Howling IV: The Original Nightmare
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Howling IV: The Original Nightmare (V) More at IMDbPro »

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6 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

Not As Bad As People Think

Author: Stephen Pickren from Gillsville, Georgia
29 January 2004

It is called the original nightmare because this is an update remake of the first Howling movie. In both movies, a husband and wife retreat to a small town that turns out to be full of werewolves. I like this update, this is definitely a breath of fresh air to the series. Special effects weren't terrible and I loved the the different ideas of how people change into a werewolf. One melts into a puddle of goo in a gruesome scene when he is walking in the woods and drops to the ground and begins to literally melt and then comes back together as a werewolf. Well done scene Tom Savini worthy. There is another man that rips the skin off of his jaw and it grows and he turns into a werewolf. Alot of memorable scenes in this movie makes this a standout movie in the werewolf horror genre and is definitely one of the best movies out of the series.

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9 out of 14 people found the following review useful:


Author: Noel (Teknofobe70) from Bromsgrove, England
1 May 2005

Okay here's a great premise -- what would The Howling have been like if it was made by somebody without the talent or good sense of Joe Dante? Well, thanks to the fourth of the dire sequels, now we know. It would have sucked.

There are two good things I can say about this movie. First, it serves as a lesson about how not to adapt a book to the screen. Second, it shows how much of a great film The Howling is, simply by comparison. As it's another version of the same novel, you already pretty much know the plot ... a disturbed woman goes to a retreat of some kind in order to set her mind straight, and decides to investigate a mysterious howling in the woods. The only positive thing I'll say about the adaptation is that it retains the strong religious element from the book, which was neglected in the Joe Dante version. This movie is apparently a lot closer to Gary Brandner's novel, but it lacks any of the flavour, metaphor or subtext.

First off, you don't care about the characters. Secondly, it just isn't scary. Director John Hough may manage to stay faithful to the book like some kind of a literary parrot, but apparently he hasn't heard of those things we call mood or pace or style ... in no way does this feel like a horror movie (it features the most un-frightening ghosts I've ever seen in a film). It's not even a particularly well-made film, and I noticed several errors in continuity. The acting isn't great, as all of the cast seem to belong on a soap opera, but by no means is that the worst thing about the movie. Also, for some odd reason all the dialogue is dubbed. Badly. And there's no excuse for it ... it just distracts you from the rest of the scene (or perhaps that was the intention). The special effects are actually very good, but unfortunately you don't see any of them until the last ten minutes of the movie when they're all thrown together in a hectic mish-mash.

Why do we need this movie? It sure beats me. There's absolutely no reason to watch it, unless you're curious about the original novel but can't be bothered to read it. Joe Dante's The Howling is superior in every single way.

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8 out of 14 people found the following review useful:

A nightmare certainly! wouldn't call it too original though!

Author: uds3 from Longmont, Colorado
25 September 2002

Gives new meaning to the term "low budget movie!" Obviously someone decided, "Hey lets re-make the original HOWLING and get the series back on track?" Yeah well, you need a Director, actors and a script for that. When your budget runs to barely a week's supply of Big Macs this might be aiming a tad high!

This is one god-awful cheap-looking crappily acted mess with the most unsustainably fake and illogical werewolf transformation in history. Having the victim regress to a pile of glutinous mush then (quick reversal of film) reconstitute himself as a lycanthropic tease with major orthodontic problems? Huh???? not to mention the hour or so everyone's been yawning, wondering where the film actually is!

They even had the temerity to rip off the original's finale...herding all the K-mart inspired werewolves into a belltower for a spot of the old mass-destruction! Not that you can actually SEE anything!

For reasons of international "co-operation" shall we say, this abysmal flick was shot in South Africa with the majority of the cast being locals, needing to be dubbed into Anericanese during post-production. It shows!

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

An unyielding nitemare

Author: SoapboxQuantez8 from United States
9 May 2016

The only flaw I want to emphasize is that the early scenes in this film, much like the opening credits, are too quick to be effective. This one (however) is more faithful to the novel than the original, and once you get past the first 15 minutes, it doesn't seem so rushed. Romy Windsor plays the vision-bound, introverted, semi-tolerated Marie. Neither Marie, nor her husband Richard, nor their friend Tom, believe in werewolves. Janice, an ex-nun, is the only one considering a werewolf-existence possibility. Marie/Richard met her in Drago, and Janice's belief in demons is probably what paved the way for her werewolf suspicions. Along the way, some peeps have vanished, including a hitch-hiking couple and the long-dead sister Ruth. When Marie discovers that the sheriff covered-up the disappearance of the pleasant hitch-hiking couple, or attempted to do so, tempers flare. There's more than one way to skin a wolf (or cover it's tracks), and it isn't by lying to red-riding hood. You can't run a successful werewolf business without breaking a few nuns, as it turns out. The lethargic and apathetic sheriff would probably agree. The main complaint here is the scarce on-screen werewolf time. But in my opinion, this is redeemed by acceptable performances, just enough atmosphere, and a classic 80's score.

