Saturday, May 5, 2012

Meh Bites: The Howling Reborn

On the plus side, the 'The' is back in the title officially!  Here's my first question about The Howling Reborn- why?  The last film was released on Video in 1994.  So what inspired an updated film to be made and released in 2011.  Is it like the rule with Corman remakes where 17 years has to go by before it gets done again?  It's just..odd.  The darker aspect of the film is that it is often referred to The Howling: Twilight.  Is that fair?  Yes and no.  As an overall assessment of the tone and plot- no.  As a statement about how the Franchise has turned from blood and guts to being about teen love and angst- absolutely.  Don't get me wrong- we've had romance in the Howling films.  Mind you, it's been awkward stuff like Reb Brown's scenes in Howling II or 'Not Reb Brown's' hot spring scene in Howling V, but it's been there.  The closest we've gotten to what we have here in the series was the romance in Howling VI, but even that ended in our hero leaving without here and taking the puzzle-faced guy instead.  The plot involves a teenager becoming a man and running afoul of a secret that has haunted him for his entire life.  Since the film only came out late last year, I'll be short on SPOILERS here.  If you actually watch the film after my review, you may or may not thank me for that.  To find out just how little is actually resolved here, read on...
In the opening, a woman walks into an Art Studio and is attack by a P.O.V. Werewolf- again?- that cuts open her stomach.  Did I mention that she was pregnant? 

Oh yeah, the building just blows up too.
In spite of that, the baby- which was fully-formed enough to live, I guess- grows up to be our dorky hero.  He has the look of a pre-Spider-Man Peter Parker and is guilty of the crime of *gasp* blending into the crowd!
Things look up when he's invited to a party by the girl he's lusted at for years.  In a film, that's not creepy.  He eventually runs away from a Werewolf- kind of- and thinks that he might be one.
Weird note- Werewolf Vision is now white.  Thanks, Middle-America!
He's a bit conflicted by this- to say the least-, but his friend is a convenient source of plot information.  Fun Fact: Alpha Werewolves can only be killed by other Werewolves.  Other Fun Fact: They clearly just made that shit up.
The whole thing builds up to a battle between the evil She-Werewolf and our Hero.  Will his vaguely-ethnic girlfriend survive?  Will he win?

To find out, watch the movie!
What's old is crap again!  To be fair, this is not the worst Howling film.  I'm not sure if that's Howling V or VII right now, but I lean more towards the latter right now.  Here's the thing- this movie has no identity.  Most of the Howling films have an identity, right or wrong.  Howling II is the bat-shit magic one (midget and all), Howling III is the strange one, Howling V is the 'Scooby-Doo' one, etc.  This film is just about Werewolves in a High School.  Granted- they do keep the Howling rule of just making up new, random Werewolf powers.  Seriously- Alpha Werewolves?  That might be a thing, but I don't think that it works the way they think it does.  In all fairness, the movie has some decent moments and doesn't really 'suck.'  I would like less of a Twilight story and more of a horror tale though.  Nice job marketing the film to Twi-hards, only to insult them in the Trailer!  The only thing that would be dumber is if they suddenly had flamethrowers.  Oh...
Next up, a week full of Crazy Foreign Flicks.  First up, the other (available) German Herbie films.  Stay tuned...

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