Monday, November 12, 2012

The Howling IV: The Original Nightmare Movie Review

Runtime: 94 minutes
Rating: R
Release Date: November 1988
Director: John Hough

Marie Adams (Romy Windsor) is an author who admits that she gets her book ideas from visions and dreams that randomly come to her. After one particularly frightening vision, her friend and agent Tom (Antony Hamilton) comforts her in a way that friends shouldn’t. Richard (Michael T. Weiss, The Pretender), her husband, talks to her doctor and they decide that she needs to get away from the city for awhile. Cut to Richard renting a cabin for her.

Tom takes her on the drive to the cabin, which annoys Richard. The two men puff up their chests for a few moments before Marie asks him to stay and he slinks back to the city. Almost immediately, she begins noticing weird things around town. She starts having visions of a nun inside the cabin, the same nun she saw at the beginning of the film. She also hears wolves howling in the woods, and she meets an odd artist named Eleanor who seems to know her husband a little too well.

Before long, Marie meets Janice (Susanne Sevreid, Don’t Answer the Phone) who acts like a fan of her books. Janice later admits that she was a nun and that she’s investigating the disappearance of another nun who died after rambling about the original town where the new town now sits. When Marie learns that the woman is the same nun she has visions about, she realizes that something dark lurks in Drago.

I can’t remember the first time that I saw Howling IV, but I think it was when I was a kid. One of the rental stores had a 3-$1 special, and we used to rent dozens of horror movies. I watched it again a few years ago, and when I popped it into the DVD player, I was prepared to fall asleep at anytime. Instead, I discovered that it really isn’t as bad as I remembered.

Granted Howling IV isn’t going to win any big awards and it’s not even the best werewolf movie that I’ve seen lately, but it really isn’t that bad. The biggest complaint seems to come from people who complain that it doesn’t have enough werewolf scenes, but I can overlook that given its low budget. Plus, I get to see Weiss in a mullet.

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