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Showing 1-10 of 158 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 320 reviews
on August 1, 2013
The Howling is a true horror classic and ranks among one of the best werewolf movies ever made. Joe Dante, fresh off of Roger Corman's "Piranha", re-teams with writer John Sayles for a fun and spooky tale of lycanthrope loose in the California hills that was based on a book by Gary Brandner. After a traumatic close call with a strangely animalistic serial killer named Eddie Quist (Robert Picardo), a young newswoman, Karen (Dee Wallace) is sent to a holistic retreat by her therapist, Dr. Waggner (Patrick Macnee) for treatment. But unknown to Karen and her husband, Bill (Christopher Stone) The Colony is actually a haven for werewolves that the therapist is trying to civilize... and that a certain, Eddie Quist was one of his 'patients'. But, some of the pack have other ideas and are looking at Karen as their next meal. Dante brings a very Roger Corman feel to the proceedings and gives the legendary producer a cameo as well. The film has some fun moments but, also some legitimate scares, too and Dante mixes fear and fun very well with one never overshadowing the other. Makeup FX master Rob Bottin provides the creature and gore FX and beat American Werewolf In London by a few months with the first on-camera werewolf transformation and it still impresses after all these years and got him the job on John Carpenter's The Thing. A great cast, including legends Slim Pickens, John Carradine and Dick Miller, that knows when to play it straight and when to camp it up, adds to the mix and makes this a very entertaining Halloween treat and a bonfire horror classic. Countless sequels followed that all sucked but, this one still holds up and is one of my personal viewing choices for the Halloween season. Also stars the smoking hot Elizabeth Brooks as sexy nymphomaniac werewolf, Marsha. The Howling was just re-released on a gorgeously remastered and extra filled blu-ray from Scream Factory that gives the flick new bite!
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on December 13, 2013
Joe Dante's The Howling is considered by horror fans to be one of the three movies that constitute the canon of werewolf films, explores the notion that the media generates mediated content targeted at a commodity audiences and, in so doing, conditions them into accepting graphic violence and gratuitous sex in mediated texts as acceptable forms of mediated content which in turn molds them into audiences who expect these forms of mediated texts as the norm, insidiously depriving them of freedom of choice for better mediated texts, and incorporates what is considered to be ground breaking special effects by special effects legend, Rob Bottin, in what is today considered a cult classic.

However, the main subtext of the movie revolves around the theme of a psychiatrist who, himself being infected with lycantrophia, encourages others infected with the disease to suppress their hunger for human flesh and blend in with the community for the sake of their survival while encouraging them not to suppress what he considers to be natural human sexual desires which he believes constitutes a normal part of the libido, until the heroine, played by Dee Wallace Stone (the lead character who plays the part of mom in Steven Spielberg's classic E.T.), is infected with the disease and attempts to demonstrate to the rest of the world that the unrestrained indulgence of sexual cravings subtly deprives decent human beings of a well principled life based of morals by transforming into a werewolf before a live television newscast.

