Ahhhh, the good ole' days of bladder effects, how I miss them so. Well, it was bound to happen sooner or later. Howling 3 is presented on DVD, for the first time in a crystal clear anamorphic widescreen presentation. Also present is a booming 5.1 Dolby Digital soundtrack. Extras? You bet! Trailers, still gallery and an audio commentary by director writer Philippe Mora (The Beast Within). The big question; Is it worth it? Read on to find out.
Jerboa (Imogen Annesley) lives with her pack of Marsupial Werewolves in Australia. Apparently there are packs of them in Russia also, but I'm not quite sure. Jerboa meets up with an Assistant Director, Donny (Leigh Biolos) on a low budget horror film, ShapeShifters Part 8. Of course it's love at first sight. Jerboa takes the lead in ShapeShifters, and her relationship with Donny, blossoms.
Everyone and their Grandmother want the marsupials extinct, that is of course if they exist. It seems even the marsupial haters, aren't sure if their enemies are real or not. Donny impregnates Jerboa, and they have to go on the lam, as they are shunned by society.
The remainder of the film plays like a game of marsupial and mouse. Between the marsupials getting caught, being experimented on, and escaping. Repeat 3 or 4 times, shake a bit, instant Howling 3. Even the director states in the commentary, there are a lot of plot points and this is one hell of a confusing movie the first few times around.
Howling 3 is not a terrible movie. Not as terrible as one would want you to believe. That said, it's not a very good film either. It's not really a horror movie; the film has very little to no explicit gore and scares are non-existent. It's not a very successful parody either, in that it looks just like the type of films it's trying to parody. It is however mildly entertaining at best, although I have to admit, I was never bored by it.
Elite has done an incredible job on this film. There really is no reason why this film should look or sound this good. The 1.85:1 anamorphic transfer is flawless. Not a scratch or spec to be found, and the colors just jump off the screen. Very impressive indeed.
The 5.1 sound is also impressive, for a film made in 1987. The remix offers just enough ambient surrounds, and dialogue is crisp and clear. I couldn't find one thing wrong with the audio/video presentation of this title.
Extras are of course abundant. Two trailers, one TV and one theatrical, still gallery, and an audio commentary. The commentary is very entertaining. The director talks non-stop (until he cuts off short 15 minutes before the film ends!), and brings up not only production points, but also comments on low budget filmmaking in general. Believe it or not, Nicole Kidman was actually second in line for the role of Jerboa. How about that!
Overall, an outstanding presentation from Elite Entertainment of a so-so title. Fans of the film should be overjoyed, while first timers may be held back by the $29.95 price tag. You could do worse, but you could also do better. A price drop might just be the ticket to these flying off the shelves.