What do you get if you cross an Agatha Christie-style country house mystery with a werewolf horror movie? Well, actually, you get 1974’s The Beast Must Die, a campy Amicus outing starring Peter Cushing, complete with a “werewolf break” to give you time to guess the identity of the marauding killer. If you want to get today’s Sham Shocktober film, Howling V, you probably need to chuck in some 80s-style rubber creature effects. At least, that’s what I’m hoping, anyway, because nothing peps up a good murder mystery than some toothy monster masks.
Howling V is set in Budapest, in a centuries-old castle where various parties have gathered to – I don’t know, actually... pad out the number of suspects, I guess. Because the guest list is rapidly dwindling and one amongst them is not only a killer, but a hairy wolverine pest.
I adore Joe Dante’s original The Howling. I think it’s unique in its melding of modern and mythical – not to mention innovative, funny and actually disturbing in places. Of the many sequels, the only ones I’ve seen are Part 2 (surely the nadir of Christopher Lee’s entire career) and Part 6 (which isn’t too bad), but this is the one whose plot really appeals to me. While the Wikipedia entry makes it sound like Citizen Kane or something, I’ll be happy if it just manages to be a furrier take on April Fool’s Day.