Highly recommended.
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on August 4, 2017
great really pops looks like it was almost filmed yesterday good restoration
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on February 22, 2017
Pretty near complete in its Blu-Ray packaging, this re-issue of Joe Dante's 1981 gem THE HOWLING features a nice transfer of the original film negative and a whopping horde of extras that will have fans giving their howls of thanks every time there's a full moon. THE HOWLING is a creepy film, but there's practically as much comedy and cinema buff in-jokes as there are moments of fright, but Rob Bottin's transformation effects in this picture are just about unequaled in terms of their quality (what baffles me is that 1981 had three great werewolf pictures in cinemas, and today there are none to speak of; oh well, the good old days). I imagine that the Eddie Quist transformation scene was pretty shocking for viewers in 1981, and really the effects work here remains pretty imaginative today. While scary in concept, THE HOWLING is constantly messing with your head, throwing in a parade of jokes and quasi-humorous references to other movies, and even featuring cameos (Roger Corman, Mick Garris, co-writer John Sayles, and Dick Miller spring to mind) that make you go "Oh!" in the middle of the picture. Of course, there is the sexy and visually arresting Elisabeth Brooks to capture your eyes here, as well as some interesting werewolf characters (like Slim Pickens!) to make you gasp every now and then. While a fun movie, THE HOWLING lacks a great deal of action that might have made it even more intense, but what survived the cutting room floor is pretty good. While the movie has become a staple of the genre for horror fans, its real contributions have to do with the effects on display and the unusual concepts found in the movie itself, and how Dante cleverly reworks the genre for a new (and more tolerant) generation. While I personally didn't find the picture all that offensive (there is a high-concept werewolf sex scene that is fairly explicit but not overly shocking, and apparently this is the one scene that author Gary Brandner enjoyed from the movie), there are moments that will definitely make fans of the original 1941 WOLF MAN wince. But compared to other werewolf-themed films, this one goes a long way towards redeeming itself by not taking its efforts too seriously, and by providing some pretty freaky moments overall. And the ending is, well, a scorcher!
While some of the extra content included on Scream Factory's new release can be found elsewhere, the company has yet again gone above and beyond the call of duty in presenting us fans with some really nice extra content. Chief amongst these new offerings is an exemplary interview with effects creator David W. Allen (I want one of those werewolf figurines!) in which he explains why his work for Dante was not used in the movie (with the exception of about two seconds worth of footage that comes near the end) and how he went about designing his own werewolf creatures under contract for the picture (best of all is the cut footage in which we get a glimpse of Allen's unused work). But the extra that caused me to spring for this new release was the audio commentary with author Gary Brandner, moderated by DVD producer and filmmaker Michael Felscher. While the old 2-disc DVD set put out under the MGM banner had some strong extra materials, it did not include any information about the source novel (other than the producers saying that they had decided to throw the back out and start over with a fresh script!) and this was a dramatic oversight in my opinion. While it is true that books belong to a completely different world than that of the movies, the story's source is important for understanding where the initial ideas themselves hail from. And the commentary track on this Blu-Ray is a whopper of an item if you ask me. The only thing that could have improved it would have been a video interview with Brandner, but the audio itself is great--probably even people who may not care about the writing of books (or movies) will find it an enjoyable listen. Brander is fairly open when talking to Felscher (he claims that he was on a "skyrocket to mediocrity" after the original Holwing novel was published, hilarious) and he offers some insights about what it is like to work for the "Hollywood people" and to have his novels translated onto film. He also mentions that his novel "had a better story" than the Landis-concocted mesh that was used as the basis for AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON, and I agree with him on this point. Brandner's source material does in fact make the picture a bit stronger than it would have been without a more solid story to build its script upon. Brandner's own opinion about director Joe Dante is not so flattering, but he does say that the man made a good movie and it did undoubtedly put Brandner on the map (so to speak) as well. I have not read the original Brandner novel yet, but it is clear from the get-go that Dante's movie is less an adaptation than a completely original take on the werewolf mythos. This extra is, in my opinion, a collector's item. I also have to mention that the making-of documentary material here is equally great, explaining the complete making of the original picture and even covering (briefly) the making of the many sequels that are still going on to this very day. I also would be remiss if I do not offer my opinion that Dee Wallace Stone was magnificent in this movie, paving the way for herself as a future scream queen in horror cinema (following up this performance with another strong turn in Lewis Teague's CUJO). But overall I also have to say that the entire cast seemed to be having a good time with this movie, and viewers in turn will also have a good time watching them.
Scream Factory's presentation of THE HOWLING on Blu-Ray should become a standard-setter for future releases. The original artwork and the newly commissioned artwork included in this package is fantastic, and the wealth of extras doesn't hurt either. The TLC given to the picture and sound transfer is also quite nice. If you want to know why a lot of us love the work that Scream Factory is doing, simply pick up a copy of this release. It pretty much speaks for itself. A+ (for the whole package)
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on January 20, 2009
THE HOWLING is the best werewolf flick I've ever seen in my lifetime and both Dee Wallace and Elizabeth Brooks do an awesome performance, especially when kids see Dee Wallace transforming into a werewolf on the news at the end of the movie and when Elizabeth Brooks & Chris Stone are deliciously nasty doing werewolf sex showing off Brooks' Womanhood like a bitch-in-heat with lots of graphic nudity & violence in this thriller.

