Howling V: The Rebirth
4.3 / 10
Phil Davis , Mary Stavin , William Shockley
The year is 1489, the location, a grand castle in the forests near Budapest, Hungary. The tables are set for a grand feast, but inside, everyone lies dead on the chairs, the benches, or the floor. Two people are left living, the master and mistress of the castle. They make sure everyone is dead, and then commit suicide themselves by impaling themselves on the master's sword, believing that "the evil" will be finished. As the master lays dying, he hears a baby wake up and cry in adjacent room, and he realizes that he failed to make sure everyone was dead, and the mass suicide was all for nothing.Fast forward five hundred years, to 1989. On the banks of the blue Danube, Gail and David make an initially awkward acquaintance. They walk back to their hotel, where the rest of the characters are introduced. First we meet Jonathan, the tennis player, and Mary Lou, the blonde bimbo, an aspiring actress. Richard, who has been invited to see a castle by himself in spite of his wife's protestations of being excluded. Anna, a Scandinavian actress. At the bar, we meet Katherine, a standoffish doctor, and Ray, a laid-back Australian. Next is an unnamed professor. All of them are attending the opening of the castle, having been selected from many applicants. Last to arrive is Count Isht Van Bezeli, their host. The tourists board the bus and drive out of the city toward the castle, passing the sites of Budapest on the way, then out into the countryside. On the way there, the Count tells them the story of the castle. It has been abandoned, untouched even in wartime, for 500 years. The bus hits an animal along the road as they drive through forests and small villages. In late afternoon, they arrive at the castle, where they meet Peter and Susan, who worked for the Count setting up the tours and the dinner. However, neither of them spoke English. The group enters the castle. Gail stops first to examine the bus. As she enters, she sees the Count whisper something to the bus driver. The bus leaves.Appetizers and drinks are being served as the group chats amongst themselves. The Count tells them that lunch will be ready soon, and encourages the group to use caution if they go exploring. The people speculate about the history of the castle, and the wolf stories of the 15th century. The Professor, who has studied the history (or lack thereof) of the castle, is curious, and thinks he might be able to discover the reason the castle was abandoned. He goes off exploring by himself. Meanwhile, Jonathan finds himself attracted to Mary Lou and asks Ray for advice on how to get into her pants. One by one, the other guests start making their way to the great hall for lunch. Gail stops to change clothes first. While she is changing, she hears noises and sees a shadow moving along the wall. Thinking there is a Peeping Tom in the room, she quickly finishes and goes to look, but sees no one. Richard, in the next room, didn't see anyone enter or leave, either.Meanwhile, the Professor's wanderings have taken him to what was once the dungeons and torture chambers. He finds a human skull on the floor. Just then, the door slams closed, and locked. The Professor is trapped. He walks down another hallway, but quickly turns back when he hears ferocious growling from further down. He desperately tries to escape from the room. All the doors are locked. One door finally opens, and the Professor walks into an even darker room - and there there werewolf is waiting for him. Aaaagh!Outside, it is starting to snow. Inside, during lunch, the Count continues to relate the story of the castle, about the mass deaths, which he says he does not know whether they were suicides or murders, and about how the Prince ordered the castle closed. Some of the people, especially Richard, suspect there's something they aren't being told. The Count looks disturbed when he learns that the Professor has gone off to explore, and he excuses himself. He and Peter leave. The others think he may be lost, and his shouts for help won't carry far through the thick walls of the castle. A few minutes later, the Count returns and says the Professor has left, and may be lost outside. The snow has strengthened into a blizzard, making searching for him outside useless. No one is leaving that night, so they go off to look at the bedrooms. Jonathan convinces Mary Lou to come with him to the baths, and Ray and Gail go to another room together. Richard and Katherine, who dated once, go off by themselves. They are still attracted to each other, even though Richard is now married.Gail, still unnerved by the visitor earlier, tells Ray her thoughts. The blizzard was forecast and known in advance, and they had made the trip anyway. The bus was gone, leaving them stranded, and she believes the Professor's disappearance was related. She says he never left the castle, even stating that his coat is still on the rack. She tells Ray about her visitor, and asks him to check the room where she changed for another entrance while she goes to get the Professor's coat as proof. Meanwhile, in the baths, Jonathan and Mary Lou notice that they share the same triangular mark on their arms.Ray inspects the other room, but initially comes up empty. Gail finds that the Professor's coat is indeed gone from the rack. Ray finds a loose brick which turns out to move a heavy wall panel, exposing a secret passage! Gail still has not returned, so Ray takes a candle and enters the passage to explore. Meanwhile, Jonathan puts a move on Mary Lou, causing her to flee.Ray hears grinding stone and runs back to the door, only to find that it has closed behind him. Gail returns, and finds Ray's beer can. Ray watches through a crack in the wall panel and notices Gail talking to someone. Then Gail screams, and Ray sees a large animal pounce on her. Ray returns down the passageway, needing to get away from the door and find another way back into the main part of the castle. He falls down some stairs and passes out momentarily. When he wakes up, he has lost his candle, but uses matches for light. There he finds