The Howling III sees Jebra (Imogen Annesley); a young shape shifter running away from her village in the Australian outback, as well as her abusive step-father. Arriving in Sydney, she becomes the lead in a trashy horror franchise, directed by a Hitchcock lookalike who works actors into the ground. Falling in love with a member of the production crew, Jebra must hide her lycanthrope secret from him, not knowing that Daddy Dearest has sent her sisters out to get her back.
Director Phillipe Mora (Mad Dog Morgan) wrote and directed The Marsupials as a retort to an unhappy production on his previous film The Howling II, which concluded with extra nudity being inserted without his consent. Watching the film, it’s pretty easy to see the stabs and kicks he’s aiming at that production, falling, as they do, with all the subtlety of an elephant parachuting.
It’s very much a patchy affair that, with its psychic werewolf ballerinas and birthing scenes, makes next to no sense. Admittedly, the same thing could be said for the original Howling, but at least it had some capable talent on board as well as a modicum of a budget. This second sequel’s problems can be summarised when it blows its load on a transformation sequence that happens in a film within the film, and not actually to our protagonists.
Whilst it may seem petty to criticise a horror comedy for being silly, the fact is that with barely a titter to be had or a scare to be seen, the silliness is all The Marsupials has left. It’s like watching your grandma dance around in her pants – No one is laughing and there’s a deep concern for all involved.