Howling: New Moon Rising (1995)

May 4, 2017 - 1:08am | Ryan Tutolo

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Clive Turner
John Ramsden, Ernest Kester, Clive Turner

The behind the scenes of New Moon Rising is probably more interesting than the actual plot. Clive Turner wrote, produced, directed, and starred in NMR. The series was already in the toilet and subjected to direct to video releases for years, so I imagine the rights holders thought “What the hell?” and let Mr. Turner have his way with the series. The result is a catastrophe the likes of which is only seen every few decades. The bulk of the movie consists of random goofball hijinx, bad dad-jokes, and scenes from The Howling IV through VI.

The “plot” goes as such: A series of murders have happened in a small back-water country town, and a new arrival shows up on Harley with a case of country music on audio cassettes. Our main man Ted (Clive Turner) is a long haired Aussie that speaks only in puns and shitty jokes fits right in with a town of weirdos. Over the course of a few days/weeks, Ted befriends the whole town. Meanwhile, a priest tells the plot of The Howling 5 to a cop. Trying to figure out the timeline here is impossible, the editing suggests that it takes days to explaining what happened in the movie to this investigator.

Back in town, a shit load of country and western music is played, people line dance, and Ted tells bad jokes in between cleaning montages. Now a woman explains the plot to Howling IV to the priest (we assume he relays this info to the investigator over the course of a month or so). A few town folk are touched by a camera with a red filter on it and fall over, it’s later explained that their deaths resemble animal attacks. Oh Howling VI was mentioned earlier and I forgot about will too, don’t worry.
A shit-load more country music is played, a bunch more bad jokes, and more dancing. There’s a few running gags about a country-western singer George Jones and dirt in a pot of chili. Finally, this whirlwind exciting plot comes to a head and the true werewolf is revealed. (Is my sarcasm too subtle?) Luckily the townsfolk are ready for it and gun the beast down the celebrate with another country song back at the bar.

Hell of a story, I know. So let’s go over the easy part of discussing a bad movie. The “acting” is atrocious. The entire town consists of residents of the town they filmed in. In fact, these people couldn’t be trusted with actual character names so they are portraying themselves. THESE PEOPLE ACTUALLY EXIST?! Mullet Lady, bug-eyed guy, slow man, drunken old man, and semi-attractive girl all actually live in this shit hole of a town in real life. I’d like to imagine they all get together and watch this once a year, but they’re probably all dead by now.
As I mentioned before, the editing is a mess. The timeline makes no sense and the pace of the movie is a dull crawl through cold molasses the entire time. Directing-wise I suppose that it has the characters on screen and words come out of their mouths. Unfortunately, the words are written by Clive Turner, and he sees himself as a bit of a comedian. He comes off as the kind of guy you’d meet at an airport bar while your flight is delayed, you think he’s charming at first, but after the 4th pun he dishes out you’re headed for the next open terminal for a flight to anywhere but there.

Ok let’s talk about the music. I’m not a country fan, however it can be used to build up a scene or set a tone for a setting. What it can’t be used for is to pad the running time of your movie by randomly inserting a half dozen or so FULL SONGS into your film. What’s worse is when the people performing these songs are your “actors” that actually sing them. Just to remind you, these aren’t professional actors, nor are they professional singers. These are the bumpkins at the local karaoke bar who think themselves talented.

So a large portion of your running time is devoted to music performances, another large section is made up of clips from previous werewolf movies, and the rest is padded with boring setups for terrible jokes and montages of drinking and cleaning a bar. Of the 90 minutes there’s probably a good 4 minutes devoted to actual story and character development. What the fuck is this movie?! I’ll tell you what it is, it’s one of the most hilariously bad films ever to make it to your eyeballs. So set any expectations of traditional film making aside and enjoy the insane terribly acted joke filled ride. Sure the movie is only a 1 out of 10 but it earned that 1.

Bad movies are all around us, but only the truly terrible ones cross the line into enjoyment and The Howling: New Moon Rising is one of the worst movies ever made, but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy it.

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Ryan Tutolo's picture
Ryan Tutolo is a horror movie lover and host of the UHM Podcast. Follow him on Twitter and let him know why his reviews suck!




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