Tuesday, October 29, 2013

The Howling: Episode VIII


At last we arrive at the end, or rather, the latest in this debauched, crazy franchise. Truly, this was a jarring experience. The Howling VII: Pappy's Revenge was "made" in 1995, one of only two Howling films made in the 90s, and successfully killed off the franchise until recently. The 90s were ill-fitting for this enterprise, so I can only imagine how it will exist in 2011 when the dist...oh, fuck me in the face with rabies, it's Twilight.

No, no, no, no, no. No. Leaving aside the hatred for a book/film conglomerate so universally hated that hating it has become a cliche, I can't begin to explain why the Twilight template of teen nyuuuhhhhh whinge-fiction will not work in a werewolf movie. This is actually something a number of other werewolf movies in the aughts got wrong (Blood and Chocolate being one example that comes to mind): werewolves aren't sexy or cool. Primal sexuality is part of it (if not the entire metaphor), but no one really wants to be one - it is not cool, fun, or hot to undergo a nasty-ass, hairy, toothy transformation, and The Howling: Reborn (not to be confused with The Howling: Rebirth, for Christ's sake) treats it like a sweet superpower.

Do I really need to recap here? I said it's Twilight, and it is. High school loser Will is a loser in high school, and since this is a movie, this high school loser is a 25-year-old male model who puts glasses on to become a wimpy, unnoticed outcast. What a bunch of bullfuck. Anyway, Will is sad because his mom died due to a werewolf-related mauling when he was born, but spends his time lusting after a total whore/bad girl. Then, um, let's see: there's a group of mysterious baddies who are obvious werewolves, just like Twilight; hyperbolic teen fic dialogue, just like Twilight; neutered monster effects and violence, despite the subject matter, just like Twilight; and a total misappropriation of a monster metaphor, just like Twilight. But the best part is that this movie actually makes fun of Twilight! Like, several times, as if that vampire tween crap is silly and for kids, but this, this is the edgy, serious, werewolf balls-to-the-wall supernatural series. Eat fuck.

I've seen werewolf pouches with finger-puppets, I've seen fur-orgies, mullet lords, and a horde of crackers talking about their chili farts, but this Howling movie was the most ideologically offensive, I think. To some degree, we'll always regard the schlock of the past more forgivingly than the schlock of the present. Objectively, this wasn't any better or worse than previous entries, and ranks as one of the most competently put-together of the bunch, but still. The werewolf suits are so so, but the transformation sequences are painless CG, which reinforces the notion that lycanthropy is a totes cool mutant power. Feh.

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

And that's it for this year's Franchise Follies! I hope you had fun watching me suffer through the bizarre ineptitude that is a franchise capitalizing on the minor success of one film by launching non-sequential, barely tangential direct-to-video sequels. I know you did, sadistic bastards. What surfeit of sequels will I unearth for next year? Only time will tell.

No comments: