7/18/11

The Howling (1981)

Imagine your worst fear a reality.

The Howling
As far as werewolf movies go, The Howling is alright.  In my opinion An American Werewolf in London, which came out the same year, is a better film (and Jenny Agutter gets naked in it) and The Beast Must Die is more fun than both.

I know this movie is a werewolf classic but it just doesn't do much for me.  In fact, I thought the best parts of the movie were the first 15 minutes or so and the end credits.  The beginning is the most suspenseful part of the film when our vulnerable female protagonist meets up with a murderer in a porn shop, and for some reason a hamburger frying on a griddle while the credits rolled held my attention more than most of the movie.  I don't want to give the impression that this is a bad movie or that I hated it.  It's just that I expected more, perhaps.  Or maybe I just have some sort of ground beef fetish.

After working on several films with legendary sleaze merchant Roger Corman, Joe Dante gives us his take on the wolf-man tale with The Howling.  At his request, Karen White (Dee Wallace), a pretty but sheltered news reporter agrees to meet up with a killer who has been stalking the city streets (and Roger Corman makes a cameo as the guy waiting to use the payphone.)  After a scary porn-shop rendezvous, the killer is gunned down by a rookie cop with an itchy trigger finger and Karen is traumatized by the whole affair.  A therapist who works for the news station recommends that Karen and her husband Bill (Christopher Stone) spend some time at his isolated retreat center where she can recuperate and work through this trauma.

 "I lick my lithsps like thith."
This "Colony" is inhabited by weirdos and a hottie... who also happens to be weird.   Strangely enough, there are werewolves there.  Some people get naked and some people get killed.  The end.

Some are going to rip me a new one for not loving this movie.  I do like it, I just don't think it's the greatest of werewolf films.  The special effects are excellent and the story and performances are decent, but it all doesn't come together for me as anything but just "good."  I recommend it but don't expect too much.  An American Werewolf in London is better.


Violence/Gore Rating: 3.5 out of 5
Booby Rating: 2.5 out of 5  - See the nude scenes.




19 comments:

The Angry Lurker said...

Not bad in it's day but dated now.

Indiehashtag said...

yeah i didnt really like this movie :/

Byakuya said...

I've actually seen this one, alright is the best word for it.

It isn't anything special, but an okay watch if you're bored.

Nice post!

Maranduran said...

This definitely scared the crap out of me when I was a kid...
+followed!

Bart said...

lol i remember this one from way back in the day.

my day in a sentence said...

So, I haven't seen the flick so I'm not in the position to judge.
But, what strikes me here is the poster.
Just look at it. The colors. It's really up- to- date. Looks like a poster of a new, just released slasher.
So, kudos to the people that did the poster. That much I can say.

D4 said...

You give the impression that you're very likely to give a wrong impression on this one because others make it seem to be better. Now, I trust your opinions. After having seen a couple of the movies you talk about, I can trust that when you say a movie is genuinely good, I feel the same, and that in other circumstances you're pretty honest with how things go. So, I won't be searching for this one, but if it's ever on cable, well sure. Nawmeen?

Henry said...

I didn't see any boodies at all in those screenshots haha

GMSoccerPicks said...

I have actually seen this one. I really liked it, but as you said, its not the best werewolf movie out there, yet (in my opinion) very good.

ElliotGreen said...

I saw this while flipping through the channels once! Not my type but still entertaining. Nice blog btw +1

movie68 said...

I wasn't a big fan of this one when I watched it, probably because i watched it 20 years after it came out and it was a bit dated at that point.

level85nerd said...

I know that movie, scary as hell if you ask me.

LaezE Boy said...

I'm not gonna buy this, but I'll give it a watch if I get the chance

Jay said...

a weird hottie? i'm there! :D

-E- said...

looks poorly shot even by b-movie standards.

hoaks2 said...

I always thought this movie skimmed the bowels of mediocrity. If I remember right, it was pretty big at the time. But even as a child, I thought this was corny.

whatshouldibuytoday said...

yea this movie was alrite..

Electric Addict said...

they dont make scary movies like this anymore! quite graphic :)

Aaron M. Gipson said...

LOL! I was about seven years old when this came out on HBO, and I must've seen it at least 20 that summer. This movie is a true classic and set a tone of dread throughout the whole thing. I really liked that Indian lady that cooked wild game for that guy...

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