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John’s Horror Corner: Howling VI: The Freaks (1991)

February 25, 2013

MY CALL:  Since The Howling (1981), it seems that this franchise has forever lost its way along with its impact.  Yet another subpar, stand alone non-sequel.  Yuck!  IF YOU LIKE THIS WATCH:  Well, if you’re in the market for a great werewolf movie that has a sense of humor, then see An American Werewolf in London (1981)–hands down the best werewolf movie ever made!  Second best would be The Howling (1981), which takes itself quite seriously.  Another fun one is Cursed (2005), which is loaded with clichés and honors many past horror flicks.  If you want another utterly ridiculous werewolf movie, then move on to Howling II: Your Sister is a Werewolf (1985) and Howling 3: The Marsupials (1987).  Howling V: The Rebirth (1989) was a better horror movie than parts 2, 3 or 4, but less entertaining that parts 2 or 3.  But you should really avoid Howling IV: The Original Nightmare (1988) and The Howling Reborn (2011) unless you’re one of those totalists who need to see everything like me.

Ian, cursed with lycanthropy,  wanders into a small town and is only welcomed by a local minister and his underage daughter who really likes him.  During a date with this 17 year old, Ian bumps into a traveling carnival freak show run by a shady Brit named Harker (Bruce Payne; Warlock III: Armageddon, Highlander: Endgame), who seems to be some sort of warlock-vampire.  He is meant to be menacing, but I’m really not feeling it.  VILLAIN-FAIL!

This movie really drags.  A lot of effort is made to build up the characters, but I came to this carnival for a horror flick, not a drama–more Killer Klowns from Outer Space than Water for Elephants.  But a drama is more of what I got, and it is hardly carried by this D-list acting troupe.  HORROR-FAIL!

He looks like a were-shaggy, hobo burn victim.

This werewolf turns out looking like a member of Twisted Sister during an overdose and shares too much I common with a bad horror vampire to be taken seriously.  He looks like a bearded, long-haired reaper from Blade II or one of those baggy-eyed ghoul-vampires in Subspecies or Dusk ’til Dawn.  Whatever the case, if this wasn’t a werewolf movie I ‘d probably need someone to explain to me what he was supposed to be.  This make-up is neither good nor creative.  Terrible transformation scene, terrible looking werewolf, awkward canine legs; WEREWOLF-FAIL!

A house cat versus a werewolf…yup, definitely not exciting.

Similarly bad is Harker’s vampire form make-up, which looks like a blackish purple, hairless demon with a big skull and crazy claws; VAMPIRE-FAIL!  That’s right. This werewolf movie was so bad that it managed to shoehorn a “vampire-fail” in with all the other awful.  This monster reminded me of the creeper from Jeepers Creepers crossed with Scott Speedman’s half-lycan/half-vampire from Underworld.

This British guy is actually scarier than…

This weird, monster, creeper, reaper, vampire, ghoul thing with the dumb look on its face.

Needless to say, there is no shortage of stupid in this movie.  But have no fear.  In the end, the freak show’s alligator boy recites an incantation he learned from the warlock vampire to turn Ian into a werewolf so that he could defeat the warlock vampire (with a stake to the throat) so that he could live happily ever after with the local minister’s underage daughter.  WTFF!!!!!?????

An awful poster warning of an awful movie.

FRANCHISE/SEQUEL NOTE:  I find no story-based connection between this, The Howling (1981; the best of the series), Howling II: Your Sister is a Werewolf (1985; random and hilarious), Howling 3: The Marsupials (1987; still a lot of weird fun) or Howling V: The Rebirth (1989).  Howling IV: The Original Nightmare (1988) tried to remake the excellence of part one while being more true to the book and The Howling Reborn (2011) was a reboot with a contemporary spin.

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  1. John’s Horror Corner [INDEX] | Movies, Films & Flix
  2. John’s Old School Horror Corner: Ghoulies 2 (1988) | Movies, Films & Flix
  3. John’s Horror Corner: Ginger Snaps (2000), a coming of age tale of lycanthropy | Movies, Films & Flix
  4. John’s Horror Corner: Ginger Snaps 2: Unleashed (2004) | Movies, Films & Flix
  5. John’s Old School Horror Corner: An American Werewolf in London (1981), the greatest werewolf movie of all time! | Movies, Films & Flix
  6. The Best Horror Came from the 80s: Horror movies that stand the Test of Time and their more modern counterparts, Part 2 | Movies, Films & Flix
  7. Wer (2013), a fresh and realistic take on the werewolf concept. | Movies, Films & Flix
  8. 15 Days until Halloween! October Suggestion #3: An American Werewolf in London (1981), the greatest werewolf movie of all time! | Movies, Films & Flix
  9. John’s Horror Corner: Late Phases (2014), throwing tropes out the window to deliver a fresh indie werewolf movie with a blind elderly antihero. | Movies, Films & Flix
  10. John’s Horror Corner: The Company of Wolves (1984), featuring two of the most stylishly weird transformation scenes in the genre. | Movies, Films & Flix
  11. John’s Horror Corner: Good Manners (2017; As Boas Maneiras), a Disney-esque Brazilian horror-musical werewolf movie. | Movies, Films & Flix
  12. John’s Horror Corner: Necronomicon: Book of the Dead (1993), a Lovecraftian horror anthology loaded with disgusting gore and slimy tentacle monsters. | Movies, Films & Flix
  13. John’s Horror Corner: Warlock 3: The End of Innocence (1999), the only disappointment of the franchise. | Movies, Films & Flix

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