An instant werewolf classic, The Howling was directed by Joe Dante, a graduate of Roger Corman's school of low-budget ingenuity who had gained enough momentum with 1978's Piranha to rise to this bigger challenge. He brought along Piranha screenwriter John Sayles, too, and recruited makeup wizard Rob Bottin to create what was then the wildest on-screen transformation ever seen. With Gary Brandner's novel The Howling as a starting point, Sayles and Dante conceived a werewolf colony on the California coast, posing as a self-help haven led by a seemingly benevolent doctor... (Patrick Macnee), and populated by a variety of "patients", from sexy, leather-clad sirens (Elisabeth Brooks) to an old coot (John Carradine) who's quite literally long in the tooth. When a TV reporter (Dee Wallace) arrives at the colony to recover from a recent trauma, the resident lycanthropes prepare for a howlin' good time. Dante handles it all with equal measures of humour, sex, gore, and horror, pulling out all the stops when the ravenous Eddie (Dante favourite Robert Picardo, later known as The Doctor on Star Trek: Voyager) transforms into a towering , bloodthirsty werewolf. (Bottin's mentor Rick Baker would soon raise the make-up ante with An American Werewolf in London.) As usual in Dante's movies (qv. Gremlins), in-jokes abound, from characters named after werewolf movie directors, amusing cameos (Corman, Sayles, Forrest J Ackerman), and hammy inserts of wolfish cartoons and Allen Ginsberg's "Howl". It's best appreciated now as a quintessential example of early-80s horror, with low-budget limitations evident throughout, but The Howling remains a giddy genre milestone. --Jeff Shannon, Amazon.com [show more]
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US horror directed by Joe Dante. The film follows Karen White (Dee Wallace Stone), a female TV reporter who goes to an out-of-town retreat in order to recover from a traumatic encounter with a serial killer. Unfortunately, her attempt to get some rest and relaxation is ruined when it becomes clear that her fellow residents are all werewolves, leaving Karen in a desperate battle to survive as she frantically looks for a way to escape. The cast also includes Patrick MacNee, Christopher Stone and Belinda Balaski.