Tuesday, October 22, 2013

The Howling: Episode VI


Welcome to the 90s, where the lunk-headed sincerity of the 80s died and sneering, Prozac-laced irony rose to the fore. Where will that leave us with The Howling, I wonder?

At this point there's not even a tangential relationship to the previous films, except that the same kind of monster is in them all. This time, in The Howling VI: The Freaks, the monster is an Englishman named Ian, a drifter with a pencil-thin mustache who roams the American Southwest taking odd jobs and irking the local sheriff. A doofy preacher gives Ian a job repairing his church and tempting his daughter's hormones, but Ian knows he'll have to blow town before he starts lycanthroping dat ass.

Meanwhile, an honest-to-god freak show rolls into town, because those definitely still exist in the late 20th century. A scaly-man, a bilateral transvestite, Deep Roy, and some other forgettables comprise a carnival attraction helmed by a stringy-haired, not-to-be-trusted Mr. Harker (subtle). Meanwhile, Ian accidentally oversleeps for about 26 hours and wakes up during the full moon - oh gorsh! He turns into the Geico caveman and is discovered by Harker, who has some kind of magical gewgaw that can turn Ian's wolfing on and off. Harker forces Ian into his menagerie of whackies.

Stupid story short: Ian escapes, Harker reveals himself to be an alleged vampire who looks more like either Panthro from Thundercats or the wizard-monster from Conan the Destroyer.

They fight. Ian wins. I waste more of my life watching this shit. The end.

The Howling VI was another entry in the franchise that was bad, but not screamingly so. It could've been exchanged for any of the forgettable direct-to-video treasures of the VHS era. There's absolutely no continuity with the rest of the series at this point: Parts V and VI have existed because someone already wanted to make a werewolf movie and stood to profit more by slapping a franchise title onto their theater-skirting oddity. I was actually expecting movies a lot worse than this and am getting worn-down by the banality and tangential association of these direct-to-nowhere turkeys.

The Gaffer's Rating: 1.5 out of 4 Snausages.

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