TV Episode Reviews & Recaps
Sort By:
[Popular Now]
[Date Posted]
[Series Title]
[Original Airdate]
Agonizer (Everything Else)
Sort By:
[Popular Now]
[Date Posted]
TV Episode Reviews & Recaps
Sort By:
[Popular Now]
[Date Posted]
[Series Title]
[Original Airdate]
Agonizer (Everything Else)
Sort By:
[Popular Now]
[Date Posted]
Blood Splattered Cinema
Hosted by: Horror Guru
The Horror Guru reviews the bloodiest, wildest, and weirdest horror that cinema has to offer!
Cartoon Palooza
Hosted by: Joey Tedesco
A satirical review show where a guy from Jersey watches and criticizes cartoons, including everything from comic books to animated movies. Whatever it is, Joey will either tell you to run out and see it... or fughetabouit!
The Count Jackula Show
Hosted by: Count Jackula
There are vampires, and there are men from outer space, but there is only one vampire from outer space! Join Count Jackula from the Planet Drakula as he explains the ins and outs of horror, from the mythic to the modern. Blood, off-color humor, and an obsession with Elvira are in store for you!
The Examined Life (of Gaming)
Hosted by: Roland Thompson
Just when video games were getting good, the late '90s and early '00s came along. The Examined Life (of Gaming) dares to delve into the good, the bad, and the value-priced games of this dark period, and sometimes we find something worth playing!
The Film Renegado
Hosted by: Film Renegado
Coming to you from south of the border, it's the Film Renegado! A civil engineer with a cinephile complex, the Film Renegado uses movies made in Mexico or by Mexican directors to share bits from his country's culture, past and present. You will both learn and be entertained! How cool is that?
Friday Night Fright Flicks
Hosted by: Count Jackula & Horror Guru
Welcome, fright knights, to Friday Night Fright Flicks! Join your hosts Count Jackula and the Horror Guru as they stumble their way through current horror releases, letting you know which ones are worth the price of admission.
Good Bad Flicks
Hosted by: Cecil Trachenburg
Good Bad Flicks is a show not only dedicated to rare movies, but also forgotten classics and misunderstood box office bombs. Your host Cecil takes you through each movie, discussing the promotional materials, and taking a look at what went on behind the scenes. With a healthy dose of Irish sarcasm, he throws a few jabs at even his most cherished favorites.
The Graphic Novel Picture Show
Hosted by: Sybil Pandemic
Your host Solkir presents The Graphic Novel Picture Show, a retrospective of the history of comic book movies!
The Movie Skewer
Hosted by: Team Agony Booth
From the makers of the Agony Booth™ comes The Movie Skewer, where terrible movies are roasted over an open flame for your enjoyment. Watch the very first online review/recap series that’s too much for one host to handle!
Mr. Mendo's Hack Attack
Hosted by: Michael A. Novelli
Need a healthy dose of cynicism from a guy whose face you can barely see? Then Mr. Mendo’s your man! Whether a movie suffers from Hype Backlash, Intellectual Dishonesty, or is just Complete Shit, Mr. Mendo is there. Mr. Mendo wasn‘t raised in this country, so he takes nothing for granted: if something ain‘t right, he’ll nose it out. So join him as he takes on Oscar winners and legendary flops alike in front of a blanket suspended between his couch and recliner!
Stuff You Like
Hosted by: Sursum Ursa
Stuff You Like is an original show where redhead Sursum Ursa waxes enthusiastic about movies, TV shows, and anything else that comes to mind! Expect singing, snarky subtitles, random pictures she finds on the internet, and lots of fangirling!
Terror Obscura
Hosted by: Fear Fan
Terror Obscura is a show dedicated to exploring the best and worst horror films ever made. While some shows are content to just mock bad films, this one isn't afraid to take even the most sacred of cows to the slaughterhouse. If you like horror, humor, or if you're just looking to find some titles you might want to rent, Terror Obscura is the show for you!
Tom's Retrophilia
Hosted by: Thomas Stockel
Is he a connoisseur of vintage media, or just a bitter old man trapped in the past?  Either way, tune in and watch Tom take a look at the movies and television shows from a time when he was actually in the target audience!
The Unusual Suspect
Hosted by: Unusual Suspect
The Unusual Suspect reviews popular movies, and tears 'em apart! They may be good, but no movie is perfect, and there's always things you may have overlooked and hadn't thought about. So join the Suspect as he exploits and ridicules the films you know and love. Just don't kill him for it!
What We Had to Watch
Hosted by: Il Neige
Il Neige is a smart-ass with a love-hate relationship with movies from the new millennium. Sure, reviews can be fun or cathartic, but there's also the risk of the occasional Twi-hard invasion or fireball to the face! ...That's how these things usually go, right? So join Il Neige as he braves the cinematic dangers that lie just beyond the fourth wall to critique the best and worst of 21st century filmmaking!
Click to see all our shows!
the agony booth

