4 December 2005 | terrible2
The beast of the best when it comes to werewolves
In 1981, horror movies were on the verge of their greatest comeback. The 1970's gave us Alien, Jaws and the Exersist, but we had lost the creepiness of the classic "Universal" monster films, such as Dracula, The Mummy and (my personal fave) The Wolfman. Pop culture had come to know the werewolf as a guy that hadn't shaved in a while and grew fangs. Joe Dante had a different idea. I was a freshman in high school in 1981 and some friends and I played "hooky" from school and went to see The Howling. After about 10 minutes I was so scared, that I actually found myself wanting to go to math class. Dante's film is full of suggested terror, although once he shows you, he never lets up. Karen White (Dee Wallace) is a popular newscaster who has managed to catch the eye of a serial killer. She decides to help the police trap him, but unannounced to us is the fact that the killer has a secret... A very dark secret. After a terrifying encounter, Karen and her husband Bill (Christopher Stone), take a long needed vacation. A retreat colony up in woods is their destination and the townsfolk (including the late, great John Carradine) are just normal everyday people who welcome them with open arms. As the days go by, strange things begin to happen and we realize that the colony is actually a colony of... Anyway, the visuals are great and this was long before the computer generated crap that they throw at us these days. Eddie Quist (Robert Picardo) is the resident bad dude or (wolf) as you may, and has one of the most classic transformation scenes I have ever witnessed. His sister Marsha Quist (Elisabeth Brooks) is definitely the hottest werewolf I've ever seen, and the cast is rounded out by Sheriff Newfield played by the one and only (Slim Pickens). The Howling certainly revolutionized the modern werewolf which has come a long way since Lon Channey Jr wore an afro wig and a pig nose, and there's not a lot of werewolf stranglings in this one. I have seen every werewolf movie ever made (literally), and The Howling has always remained my favorite, with An American Werewolf In (London)comming in at close second. If you have never seen this classic film, I urge you to go rent it, turn off the lights and pull the blanket up tight under your chin (for faster head covering action). You won't regret it, after all werewolves were meant to be big, ferocious, violent beasts that rip their victim apart. Nuff said.