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The Howling [DVD]

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Product details

  • Actors: Patrick MacNee, Dennis Dugan, Christopher Stone, Dee Wallace Stone, Belinda Balaski
  • Directors: Joe Dante
  • Producers: Michael Finell, Jack Conrad
  • Format: PAL
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Classification: 18
  • Studio: Momentum
  • DVD Release Date: 18 Oct. 2004
  • Run Time: 87 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (54 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0000AZVEZ
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 34,954 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)


Product Description

A female TV reporter (Dee Wallace) 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 by the fact that her fellow inmates are all werewolves. Joe Dante's horror-spoof brilliantly combines chills and laughs with amazing special effects and movie-buff references. Watch out for cameo appearances from B-movie maestro Roger Corman and director John Sayles (who co-scripted the film).


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, --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 13 Feb. 2011
Format: DVD
The Howling is a werewolf film that is a little different to your average horror -- which is probably why it has endured so long. Karen White (Dee Wallace -- who every bloke went bananas over, in the day, though I thought Belinda Balaski (who plays her friend Terri) was far more "appealing" in this respect!) is a TV reporter who (whilst going undercover to try and expose a serial killer who is stalking her) survives a werewolf encounter. Because of the shock, she is invited (by her therapist -- a Christopher-Lee-like Patrick Macnnee) to recuperate at "the colony" (a spooky, woodland reserve by the seaside) where -- as you might guess -- when the moon comes out, all is not as it seems.

The acting (as was the case for the subsequent year's big werewolf film, An American Werewolf in London) is much better than you would expect in a "creature feature" and the main characters are all convincing. The atmosphere of the colony is great -- think misty trees, wood cabins and sixties (Lost-style) university buildings. Of course, any werewolf film also lives or dies on the beast itself and in this respect, The Howling is a somewhat mixed bag. It seems that the budget was saved for the later stages of the film, as before then (due to some truly awful -- at one point animated! -- effects) I was thinking this was a 2 or at most a 3 star film (nothing more than a well acted B movie, with men in hairy suits; I was wondering how I could have remembered this so fondly!). Throughout, though, there is an razor-sharp tension, that builds and builds and then suddenly erupts into the horror you were expecting from a film of this standing. When the beast emerges fully, you are left suitably terrified to realise what the fuss was all about! (Far more so than with any modern CGI Werewolf!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By GratuitousViolets TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 18 Nov. 2008
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
TV reporter Karen White (Scream Queen Dee Wallace!) becomes traumatised after investigative reporting leads her to a meeting in a dark room with a serial killer she knows only as "Eddie". Following their encounter (and his death thanks to the police), Karen is so traumatised she can neither remember what happened, or what she saw.

At the suggestion of a Psychiatrist (Patrick Macnee, she and her husband Bill are sent to the Colony, an experimental rural rehabilitation centre, where they meet the unusual locals such as the dark leather clad predatory Marsha and her strange animal-like brother.

Karen starts to hear howling at night, and is concerned things are not what they seem at the Colony.

Meanwhile her colleagues from work are investigating the serial killer case which leads them into more dangerous territory - werewolves!

With some spectacular special effects very cutting edge for it's time (it uses some of the technology similar to what was used in American Werewolf in London which was also released the same year as this movie) and an interesting storyline, this has survived through the ages despite it's outdated hairstyles and clothes. Definately a keeper you can watch again and again.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Elizabeth on 30 Oct. 2012
Format: DVD
I've never thought any werewolf movie would top the brilliance of an american werewolf in London, but this one did the job ... this is not only the best werewolf movie I've seen, its also one of the finest and most intellegent and well made horror movies I've seen, its up there with some of the best horror movies out there. Unlike other horror films the Howling offers you a scary tension that'll raise the fear level high, I've only seen a few horror films that are scary in tension this is one of them. it has a few mild laughs but some of the stuff in the film is chilling and very fun to wacthl its well though up storyline and great cast who are worthy with their acting skills, there is never a dull momment always something happening and everything is shockingly unexpected, its unpredictable and the werewolves look absolutly well polished.... unmissible watch this movie its fantastic!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Timelord-007 TOP 100 REVIEWER on 10 Feb. 2014
Format: DVD
The Howling (DVD).

DVD Info.
Region 2
Certificate 18
Ratio: 16:9 - 1.85:1
Running Time 87 minutes

1)Low budget filmmaker Roger Corman cameos as the man waiting to use the telephone booth after Karen White.
2)Joe Dante regular Dick Miller features as bookstore owner Walter Paisley.
3)Robert Picardo featured as the holographic Doctor in Star Trek Voyger.
4)Patrick MacNee is better known as John Steed in cult sixties tv series The Avengers & seventies revival The New Avengers.
5)Dee Wallace Stone played Elliott's mother in E.T.
6)Rick Baker left production to do the werewolf effects on An American Werewolf In London leaving Rob Bottin to take over, Bottins credits also include The Thing & Robocop 1987.
7)Joe Dantes director's credits include Piranha, the third story of Twilight Zone The Movie, Gremilins 1 & 2, Explorer's, Small Soldiers.

I seen this film when I was about 9 year's old on video & it terrified the life out of me.

The film is about tv presenter & journalist Karen White whom after a bizarre encounter with a serial killer Eddie Quist is sent to a mountain resort with her husband Bill called the Colony to relax & recuperate on her psychiatrists suggestion as the recent trauma has left Karen with memory loss & irrational emotional behaviour outbursts.

But things are not as they seem at the Colony as Eddie is actually an outcast from a pack of werewolves that live in the colony as Karen with her husband Bill soon discover & must fight not just for there life's but for there very soul's as the wolfpack closes in on them.

Timelord Thoughts.

This is a brilliant werewolf movie that was for it's time contained brilliant special effects.
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