the Professor's body. He finds another door which leads outside, into the storm. In the other direction, there are more tunnels leading to parts unknown. Ray decides to take his chances outside, hoping to make it back to the castle's front door, rather than enter the dark, unfamiliar, and possibly dangerous tunnels. When he gets there, the entrance is blocked by snow. Thinking he must go back to the other door and try again, the werewolf bursts from the snow and gets him.Inside, the wolf returns and moves the Professor's body. Meanwhile, Jonathan and David start talking. When they leave, talking about how they believe Ray scored with Gail, Peter enters the room and removes the film from David's camera. Anna and Mary Lou are talking in a separate room. The Count enters, having noticed Ray and Gail's disappearance. He looks for them in the last room they were seen in, asking Richard to go look for Katherine, simply wanting to get him out of the room. Jonathan and David arrive shortly afterward, and find the Count trying to enter the locked room, which now appears to be silent and empty. The two men help the Count break into the room, and find that the room is indeed empty. The Count notices the missing candle, and suspects there is a hidden passage. He carefully inspects the walls, and finds the loose brick which opens the hidden passage. Jonathan and David are awed. The three of them take the candelabra and go down the passage, retracing Ray's steps. The Count notes there could be more hidden passages. They arrive at the place where Ray fell. The door leading outside is now locked from the inside, so they think that Ray and Gail entered the tunnels. David finds Ray's watch, which has blood on it. They go back the way they came, through the hidden door (which is still open), to get the others to help search.Back in the great hall, the Count tells them about the tunnels. They were designed as a maze, to confuse invading armies during wartime. Some tunnels led somewhere, most led nowhere. The Count suggests that they divide into four groups, each exploring the three known entrances to the tunnels plus the newly discovered hidden passage. Not everyone is happy with the idea, most notably Richard. The overall consensus is to at least try, and mark the walls with chalk so that they do not get lost themselves. Richard, Katherine, and Peter go to the hidden passage, while the rest go to the other entrances, with kerosene lamps this time. Anna and the Count take one tunnel, David and Susan another, Jonathan and Mary Lou the third. Richard is especially unhappy, and he begins sniping at Katherine. Mary Lou is unsettled, and thinks that they may be being followed, or that they have been down the same tunnels more than once. She suspects that someone may be rubbing off the chalk marks, and sure enough, Jonathan finds a rubbed-off chalk mark. He panics and runs. The others can hear the distant echoes. The Count goes to investigate. Anna convinces him to leave her his heretofore unseen pistol, which she noticed in his coat. Jonathan, having panicked, is now lost, hears growling, and runs blindly through the tunnels, to no avail as he is caught just when he thought he got away.Anna now hears the growling, and calls for the Count, but gets no reply. When a large shadow appears on the wall, she shoots at it. David comes around the corner, having found her, and tries to calm her down. Richard, in another part of the tunnels, hears the gunshots and can take no more, he turns back. David and Anna hear more noises and in a panic, David shoots the gun one more time, narrowly missing the Count, who has returned from his check of the tunnels where he thought the noises were originally coming from. He quickly apologizes. Susan has rejoined them, and they find Mary Lou on the ground. She tells them that a large animal chased Jonathan, leaving her alone. Meanwhile, Peter approaches Richard with a knife. He is bleeding from the head. They think someone attacked him with a rock.Back in the main hall, the remaining people suspect a wild animal, possibly a wolf, had found its way into the tunnels. They can't agree on anything else. Four people are now missing, and the search was a failure. David proposes that they return to the tunnels, thinking that Gail and Ray are still there, not to mention Jonathan. (They still believe the Professor left the castle.) Mary Lou, feeling sick, goes to lie down. Anna and Richard go with her, so that she won't be alone. David and Katherine go back down to the tunnels. The Count remains where he is, to rest his injured ankle.After putting Mary Lou to bed, Richard expounds his suspicions to Anna. Meanwhile, David and Katherine go over what they know as they walk through the tunnels. David shows her the watch. There was a button with it, which Katherine identifies as belonging to the Count, not to Ray. Up in the main castle, Richard and Anna discover more coincidences. Both of them were orphaned as a baby, and had no other family. The same was also true of Mary Lou and Katherine too, how many of the others? Surely that wasn't a coincidence? Anna believes that she knows the Count and that he is honest, but Richard is more convinced than ever that their being here is no accident. Anna, unsettled herself, goes to take a bath.David and Katherine arrive at the location where the shots were fired earlier, and David spots something. It turns out to be Jonathan's body. He has been shot, but he was already dead or dying, from having his throat savaged. They start to wonder if there is more than one animal, and head back. Meanwhile, Richard takes a look at Anna in the mirror, and notices that she, like him, has the same triangular mark on her arm that we saw earlier with Jonathan and Mary Lou. That's one more piece of evidence for his suspicions. But just then, the werewolf breaks through the door and savages him.David and Katherine have lost their way in the tunnels. Finally, they find a chalk mark, leading them back. Katherine notices that the animal story no longer makes sense, since Jonathan was untouched except for his throat. An animal would have savaged or