The one thing I found baffling and gross about this movie was when Liz Brooks is in the cafe and the waiter asks her how does she want her hamburger and Liz Brooks says "Rare".

This horror flick also takes me all the way back to memory lane to when we had all those budget cuts going on during the recession we had going on back in 1981-1982 when Ronald Regan was president since I was 9 years old in the 3rd grade at Rockwood Elementry School in Calexico, CA and living in my hometown(El Centro, CA)at the time THE HOWLING was released in all the movie theatres, which was during my childhood days of living in the Imperial Valley.

Overall, I would have to say that this was the best Howling of them all, since I didn't care for all the other Howling sequels.
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on May 24, 2017
One of the best werewolf flicks out there. A must have for werewolf fans.
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on November 11, 2008
While growing up I've watched alot of fabulous movies comedies, action movies, and of course horror (the majority of which were way better than what's been coming out in the past 10 years!) And needless to say "The Howling is definitly one of those such enduring classics! What's clever about The Howling is the way by which it starts out fooling you into thinking it's a crime drama only to give you that false sense of security that the character Eddie Quist(Robert Picardo) is dead! To say nothing of him ending up actually being a werewolf! Very clever!! Who knew?! And just when Dee Wallace's beautiful news reporter character gets advice from her therapist(masterfully played by Patrick Macnee) to go to some kind of retreat or something she eventually learns that nothing and no one is as it/they seem(s) when she runs afoul with not only Eddie Quist but a whole culture of other werewolves as well! What in particularly makes this movie a masterpiece is its usage of fog,darkness,suspense, and needless to say some really awesome werewolf transformation effects the likes by which have barely been topped by anyone elses efforts!! To say the least this movie proves great nastalgia for me and reminds me of not only a superior GOLDEN AGE of movies but what was greatly possible effects and storytelling wise in the pre-digital age. I will say it is a shocker to think that actor Robert Picardo who is usually a comedic "goofball" could not only be an evil monster but also pull it off so seemlessly! I have fond memories of him as Coach Cutlip on the Wonder Years! I can't say that I could see that much about this movie that was funny however. I admit the little children musing over Dee Wallace's changing into a werewolf on the news to say nothing of her ending up looking like a female Wookiee always gives me a great guffaw though! All I'm saying is if you're a big 80's horror fan as well as a big werewolf movie fan than The Howling is a must see! PS if you love The Howling then also check out The Howling parts 2,3,5&6 and An American Werewolf in London,An American Werewolf in Paris, and Skin Walkers!
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on March 6, 2017
One of the top wolfie stories ever. For collectors.
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on January 9, 2015
More than three decades later and this is still my favorite werewolf movie. I know that many people hold "American Werewolf In London" in higher esteem, but Rob Bottin did an outstanding job with the makeup and creature FX and, to me, outshone his esteemed mentor, the great Rick Baker. I've seen this movie many times over the past three decades and it's one of those I never grow tired of. Dee Wallace Stone and Patrick MacNee round out a great cast in this wonderfully rendered werewolf tale. I even enjoyed the twist depicting how lyncanthropes can change even in the daytime. Please disregard the execrable "sequels" that came after this one--as far as I'm concerned, they don't even exist. Despite the fact that my copy does not feature the original cover art as shown here, I still enjoy this movie & am glad I purchased it on Amazon at a great price.
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on April 29, 2017
One of the best horror movies ever!
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