More About The Howling
Based on the best-selling novel by Gary Brandner, this horror film makes effective use of the classic werewolf tale. Dee Wallace stars as Karen White, a popular female reporter in Los Angeles who cannot escape the horror of a traumatic experience that she suffered while trying to capture Eddie Quist (Robert Ricardo), a dangerous serial killer. When her psychologist (Patrick Macnee) recommends a retreat to "The Colony," up the Northern California coast, she reluctantly agrees, hoping to recover from her nightmarish visions. Karen and her husband (Christopher Stone) arrive at the remote retreat and are shocked at the bizarre behavior of the motley crew of residents. Lurking in the ominous Northern California woods, blanketed by fog, strange sounds can be heard at night, luring the members of the retreat into the forest. In anguish, Karen stumbles on the deadly secret of the community: when sexually excited, they turn into werewolves! The horrified journalist tries to escape from the retreat, battling the lair of leering lycanthropes in a fight for her life. Superb special effects add to the picture, with several shocking human-to-monster transformation sequences.
Main Cast & Crew
Joe Dante - Director
The following characters are named after famous werewolf movie directors: George Waggner, Roy William Neill, Terence Fisher, Freddie Francis, Erle C. Kenton, Sam Newfield, Charles Barton, Jerry Warren, Lew Landers, and Jacinto Molina. Cameo appearance by screenwriter, John Sayles, as the morgue attendant. Cameo appearance by director/producer Roger Corman, scrabbling for coins in a coin slot, an insider's joke referring to his low-budget movie-making style.
"...There are good one-liners throughout..." - 01/21/1981 Variety
"...A kind of tribute to Roger Corman..." - 03/13/1981 New York Times, p.C10
"...A good, creepy show from Macnee..." - 10/01/2000 Total Film, p.116
"Dante ensures that the gore is balanced with humour and nods to werewolf lore." - 10/01/2004 Sight and Sound, p.76-7
"A treasure for horror aficionados, with memorable transformations and a host of sly cameos..." - 11/01/2004 Uncut, p.162