The Howling


 The most perfect woman who has ever lived (besides my departed me-maw), DEE WALLACE, portrays news anchor woman Karen White in JOE DANTE's loose as it wants to be adaptation of a GARY BRANDER novel. Karen, due to her awesome charisma and no nonsense reporting, has gotten a scoop about a wave of recent murders committed by psycho stalker Eddie Quist (Manson-y ROBERT PICARDO). It appears the creep only wants to talk to her and her alone, and he'd prefer to do it in a sleazy sex shop. Eddie confronts our pristine heroine inside a movie booth showing a not very romantic gang rape video complete with stocking masks, yet before he can get his greasy mitts on our gal pal, he is blasted away by some uncharacteristically competent cops. Karen immediately represses the violent, sexually-charged incident, but as a result starts turning into a sack of potatoes during her nightly broadcast of the news and ultimately, during her special whoopee time with mustachioed boyfriend Terry (CHRISTOPHER STONE looking like he just fought his way off of a BRAWNY advert). It is decided that what Karen needs to get her head straight is some time away from the awful urban hell zone she must report about daily.
 It just so happens that popular self help guru and behavior expert Dr. George Wagner (PATRICK MACNEE a.k.a. COUNT IBLIS!!!), author of a book on repression entitled "THE GIFT," has a groovy commune nearby complete with fresh air, tennis courts and breathtaking scenery. It's a great idea if you discount the fact that Eddie is a werewolf, that he's NOT dead because he wasn't shot with a silver bullet, that the commune is his favorite hangout and it's infested with dirty unrepressed unrepentant murderous werewolves like himself and that dear sweet Doc Wagner is a secret furry monster too. As a result DEE gets to play the sad sack intuitive nobody believes, husband Terry gets his blue-balls cured thanks to Eddie's sis Marsha (ELISABETH BROOKS) the local nympho-wolf, and all their friends who stop by to see how the cure is taking get to be ripped to shreds by the "feel good" lycanthropic cult.
THE HOWLING is an incredibly intelligent and entertaining werewolf movie. Scriptwriter JOHN SAYLES' clever skewering of pop psychology and the media aligned with DANTE's considerable directorial talents and soft spot for sight gags and referencing, topped with the beauty that is anything ROB BOTTIN comes into contact with and the audio wonder that is PINO DONAGGIO (CARRIE) makes this a must own (and must watch repeatedly) classic. I do have one quibble though, that crappy animation insert at the end of the fireside sex scene has always looked out of place and SHODDY to me. Can somebody please fix it pronto? Otherwise this picture is a flawless cameo injected gem that will forever leave your fur standing up on end. 
indelible scenes

"Good Evening, From the day we're born there is a battle we must fight. A struggle between what is kind and peaceful in our natures and what is cruel and violent. That choice is our birthright as human beings and the real gift that differentiates us from the animals. It is as natural to us as the air we breathe and all of us take it for granted. But now for some of us that choice has been taken away. A secret society exists and is living among all of us. They are neither people nor animals but something in between. Monstrous mutations whose violent natures must be satisfied. I know what you're thinking because I've been where you are. It's impossible to imagine but I have proof, and tonight I'm going to show you something to make you believe..."


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15 years ago

This is by far one of my favorite Werewolf movies. It was an early VHS movie and I watched it so much the owner of the small mom and pop video store wanted to know if it was ok with my parents that I watched the movie so much.
The transformations were great! Simple and cheap as hell but they worked so well on me. I especially love the nice white werewolf that our heroin turns into!

Pax Romano
15 years ago

I loved this movie since the first time I saw it at a theater in Center City Philadelphia during the spring of 1981…"how do you want that burger?" "Rare!"