HOWLING IV: THE ORIGINAL NIGHTMARE
The plot of Howling IV monotonously echoes the first Howling film the remote cabin location, the seduction of the husband, the werewolf locals. (Although what should be said is that the film here is in fact a more faithful adaptation of Gary Brandner's original novel The Howling (1977) than the first film, which largely abandoned its souurce, was). It becomes drearily drawn out the tiresomely familiar business about the possibly imagined attacks is allowed to take up more than half the running time. Any drama inherent in the story quickly washes out amid the drab, utterly colourless photography. The best things in the film are, as was always the case with the sequels, the werewolf effects. These are extremely variable, although there is an amusing melting man effect that appears to have been inserted at random and is unrelated to anything else going on in the film. Notorious exploitation producer Harry Alan Towers defied anti-apartheid trade sanctions at the time to shoot the film on the cheap in South Africa.
The other Howling sequels are: The Howling II/The Howling II: Stirba Werewolf Bitch (1985), The Marsupials: The Howling III (1987), The Howling V: The Rebirth (1989), Howling VI: The Freaks (1991), Howling: New Moon Rising (1995) and The Howling Reborn (2011).
John Houghs other genre films are:- the Hammer vampire film Twins of Evil (1972); the haunted house story The Legend of Hell House (1973); the Disney films Escape to Witch Mountain (1975) and Return from Witch Mountain (1978) about psi-powered alien kids; the Disney ghost story The Watcher in the Woods (1980); Incubus (1982) about a demonic rapist; the British boys air hero adaptation Biggles (1986); before going way downhill with American Gothic (1987) and Bad Karma/Hells Gate (2002).
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