An American Werewolf in London is more juvenile, if richer in its blend of comedy with horror, but the reason that The Howling isn't as memorable is because the comedy lightens and overshadows its maturity and analysis of sexual violence, with lycanthropy a metaphor for unchecked sexual aggression and Wallace a victim of its trauma. This aspect is also not fully resolved with a focus on action-horror in its climax.
The other great werewolf movie made the same year ("An American Werewolf in London was the other). An unrecognizable Robert Picardo playing a serial killer and other appearances from genre favorites make it great fun. Good atmosphere and a memorable ending also help this film that even has a love-making scene with the werewolves added in for fun. Only the false scares make the film feel outdated.
The first Dante movie I've seen made purely for adults, and I have to say that it may be my least favorite. It is a harsh and deeply unsettling story of sexual violence, with appropriately icky FX. (Which may just mean it did its job). But the ending shows the bizarro satirical mischief that would become his greatest asset. Recommended for anyone who'd catch the Rosemary's Baby in-joke. Bonus Dick Miller.
THE HOWLING is a decent horror movie about werewolf. It's exciting, intriguing, and frightening. Too bad, THE HOWLING lacks of proper characterization. I never cared to its characters. In spite of all its flaws, THE HOWLING still offered some thrilling moments. It's hard not to mention the practical effect they used for the transformation scene. I think it's one of the most frightening scene in the horror movie...
TV, rewatched. Lively bubble gum, educated pop culture and, as usual in Dante, hell is one step away from the next look, both of the characters and the spectators, and also, as always, the cinephile reference is exposed and demonstrative, his distinctice mark and limitation. The special effects of transformation into wolf are extraordinary - in such a way that the film stops to observe itself in those moments. As us.
Somewhere between ambitious practical effects and interesting ideas of human's repressed drives, there is a blank space where the story was supposed to be. The reason for that are bland characters that are used as an excuse for excessive transformation scenes that usually try to grab more than they can handle. In spite of that, werewolves were never more horrendous than this, thus making it a proper werewolf flick.
Joe Dante's The Howling is an effective but forgettable genre movie that has more bark than bite. The creature FX are stellar given the time, but there is something deeply missing here. The characters never come to life and the subject matter isn't nearly as captivating as the filmmakers think it is. I was hoping for a film that would be much more fun with more character. A stepping stone that would lead to Gremlins.
"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."
Would give it a 2.5 if possible. Starts out well and ends well, but most of the time spent in the resort feels undercooked and bland. The way they split between Karen's story and Terri/Chris hurts both plots, I especially felt like we should've gotten more of Terri and Chris who were much more fun to watch. The transformation scenes are good, though.
A fun ride while it lasts. Sure there are parts that are a bit silly, but there are a few effective scenes along the way to make up for the movie's short comings. The acting is OK and the effects are cool. I can't help but to feel that the bit with Eddie The Mangler was a bit wasted in favour of The Colony thing. It would have been interesting to see a serial killer/werewolf instead.
A local news reporter tries to help police capture a serial killer, and accidentally stumbles upon a wellness retreat full of werewolves in Joe Dante's genre classic. The special effects are pretty strong for the time, especially considering the film's low budget, but its characters aren't particularly interesting. Dante directed much stronger films (GREMLINS, PIRANHA), but this one spawned numerous sequels.