The Howling VI: The Freaks

02/02/2017 16:42

Film: The Howling VI: The Freaks

Year: 1991

Director: Hope Perello

Writer: Kevin Rock

Starring: Brendan Hughes, Michele Matheson and Sean Sullivan



This film begins with someone looking through newspaper clippings. They are about some mysterious deaths and a house of wonders. The book that is holding them is closed. We then shift to a young girl that is walking through the woods and there is something chasing her. Whatever it is kills her, she is carrying a teddy bear.

We then shift to the desert where there is a man walking through it. He is played by Brendan Hughes. He is carrying the same teddy bear from earlier. He enters a small town.

The small town is struggling from what we learn. There has been a drought and most of the townspeople are deciding whether they can stick around or not. The mayor is up for reelection soon and there is a man who is running against him in name alone. The mayor is still worried. There is a woman who runs the bank; she is played by Carol Lynley and the sheriff, played by Gary Carlos Cervantes. There is also another man played by Jered Barclay.

We then shift to the House of Wonders, which actually is mobile freak show. The leader is Bruce Payne and he wants all people who are considered different to have a place to call sanctuary. His right hand man is Antonio Fargas. He also has a little person played by Deep Roy and a half man/half woman played by Christopher Morley. They bring in a man who looks like he has scales on his face; he is played by Sean Sullivan. He doesn’t want to be there, but Payne convinces him that he belongs with them as the Amazing Alligator Boy.

Hughes arrives in town and sees a flyer for the House of Wonders. Cervantes comes up behind him and gives him a hard time. He is trying to run him off when Barclay asks him if he can work with wood. Barclay takes him to the church that he lives in and they are going to fix it up. We also meet Barclay’s daughter, Michele Matheson.

Hughes takes charge in the renovations of the place and Barclay takes a liking to him. Hughes actually becomes a member of the society of the small town and they like him. They invite him to come out for a beer and he declines. He pulls out a calendar and writes something on it. He also sees that the next day is the full moon. We see that he has the book from the beginning of the film.

The House of Wonders arrives in town as a parade through it. Everyone seems excited and with a boring town like this, everyone will be there.

Hughes and Matheson go together to it. It sets-up a little carnival. Hughes and Matheson play some games and then go through a house of horrors. It then leads to the freak show and its small museum. They get a tour by Payne. Payne seems to recognize Hughes, but he isn’t sure how. Payne tells Fargas to follow him.

The next day Hughes is planning on leaving. Barclay tells him he can’t until Matheson gets home. Hughes will do that, but he falls asleep. When he wakes up, the full moon is out and he turns into a werewolf. He flees from the room into the night.

When he tries to come home that later, Hughes is attacked by Payne, Fargas and Roy. Barclay and Matheson come out to see what is happening and Payne makes Hughes turn back into the werewolf. They chain him up and take him back to the House of Wonders. They lock him in a cage.

Barclay begins to think he is a demon and tries to stop him. Matheson does what she can to free him, but Hughes thinks she is dead. Payne wants him to be part of his freak show, but he is hiding a secret too. Cervantes helps out to free Hughes at Matheson’s request. Lynley has turned up missing. Is it Hughes or something else? Will Payne move on before the mystery is solved?

This film isn’t all that good, but it isn’t the worst in the series. I do like the idea of a freak show and how the owner does what he can to give those that are different a home. The problem is that he is putting them on display so it isn’t good for them. The story is about the only thing that is really good about this one. I think the acting is subpar, with Cervantes and Barclay being the two only real believable characters from the town. I think Hughes was okay, except that he falls in love way too fast and we don’t really see why. I also think Payne was good as the owner of the freak show.

There was a lot I didn’t like. I wasn’t a huge fan of the werewolf make-up. I thought the only transformation we got was good, but I didn’t care for the final product. It looked similar to the wolf man concept, not the Howling werewolf. I wasn’t a huge fan of Matheson as she was bland. She wears a bright red dress that doesn’t fit her character when they go to the carnival. She also really wants Hughes, which I also don’t get from how her character looks. I also wasn’t sure if Payne became a werewolf or a vampire. Also the way he was killed doesn’t fit the rules this film lays out. There also were a lot of plot holes and things that happen in the film that didn’t make much sense.

I wouldn’t give this one a viewing unless you like bad werewolf or horror films. I would also only say watch this one if you want to see all the Howling films. This one has nothing to do with the first or second, which are pretty solid. The acting isn’t good enough to carry it and the story has some good points, but doesn’t do enough to help either. Only watch if you fall into the categories I have laid out above.


My Rating: 4 out of 10