The Howling: New Moon Rising
Posted on: Oct 12, 2003.
The Howling: New Moon Rising (1995)
Page: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11
Part of the Rogue Reviewers High Stakes and Silver Bullets Roundtable!
It's High Stakes and Silver Bullets: A Rogue Reviewers Roundtable!

The People of Pioneertown:
Clive Turner as Ted Ted (Clive Turner). The Australian from Howling V travels to a desert podunk named Pioneertown and gets a job at the local bar. His real intentions are more sinister, but not "sinister" in the sense of "he's really a werewolf", as the movie wants you to believe.
Ernest Kester as The Inspector The Inspector (Ernest Kester). Puffy-faced, slow-witted detective investigating strange murders in the high desert. Oxygen refreshes his brain and helps him think.
Jack Huff as Father John Father John (Jack Huff). A priest scarier than any werewolf you'll ever encounter. Over multiple nights, he repeatedly explains to the Inspector that the bizarre murders are really the work of a werewolf.
Claude "Pappy" Allen as Pappy Pappy (Claude "Pappy" Allen). Owns the only bar in Pioneertown. Performs a couple of bland country songs nightly, and dreads being sober and alone with his wife.
Harriet Allen as Harriet Harriet (Harriet Allen). Pappy's wife and co-owner of the bar. She also performs weak country songs from time to time. Tries to keep Pappy off the booze, but whether this is for his own health or to keep the bar from going bankrupt remains to be seen.
Sally Harkham as Eveanne Eveanne (Sally Harkham). A waitress at the bar. Often participates in seemingly demonic line-dancing in dark rooms. Apparently has a fetish for Willie Nelson look-alikes, because eventually she falls for Ted.
Jim Brock as Brock Brock (Jim Brock). Big fat bastard who sits at the bar all day, gets drunk, makes stupid jokes, and has acute difficulties spelling. Naturally, he becomes one of Ted's best buds.
Jim Lozano as Jim Jim (Jim Lozano). The sleazy, half-awake bartender. Sleepily delivers exposition to Ted while sneaking liquor to Pappy. Also becomes one of Ted's best buds.
Robert Morwell as Bob Bob (Robert Morwell). Plays guitar in the house band at Pappy and Harriet's bar, which is the surest sign of a dead music career there is. Another one of Ted's best buds.
Bonnie Lagassa as Bonnie Bonnie (Bonnie Lagassa). With her Cloris Leachman hair and man-hating attitude, she naturally throws a jealous fit when Ted shows an interest in Eveanne. As a result, she does everything she can to prove that Ted is behind the murders.
Dolores Silver as Dolores Dolores (Dolores Silver). Has a remarkably lax attitude when it comes to getting police involved with a murder she discovered. Owns a truck with big monster tires that is surely the bane of outdoor desert chili cook-offs everywhere.
Cheryl Allen as Cheryl Cheryl (Cheryl Allen). The hottest girl in Pioneertown. Which, going by Bonnie and Dolores, isn't saying much. Or anything, really. The last name indicates she's Pappy and Harriet's daughter in real life, but here she's just another employee at the bar who finds Ted suspicious.
Jaro Prikopsky as Jaro Jaro (Jaro Prikopsky). The bouncer. Has a fondness for sleeping in. His only prominent trait (besides his goofy accent) is that chili has a remarkably quick effect on his digestive system.
The article continues after this advertisement...

It's time yet again for another Rogue Reviewers Roundtable, and our subject this time around is vampire and werewolf movies. Now, you know I'd never let you down when it comes to the picking of the really, really bad movies, so naturally I chose to review what's arguably the worst werewolf movie ever made, The Howling: New Moon Rising.

If you participate in the forums at all, you only have yourself to blame for this. Left to my own devices, I never in a million years would have picked this movie, but along with Red Zone Cuba, this was one of my most requested reviews.

