer/demon Michael Myers, it followed some weird masks that were killing people.  Sure, that is an interesting idea, however people didn’t know what it was and WHY Michael Myers wasn’t in it, and it’s looked at now as even more of a WTF movie than it was when it first came out.

But like I said, Halloween 3 was not bad; it was just not what people wanted.  Just like Marsupials is not bad, it just comes out of nowhere and it wasn't what people wanted. 

The Howling 3: The Marsupials begins with a professor finding footage of people in Australia killing what appears to be a wolf like creature.  This is old footage, shot around the early 1900’s.  So they go to investigate.  And they discover that 1) there are werewolves in Australia, and 2) the werewolves in Australia are marsupials, meaning that when they give birth to their young, their young go into a pouch in their stomach, much like a kangaroo does with its young.

You may be thinking that’s weird.  Yes, it is.  It's a pretty weird movie.  The basic idea is that way back when, a Tasmanian tiger mated with a human, and that produced werewolf children.  Now, they live in Australia along side normal humans, and in this movie are not the evil killers that they are in most of the rest of The Howling movies.  It's an interesting approach and allows the werewolves to be the main character.

It's interesting when a movie does this.  Much like Danny Boyle with his approach to zombies in 28 Days Later, it's cool to have someone new approach a genre and make some crucial changes.  You could very well argue that 28 Days Later was the first zombie movie to really make a significant impact since Night of the Living Dead.  I believe if Marsupials had been more accepted and perhaps a bit less weird, it might have redefined werewolf movies.  

In real life a werewolf would not be the vicious unstoppable killer it is in movies, I think.  By and large, it would have to avoid humans, run, and live a life outside of society.  It would also relentlessly be hunted and feared no matter what the individual werewolf's intention.  It is that type of life we see the werewolves living in The Marsupials.

Anyways, the plot concerns a small group of werewolves on the run, alongside a human who is in love with a female werewolf.  It is this human and female werewolf that gave birth to their marsupial wolf as was mentioned earlier in this review.  The film follows them as they try to escape being hunted by the government.  It's an interesting idea, and gorgeous shots of Australia add to the films appeal. There isn't a lot that needs to be said about the plot, I don't want to give it away, so just watch it.  Just don't go into it looking for a The Howling style horror.

Here is a image of the baby werewolf thing crawling up towards the pouch of it's mother, which you can't really see in this shot.

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