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Night 24 - The Howling
Tagline - Imagine your worst fear a reality
Joe Dante (Piranha, Gremlins I/II and Explorers ) directs this film version of the novel by Gary Brandner. Released on April 10, 1981 by AVCO Embassy Pictures (rated R). A TV reporter, Karen White (Dee Wallace), is traumatized by an attack from a mass murderer. She can not remember what happened that night but is haunted by nightmares of it. At the suggestion of her doctor, Karen and her husband Bill (Christopher Stone) take a vacation to The Colony. A little retreat for those who need to relax and heal. Maybe here she can get her memory back. Does she really want it back? Does she really want to know the truth about The Colony? Does she really have any choice? We know better.
I really enjoy this movie. It plays out like a traditional scary movie. Spooky woods, creepy music, strange natives and big furry villains. The effects still hold up and when Eddie changes into a big werewolf standing on two legs, well that's just good stuff! This film did get overshadowed a bit by "An American Werewolf in London" being released, with a bigger budget, around the same time.
While I love AAWIL it takes nothing away from this film. The Howling is scary and fun and a must for the Halloween season.
Some trivia about the movie...
1. Many of the character names are named after Werewolf movie directors.
2. There is a book placed near a phone during one scene: Allen Ginsberg's "Howl".
3. A photo of Lon Chaney Jr. (The Wolfman for Universal Pictures) is seen on the wall in the doctor's office when Terri calls Christopher.
4. The book Bill is reading in bed is "You Can't Go Home Again" by Thomas Wolfe.
5. One character is seen eating from a can of Wolf brand chili.
6. There is a picture of a wolf attacking a flock of sheep above Karen and Bill's bed.
7. The art director had previously worked on "Texas Chainsaw Massacre" and many of the set dressings were used here in "The Howling". Most noticeable is the corpse sitting in the arm chair at the bookstore.