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The Howling (Special Edition)

245 customer reviews

Additional DVD options Edition Discs
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(Aug 26, 2003)
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Special Edition
$3.37 $0.83
(Jun 18, 2013)
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Editorial Reviews

From the director of Gremlins and Piranha comes the ultimate masterpiece of primal terror. Filled with edge-of-your-seat suspense, "genuine thrills [and] amazing special effects" (Us), this riveting werewolf tale sinks its teeth into your deepest fears and never lets go! Severely traumatized by a near-fatal encounter with a serial killer, TV newscaster Karen White (Dee Wallace) takes time off at a secluded retreat called "the Colony." But when, after nights of being tormented by bestial, bloodcurdling cries, Karen ventures into the woods seeking answers, she makes a terrifying discovery. Now she must fight not only for her life but for her soul!

Special Features

  • "Unleashing the Beast": all-new documentary
  • "Making a Monster Movie: Inside The Howling" featurette
  • Deleted scenes
  • Outtakes and more

Product Details

  • Actors: Dee Wallace, Patrick Macnee, Dennis Dugan, Christopher Stone, Belinda Balaski
  • Directors: Joe Dante
  • Writers: Gary Brandner, John Sayles, Terence H. Winkless
  • Producers: Daniel H. Blatt, Jack Conrad, Michael Finnell, Rob Bottin
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Anamorphic, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, Full Screen, NTSC, Special Edition, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono), English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: MGM (Video & DVD)
  • DVD Release Date: August 26, 2003
  • Run Time: 91 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (245 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00009OWI1
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #21,540 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Howling (Special Edition)" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

103 of 108 people found the following review helpful By Claude Avary on July 2, 2004
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
When "The Howling" appeared in theaters in 1981, it heralded a mini-revival of the werewolf movie that took advantage of advances in special effects; two films followed later that year: "Wolfen" and John Landis's beloved "An American Werewolf in London." Although "The Howling" doesn't quite match the artistry and continual popularity of Landis's film, it nonetheless has aged wonderfully and is still one of the most enjoyable horror films of its decade. It's scary without getting too gory for the average viewer, has superb special effects that don't overwhelm the story, features a fun cast of familiar faces, and has a quirky sense of humor and loads of movie in-jokes for horror movie fans.
MGM first released "The Howling" in a no-frills DVD that let the movie down: no extras, a cheap and scratchy transfer, and a very dull mono soundtrack. Thankfully, they realized the popularity of the film and are now giving us a nice edition with revamped sound (5.1 Surround), a sharp picture, and a big bowl full o' extras.
John Sayles's script (co-written with Terence H. Winkless) unapologetically drops the classic werewolf legend into the modern-day -- in this case, the world of television news and the fad of self-help psychology. News anchor Karen White (Dee Wallace-Stone), while on a special assignment to lure out a serial killer (Robert Picardo from "Star Trek: Voyager") in the city, is attacked by something bestial. On the advice of psychiatrist Dr. Waggner (Patrick Macnee), Karen and her husband (Christopher Stone) head to Waggner's clinical retreat in the woods. However, there's something very disturbing about the other patients in the colony, and those weird wolf howls at night won't stop...
The werewolf transformations supervised by Rob Bottin still have an amazing effect on viewers.
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52 of 53 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 4, 2000
Format: VHS Tape Verified Purchase
THE HOWLING is a rare original cult-movie, far from the reluctant werewolf pattern. The idea of werewolves instead of a single one hadn't been well developed before, as some legend variations. It has the legendary transformation scene with Rob Bottin's effects, stronger with Pino Donaggio's score (with no CD releasing yet). Rick Baker (Bottin's brother) was consultant and created later the Oscar winner effects of AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON, other historical movie.
Both movies are linked. Contemporaries, they represented a new era. There's no point discussing which one's the better. "AWIL" is more modern in a way, having non-sense humor, bloody scenes and unbelievable effects. THE HOWLING, earlier, has a classical movie profile, surprising plot and ending. Its characters were named after classical werewolf and horror movies directors, like George Waggner, Sam Newfield, R. William Neill, Erle Kenton, Lew Landers, Terry Fischer, Charlie Barton, Jerry Warren and Jack Molina. There are lots of ironies, like THE WOLF MAN quotations during the film and after credits, and the wolf cartoon in a tense scene. John Carradine, Roger Corman, John Sayles and Forrest J. Ackerman appear, giving additional charm. It's the first time more complex werewolves characters emerge, like Eddie (Robert Picardo, the scariest werewolf on movie history) and Marsha (Elisabeth Brooks, 1951-1997). Joe Dante made this classic with $1,6 million and used his own garage for the rated movies scene.
Lots of ideas were borrowed later ("the gift" in WOLF). There were sequels non-related to the original, without the "THE" of the title. Most of them have nothing to do with each other. It's depressing to someone expecting a real sequel to watch HOWLING II.
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44 of 45 people found the following review helpful By Monty Moonlight VINE VOICE on September 1, 2004
Format: VHS Tape
Karen White (E.T.'s Dee Wallace-Stone) is a TV news reporter who's become the object of serial killer Eddie Quist's psychotic obsession. One night, in a daring attempt to catch the killer on live television, Karen comes face to face with the beast inside him. A rookie cop comes to the rescue, and fills Eddie with lead before Karen can be physically harmed, but she's already the victim of psychological damage. Even the famous Dr. Waggner (Patrick Macnee) can't help Karen remember the face she saw that night, which has been locked away deep in her subconscious. Finally, the concerned doctor suggests that Karen and her husband, Bill, spend some time at his "Colony," a retreat in the California woods for some of his patients who need to "unwind." When the two arrive there, however, they find the place is hardly a relaxing setting. Surrounded by strangers who just keep getting stranger, disturbing howls coming from the woods at night, and a sudden rash of animal mutilations, Karen is not having a restful stay. To make matters worse, the Colony's lovely resident nymphomaniac, Marsha, has designs on Karen's frustrated husband, Bill. Meanwhile, back in the city, Karen's friends and co-workers, Chris and Terry, are doing their best to discover the secrets of Eddie Quist, who they find has mysteriously disappeared from the city morgue. Their search leads them on a path of werewolves and the supernatural, and both will have to come to terms with what they believe if they are going to save their friend from the dangers that surround her before it is too late!

Only a few months before the legendary "An American Werewolf In London" was released, Joe Dante gave us the OTHER best werewolf film ever made, the original "The Howling.
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DVD problems
I do! I wasn't sure if it was my particular player or not. I cannot play the DVD side on a Samsung Blu-ray, however the special features side plays just fine. Irritating.

I will try playing it today from a computer DVD drive. Not holding my breath, though.
Oct 27, 2010 by Francel Diaz Lenero |  See all 6 posts
Any great werewolf books out there?
"The Howling" book series. The author, Gary Brandner, only made 3 "The Howling" books though.
Oct 21, 2008 by horror1896 |  See all 4 posts
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