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3 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

Howling IV: The Original Nightmare

Author: Rautus from United Kingdom
4 February 2007

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Joe Dante's The Howling is a classic Werewolf movie with some good effects and I loved it but it wasn't close to the novel and they even said so. It's still a good film. So when Clive Turner decided to do a third Howling sequel he decided to make it closer to the novel which was fine.

Howling IV is about a writer named Marie who after having a metal breakdown goes to a town called Drago with her husband Richard. Once there Marie begins to hear howling noises from outside, her husband think's she's making it all up due to her breakdown and the townsfolk are not too concerned about the noises. Soon an ex-nun arrives and tells Marie about a friend of her's that was attacked in Drago and Marie has seen her in her mind. The two soon go off searching for info about the town's history.

Her husband soon catches an eye on the art owner who resembles a similar look to Marsha from The Howling. After meeting her again in the woods she changes into a Werewolf and bites. After telling Marie it was a wolf that attacked him the next day he tells her he fell and scratched is shoulder.

Soon her nun friend discovers that the town people are Werewolves and hurries to warn Marie, meanwhile Marie's publisher Tom also tries to warn Marie but sees Richard in the road thriving in pain. He tries to help him only to get killed by a Werewolf in the bushes. It's not long before Marie and the ex-nun hide in the bell tower where Marie must wait outside while she summons the Werewolves with the bell.

Doing so Marie has no choice but to burn the tower with her friend, and after looking at the burnt body of her husband a Werewolf jumps out at her.

Although I haven't read the novels reading the reviews and seeing the film gives me a clue what the novel is like. Howling IV isn't a bad film, the transformation is kind of good and the Werewolf in the tower isn't that bad. The one thing is that the Werewolves don't show themselves until the final twenty minutes of the movie but I wasn't that bothered. I enjoyed the film.

I also love that theme song "Something evil, something dangerous"

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6 out of 11 people found the following review useful:

Of seven movies this is the one closest to any of the books.

Author: Eleanor (eeka-the-strangegirl) from Tucson, AZ
8 August 2002

Gary Brandner wrote The Howling trilogy. Seven The Howling

movies were made from these books. Even though this movie

may seem like a remake of the original, it is actually the one movie

closest to the first book. When seen from this perspective it's a

pretty good movie. Plus you get to see Michael T. Weiss (of TV's

Pretender fame) with a mullet! What more can you ask for from a horror movie with the number 4

after it?

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A Lycanthropic Sleeping Pill

Author: manisimmati from Switzerland
9 July 2017

The successful author Marie Adams is haunted by nightmares. In order to recover, she travels to the countryside with her husband Richard. At night, she hears the howling of wild animals. Together with the former nun Janice she tries to uncover the mystery. Does that sound familiar? You bet it does. "Howling IV" is the forth entry in the "Howling" series and basically a rehash of the original "The Howling" from 1981. They most certainly wanted to distance themselves from the two trash escapades that were Part II and III. That was probably a good idea. Unfortunately, the result is a veritable snoozefest.

Bless them, they were trying their best to give the story some kind of class. But it's just plain boring. The movie spends a whole hour to mystifying the fact that we are dealing with werewolfs here. We already know that, guys! It's the fourth movie, there's no need to be so secretive about it. The production is riddled with shortcomings. The editing is unbelievably sloppy and the sound is inconsistent. The script is slow and predictable. The special effects at the end of the movie are alright, and the obligatory transformation scene is pretty cool. But at this point, why should we even care?

"Howling IV" is a truly mystifying movie. There's just no good reason for this remake to exist. It's worse than the original in every single way, and the original wasn't that great in the first place. A lycanthropic sleeping pill – ingest at your own risk.

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Back to the original story, but with less polish and pizazz

Author: Wuchak from Ohio/PA border
16 April 2017

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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A terrifying journey into the gaping jaws of death...

Author: Amityville15 from England
12 July 2014

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Haunted by a series of unnatural happenings, a young author, Marie Adams heads for the sanctuary of a rural hideout in a desperate bid to regain her sanity - but only to find a horror much more deadly than her own deranged imaginings. From the depths of the forest it's calling and waiting for the full moon, to hunt Marie down and to take her on a terrifying journey into the gaping jaws of death. As night descends, the howling rises again to shatter the stillness of the night.

This film starred: Romy Windsor, Michael T. Weiss & Anthony Hamilton.

I have seen the first 4 howling films and this is my favourite one although I still don't like it. In my opinion best to worst is like this (so far as I have not seen some of the sequels)...

Howling 4 Howling Howling 3 Howling 2

This film is not really recommended.

**/***** Poor.

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A terrifying journey into the gaping jaws of death...

Author: Dirty-English-99 from England
11 July 2014

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Haunted by a series of unnatural happenings, a young writer, Marie Adams heads for the sanctuary of a rural hideout in a desperate bid to regain her sanity - only to find a horror far more deadly than her own deranged imaginings. From the depths of the forest he's calling, waiting for the full moon, to hunt Marie down... to take her on a terrifying journey into the gaping jaws of death. As night descends, the howling rises again to shatter the stillness of the night.

This film starred: Romy Windsor, Michael T. Woods & Anthony Hamilton.

Howling 4 is the best from the first 4 films but it is still crap, It's boring and dull. Again not recommended.

**/***** Poor.

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