'The Howling' Movie Review
Updated: Sep 10, 2020
A lot of people love vampires. A lot of people. I like vampires. Not as much as some other paranormal investigators, I know; but I do like them. I just don’t like my living dead being attractive and super sexualized. My favorite vampire films are films like ‘Near Dark’, ‘Let the Right One In’, ‘Martin’, ‘The Lost Boys’ and ‘Fright Night’. Maybe this is why I never fully loved vampires as much as I do Werewolves. I love werewolves. They are vicious, ferocious, majestic, terrifying, and deadly creatures.
The sad part is there really aren’t many good werewolf films. ‘Ginger Snaps’, ‘American Werewolf in London’ that’s about it. Don’t get me wrong I know there are a lot more werewolf films but how many of them are good? Not many. For every ‘Ginger Snaps’ there is a ‘Wolf’ for every ‘AWIL’ there is a ‘Teen Wolf’ (which I actually like but that’s because I love Michael J. Fox). There aren’t many great werewolf films. That’s why I am happy to tell you about one of my all-time favorite Werewolf movies: ‘THE HOWLING’.
I love ‘The Howling’. I think it’s a better horror movie than ‘An American Werewolf In London’. Don’t get me wrong, AWIL is a great film but it’s more of a dark comedy to me than a horror film. It’s still a great film and one I also highly enjoy but ‘The Howling’ is just a better horror movie to me. Now let’s just not mention the sequels.
Karen White (Dee Wallace) is a newscaster who has caught the attention of a stalker. A Stalker that also happens to be a serial killer. Eddie (the serial killer) has been infatuated with Karen, so much so he confesses to her all the murderers he is responsible for. Karen agrees to meet him, as long as the police is close behind. During their meeting Eddie wants to show him what he can offer her. Eddie then begs Karen to turn around and look at him when…Karen screams as police officers enter the porno shop and shoot down Eddie.
Unfortunately for the police, Karen can’t recall anything that happened while she was alone with Eddie. She also doesn’t want to remember. Whatever it was, it was so disturbing she blocked it out. She then has nightmares about the incident. The nightmares persist so much that she then seeks the help of Dr. George Waggner (Patrick Macnee) who suggests she get away from it all and pursue counseling at his retreat, THE COLONY.
Karen hopes the people at THE COLONY aren’t too weird. They aren’t weird Karen they are Lycanthropes (aka Werewolves). Karen's husband Bill (Christopher Stone) is quickly seduced by this nymphomaniac named Marsha, who shows him the strange world of the wolf. While all this is going on two of Karen’s co-workers are investigating Eddie Quist and are discovering the true mythology of werewolves. They are shapeshifters and don’t need a full moon to turn into werewolves. If you don’t kill them right, they will come back to life and can regenerate (like Wolverine). This was awesome. As a kid I loved this version of the mythology and it was the first time I heard about it.
I know I stated I didn’t like my vampires sexualized and this film does sexualize werewolves, but werewolves aren’t dead beings. So, don’t judge me for preferring my werewolves to be sexualized animals. Joe Dante (‘Gremlins’, ‘Innerspace’) directs this werewolf masterpiece. I know, a lot of you youngsters are going to watch this movie and think I am on crack. “Nothing happens for so long, the graphics are terrible!” I disagree. For the time the graphics are pretty amazing (besides that sex animation thing…I will admit that was terrible). Special effects master Rob Bottin worked on this film and his transformations were truly amazing. They had never been seen on film before and that was exactly what Bottin was shooting for. Obviously, they don’t compare to Rick Baker but let’s be honest who does? Savini, Nicotero, and all the computers of the modern age can’t compare to Rick Baker (who can't compare with Stan Winston). Let’s not have such high standards people.
Later on in the film, the gift of the wolf is offered to Karen. She refuses it but there might be a reason for that. I suppose you need to wait ‘til the end of the film to find out what I mean…But I am not going to spoil anything more about this film. Honestly, if you have never seen ‘The Howling’ you really need to see it. It is well worth it and is a classic horror movie and one that is perfect for the Halloween season!
To be honest I am really surprised this film has not been remade yet. I know I rag on remakes, but this movie would be perfect for a modern remake. Maybe by the time this is posted there is a remake already released but this was written in 2019 so if there was…I predicted it! I predicted it!
Maybe I like werewolves so much because I think we are all like werewolves. At least to me we are. Check out ‘The Howling’. It’s worth it. Might I add that last year (this year to be honest….2 weeks after my review) I stated that the werewolves in "Creepshow" (TV Series) reminded me of ‘The Howling’ that’s cause all of the werewolves looked exactly like the way they do in ‘The Howling’, lol. I have a great memory.