The Howling

IMAGINE YOUR WORST FEAR A REALITY.

After a very unpleasant incident, TV reporter Karen White (Dee Wallace) takes some time off and goes to a retreat called “The Colony”… but it’s a place with horrifying secrets. The same year as An American Werewolf in London premiered, Piranha director Joe Dante made this werewolf movie that can be seen as a companion piece to both those films. He is genuinely interested in the genre and the movie has plenty of in-jokes, excellent makeup effects, an amusing final scene and dark, atmospheric locations and music… but the story is a tad uneven and not terribly exciting.

1981-U.S. 91 min. Color. Directed by Joe Dante. Screenplay: John Sayles, Terence H. Winkless. Novel: Gary Brandner. Music: Pino Donaggio. Makeup: Rob Bottin, and others. Cast: Dee Wallace (Karen White), Patrick Macnee (George Waggner), Dennis Dugan (Chris), Christopher Stone, Belinda Balaski, Kevin McCarthy… John Carradine, Slim Pickens. Cameo: John Sayles.

Trivia: Several characters are named after directors of werewolf movies. Followed by six sequels, starting with Howling II: Your Sister Is a Werewolf (1985). Howling IV: The Original Nightmare (1988) is a more faithful adaptation of Brandner’s novel.

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