The Howling (1981)

R  |   |  Horror  |  10 April 1981 (USA)
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 6.6/10 from 21,480 users  
Reviews: 193 user | 163 critic

After a bizarre and near fatal encounter with a serial killer, a television newswoman is sent to a remote mountain resort whose residents may not be what they seem.



(novel), (screenplay), 1 more credit »
Watch Trailer
0Check in

On Disc

at Amazon

2 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »



Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Comedy | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Two American college students on a walking tour of Britain are attacked by a werewolf that none of the locals will admit exists.

Director: John Landis
Stars: David Naughton, Jenny Agutter, Joe Belcher
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 3.3/10 X  

A young man whose sister was murdered by werewolves helps an investigator track down a gang of the monsters through the United States and Europe.

Director: Philippe Mora
Stars: Christopher Lee, Annie McEnroe, Reb Brown
Fright Night (1985)
Comedy | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

When a teenager learns that his next door neighbour is a vampire, no one will believe him.

Director: Tom Holland
Stars: Chris Sarandon, William Ragsdale, Amanda Bearse
Silver Bullet (1985)
Drama | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

A werewolf terrorizes a small city where lives Marty Coslaw, - a paralytic boy - his uncle and his sister - the narrator of the story.

Director: Daniel Attias
Stars: Gary Busey, Everett McGill, Corey Haim
Dog Soldiers (2002)
Action | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A routine military exercise turns into a nightmare in the Scotland wilderness.

Director: Neil Marshall
Stars: Sean Pertwee, Kevin McKidd, Emma Cleasby
Bad Moon (1996)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  

One man's struggle to contain the curse he hides within... and his last-ditch attempt to free himself with the love of family. But when it looks as if he is losing his battle, and ... See full summary »

Director: Eric Red
Stars: Mariel Hemingway, Michael Paré, Mason Gamble
Piranha (1978)
Comedy | Horror | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

When flesh-eating piranhas are accidently released into a summer resort's rivers, the guests become their next meal.

Director: Joe Dante
Stars: Bradford Dillman, Heather Menzies-Urich, Kevin McCarthy
The Fog (1980)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Legend says that Antonio Bay was built in 1880 with blood money obtained from shipwrecked lepers but no one believes it. On the eve of the town's centennial many plan to attend the celebrations, including the murdered lepers.

Director: John Carpenter
Stars: Adrienne Barbeau, Jamie Lee Curtis, Janet Leigh
Creepshow (1982)
Comedy | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Inspired by the E.C. comics of the 1950s, George A.Romero and Stephen King bring five tales of terror to the screen.

Director: George A. Romero
Stars: Hal Holbrook, Leslie Nielsen, Adrienne Barbeau
Wolfen (1981)
Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

A New York cop investigates a series of brutal deaths that resemble animal attacks.

Director: Michael Wadleigh
Stars: Albert Finney, Diane Venora, Edward James Olmos
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.5/10 X  

When a group of people from different walks of life converge in a Hungarian castle situated in Budapest which has been sealed for 500 years, they bring with them a werewolf which slowly ... See full summary »

Director: Neal Sundstrom
Stars: Philip Davis, Victoria Catlin, Elizabeth Shé
Comedy | Horror | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.1/10 X  

An American man unwittingly gets involved with French werewolves who have developed a serum allowing them to transform at will.

Director: Anthony Waller
Stars: Tom Everett Scott, Julie Delpy, Vince Vieluf


Cast overview, first billed only:
Margie Impert ...
Lew Landers (as Jim McKrell)
Older Cop


Television newswoman Karen White takes some much-needed time off after a traumatic incident with a serial killer. Hoping to conquer her inner demons, she heads for The Colony, a secluded retreat where the creepy residents are a little too eager to make her feel at home. Also, there seems to be a bizarre connection between Eddie Quist and this supposedly safe haven. And when, after nights of being tormented by unearthly cries, Karen ventures into the forest and makes a terrifying discovery. Now she must not only fight for her life... but for her very soul! Helped launch the short-lived werewolf craze in the early 1980s. Written by Tim Kretschmann <>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


All your nightmares are about to be transformed into one single inescapable fear! See more »




R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

10 April 1981 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Aullidos  »

Box Office


$1,000,000 (estimated)


$17,986,000 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


It took about four years from the time Gary Brandner's novel was published in 1977 and to when this film was made. See more »


Slim Pickens is shot twice with the shots coming almost on top of each other in quick succession. However, he is shot with a manual bolt-action rifle making that impossible. See more »


[first lines]
Dr. George Waggner: Repression. Repression is the father of neurosis, of self-hatred. Now, stress results when we fight against our impulses. We've all heard people talk about animal magnetism, the natural man. the noble savage, as if we'd lost something valuable in our long evolution into civilized human beings. Now there's a good reason for this.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The opening credits roll over TV static and features dialogue snippets from the movie. See more »


Rocky Mountain Waltz
by Chris Carney
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

The beast of the best when it comes to werewolves
4 December 2005 | by (Istanbul) – See all my reviews

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.

39 of 46 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
omg, she totally‥ deb127
What a Disappointment CreatedBySin
Transformations - CGI vs 80s effects lister_ashley
Black + White Movie on TV sheyenne
6.6(Howling) and 5.8(The Wolfman)? Misleading neel_majhi
Where is the picture from the book from in the booskstore scene. littlelucifer
Discuss The Howling (1981) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: