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The Howling (1981)

6.6
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Ratings: 6.6/10 from 19,029 users  
Reviews: 185 user | 159 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.

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2 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

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Margie Impert ...
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Jim McKrell ...
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Older Cop
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Storyline

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 <Tim.K@VirComm.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Imagine your worst fear a reality

Genres:

Horror | Thriller

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

10 April 1981 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Aullidos  »

Box Office

Budget:

$1,000,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$17,986,000 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The climactic transformation had to be done all in closeup because the film had exceeded its budget by then, and it had to be shot in an office because they had no money for sets anymore. See more »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

[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 »

Connections

Followed by Howling VI: The Freaks (1991) See more »

Soundtracks

Howling Chicken
by Rick Fienhage and Joyce Fienhage
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
One of the best werewolf movies ever made.
14 November 2005 | by (Plymouth, MN) – See all my reviews

The Howling

Easily one of the most historically popular werewolf films out there deserves some attention, right? Well of course. And since lately I'm getting more and more into werewolf films, I figured it was high time I actually bought this one and reviewed it. This, along with American Werewolf in London, were the two films that revolutionized werewolf movies and transformed them from just some guy running around bein' all hairy and strangling people. On top of it all, we have Joe Dante (Piranha, Gremlins) directing. Good times will be had by all!

This film revolves around a news anchor-woman who is helping the police track down a serial killer, made all the easier by the fact that he's taken an interest in her. Well, everything goes just awful and she ends up traumatized. Her shrink suggests she and her husband take a comfortable, soothing vacation in a community that he's a major part of. Of course, the movie is helped along by the fact that the town just happens to be chock full of werewolves who can't seem to decide whether to eat these new people or have them join up.

Here's the breakdown:

The Good:

--We've got some beautiful and unique looking werewolves here. The first one we have a very clear view of, in the doctor's office, almost resembles some creature that's part wolf, part man, and part cat. It just kind of had that feel--not that it's bad, I liked it.

--Interesting story, one of the better ones in the world of werewolves.

--The acting is pretty good, one has to consider the fact that a lot of actors just don't take these kinds of roles seriously enough. So finding a movie like this where they do is quite nice.

--Naked transforming werewolf sex scene by a campfire. Hmmm... maybe this should be the Memorable Scene....

--Average amounts of violence--more a suspenseful werewolf film than a visually disturbing one. The gore, while only occasional, is really good.

--Nice mystery story wrapped up in here.

Didn't Hurt It, Didn't Help:

--Decent music, somewhat average for these kind of movies.

--Dee Wallace-Stone's acting occasionally isn't quite up to par, shall we say...

--One werewolf transformation sequence is actually animated--like with cell animation and it doesn't look very good. It's brief and small, and doesn't detract from the film's overall quality.

--Dee Wallace's friends in the movie really seem to adopt the notion of werewolves rather easily--I would think it would be hard to accept that idea... oh well...

The Bad:

--Some two-dimensional characters.

--This film is in a series notorious for it's much crappier releases, but that's really about all there is that's not to like.

The Ugly:

--Robert Picardo (the hologram doctor from Star Trek: Voyager) plays the ultimate bad-ass werewolf--and boy, his face doesn't look good all charred with acid...

Memorable Scene:

--Robert Picardo's werewolf in the Doctor's office. Oh, and that werewolf transformation sex scene. That was pretty hot.

Acting: 8/10 Story: 9/10 Atmosphere: 9/10 Cinematography: 8/10 Character Development: 8/10 Special Effects/Make-up: 8/10 (some less than fancy stop-motion, and one bit of obvious animation) Nudity/Sexuality: 4/10 Violence/Gore: 8/10 (Average amount, but very high quality) Sets/Backgrounds: 9/10 Dialogue: 7/10 Music: 7/10 Writing: 8/10 Direction: 9/10

Cheesiness: 1/10 Crappiness: 0/10

Overall: 8/10

A horror must-see. One of the classic werewolf films. Personally, I think Dog Soldiers may still be a little better, but that's just me. For horror fans and a great piece for non-horror fans to find out what a good werewolf movie should look like--sans CG werewolves.

www.ResidentHazard.com http://bartboard.proboards3.com/index.cgi The Board, movie message board.


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