4.1 7
Director: Joe Dante

Cast: Dee Wallace, Patrick Macnee, Dennis Dugan


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This groundbreaking, darkly comic horror film from director Joe Dante changed the look and feel of werewolf movies in ways light-years distant from Universal's horror classic The Wolf Man. The story begins with television reporter/anchor Karen White (Dee Wallace) taking part in a dangerous police operation intended to trap psychopath Eddie Quist (Robert Picardo…  See more details below


This groundbreaking, darkly comic horror film from director Joe Dante changed the look and feel of werewolf movies in ways light-years distant from Universal's horror classic The Wolf Man. The story begins with television reporter/anchor Karen White (Dee Wallace) taking part in a dangerous police operation intended to trap psychopath Eddie Quist (Robert Picardo). When confronted by Eddie face to face, she witnesses something horrifying enough to trigger selective amnesia. Plagued by a series of violent nightmares, Karen decides to admit herself to a posh recovery resort known only as "The Colony," run by her eccentric New Age therapist, Dr. Waggner (Patrick MacNee), and brings along her husband, Bill (Christopher Stone), for support. The night after they arrive, Karen and Bill are unnerved by eerie howling in the woods. Back in the city, Karen's co-workers Chris (Dennis Dugan) and Terry (Belinda Balaski) have been investigating Eddie's background after discovering that his body has disappeared from the morgue. Sifting through Eddie's possessions, they find a strange collection of artwork depicting wolf-like creatures, and decide to consult with Walter Paisley (Dick Miller, of course), the owner of an occult bookshop, on werewolf lore. Though he claims not to believe in the stuff he's selling, Paisley nevertheless convinces Chris to purchase a handful of silver bullets...just in case. Back at the colony, Dr. Waggner has organized a hunting party after hearing Karen's account of the nocturnal howling, but the men find nothing but a rabbit, which Bill is told to bring to the cabin of the sultry Marsha (Elisabeth Brooks) to prepare for dinner. After resisting Marsha's less-than-subtle sexual overtures, Bill is attacked by a wolf while returning to his cabin. The following moonlit night, the sleepless Bill wanders outside to find Marsha waiting and the two make love by the campfire, their bodies undergoing a frightening transformation. Just as Karen is beginning to suspect that her husband is hiding a secret far more threatening than marital infidelity, Chris and Terry have come to realize -- too late, in Terry's case -- that Eddie Quist is not only still alive, but not quite human...and he knows he's being followed. Chris arrives at the colony too late to save Terry, but manages to find Karen just as the colony's residents -- all of whom are werewolves, including Dr. Waggner -- are assembling to decide her fate. Dante fills his film with heartfelt homages to The Wolf Man and other classic horror movies, as well as a few clever visual puns and in-jokes from his tenure with Roger Corman, but never strays from the path to genuine horror, particularly when Rob Bottin's chilling monsters are onscreen.

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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Donald Gray
With this witty update of the age-old werewolf genre, Roger Corman alumnus Joe Dante (Gremlins) helped breathe new life into a dormant myth -- An American Werewolf in London would soon follow. Dee Wallace-Stone (E.T.) portrays a TV news anchor whose harrowing brush with a supposed serial killer has left her deeply shaken. Recovering at the country retreat of a new age guru (Patrick Macnee), Stone's character ultimately learns that the hills are alive with far more than the sound of music.... Dante fleshes out this modern tale of terror with plenty of throwaway humor -- copies of Thomas Wolfe's You Can't Go Home Again and Allen Ginsberg's Howl are seen lying around, and nearly all the main characters are named after directors of other werewolf movies. But Dante doesn't for a moment shortchange the central horror elements, which are enhanced immeasurably by his own brisk editing and Rob Bottin's state-of-the art makeup effects in the transformation scenes. John Sayles (Lone Star), who'd previously collaborated with Dante on the Corman-produced Piranha, cowrote the playful script -- most trenchant in its satirical swipes at consciousness-raising groups like est -- and contributes a funny performance in a bit part as a morgue attendant. Fans of classic horror will enjoy seeing the great John Carradine and Kevin McCarthy in small roles, as well as veteran character actors Dick Miller and Slim Pickens (playing -- who else? -- the local sheriff). And if you pay extra-close attention, you'll even notice Corman himself in a brief cameo, waiting outside a phone booth.
All Movie Guide - Jason Buchanan
Without question one of the most visceral and satisfying werewolf movies ever released, director Joe Dante's knowing lycanthrope classic is sure to get a few jumps, as well as a few chuckles, out of even the most jaded horror fan. From the smart and innovative script from screenwriter John Sayles to solid performances all around, The Howling is a rare example of a werewolf film that likely would have succeeded even if Rob Bottin's groundbreaking makeup effects hadn't been so terrifyingly convincing. Endless in-jokes and film references are bound to keep cinephiles constantly on their toes, and even if you're not up to the task of weeding out all the fine details, this fast-paced chiller isn't likely to leave you bored -- and that's an extremely difficult weight to balance. From television news reporter Karen White's (Dee Wallace Stone) mysterious and terrifying initial encounter in a cheap porno shop to the dark secrets of the "colony" she retreats to in hopes of escaping the nightmares that plague her, Dante and Sayles keep things moving at a lean pace that is notably enlivened by Patrick Macnee, John Carradine, and Slim Pickens' colorful supporting performances. If the makeup effects seem slightly outdated from a revisionist standpoint, the images they create (the image of sharp, talon-like claws growing out of the main werewolf in particular) are hard to shake regardless of the technological advancements that have aided effects artists since The Howling's debut in 1981. These unforgettable images, combined with a clever script and tight direction, make for a film as self-consciously fun as it is truly unsettling.

