Howling V: The Rebirth (1989) is the fifth film in the Howling series and that makes it the fifth film in my all-important Howling Series Retrospective Review.
You can read the previous installments here:
Howling II: ...Your Sister is a Werewolf
The Marsupials: Howling III
Howling IV: The Original Nightmare
Budapest didn't exist then) at a large castle where a massacre has taken place. The Lord of the castle then kills his lady (I think that's who they were) before killing himself. Offscreen the cries of a baby can be heard and the Lord, lying there dying, bemoans, "we died in vain!"
|This is David. I don't have much to say about him, other than he becomes the de facto hero of the movie, which is unfortunate.|
So, why would The Count invite such a weird group of people to such a place? Turns out, as revealed later in the film, that everyone present is an orphan and has a similar triangle birthmark on their arm, which means that they are all descendants of the child that survived the massacre 500 years ago, a massacre that was meant to stop a cursed bloodline. The Count believes, rightly so, that one of them is a werewolf, and he plans on killing that person.
The Beast Must Die! (1974). There's also a dash of inspiration from 80s American slasher films, as characters continuously wander off alone down the dark halls of the castle and into secret passages to be killed off, one by one, by the werewolf.
Oh yeah, the werewolf. You don't really see it a whole lot, it's used sparingly, and the most you see are a couple close-up face shots and some claws and paws that come into the screen and maul the characters. There's also one silhouette shot, which is maybe the best (?) look at the werewolf you get:
Howling V: The Rebirth is (maybe) the Halloween III: Season of the Witch (1983) of the Howling franchise, although now that I read that sentence it sounds like high praise, so let's forget that and move on.
Some of the fault for that might lie with production designer Nigel Tiffitt, who also played the professor in the movie, and who had no experience in either professions. It seems he did both as a favor to his friend and fellow Australian, Clive Turner.
"I'm Jonathan Lane. . . .the tennis player!"
"Ah, it's nice to have a hobby. I'm Marylou Summers."
"No, that's what I do for work."
"Oh I'm sorry you don't have a real job."
"Ha, no, I play tennis!"
"It's important to have an interest when you're out of work."
"So now that we're making headway, what do you do for a living?"
"I'm an actress."
"Yeah, what restaurant do you work at?"
"How did you know I worked at a restaurant? Are you psychic?"
"As a matter of fact. . ."
"But no one ever takes me seriously, so I'm always cast as a bimbo."
"Oh I woulda thought it'd take a lot of talent to play a bimbo."
"It does! It's not easy pretending to be stupid."
Should also note that author Gary Brandner and his 3 "Howling" novels get a based-on screen credit, even though it seems as if the screenplay has very little to do with any of them. Brandner must of had a good lawyer.
Let's do a notable cast rundown:
Philip Davis was in The Who's Quadrophenia (1979) as Chalky and also had roles in Alien 3 (1992), Vera Drake (2004), and Notes on a Scandal (2006). As Count Istvan in Howling V he lends a certain aristocratic aloofness and vaguely threatening Europeaness to the role. He's a very cold character, which comes across greatly in his plan to suss out the werewolf, which basically just involves him waiting it out as the beast picks off the other guests one by one. It's not a very proactive plan, but I guess it's better than, say, just killing everybody on the bus ride over to the castle, not that the end results are much less different...
There are after all . . . . . three more Howling movies in the series...