The budget was so low that the movie had to be made without sound. All the audio had to be dubbed in during post-production.
The Howling (1981) and Howling IV: The Original Nightmare (1988) are both based on the same novel by Gary Brandner. Interestingly, Howling IV: The Original Nightmare (1988) actually represents the more faithful adaptation of the novel than The Howling (1981).
Writer and co-producer of the film Clive Turner was originally supposed to direct, but when the financiers pulled out he had to get veteran horror director John Hough in to direct at the last minute with what money remained.
John Hough was thwarted by producer Clive Turner at every step who tried to alter the script while production was en route. After Hough turned in his version, Turner went out and shot tons of new scenes and edited the film to the liking that he wanted and constantly fought Hough for.
John Hough said in an interview in Fangoria that there wasn't a script when they went to go make the film. The script was eventually written by Freddie Rowe and he would also receive notes and messages from him as well as additional pages. However, when Hough tried to ask for Rowe's phone number or an address so he could reach him, he was denied every time. He suspected Rowe was actually Clive Turner himself. Supposedly because he and Turner never got along and that Turner kept trying to make power plays as he wanted to be the producer and director.
In an interview with Fangoria magazine, Clive Turner said that he was "disappointed with the director John Hough, but they ended up with a reasonable film".
While on the opening credits it says "Based on the novels The Howling I, II and III by Gary Brandner", on the poster it says "Based on the book Howling by Gary Brandner", this is more accurate since the film is a closer adaptation of the first book by Brandner.
Howling IV: The Original Nightmare (1988) is the only production in the 'Howling' series to have werewolves portrayed by dogs in any scenes.
The original version by John Hough that he turned in was different to the film that was released. When the film was finished, Hough was in England while post-production was performed in Los Angeles by Clive Turner. The final version has little resemblance to Hough's version. Turner had re-cut and re-voiced the film. Scenes like Lamya Derval giving oral to Michael T. Weiss were never in Hough's version, but was placed in through re-shooting and re-editing by Turner.
John Hough greatly enjoyed Joe Dante's The Howling (1981) and is a lover of horror films in general, so he was all for making the sequel and was eager to do a werewolf movie for the first time. However, he was disappointed with the final result due to the changes made by producer and writer Clive Turner with the re-shoots and re-editing. He felt that Howling IV: The Original Nightmare (1988) is one of the few films that he can't call his own.
There exists a stillshot of a deleted scene where Marie Adams (Romy Windsor) is covered in blood. This appears to be a scene from the original version of the film by director John Hough before Clive Turner re-shot and re-edited the movie. Furthermore, the back cover to the Portuguese VHS shows another stillshot from this deleted scene where Marie is screaming while covered in blood.
The character Eleanor (Lamya Derval) was similar to Marsha Quist in The Howling (1981), as they were both evil, yet sexy, vixens who seduced and turned their married lovers.
FX artist Steve Johnson was disappointed in the way the werewolf effects were utilized, feeling they looked nothing like he and his team intended. In an interview, Johnson stated: "The producers wanted something new for the transformation, so we had the man melt into a big pool of ooze in several different stages. Then we zoom in on the pool and it forms into a wolf, but take a look at the edited film, I don't think that idea gets across, through no fault of our own."