The Howling Review
Written by: Moviemaven
This film brings back a horde of wonderful memories for me. I remember watching it repeatedly as a child and being mesmerized by Eddie's transformation. Because of this film (and others like it) werewolf movies have become one of my favorite genres. Scratch that. It is my favorite. Okay, so I'll tie it with zombies. Anyway, they have made up a great portion of my film watching history and are directly related to my love of horror in general.
The Howling proudly sits at the top of this list. Yes, even ahead of the great Werewolf in London (though barely) and wonderful new classics like Dog Soldiers. I have a special tie to The Howling that will always remind me of my childhood and the fears that come with that.
First of all, I must mention that these are the werewolves I really love. If you want to scare me, give me the creepy canine critters of the biped variety. I find that lycanthropes on two feet are far more terrifying than those that appear as nothing more than giant, really mean dogs. When one comes at you on two legs, you know it means business. There is no mistaking that this monster is an aberration. That is what makes The Howling so perfectly scary.
Add to that fact that The Howling picks and chooses which of the Hollywood rules it decides to follow. Silver is necessary to kill them, but they have the ability to transform at will. So hiding out during the full moon won't save your ass here.
If you are unfamiliar with the film, what the Hell are you waiting for? Get out there now and watch it. Allow me to give you an idea as to what is waiting for you.
Karen White is a reporter on one of LA's top news teams. There has recently been a string of bizarre (even for LA) murders that points to the presence of a serial killer. Karen receives a call from one claiming to be responsible but she must meet him alone. She goes. After her ordeal (which I will NOT divulge here) she is traumatized and suffering from nightmares. The local shrink from the station offers to send her to his famous mountain retreat to kick back and chill out. What she finds is that this is not so much the hippie retreat she was expecting, rather a commune for those of the lycanthropic variety. Now she has to attempt to get herself out before she becomes part of the family.
Does that synopsis sound a bit on the cheesy side? Yes. Is the film a bit on the cheesy side? A resounding Hell No! The Howling is a thought provoking look at an alternative lifestyle. It is a visceral glimpse into the darkness that resides in all of us; the animal within. Okay, so it may not be that deep ALL the time. But it is one helluva werewolf flick with a fantastically underrated transformation scene.
Let us also not forget the actors. Among the cast is Dee Wallace (before the Stone), Christopher Stone (yes, the same Stone), Patrick MacNee, Dennis Dugan, Belinda Balaski, Kevin McCarthy, Slim Pickens, and the amazing John Carradine. Also introducing Elisabeth Brooks as the vixen who always seems to be having her "time of the month." If you are under the age of 25 or so, these names may be of little meaning to you. But I guarantee you will recognize several of the faces.
All of this is artfully and lovingly brought to you by the capable hands of director, Joe Dante. So pop it in, sit back and enjoy the slaughter.