Initially, I was reluctant to review a sequel. (As a matter of fact, this is the first sequel I've ever reviewed.) Usually, I'm afraid of scaring away people who haven't seen the previous movies in the series. But in the case of this movie, there's nothing to worry about if you haven't seen all the other entries in the Howling series. Heck, you're in great shape even if you've never even heard of the Howling series.

This is because, right here and right now, I'm going to give you a complete, comprehensive rundown of everything you need to know about the Howling movies.

Let's see, first of all, they all have the word "Howling" in the title. And, um... they all feature a werewolf. I guess that's about it.

Yes, to the disgust of the many people who rented them at Blockbuster, every single one of the seven [!] films in the Howling series is a completely unrelated, stand-alone story. Absolutely no effort was made by anybody to connect the movies. (Okay, there are a few minor exceptions, but these only serve to make the stories even more confusing.)

To put it bluntly, if you've ever seen a movie before in your life and you speak English, you have all the knowledge required to follow The Howling: New Moon Rising (though the speaking English part is debatable). But just for the heck of it, and since my reviews are never long enough, I'll quickly sum up what transpired in each of the six films that preceded this one.

In The Howling, a TV journalist (E.T.'s Dee Wallace Stone) is violently assaulted by an unseen, animal-like attacker. Afterwards, she has a nervous breakdown, so her doctor suggests she go to a small town in the wilderness and recuperate. Unbeknownst to her however, the town is really a colony of werewolves with plans to induct her into their clan.

In Howling II: Your Sister is a Werewolf (the only sequel with any connection to the original) we learn that the TV journalist from the first movie has a brother played by none other than Reb "Space Mutiny" Brown. Together with a werewolf hunter played by horror legend Christopher Lee, they travel to Transylvania to kill Stirba, queen of the werewolves. A laughable, incoherent mess, Howling II is notable for somehow containing both Christopher Lee's worst performance and Reb Brown's best performance.

Howling III: The Marsupials is the first of many sequels with no relation to the first film. In this movie, a beautiful girl escapes from an Australian colony of werewolves named (brace yourselves) Flow. Yeah, "Flow". Just when you thought "Nilbog" was the dumbest name possible for a movie town. Anyway, the girl meets up with a filmmaker, they have a kid together, lots of bizarre stuff happens, and at the end of the movie their kid goes to college. Don't ask.

Howling IV: The Original Nightmare (bear with me folks, just three more to go) is nothing more then a low-budget, shameless rewrite of the first film. This time around, it's a writer that has a nervous breakdown. At her doctor's suggestion, she too seeks refuge in a small wilderness town that turns out to be a colony of werewolves. Lots more stuff happens, none of it interesting, and all of it of the "badly ripped off from the original Howling" variety.

Howling V: The Rebirth is an unexpectedly decent entry. A group of tourists visit a cursed Romanian castle that was mysteriously closed five hundred years ago. They begin to be killed off one by one, and they soon discover that one among them is a werewolf. It's basically a werewolf take on And Then There Were None or a cheaper version of another Christopher Lee movie, The Beast Must Die, and I was surprised to find myself mildly entertained by it.

In Howling VI: The Freaks, a werewolf tracks down the man responsible for killing his family, an evil ringmaster who runs a traveling carnival freak show. The werewolf is kidnapped and forced to perform in the freak show for a while, which eventually leads to a bloody fight to the death between the werewolf and the ringmaster, who turns out to be a vampire (or something). With relatively decent effects and a heartfelt story, this is probably the best of the Howling sequels.

And then, finally, and appallingly, there's the seventh entry in the series, The Howling: New Moon Rising. In a clear sign that the series was headed for whole new levels of suck, former Howling V bit player Clive Tuner wrote, directed, and starred in this movie.

Clive also co-wrote the screenplays for Howling IV and V, and ironically, this means New Moon Rising is the only film that even attempts to tie together any of the sequels. Of course, it does it in the cheapest, most idiotic way possible: Namely, by editing in clips from previous films and pretending like there's any kind of connection between them. Worst of all, voiceover narration here will actually change the stories of previous movies as seen in these clips.

Obviously, none of that is a recipe for success, but what really and truly sinks this film and makes it a legendary bomb is its cast. For reasons that may never fully be understood, Clive Turner decided what would really jumpstart the Howling franchise was an entry set in a jerkwater town, complete with the town's entire real-life population as its cast.

