The Howling: New Moon Rising

  • 1995
  • Movie
  • R
  • Horror

With only one or two exceptions, the long series of films spawned by Joe Dante's 1981 hit has provided little to howl about, but this seventh entry represents a new low for the franchise. The old-style Western village of Pioneer Town is rocked by the death of one of its residents. At the same time, an Australian named Ted (Clive Turner) arrives in town...read more

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With only one or two exceptions, the long series of films spawned by Joe Dante's 1981 hit has provided little to howl about, but this seventh entry represents a new low for the franchise.

The old-style Western village of Pioneer Town is rocked by the death of one of its residents. At the same time, an Australian named Ted (Clive Turner) arrives in town and strikes up a friendship with some of the locals, including an attractive young woman named Cheryl (Cheryl Allen). Meanwhile, a

priest (John Huff), assisting a detective (John Ramsden) investigating another nearby murder, explains to him the history of a werewolf curse that now seems to be plaguing the area. He reveals that Ted was once present at a massacre at a Budapest castle and, as more deaths occur in Pioneer Town,

some of the residents come to believe Ted is responsible. Ted is arrested, and it comes out that he is writing an expose of the town, which is said to harbor criminals; the priest and detective claim he is the werewolf and arm his guards with silver bullets. Cheryl helps Ted escape, but then turns

on him, revealing that she, in fact, is the werewolf and plans to kill him to cover her identity. But the detective has set her up and loaded her gun with blanks; after she transforms into lupine form, she is killed with silver bullets. Ted goes free, and he and the townspeople forgive each other.

This crashing, unscary bore comes off as less a horror film than a vanity project for star Clive Turner, who also served as writer, producer, supervising editor and postproduction supervisor, in addition to stealing full directing credit from co-director Roger Nall (who, under the circumstances,

was probably just as happy to lose it). The genre elements are strictly perfunctory, as much of the movie is devoted to a down-home depiction of the denizens of Pioneer Town, most of whom play themselves. (An amusing end title states that while the movie's events are fictitious, the characters in

the town are real.) Long scenes, meandering dialogue, dumb in-jokes (there's an ineffectual running gag about George Jones), and endless country-and-western song interludes are no substitute for scares. Many of the movie's werewolf scenes consist of flashbacks to HOWLINGs IV and V, while the

red-tinted point-of-view shots and lackluster effects that make up the new monster footage are mercifully given little screen time. (Graphic violence, profanity.)

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  • Released: 1995
  • Rating: R
  • Review: With only one or two exceptions, the long series of films spawned by Joe Dante's 1981 hit has provided little to howl about, but this seventh entry represents a new low for the franchise. The old-style Western village of Pioneer Town is rocked by the deat… (more)

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