One man's struggle to contain the curse he hides within... and his last-ditch attempt to free himself with the love of family. But when it looks as if he is losing his battle, and ... See full summary »
A successful author was sent to the small town Drago because of a nervous breakdown, and gets wound up in a mysterious mystery about demons and werewolves. She starts seeing ghosts and dismisses them as her own imagination, but when they turn out to be real, she starts to get suspicious of the small town and of its past. But at the heart of this scenic, serene village is much darker than its benign appearance; and while she hopes her vacation will dispel her visions, a sinister presence has drawn her there. Soon she will discover that the ghosts that have haunted her are real and that her horrific visions are a mysterious message. Written by
Matt Dotzenroth <firstname.lastname@example.org>
While on the opening credits it says "Based on the novels The Howling I, II and III by Gary Brandner", on the poster it says "Based on the book Howling by Gary Brandner", this is more accurate since the film is a closer adaptation of the first book by Brandner. See more »
The exterior of the house shows it is a single story house, but the interior is too big to fit in the exterior shown. See more »
Back to the original story, but with less polish and pizazz
Released in 1988, "Howling IV: The Original Nightmare" chronicles events in the Southern Cal desert town of Drago, where a writer (Romy Windsor) goes to heal after a mental breakdown, which is hard to do when she gets caught up in a mystery about demons and werewolves. Michael T. Weiss plays her husband while Antony Hamilton plays her hunky friend from Los Angeles. Susanne Severeid appears as a fan of the writer who becomes her assistant sleuth while Norman Anstey in on hand as the aloof sheriff. Lamya Derval plays a shop-owner with cat-like eyes and torpedo breasts (sorry).
The movie's subtitled "The Original Nightmare" because it's more faithful to Gary Brandner's original novel, which doesn't mean it's better, not even close. The low-budget prevents it from being anything more than a decent sequel with a rushed, awkward ending. Unlike the classic "The Howling" (1981), werewolves are scarce, but it's superior to "Howling II" (1985) and "Howling III" (1987) in that it throws out Phillippe Mora's goofy camp and general eccentricities.
I like the slow-build mystery and the cast. There's some quality full moon ambiance as well and Windsor & Severeid make for an effective female team. Moreover, Weiss is one of the few actors who could get away with a mullet. While the bulk of the movie was shot in the sticks of South Africa, and you can tell, it's not THAT bad of a substitute for the desert wilderness of Southern Cal. Actually, it makes for an interesting change of pace for the barely-connected series of stand-alone werewolf flicks.
The film runs 94 minutes and was shot in South Africa with some parts in Fresno & Los Angeles, California. It was directed by John Hough from a script by Clive Turner and Freddie Rowe. Clive would continue serious work with the franchise on 1989's "Howling V: The Rebirth" and 1995's "Howling: New Moon Rising."
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