New Moon Rising was shot in Pioneertown, California, a one-stoplight mudhole built in the 1940s specifically to serve as a backdrop for movie westerns. As you'll note in the cast of characters above, nearly all of the actors in this movie are using their real names. Sadly, this means that the entire town is playing itself, and I might add, doing a terrible job of it. While this may have saved the studio a whole lot of money on salaries (other than all the beer and pizza, I presume), it ending up pushing the Howling franchise way past "horrible" and well into "nightmarish".

And that studio, unbelievably, was New Line Cinema [!]. We actually see trailers before the movie for Se7en, National Lampoon's Senior Trip, and Mortal Kombat. (Okay, so two of those movies aren't any good, but they're Ben-Hur compared to what we're about to watch.) One can only wonder, how many of his first-born children did Clive Turner sacrifice to get this movie financed by the same studio that brought us the Freddy Krueger movies and Blade? And what if, instead of giving 300 million dollars to Peter Jackson to make the The Lord of the Rings trilogy, New Line had given that money to Clive Turner instead? The implications of this are truly frightening, and probably the scariest thing about the whole movie.

The video starts with a disclaimer stating, "This Film Has Been Modified From Its Original Version. It Has Been Formatted To Fit Your TV." Okay, first of all, Does Every Word Have To Be Capitalized? Second of all, this movie, quite obviously, was direct-to-video. So what in the world was "modified" for this video release, and why would it have not fit on my TV screen otherwise?

The movie opens on stock footage of buzzards flying. On the desert floor, there's a skeleton in ragged shreds of clothes. Three shaggy hicks stand above it, with each man trying to top the other two in terms of sheer horrid acting ability. "Jesus Christ," Michael McDonald's stand-in mutters. "Holy shit," says Brigham Young, Jr. "Mother of God," mumbles a guy in a suit.

A big old American car pulls up, and out hops a puffy-faced, white-haired man in a white suit. In that outfit, I immediately took him to be a sidewalk preacher, or possibly a bad salesman with a suitcase full of snake oil in his trunk. Instead, he turns out to be a police inspector, and I use that term very loosely.

The Inspector walks over and the three hairy men just stare at him. Then he joins in as they go back to staring at the skeleton. Meanwhile, in the background, we hear the type of smoky guitar wail heard on later seasons of Beverly Hills 90210.

"Yep." "Yep." "Yep." "Mmm-hmm."


Now, get ready for our first line, and like most of the lines in this movie, it's a really dumb joke. The guy in the suit says, "He's dead, Inspector!" The Inspector gives him a patronizing look and says, "Very good, Watson!" Hah hah! The hillbillies tried to make a funny!

The Wailing Guitar of Dylan McKay continues as the Inspector heads back to his car. Watson turns to the other two men and chokes out, "Who's Watson?" Seriously, he reads the line almost like he was clearing his throat, and if not for the closed captions, I'd have no idea what he said. Anyway, making Sherlock Holmes references is unfortunately going to be one of the Inspector's "key character traits", again using the term loosely.

With this intriguing "teaser" complete, we abruptly cut to the movie's title, all distorted and wavy, utilizing top of the line special effects seen ten years earlier on episodes of Tales from the Darkside. As the Inspector cruises off, we cut to a black-clad biker on a big chopper heading down a two-lane blacktop. Meanwhile, we hear the kind of plodding "rock" number in the background that wouldn't have made the cut for the soundtrack to Never Too Young to Die.

For no reason, we're shown every last moment of the Inspector pulling into a gas station [?]. Then there's a shot of an old sign reading "Pioneertown" in a "wild West" font. The biker on the big chopper continues on into Pioneertown, while the Inspector drives past a sign announcing the city limits of Barstow. Oh, boy, Barstow! For those of you who are unfamiliar, Barstow is where you stop to fill up your tank when you're driving from Los Angeles to Las Vegas. Seriously, people stopping for gas is what drives their whole economy.

This credit sequence quickly becomes mind-numbing, because for about five minutes all we get is a million shots of the Inspector's car cruising down the highway, intercut with shots of the biker on his big chopper cruising through downtown Pioneertown. Which is actually the same as uptown Pioneertown, because the whole town is one block long.

Anyway, the biker finally rides past a rustic motel, while the Inspector pulls up to a small, post-modern church with a tall pyramid-like cross out front.

