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The Howling (1981)

  Tags: 80's, blood, Christopher Stone, Dee Wallace-Stone, Dennis Dugan, gore, Joe Dante, John Carradine, Kevin McCarthy, lycan, Patrick Macnee, the howling, werewolf

Your rating: None Average: 6.8 (5 votes)
Reviewer Rating: 
7

howling.jpg
Rating #: 
7/10
Director: 
Joe Dante
Runtime: 
91 minutes
Cast: 
Dee Wallace-Stone, Patrick Macnee, Dennis Dugan, Christopher Stone, Kevin McCarthy, John Carradine


It's rare that I come across a movie that's pretty known and has a cult following that I haven't seen before, and this is one of those movies. I've seen all of the Howling sequels and thought they all pretty much sucked except part 2 was pretty decent. I never got around to checking the original for some reason. It aired on TV once and at the time I was too preoccupied to bother watching it. I'm glad I didn't watch it on TV that one night, because it would have been cut to bits.

After viewing this movie I noticed that the sequels were pretty much copy-cats of the original, down to the couple going to a secluded area in the forest (Part 4) to someone changing into a werewolf on camera (part 3). The story is about a newswoman who has a close encounter with a stalker one night. Luckily she's makes it out alive, but is scarred from it. She's then told to take a break from it all and go up to a retreat in the woods to a place called "the colony." Little does she know that instead of going farther from her problems, she's going right to the source.

Apon my initial viewing of this movie I wasn't too into it. It's interesting, but kind of slow and nothing really good happens until about half the film when we start seeing more werewolf action. After half it starts to get a little more interesting and just gets better from there. What made this movie so enjoyable was the excellent effects. This movie had one of the best werewolf transformations I've ever seen. The whole sequence was about three minutes long and it looked pretty damn freaky. Though, it's funny how the newswoman was standing there watching it the whole time without attempting to escape, but lets just forget about that and focus on the sweet transformation.

The film is directed by Joe Danta, whos done other fun flicks like Piranha, the Gremlin films, and his most recent work being, *sigh*, Looney Toons: Back in Action. The story is interesting (although slow) and I enjoyed the cool ending. I was originally going to give the movie a 6-rating, but I decided a 7-rating was better, because now looking back on it, I actually enjoyed it more than I thought. Although this is considered to be on the best werewolf films ever made by some, I personally don't think so, but I do believe it's one of the better ones made. If you ever see this movie, try to stray away from viewing the trailer first, like I did, because it shows a lot of key scenes in the movie and you'd just spoil it for yourself.

A good werewolf flick, although the werewolf action doesn't start until about half the movie. A little slow, but starts to pick up after the first half. Worth a watch just on the werewolf transformation alone.

Posted on June 5, 2010 - 6:57pm | FrighT MasteR

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