The Howling (1981) - Joe Dante

I have stated on numerous occasions that I am not a huge fan of werewolf movies. They always tend to come off a little goofy. I can't ever take them seriously when they walk around on their hind legs. It dumb. This movie is a prime example of what I am talking about. It's no surprise that a movie called The Howling deals with an obvious antagonist. Joe Dante does a great job of making this a parody of the genre by filling it to the brim with corny one liners and eye-rolling props. He sets himself apart from the others by making the werewolves in this movie more of a sex obsessed, rehab cult. Not bad, it's a good twist. 

The plot is about a weird, sadist, psychiatrist that brings people to a weird resort area and turns them into werewolves. "The mom from E.T." Dee Wallace plays a young woman, Karen White, that is a patient of the evil doctor. After a close call with a serial killer, Karen is harangued into going to that shifty resort. She suspects supernatural events are in the works and investigates. However, she might not like what she finds! Werewolves tearing and ripping flesh. Attacking and turning the living into undead werewolf killers. Okay Mr. Dante, not bad. The story-line is hard to follow at times but fortunately pulls it together when it needs it. 

The effects in this movie are pretty fantastic. The big transformation scene was not horrible. Although it took forever. It was pretty lengthy. The payoff was really neat. All of the werewolf cult looked relatively different. The make-up was really neat and scary. They did a great job here. Special effects were a highlight. Lots of blood and gore. Great movie for those blood-lusters. 

The blu-ray transfer that I watched was amazing. It really made me appreciate the fantastic cinematography. The DP, John Hora, did such a fantastic job of catching all of those corny, little, nuances that make a good looking film. Hora worked on Gremlins I, II, and Twilight Zone: The Movie. Good looking stuff. The soundtrack was amazing too. Thanks Shout Factory! 

Anyway, is the movie good? Did I actually like it? Yes. Despite the upright werewolves. Yes. This movie was certainly very silly. However, it was actually pretty original and draws you in easily. I recommend this for Halloween. Watch it with friends and enjoy.


Joe Dante




Werewolf Curse Horror

Did ya know...

At the very end of the credits, there is a brief clip from "The Wolf Man"Roger Corman cameos as the man waiting to use the phone box after Dee Wallace. Shot in 28 days plus a few days of re-shoot.