The Inspector heads into the church and is instantly talking to a priest. The Inspector says he knows the priest "investigates Satanic possessions, the occult, and just about anything the Church deems unsanitary!" Which I assume includes songs by Rod Stewart and the Captain and Tennille.

Cut to the priest, who's a particularly scary-looking clergyman. To be honest, he reminds me a lot more of Anton LaVey, the late High Priest of the Church of Satan, than any man of the cloth.

The priest looks over a series of glossy eight-by-tens of the skeleton, while the Inspector explains the body was found "about four weeks after the circus left town." As much as it pains me (and I mean pains me) to admit this, this line was probably an attempt to link this movie with Howling VI: The Freaks. Unfortunately, Clive Turner obviously wasn't paying much attention when he watched that movie, because it took place at a carnival, not a circus.

The Inspector says the body is that of a "transient" who was last seen snatching a woman's bag. The Inspector produces a black and white photo of the woman whose bag was snatched, and with her feathered hair and disconcerted expression, she looks like a low-rent version of Linda Hamilton. And considering Linda's been making Lifetime Network TV movies for the past ten years, that's a pretty sad statement.

Father LaVey notes it's an "old photo". I guess it's the feathered hair that gave it away. He wonders if this is "the right woman", so the Inspector pulls a video tape out of his binder [?].

The Inspector says the woman disappeared soon after her bag was stolen, and that they identified her through home videos shot at the circus. The priest's TV shows these home videos, which contain lots of cuts and multiple camera angles, almost like these "home videos" were professionally edited together like a movie. Like a movie called, say, Howling VI: The Freaks.

The Ominous Synth Chord of Brandon Walsh returns as the video cuts to a woman the priest recognizes as "Mary Lou Summers", probably because he was one of the few people who saw Howling V: The Rebirth. Mary Lou was one of the main characters in part V, and had a useless cameo in part VI where they flashed her face on screen for roughly half a second. The Inspector wants to know why the priest filed a Missing Persons report on Mary Lou.

Father LaVey first wants to know more about the murder. The Inspector says it was probably done by a wolf, but one that had to have been "twice the size of the Hound of the Baskervilles." Hey, I warned you about the Sherlock Holmes thing. You can't say I didn't warn you. Father LaVey goes, "What?" and the Inspector begins to explain that it's a Sherlock Holmes story. The priest just cuts him off and asks again about the murder.

The Inspector says the wolf must have been standing on its hind legs, because it was over six feet tall. The priest asks if he knows what kind of wolf it was, and the Inspector says, "A very big one?" And the scene ends there. Meaning, I assume, that this was supposed to be the scene's punchline. Sorry, but I'll have to take a raincheck on actually laughing at that.

Latest Comments

Top Trackbacks (Pages linking to this recap)
(169 hits)

Popular Right Now

Posted Jul 27, 2015 by Dr. Winston O'Boogie
Posted Sep 8, 2015 by Dr. Winston O'Boogie
Posted Aug 24, 2015 by Dr. Winston O'Boogie
Posted Jun 17, 2015 by Dr. Winston O'Boogie
Posted Apr 27, 2016 by Dr. Winston O'Boogie
Posted Apr 19, 2016 by Rob Kirchgassner
Posted Apr 26, 2016 by Thomas Stockel
Posted Apr 26, 2016 by Joey Tedesco
Posted Apr 26, 2016 by Cecil Trachenburg
Posted Apr 18, 2016 by Unusual Suspect
Posted Mar 11, 2016 by Hex
Posted Apr 20, 2016 by Thomas Ricard
Posted Mar 23, 2016 by Chelsey McQuitty
Posted Apr 5, 2016 by Thomas Ricard
Posted Mar 21, 2016 by Rob Kirchgassner
About the Site:
Text Archives:
Video Archives:
Other Content:
Series Pages:
Feeds (RSS):
Our Patrons:
Video Shows:
Support the Site:
On Other Sites:
Top #tags:

All articles posted to the agony booth are the sole property of the author(s). Please do not copy/reproduce entire articles without permission. Screencaps from movies and TV shows are used for non-profit, fair use purposes of parody and commentary. Star Trek and all related images and trademarks are the property of CBS Studios, Inc.

Reviewer icon artwork provided by Tai Porto, Aaron “McKnackus” Rivera, and Magdalen O’Reilly.