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Product Details

Release Date:
Original Release:
Shout Factory
Region Code:
[Wide Screen]
Sales rank:

Special Features

Audio commentary with director Joe Dante and actors Dee Wallace, Christopher Stone and Robert Picardo; Unleashing the beast: the making of The Howling Multi-part documentary; Deleted scenes and outtakes; making of a monster: inside The Howling documentary; Horror's hallowed grounds - a look at the film's locations; Photo gallery; Theatrical trailers

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Dee Wallace Karen White
Patrick MacNee Dr. George Waggner
Dennis Dugan Chris
Christopher Stone R. William "Bill" Neill
Belinda Balaski Terry Fisher
Kevin McCarthy Fred Francis
John Carradine Erle Kenton
Slim Pickens Sam Newfield
Elisabeth Brooks Marsha
Margie Impert Donna
Noble Willingham Charlie Barton
James Murtaugh Jerry Warren
Jim McKrell Lew Landers
Kenneth Tobey Older Cop
Don McLeod T.C.
Steve Nevil Young Cop
Herb Braha Actor
Joe Bratcher Radio Man
James MacKrell Actor
Dick Miller Walter Paisley
Robert Picardo Eddie
Bill Sorrells Kline
Meshach Taylor Shantz
Chico Martinez Man on Street
Michael O'Dwyer Drunk
Wendell Wright Man at Bar
Bruce Barbour Stunt Player
Marneen Fields Stunt Player
John Moio Stunt Player
Forrest J. Ackerman Bookstore Customer (Uncredited)
Roger Corman Man in Phone (uncredited)
John Sayles Morgue Attendant (Uncredited)
Sarina Grant Hooker

Technical Credits
Joe Dante Director,Editor
David Allen Special Effects
Daniel H. Blatt Executive Producer
Rob Bottin Associate Producer,Makeup Special Effects
Jack Buehler Costumes/Costume Designer
Robert A. Burns Art Director
Jack Conrad Producer
Jack Cummins Asst. Director
Pino Donaggio Score Composer
Michael Finnell Producer
Roger George Special Effects
Mark Goldblatt Editor
John Hora Cinematographer
Steve Lane Executive Producer
Steven G. Legler Production Designer,Set Decoration/Design
John Sayles Screenwriter
Robert Singer Producer
David C. Thomas Production Manager
Gigi Williams Makeup
Terence H. Winkless Screenwriter

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Scene Index

Disc #1 -- The Howling
1. Chapter 1 [13:25]
2. Chapter 2 [7:09]
3. Chapter 3 [7:36]
4. Chapter 4 [8:22]
5. Chapter 5 [8:58]
6. Chapter 6 [5:25]
7. Chapter 7 [10:00]
8. Chapter 8 [4:40]
9. Chapter 9 [5:42]
10. Chapter 10 [6:37]
11. Chapter 11 [6:03]
12. Chapter 12 [4:06]
13. Chapter 13 [2:41]


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The Howling 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 7 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
This movie is great! It is one of my favorite werewolf movies.Fans of this genre will enjoy it alot. It's just too bad that the sequels all sucked.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This movie is a true horror classic.I love horror movies and this is one of them.
Biscuits More than 1 year ago
Wolftastic, A template for films in its genre. Outstanding!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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