Howling VI: The Freaks
Howling VI: The Freaks is a 1991 direct-to-video horror directed by Hope Perello, from the screenplay by Kevin Rock, starring Brendan Hughes, Bruce Payne, Michele Matheson, Sean Gregory Sullivan, (aka Sean Sullivan) and Carol Lynley. "The Freaks" is the sixth entry in the series of seven stand-alone films with loose continuity. Like most of the other films, the film is loosely based on The Howling series of novels by Gary Brandner; however, minor elements from The Howling III: Echoes novel are in the film which includes the solitary drifter who is cursed as a sympathetic werewolf and later recruited by a supernatural being as well as werewolves being used in carnival freak shows.
|Directed by||Hope Perello|
|Produced by||Robert Pringle|
|Written by||Kevin Rock|
|Edited by||Adam Wolfe|
|Distributed by||Artisan Entertainment|
Artisan Home Entertainment and Timeless Media Group has released this film along with Howling V: The Rebirth as a double feature on DVD.
A little girl runs through the woods being chased by a creature which corners her and eats her leaving behind nothing but the teddy bear she was holding. A young man named Ian Richards (Brendan Hughes) is walking along a desert road holding a satchel and his sisters teddy bear. He finds himself in the town of Canton bluff where he gets a job fixing the church. Ian befriends the owner of the church Dewey (Jered Barclay), befriending his daughter Elizabeth (Michele Matheson) in the process. That night Ian and Elizabeth go to the fair and Ian wins her a teddy bear, similar to the one his sister owned before she was eaten. Soon they encounter R.B. Harker (Bruce Payne), owner of the local circus, and Winston. The next day is the full moon and Ian transforms into a werewolf. Bellamey (Antonio Fargas) his assistant, spots the werewolf and informs Harker. Soon Ian transforms back into a man and Harker captures him. Waking up in a cage after having a dream where he attacks Elizabeth, he learns from Harker that he tore Elizabeth limb from limb. Meanwhile, Dewey and Elizabeth, who was never hurt to begin with, argue over if Ian is the devils work. The sheriff, Fuller (Gary Cervantes) attempts to free Ian but Ian refuses. Fuller reveals that Elizabeth is alive and well. To protect her he remains caged. Harker then adds Ian in his circus show as a dangerous werewolf with an uncontrolled urge for human blood along with his freaks Bellamey, Winston (Sean Gregory Sullivan) the alligator boy, Toones (Deep Roy) a midget card player with a third arm, and Toones's lover Carl/Carlotta (Christopher Morley). When he transforms in front of the crowds and is mocked by Harker, the crowd is surprised when he is able to control his cravings and still has part of his human mind. Late at night, when Fuller attempts to handcuff and arrest Harker, he is revealed to be a werewolf/vampire monster and kills Fuller. His corpse is found the next morning and the townspeople believe it is Ian. Ian then escapes the cage and runs away with Elizabeth. At night, Ian later reveals to her that it was Harker who killed all his family and turned him into a werewolf. Ian then leaves Elizabeth to confront Harker. He reaches Harker's RV and sees no one. As he walks out, he is surrounded by Harker and the townspeople with guns. Harker orders then to shoot, but they refuse, seeing just a man. Fed up, Harker transforms and the townspeople explode him with bullets, but none affect him. As the rest of them flee, Ian runs and Harker pursues him. Meanwhile, Elizabeth continues to look for him and is attacked by Toones. She shoots him and then Carl attacks her, who is shot with an arrow by Dewey. Ian and Harker then fight, and though Harker overpowers him, with the help of Winston who helps him transform, gains the upper hand, until Harker mortally wounds Winston. Ian stabs Harker in the heart and using the sun, destroys Harker, all that's remaining is dust and his clothes. Ian is then shown walking Winston away as Dewey and Elizabeth look on.
- Brendan Hughes as Ian Richards
- Michele Matheson as Elizabeth
- Sean Gregory Sullivan as Winston
- Antonio Fargas as Bellamey
- Carol Lynley as Miss Anna Eddington
- Jered Barclay as Dewey
- Bruce Payne as R.B. Harker (as Bruce Martyn Payne)
- Gary Cervantes as Sheriff Fuller (as Carlos Cervantes)
- Christopher Morley as Carl/Carlotta
- Deep Roy as Toones
- Randy Pelish as Pruitt
- Ben Kronen as Hank
- John A. Neris as Earl Bartlett
- Al White as Carny Worker
- Jeremy West as Lester
- Christian Roerig as Werewolf
The reception for this film was somewhat mediocre at best. Leonard Maltin wrote in his book 2002 Movie & Video Guide that Howling VI is "Intelligently written, especially for this series, but pretentious with vague Ray Bradburyesque undertones". The DVD & Video Guide 2004 noted that "Special effects that leave a lot to be desired diminish this really strange entry in the long-running werewolf series".