The Howling: New Moon Rising (1995) (part 11 of 11)
Cut to Bob still outside Ted’s room with a rifle. Off in the distance, the Inspector and the Father are talking to Brock. They walk away from him, and then we cut to some clouds [?], and then we cut back to the two men still walking away.
The Father and the Inspector get to Ted’s motel room. The Inspector takes Bob’s rifle and hands it to the Father, and then the Inspector and Bob just walk off [?]. Um, what’s the plan here, gang? The Inspector and Bob then meet up with Brock and all three men head over to the bar. Is anybody following this? Once they get there, the Inspector announces to the crowd that he has something to say. We’ll never find out what, because we instantly cut to Cheryl in her pickup driving up to Ted’s motel room.
Father LaVey is outside, holding his head. He says Ted jumped him and ran away. Cheryl runs into Ted’s room and hears creaking coming from an attic door [?], so she calmly walks back out. Father LaVey tells Cheryl to stay there while he warns the town about Ted’s escape. Once he’s gone, Cheryl goes back inside and tells Ted he can come down now, and sure enough, Ted drops down from the cellar.
Cheryl grabs Bob’s rifle, hops in her truck, and beckons Ted to get in. The two head to Cheryl’s house. Cheryl doesn’t have her keys [??], so Ted uses some firewood to smash a window in the door. Once inside, Cheryl commands him to “Shut the drapes! We don’t want anyone to see you!” Or see that I was with you!
The two sit in the living room and Ted asks how Cheryl knows he’s not the werewolf. Cheryl says, “That’s the way I planned it!” Cue Ominous Chord of Revelation. “You were perfect, Ted! I couldn’t have made a better choice!”
As she lifts the rifle, Ted makes the connection. “You’re the werewolf!” I’ll pause to let this stunning disclosure sink in. Or, if you’d rather take a nap, that’s okay too.
Cheryl says Ted should recognize her voice, since he heard it in Budapest. As it turns out, Cheryl is actually Mary Lou Summers in disguise. She set everything up. “[Mullet Guy], Alpha Productions, Drago, I’ll take all the credit!”
Catherine Liddle, however, was really Marie Adams. Which, again, we already knew, but thanks for the recap. According to Cheryl, Marie “had that priest wrapped around her little finger!” As far as I can tell, Marie and Father LaVey only met for like ten minutes, but I suppose he could have been wrapped around her finger in that span of time.
Ted wants to know why Cheryl didn’t just kill him back at the motel, but she plans to make it look like Ted, as the werewolf, broke into her house and attacked her. I assume this is why she had him break the window, but no one ever comes out and says it.
Ted wants to know what happened to “the real Cheryl”. CheryLou says, “It was a terrible thing. She died in the hospital. And she wasn’t very happy about it!” Because the movie showing in her hospital room was The Howling: New Moon Rising.
She tells Ted he has “an hour” [??]. Huh? An hour? Why? She snarks that “hiding in the attic was pretty dumb! You probably would’ve gotten away with it if you’d run into the desert!” Well, she does have a good point.
CheryLou says the priest has the whole town out looking for Ted. He asks what’s going to happen to the town now, but she says nothing. Cue zoom-in on the clock, and we get stock footage of the full moon drifting through dark clouds to indicate the passage of time.
When we cut back to the clock, I kid you not, it’s only like fifteen minutes later. Cheryl says, “Time’s up, Ted!” [?] Time’s up? It’s only been fifteen minutes! Not that we know why she had to wait an hour in the first place. She shoots him twice, but it turns out the gun was loaded with blanks. Ted says, “We set you up. Just like you did to us!”
Suddenly, the Inspector is in the room [!!] and he’s pointing his gun at CheryLou. He says, “We knew Ted had to die before the full moon. [??] The real werewolf couldn’t take a chance!” What? If any of this makes sense to you, please feel free to write in. The Inspector says he had a hunch Cheryl was the werewolf, but wasn’t sure until she rescued Ted. “Anyone else would have yelled for help, or shot him!” If I’m not exactly fast and furious with the wisecracks here, it’s because these plots twists have caused a thick fog of confusion to settle on my brain.
“Well,” CheryLou says, “Aren’t we smart? But do you really think you can kill me with that little gun [?], Inspector?” She turns and parts the curtains, revealing the full moon.
