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Howling III: The Marsupials

Unusually inventive for a low-budget horror sequel, Howling III: The Marsupials may not add much of value to the werewolf genre, but its off-beat and sprawling narrative is refreshing. Released in 1987, this third chapter in the series started by Joe Dante's comic 1981 thriller (and based, like its sequels, on the novels by Gary Brandner), is set amongst a clan of marsupial werewolves living in the Australian outback. When a ravishingly beautiful young lycanthrope (Imogen Annesley) escapes to Sydney and falls in love, her family pursues her, leaving a trail of carnage to mark their path. But that's not all. This first act of the film is often (affectionately) derivative of John Landis' seminal 1981 werewolf flick An American Werewolf in London, but adds enough of its own quirks to skate by. However, the latter part of the film is epic and bizarre, heading in directions the most cynical horror fan will find surprising, if not appealing. For chills there is a uniquely disturbing werewolf birthing scene, which leads to some interspecies domestic drama and even a call for Lycanthrope Rights. Director Philippe Mora (Communion) deserves credit for keeping the proceedings lively even when his epic approach makes the 90-minute running time feel like three hours. Elite presents Howling III in a strong, newly remastered anamorphic transfer and Dolby Digital 5.1 remix. Mora provides a commentary track, and the disc also features a still gallery, TV spots, and trailers. Keep-case.
—Gregory P. Dorr

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