Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Bravo's 100 Scariest Movie Moments:#81-The Howling(1981)

By Eric Polk-
Believe it or not, I had not seen this Joe Dante-directed film until very recently. Why? It was released in what I consider to be the golden age of the horror film(the early-80s). It has a great cast(John Carradine, Patrick McNee, of course, Dee Wallace from E.T. and Cujo). For the Trekkers of the DBH Nation, The Doctor from Voyager plays a lycanthrope chasing Dee Wallace who plays a news reporter.

Her therapist, Dr. George Waggne, decides to send her and her husband, Bill Neill, to "The Colony", a secluded resort in the countryside where he sends patients for treatment.

The colony is filled with strange characters, and one, a sultry nymph named Marsha Quist, tries to seduce Bill. When he resists her less-than-subtle sexual overtures, he is attacked and bitten by a wolf-like creature while returning to his cabin. He later returns to find Marsha waiting and the two have sex by the campfire in the moonlight. During the encounter, their bodies have undergone a frightening transformation as they both shapeshift into werewolves.

After Bill's wolf bite, Karen summons her friend Terri Fisher to the Colony, and Terri connects the resort to Eddie Quist through a sketch he left behind. Karen also begins to suspect that Bill is hiding a secret far more threatening than marital infidelity.

Why didn't I see this movie before, I ask again. Awesome acting, great non-CGI special effects, in-jokes, the ending. It's a fantastic little film. Though I do wonder why, if the werewolves can change at will(thus breaking their rules), why can they still only be stopped by silver bullets?


Mac Campbell said...

When i was a kid, I saw the trailer for this movie in the theatre. I was scared shitless and has to hide my eyes. They edited each scene with claws coming down the screen! Rented it as an adult and it stood up really well. It's a treasure. Liking your blog. - Mac Campbell

Morbidementia said...

The Howling is one of my favorite movies of all time. It was released the same year as the other werewolf masterpiece, An American Werewolf in London. I watch Howling if I want a little depth and I watch AAWiL if I want a little comedy. IMO Howling is the scarier of the two for sure.

Eric Polk said...

@Mac...Thanks for digging our site...@Morbid....AAWiL is awesome...the initial transformation sequence still freaks me out...DYK, Rick Baker won an Oscar for the makeup work he did in that movie....Another reason why CGI is the cinematic version of New Coke!