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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!
- "Unleashing the Beast": all-new documentary
- "Making a Monster Movie: Inside The Howling" featurette
- Deleted scenes
- Outtakes and more
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Blu-ray Review (2 discs)
An excellent Scream Factory release with tons of features and content.
Reversible sleeve with both the original and new artwork.
Includes both Blu Ray and Dvd.
Unleashing the Beast - The Making of The Howling (48min) - An excellent making of documentary.
Howlings Eternal with Steven A. Lane (18min) - The producer talks about the film’s production and his experiences.
Cut to Shreds with Editor Mark Goldblatt (12min) - The editor of the film talks horror movies and covers his editing techniques.
Interview with Co-writer Terrence Winkless (12min) - Talks about how he got the job and his writing process.
Horror's Hallowed Ground: A Look at the Film's Locations (12min) A tour of the film’s locations.
Making a Monster Movie: Inside The Howling (8min) An early making of featurette.
Interview with Stop Motion Animator David Allen (8min) Talks about the stop motion used for the film.
Deleted scenes with optional commentary.
Audio commentary with director Joe Dante and actors, Dee Wallace, Christopher Stone and Robert Picardo.
Audio commentary with Author Gary Brander
Also included is a photo gallery and theatrical trailer.
Dee Wallace-Stone (then Dee Wallace) stars as Karen White, a TV newswoman who has formed a tenuous phone relationship with a man suspected of being a serial killer. After a meeting with the suspected serial killer, known simply as Eddie gone wrong, Karen and her husband leave for a weeklong stay at a retreat run by Dr. George Waggner (Patrick Magee), sort of a commune on the coast of California. While at the commune, strange things occur, and tensions between Karen and her husband escalate. Karen's friends back in the city investigate the character of Eddie, and learn he may not just be a regular man, but something of a werewolf, a creature that can shape shift, regenerate lost limbs, even come back from the dead.
Some great supporting characters in the film include Slim Pickens, John Caradine, Kevin McCarthy, Dick Miller, and Robert Picardo. The violence is more implied within the film, but there are a few choice gory bits, especially when one character does a brainectomy on himself. Dante keeps things moving along nicely, even though the story is a bit on the light side. The creature effects are really amazing, and hold up well, even today. You could almost feel your skin crawl as the transformation took place. And the creatures were huge, really giving a sense of helplessness among those unlucky enough to encounter them.
There are a slew of extras with this release, most on the flipside of the disc, of which are listed on the product page. One in particular I wanted to mention is a little Easter egg that, when activated (look for the smiley face) has a nice piece with Dick Miller relating how he got started in the movie business. Also, look for cameos by Roger Corman, the man who really gave Joe Dante his start in the business with Pirahna (1978), Forrest J. Ackerman, or Uncle Forry, the legendary creator of the magazine Famous Monsters of Filmland, writer/actor/director John Sayles, and Bill and Beverly Warren. The print here looks really wonderful, and the audio is very decent. It's really nice to see such treatment to these older horror films, especially ones that stood out among the pack. This film was followed up by the forgettable sequels The Howling II (1985), The Marsupials: The Howling III (1987), Howling IV: The Original Nightmare (1988), The Howling V: The Rebirth (1989), Howling VI: The Freaks (1991), and Howling: New Moon Rising (1995). If you enjoy werewolf movies, I would recommend the Lon Chaney Jr./Universal wolf man films along with the more current Dog Soldiers (2002).
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