Saturday, December 15, 2012

1981 - THE HOWLING, Joe Dante updates another old film genre

There just isn't much to say about this one.  The Howling is a typical Joe Dante film.  Some of the characters are named after old Universal studios horror directors.  The film has scenes from The Wolf Man scattered throughout the story and there are lots of references to wolves with jokes about dog food and eating rare hamburgers

Being that this is a 1980's film, no studio was going to finance a werewolf film unless it had lots of blood and sex which The Howling does.    Dante knows that if he wants to make his genre influenced films he has to play the Hollywood game.

The big thing in The Howling at the time was the actual on screen transformation of a man into a werewolf.  This prosthetic effect probably looked reasonably cool back in the 80's but now it's just a bunch of inflatable balloons attached to an actor's face.  This kind of thing is now done with computer effects these days.

This is an OK time killer and nothing more.  The Howling is a lot like The Wolfman it sounds better than it actually plays.

91 minutes

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