Oct 21st: The Howling(1981): http://youtu.be/A31Nzr6ih9U
Yes, I’m fully aware that this is the 3rd entry I’ve reviewed from this franchise, but it still stands as one of my all time favorite films. The story follows Karen White(Dee Wallace), a news reporter who is being stalked by a serial killer named Eddie. She offers to help police find him by agreeing to meet with Eddie. He lures her to a seedy part of town and into a peep show both, where he shows her a video of a woman being raped, but will not let her look at him. Eddie expresses and obsessive desire for Karen, and it is implied that he intends to rape and kill her. Just as he tells her to turn around and look at him, Karen screams, allerting nearby police who shoot and (seemingly) kill Eddie. Karen is traumatized by the ordeal and cannot return to work, so at the advice of her psychiatrist, she and her Husband take a trip to “The Colony”, a secluded community that the Doctor sends patients to recover. Upon arrival, we meet a whole assortment of characters, including the simple yet rugged TC, as well as his sister, leather clad nymphomaniac Marsha Quist. Amid thse settings, Karen attempts to come to grips with her ordeal, but becomes weary of the Howling she hears in the woods at night…as well as the advances of Marsha towards her husband Bill.
In the meantime, Karen’s friends and friends from the newsroom are investigating just who “Eddie” is, and through their digging, they learn that his body has vanished from the morgue, that he may have some connection to The Colony…and that he may be a werewolf!
Joe Dante makes sure to keep the tongue firmly in cheek for this film. The tone is self-aware and satirical, but still manages to give weight to the frightful elements. Hidden treats for genre fans include cameos by Forrey Ackerman (grand Poobah behind Famous Monster of Filmland), and Roger Corman, and the script positively bursts with subtle Werewolf film references. The effects are the real star of the show though. Originally the effects were to be handled by Rick Baker, however he chose to pass in favor of working on An American Werewolf In London, so in stepped Rob Bottin.
It’s ironic that both films would feature groundbreaking transformation sequences that were shown extensively on camera. The Howling stands out further by it’s use of stop-motion animation as well as a full on cartoon sequence in it’s depiction of the shaggy beasts. as corny as it sounds, it works. I will never get tired of this movie. While it’s legacy may have been tarnished with shit sequels, take a minute to consider there are 8 films in the Howling franchise. That is more than Childs Play, Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Evil Dead, Leprechaun…ok, maybe using Leprechaun was a poor choice. To end things on a high note, here’s a naked pic of Marsha Quist 😉