Vamp (1986)

On paper, this film is a very good idea. It’s a blend of the classic genres of the 80s: sexy teen comedy and sexy vampires. It’s also got the amazing Grace Jones, who adds a touch of sexy and terror to any movie she’s in. Throw in some strippers, a few curious-looking street punks (including a top-notch appearance by Billy Drago), and what do you have?
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The Howling VII: New Moon Rising (1995)

Also known as “Mysterious Woman”


Clive Turner had a decent run with The Howling series, writing producing, and acting in Rebirth and Original Nightmare and directing Original Nightmare, as well as being location manager for The Marsupials. New Moon Rising was his chance to break away from all the interference that had messed around with those previous works, to show what he could really do on his own. The end result was a testament to what he could do when left to his own devices and probably explains why no one let him be fully in charge before.
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The Howling VI: The Freaks (1991)

It was bound to happen; we’ve made it to the 90s! So, obviously, it’s time for a story set in what feels like a 70s backwater town, somewhere in the midsts of rural Americana. This particular story of werewolf shenanigans has everything you would expect from the kind of cod-gothic the era became renowned for; overacting, excessive self-importance, and men in incredibly frilly shirts. But there is still fun to be had, as we enter the world of The Freaks.
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Route 666 (2001) is worth a detour to see


If you’ve skipped over this before then I won’t hold that against you. The title belongs on a batch-produced teen’s horror novel that, the trailer looks like the footage was taken off of a VHS via a camcorder, and the cast is filled with “ooh, I remember when they were in good films!”. But I’m here to tell you that whilst there are a couple of problems with it, what we have here is a genuine, bona fide, hidden gem of a movie. Why didn’t it get bigger? Well, because it’s got that kind of quirkiness that makes it hard to sell to a mainstream audience and fun to watch for a psychotronic one.
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The Howling V: The Rebirth (1989)


It’s the end of peak Howling, as we get to the end of a glorious run of a new straight-to-video release each year. And whilst it doesn’t have much in common with The Original Nightmare with regards tone, plot, or team behind it, we get a continuation in the demonic curse mythos. Not the same mythos, obviously, but it’s still a pleasant little connection. There also appears to be an increase in the budget, which lets this one really stretch its legs!
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Howling IV: The Original Nightmare (1988)


Following the Ozploitation zany antics of The Marsupials, it’s back to basics for The Howling series as we dive into the fourth film in the sequence. So, it’s back to the USA, back to the hick horror, and back to pretty much the same plot as The Howling but without all the clutter of the “Media! Sex! Violence! LOOK AT ME!!!” framing device. Also, noticeably, without the budget, but they really do try their best.
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Strippers Vs Werewolves (2012) is annoyingly dull


I’ve rewritten this intro three times because I’ve been trying to find a way to make the review interesting. This means that I’ve probably put more effort into talking about this film than went into the decision process for its script or direction. I did this because I was trying to be upbeat, and negativity isn’t that much fun, as I want my audience to enjoy itself. Again, this is clearly something the people behind this film weren’t that concerned with.
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The Howling III: The Marsupials (1987)


After the blatant sexploitation of The Howling II, it’s time for new producers and a new direction: Ozploitation! The same director though, as Philippe Mora managed to buy the rights to make this one and is now the writer and the producer. So we now have an idea of what would have happened previously if Hemdale Film hadn’t decided to repeat Babel and Sybil Danning’s boobs to the point of absurdity. It would have been different, to say the least…
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Howling II: Your Sister Is a Werewolf (1985)


When a film starts with Christopher Lee talking pseudo-biblical nonsense into a camera, carrying with it the weight of the world as we know it and with a skeleton staring at his neck, and then kicks into the outrageously silly title “Your sister is a werewolf” you know that you are in for a hell of a ride. Whilst none of that gives a clue as to just how thirsty this mid-80s horror will be, the film fulfills all its promise of gothic nonsense with unrelenting determination. It also manages to be far more entertaining than it should be as, unlike its predecessor, it leaps both paws first into the trashier side of the werewolf world.
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Space Truckers (1996)


When this was announced as the movie of the week, three people went “Oh, I think I’ve seen this” and none of them could remember anything about it. That is what’s known in the business as “foreshadowing”, and it give a decent sense of how this Stuart Gordon directed film ended up. This is impressive, given that the last film of his we watched was absolutely blinding From Beyond.
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