In Howling V: The Rebirth (**), a group of strangers gather for the re-opening of aHungarian castle, which has been shut up for 500 years. One by one they are killed off by a(barely glimpsed) werewolf, and there is a secret that ties them all together. Nothing tooextraordinary here, and werewolf fans will be disappointed by the monster’s next-to-zero screentime. This is, in fact, a throwback to the kind of movie involving much prowling around a darkcastle that Italy …hurned out in the 60s. Howling VI: The Freaks (**1/2) is more original.A stranger arrives in a dying town, and shortly after him comes a strange carnival, whose leaderis more than just your average carnival barker. The werewolf make-up is quite lame, but thecombination of sideshow, small town and warring werewolves makes for something a bitdifferent from your typical direct-to-video fare.
Both films have a 2.0 soundtrack, and the sound is, for the most part, pretty good. The mix ispowerful, and the sound effects have a very strong rear speaker presence, doing goodenvironment creation. The howling wind in the first film is particularly effective. Once in a whilethe dialogue has some reverb in the rear speakers, and the music, while generally boasting a nicebig sound, sometimes wavers.
Mediocre fullscreen transfers in both cases. The picture pixellates and jerks up and downevery so often. Howling V: The Rebirth is particularly bad, with speckling, and a verysoft picture. The colours are rather muddy too. Howling VI has a sharper picture andbetter colours, but the quality is still substandard.
An iffy picture and no extras. Plus, the movies are far from classics. They are better thansome other flicks with roman numerals in their titles, however, and the two-for-one aspect is apoint in this DVD’s favour.