In what is sadly this movie’s big “money” scene, CheryLou transforms into a werewolf. Just as a warning, if you watch this movie, do not eat or drink anything during this scene, because it’s surely going to come flying out of your nose once you see the piss-poor job they’ve done on the transformation effect here. Seriously, it’s accomplished using some of the cheapest, most distorted, pixilated, low-resolution computer morphing I have ever witnessed, ever, as the image of CheryLou is morphed into a bogus werewolf head. I swear, parts of the walls and drapes actually morph into the werewolf.
The Inspector shoots at the werewolf, while Ted just stand there smiling [?]. There’s a shot of some hairy hands, and Cheryl morphs into a werewolf again [?] and good God, the effect is even crappier this time. How is that possible?
Realizing the bullets are having no effect, the two men run outside, while a close-up of an immobile werewolf head stares at them. Outside, all the townspeople have gathered with torches, and Brock, Bob, and Pappy all aim rifles at Cheryl’s door.
The werewolf comes bursting through the door in all its craptastic, slow-motion glory. As expected, it’s a lousy Halloween costume with Cheryl’s clothes on top of it. We cut to the full moon and hear shots ring out. Then there’s the sound of a werewolf falling, and that, my weary readers, was all the werewolf footage that was shot for this movie. Not counting stock footage from other films, a werewolf was onscreen for a grand total of twenty seconds [!!].
Okay, so let’s see if I can figure out what CheryLou’s big plan was here. For reasons unknown, after the events of Howling V, she came to Pioneertown. Let’s give this movie the benefit of the doubt and assume she was planning on turning the town into another Drago. (But by no means was that ever said, much less implied.)
So, to accomplish this aim, she lured Ted under the pretense of writing an exposé about the town, and then set about to make it look like he was the werewolf. She planted evidence on him (Mullet Guy’s ID card), stole evidence from him (the Alpha Productions business card, though that was more like grabbing something Ted left sitting around than actually stealing), and had Marie Adams tell Father LaVey that Ted was the werewolf.
I have just one question. Why? What good would it do CheryLou if people thought Ted was the werewolf? Okay, it would have taken the heat off of her for that one murder (the skeleton found in the desert), but once Ted was killed by the townspeople, then what? Wouldn’t she have been found out once Ted was gone, and there weren’t any other scapegoats left?
You know what? I’ve just decided I’m not going to bother. If Clive Turner didn’t care enough to make any sense of this plot, why should I?
For our closing shots, we’re right back at Pappy and Harriet’s Pioneertown Palace. Harriet and Jim are up on stage with Bob’s band, and both are playing guitars. Harriet thanks everyone for showing up for this “beautiful benefit”. She says, “Thank all of our neighbors and our friends! And Ted, we’re sorry!” [!!] Yeah, dude, we’re sorry for thinking you were a werewolf and like, almost killing you. No hard feelings?
Harriet looks over at Pappy wearing a Davy Crockett hat [?] and says his hat inspired her to write a song about “him and the cleaning lady.” The song contains unforgettable lines such as, “Like the dirty dog you are / you ain’t getting no bone”.
The credits roll as Harriet tells Ted to come up and sing with them. Ted grabs the microphone and half-sings, half-speaks, “Yes I was / a big bad wolf / oh golly, gosh, oh-gee! / How could you make / such a big mistake / with a handsome dog like me!” Ugh. The credits roll, and in case anyone was curious, the movie’s accountant was none other than “Clive Turner CPA” [!]. Also, it turns out that “Keep the Wolf Away from the Door” was written and performed by the guy who played the Inspector [!!].
Then there’s a dedication “to the memory of Claude ‘Pappy’ Allen – A true country and western legend”. Geez, that means this movie was about the last thing he ever did. How sad is that? I guess Harriet was right in keeping him off the booze after all.
It all wraps up with the fittingly stupid credit, “The events depicted in this motion picture are fictitious. The characters depicted in Pioneer Town [sic] are real.” And with that, this nasty, brutal experience finally comes to an end.
Well, it’s been eight years, and no one has dared make another Howling movie after this disaster. And I doubt anyone’s too broken up about that.
One has to wonder who owns the rights to the “Howling” name, and why they kept slapping it on one unrelated and lackluster movie after another. I imagine if the rightsholders ever made a completely factual, biographical film about Abraham Lincoln, the movie would still have the word “Howling” somewhere in the title.
Oh, shit. I think I just gave them another idea.
Well, if and when that happens, I’ll be ready for Howling VIII: Abe’s Original Rebirth Rising with a big bowl of chili and a tall glass of W-A-T-T-E-R.