Sunday Streaming:: The Howling V: The Rebirth

JOE DANTE‘s THE HOWLING is one of the best werewolf movies ever made but the litter of disconnected sequels running around with its name on their collar are mostly runts. The possible lone exception is THE HOWLING 5: THE REBIRTH which has recently shown up on Netflix Streaming. I wouldn’t blame anyone for not wanting to jump into the fifth installment of a notoriously lackluster series but this flick can stand alone and might be better thought of as a loose remake of THE BEAST MUST DIE!. The pacing can be sluggish and the acting can be woeful but you may find yourself happily looking past any and all faults in order to hang out in such a fantastic setting. THE HOWLING 5 takes place in a desolate castle in Budapest, full of secret passages and candle lit halls and best of all there is a impenetrable blizzard raging outside!

The set-up is akin to a classic whodunit mystery with a group of strangers receiving invitations to show up for an event only to be isolated and killed off one by one, in this case by a guest who happens to have fangs. Why, there’s even a shady butler and creepy maid on board to fill out the suspect/victim list! On Netflix the movie is presented full screen and looks every inch a VHS rental or late night cable watch circa 1989. I should warn you in advance that there are no gooey transformation scenes and that our werewolf is only shown in the briefest of flashes. I know that’s sad but it ultimately adds to the effect that you are watching something classier than you are. If it’s any consolation, THE HOWLING 5 does sport a mean decapitation, it’s not bloody but it’s well staged and fiendishly cruel enough to get a thumbs up from me. Approach this one with an open mind, I have a feeling as soon as your ears catch the gloomy goth late-eighties score you’ll want to save this puppy from the pound.

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
disco.charlie (@disco-charlie)
8 years ago

Yes, yes, a thousand times yes! I looooove this movie! It’s an underrated B-movie classic, IMHO. I have no doubt you would be an ideal movie-watching companion, especially after you posted about the terrific “Fragile” and now this!

I watched this for the first time in years as soon as I saw it was added on streaming, and I still love it. I love that nosy Gail and ditzy Mary Lou and the butler and maid, the ridiculous and corny dialogue and set-up, and the fact that (SPOILER ALERT) the dumb-dumb-heads in the prologue manage to kill each other but conveniently forget to kill the baby (even though when the lone woman in the opening scenes is carrying it — so, she put it down, and in their haste, they just forgot all about it?). The music is awesome, the setting is super, the performances are fairly wooden, but I cannot help myself. I love the original, and this is the only one that rates with me of the sequels (although the second is campy fun, and the fourth has the stone-cold fox Michael T. Weiss).

Outstanding post, as usual!

lottie_of_millhaven (@lottie_of_millhaven)
8 years ago

Glad I’m not the only one that’s really into this movie. Of all the sequels,I think this is the best(though I really enjoy part 6 for its camp value.)