partially eaten him. David hears Gail's voice, she is apparently still alive. He sees a body in the tunnel ahead, it turns out to be the Professor. The dying Gail grabs Katherine's ankle. David returns, just in time to hear Gail say "werewolf" before she dies. They both suspect the Count as being behind the killings. He, after all, invited them and hosted them, and could have set them up for this.Back in the main rooms, they go to round up the others. Katherine, checking on Mary Lou, hears noises behind some curtains. She charges it with a pike, only to discover Richard behind the curtain. David returns with nobody, but points out that Richard had already been savaged, his throat was torn out and he was dying anyway. The Count hears the commotion and arrives, recognizing the werewolf's bite, saying the prophecy is fulfilled.David and Katherine confront him about the killings, and he readily admits to what Richard already deduced before he died. The guests were not selected by chance. They all had the triangular mark on their arms, a birthmark, meaning that they were descendants of the family that had occupied the castle in 1489. He now admits that he knows that they died by suicide, and that the baby had been smuggled out of the castle, grown up, and passed on its family curse. It means that one of the descendants is a werewolf. Most of the others arrive, except for Mary Lou, who is still asleep. David accuses the Count of being the murderer. He denies it, and tells them that he is dedicated to finding the werewolf and killing it. It can only be killed by someone who has the birthmark, and the Count was the appointed werewolf killer. He knew that if the castle was opened, all of the descendants would come home. Katherine then confronts him about the Professor, who was found dead in the tunnels despite the Count telling the group earlier that he had left the castle. The Count then accuses David of being the werewolf. Outraged, David points the gun at the Count. Nobody believes the Count, and they lock the Count, with Peter and Susan, in the dungeons, while they figure their next move.David, Katherine, and Anna discuss what to do in the great hall. David and Katherine believe they must kill the Count to protect themselves. Anna would rather report him to the police, and is outraged at the thought of vigilante justice. Anna convinces them to wait until she can wake up Mary Lou, so that she can at least be consulted and have her voice heard. Katherine goes to find her, while David goes to the roof, to see what, if anything, is going on outside. Anna, still believing that the others are wrong, waits until they are both gone, then picks up the gun, the lantern, and the keys, and returns to the dungeons. Outside, the snow is letting up, although it remains cloudy.Anna releases the Count, Peter, and Susan from the dungeons, informing them of the others' plans. The Count is relieved, and congratulates her on a good decision, and retakes his gun. He still intends to kill David, though, and when Anna protests, they lock her in the cell instead. They leave her the key, but advise her to wait two hours before attempting to use it, because if she leaves the cell before the Count returns, she will probably be killed. Meanwhile, Katherine discovers that Mary Lou is no longer in the bedroom, and fears that she too has been killed. Returning to the main hall, she finds Anna gone, and knows that she has gone to set the Count free. Anna, meanwhile, is trying to open her cell door, against the Count's advice. A noise startles her and she drops the key. A shadow falls over her, and she thinks it's the Count, come to release her, but it was the werewolf. It seizes her throat through the bars of the cell.Katherine, going to check the dungeons, hears the Count, Peter, and Susan talking in Hungarian, and knows they have been released. Meanwhile, David, up on the roof, sees Ray's body down on the ground below, but sees nothing else that could be helpful. When Katherine arrives in the dungeons, she finds Anna has been killed, and hears growling behind her. She soon meets the same fate.Now the Count arrives on the roof, making a check of his own. He has left Peter and Susan instructions to kill David, and Susan tries to do so when she hears his voice. David sees her in time, but not understanding what she was trying to do, shakes her and asks her where Katherine and Anna went, even though she doesn't speak English. Peter sneaks up behind him with an axe. Just as he's getting ready to swing, Mary Lou, alive and well, appears in the doorway and shouts. David looks around and ducks, and Peter's axe beheads Susan instead. Mary Lou picks up a crossbow and shoots Peter in the chest, killing him, saving David in the process. And then there were three. She is on the edge of panic herself. David picks up the axe and advises her to hide in the bedrooms and wait, because he must kill the Count before the Count kills them both.Instead of hiding, Mary Lou follows David to the roof, calling for him. The Count hears this, and sneaks up behind her. After convincing her not to scream, he asks her where Peter and Susan are, and Mary Lou tells them that they are dead. He tells them that David is the werewolf, and points to the thinning clouds. Soon, the full moon will appear, and the werewolf will transform, unable to help himself. Mary Lou sees David approaching with the axe, and pulls the Count away. The Count pulls the gun, but both men lose their weapons quickly in the struggle. Mary Lou picks it up and tells them to stop fighting, or she'll shoot them. The men stop and face her instead, David telling her to put the gun down, the Count telling her to shoot David instead. They both start to approach, each trying to convince her to shoot, or not shoot. Finally, apparently flustered and in a panic, she shoots the gun. A body falls to the floor.David runs to her, it was the Count she shot. He tries to comfort her, saying there are no werewolves. At that moment, the full moon finally comes out from behind the clouds, and Mary Lou turns to face it, and smiles. Her werewolf-howl is heard as the movie ends....