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Film / Howling III: The Marsupials

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Howling III: The Marsupials is a sequel to The Howling, released in 1987. It stars Barry Otto (father of Miranda) and is written and directed by Philippe Mora, who previously directed Howling II.

It was the first film in the series to be made outside the United States, being produced and shot entirely on-location in Mora's native Australia.

Howling III: The Marsupials provides examples of:

  • Ashes to Crashes: The ashes of a deceased werewolf emerge from the remains of a funeral pyre to attack a group of hunters.
  • Bad "Bad Acting": The in-universe movie It Came From Uranus is full of this for the scene we get to see.
  • Involuntary Shapeshifter: Do not flash strobe lights in a werewolf's eyesight. They will transform whenever that happens, whether you like it or not.
  • Land Downunder: Takes place in Australia, but what really makes it an example is that it features people transforming into Tasmanian Tigers instead of Wolves.
  • Lighter and Softer: The only film in the franchise to receive a PG-13 rating.
  • Logo Joke: The intro replaced the lion roar of the MGM logo with a quick film clip of a thylacine roaring.
  • Mood Dissonance: Word of God says it's a comedy, but the tone makes it not clear if this is supposed to be a comedy, a horror, or a Green Aesop about not hunting animals to extinction. According to the director, it's all of them and none of them.
  • Our Werebeasts Are Different: Features were-thylacines. Thylacines are an extinct marsupial predator more commonly known as the Tasmanian Tiger. They're portrayed as quite sympathetic, but also more disgusting than standard werewolves when it comes to bodily functions. For one thing, they have pouches, even in otherwise fully human form.
  • Our Werewolves Are Different: We are introduced to werethylacines. The movie also implies that the therianthropes of that reality are akin to the wolves in Wolf's Rain, as they've evolved to become human to survive human persecution of their baser species (the wolves in Russia, thylacines in Australia). What makes that especially weird is that, despite being ten a penny in the rest of the world, shapeshifting myths are completely unknown in Australia.
  • Sdrawkcab Alias: The town of Flow.
  • Show Within a Show: There are two. Donny is acting in a horror film called The Shapershifters Part 8. He wants Jerboa to join the cast, but she's never seen a horror film before, so he takes her to a B-movie called It Came from Uranus.
  • Spell My Name with an S: The film is largely known as Howling III and its posters call it Howling III: The Marsupials, but its actual onscreen title is The Marsupials: The Howling III.
  • Standalone Episode: Whereas II follows directly on from the first film, and the following four sequels are revealed to form a Broad Strokes continuity in New Moon Rising, this entry is completely divorced any of the other films. However, there is a possible stealth reference to the original movie (and by extension the second film) when Olga is asked about the locations of other werewolves, she responds "Africa... China... Maybe California." The original film took place in California. II started there and moved to Transylvania.

  • Take That!: The film was a direct response by director Philippe Mora to the second film, which was heavily recut without his input during post-production. Mora produced the film himself and kept the production inside his native Australia in order to maintain complete creative control.