Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Howling 3: The Marsupials

While the story setup (about a reluctantly werewolf-y woman trying to run away from that side of herself, leaving her family, being found by a couple of guys on a park bench, etc.) is something I remember seeing almost verbatim in an old Creepshow magazine, that's not all that unusual in these kinds of movies and the little things they add really make this their own. The whole idea of were-marsupials for instance, including a couple of marsupial births... leading to marsupial killer women with little hairy babies peaking from their pouches... Yes, that's as great as it sounds. How many horror movie fight scenes contain shots of monster fetuses? Hmm... After I wrote that I did actually think of at least 3 other movies that contain monster fetuses... which is equal parts surprising and not. But you know what? All of them are pretty good.

One of the real strong points of this film is that it perfectly balances the right amount of craftsmanship and attention to detail and at the same time not taking itself too seriously. The makeup effects aren't half-bad. Presumably they didn't really have to go all out with this, as though if they made the monsters real enough you'd find yourself having were-marsupial nightmares and considering the possibility that they might be around every corner. The idea is just silly. Yet they really made the things surprisingly detailed. There really is nothing like a trio of nuns with comically convincing Tasmanian tiger snouts.

In a nod to Troll 2's "Nilbog," the name of the were-marsupial town that Jerboa, the main character is from, is FLOW (Wolf, backwards).

This one really seems to have found the right formula for an entertaining and watchable humor/horror film. My only criticism was that it starts to drag a bit towards the end as though they had to make sure every little possible present and future problem for all the characters gets resolved. After the "ending" firefight, the movie goes on a little awkwardly for another 15 minutes or so showing the characters lives as they progressed through the next decade or so from there.


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