The Howling

Not ‘Bowling’ but ‘Howling.’

I hate the idea that becoming a monster is like gaining a superpower.

Lately, this idea is perpetuated by Twilight. Yes, it’s a severe offender but let’s face it – the idea has been brewing for decades. We’ve been close to what, thirty? thirty-five years of the idea that being bitten by a werewolf or turned into a vampire could possibly be a step-up in the world, that it’s a positive career choice.

Have we reached total saturation of that point now? Can we go back to the time where getting caught by a werewolf or turned into bloodsucker is a bad thing? That there’s an actual CURSE to this shit? People who look forward to turning into animals are called furries and those who want to drink blood and never see the sunlight are basement goths. Let’s put this into perspective, people.

1981’s The Howling is a good in showing that even though they’re werewolves, they’re still total jerks. 
A reporter doing real work in a phone booth. Nothing in this picture exists anymore.

We start off with some scenes establishing that a reporter named Karen is going undercover to find a serial killer named Eddie who mutilates his rape victims. Remember when reporters used to DO shit? Me neither.

From the makers of ‘The Secret.’

Meanwhile, we get a shot of live-tv as it shows a doctor hocking his book THE GIFT. Keep this in mind before we cut back to the snuff porn that Eddie shows to Karen to get her in the mood. Granted, I would have gone for a romantic comedy but one man’s date movie varies from person to person.

“At least it’s not ‘8mm’ with Nic Cage. I’m not a monster.”

Figure this must be LA because when the cops show up, one empties his gun into  Eddie who turns out to be without any weapon on hand. What happened to her, she can’t remember due to trauma-based amnesia. Was she raped? She’s not saying.

Cops shooting first? Most believable scene in this movie.

Karen has nightmares. News at 11.Two new reporters start to snoop around Eddie’s apartment, finding a lot of drawings and shit to do with werewolves. WEREWOLVES, EH?

The Hardy Boys they are not.

Hey, it’s the Doctor Wagner from the beginning, offering advice to them. Because there’s only one Shrink in Los Angeles.

Doc Wagner. Jr. 

Karen’s not putting out, which makes Bill, her husband, cold and unresponsive. This was the early eighties, I guess. Sensitive men weren’t the rage yet. Karen tries to go back on TV but ends up freezing. Fun times leads her back to Doc Wagner (LA PSYCHIATRIST) who sends her to THE COLONY.

Can you believe we’re doing a movie called ‘The Howling?’ Man, I’m totally wasted.

This retreat is full of country folk, some basket case girl and Marsha ‘Boom Boom’ Quist, shown to be eyeing Karen’s husband Bill. Sad that the actress, Elisabeth Brooks, passed away to cancer in 1997. Kinds of kills the sex appeal but we’ll have to carry on.

A whole not of nothing happens, with Karen calling the cops – played here by Slim Pickens – ’cause she heard some howling. SOME HOWLING. OH MY GOD THE NAME OF THE MOVIE IS

It’s gone, Shaggy!

Back in the morgue, the two reporters from before – Chris and Terry – try to look at Eddie’s body for some tattoo. UH OH – WHO STOLE THE BODY?

More outdoors stuff goes, which has Bill kill a rabbit and Karen go through her nightmare. But we cut to an occult bookstore where Chris and Terry talk to DICK MILLER about body snatching groups. DICK MILLER acts as DICK MILLER: AGENT OF EXPOSITION, explaining the werewolves rules for this movie: shapechange at will, regenerate, don’t die right unless you use silver or fire. THANK YOU, DICK MILLER (Seriously, if you’ve seen anything in the last fifty years, chances are you’ve seen something with Dick Miller in it. We salute you, Mr. Miller.)

That’s Mr. Dick Miller to you.

Bill goes to get his rabbit cleaned and cooked – SEXUAL INNUENDO – and we find out that Marsha doesn’t own more than one dress, which she will demonstrate in a latter scene that she has NO QUALMS taking it off.

This is as close as you can see her goods here. Go rent it for yourself.

Walking home, Bill gets attacked by a werewolf. BOOGA!


Which, of course, turns him into a werewolf. But not until he gets freaky with Marsha, who in turn shows that SHE’S A WEREWOLF OH MY GOD I DIDN’T SEE THAT COMING and speaking of which, the movie shows some shady, like bad-cell shaded cartoon footage of Bill explaining why it’s called DOGGY STYLE. WOOF!

-aaaaaannnd after.

Terry, who is up around the camp due to Karen calling her, goes about snooping and finds that Eddie the missing cadaver drew a picture of the COLONY, and that he has a shack up there. Of course, she’s attacked by a werewolf and hatchets the thing’s arm off. Can’t really complain about the special effects – well, I do. later. But the arm transformation looks pretty sweet for thirty-years ago.

No arm related puns here. This was a neat effect.

Anyway, Terry dies. SPOILER ALERT. She tells Chris to come up and he does something smart by purchasing the case of silver bullets from DICK MILLER.

Alice Cooper sued ‘The Howling’ for copyright infringement.

Karen goes looking and finds that EDDIE IS IN THE HOUSE!

He goes all psycho on her, AGAIN. And we get treated to a very prolonged transformation scene that features the best head-throbbing special effects outside of ‘SCANNERS.’

by the power of my rubberskull!

But damn if it takes forever. Three minutes going on thirty. So when Marsha attacked Bill, did he take the long way back to his cabin to give her time to transform or do female werewolves (she-wolves. of the SS?) mature faster? Probably.

Karen nails Eddie-wolf in the face with a bunch of acid and flees, only to be captured and taken to a barn where everyone in the Colony is meeting. And hey – they’re all werewolves. It’s a Werewolf party and YOU’RE INVITED! Except they’re going to kill Karen because she’s not one of them and whatever.

At least you have your personality, Eddie. 

Meanwhile, Chris has shown up and is snooping around and he finds Eddie doing his best Eddie from Iron Maiden impression. Of course, he gives the gun back because he’s Eddie. Of course, it’s full of silver bullets. OF COURSE. OF COURSE.

Chris shows up, shoots a couple werewolves, pisses off the rest of them. I would be too, really. Karen and he back them off because one guy with a Werewolf-Killing-Gun trumps thirty-something werewolves. I was never good at Monster Math.

Nice porn ‘stache there, wolfy. 

They set fire to the barn but some escape and there’s no barn big enough to stick all the werewolves in the world. On the way home, Marsha gets attacked and the attacking werewolf turns out to be Bill. Nice way to wrap that one up, Movie.


But not comfortable with keeping what they saw to themselves, Chris and Karen go back to work. Karen decides to show the world that WEREWOLVES ARE REAL by turning into one. Of course, it looks more like an Ewok than a werewolf, maybe more of a Pomeranian than a wolf. Being that Chris carries a rifle around with him wherever he goes now, he shoots Karen.

the saddest werewolf

Sure, this would be fitting but somewhere, Marsha orders a burger – “rare” – AND IT’S NOT OVER!

how many sequels? 

Well, it is. As I said, Elisabeth Brooks passed away from cancer. But there were SIX(!) – wait, six. That means there are SEVEN HOWLING MOVIES out there. Goddamn. There were six sequels to this movie. My god.

That would make anyone bark at the moon.

1 comment

    • Weird Jon on October 10, 2010 at 6:11 pm
    • Reply

    If you thought the end transformation in this was bad, just wait until you see the recreation of it in the first sequel!

    Oh, and I'm pretty sure one of the "sequels" was a low budget remake of the original…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Bad Behavior has blocked 3958 access attempts in the last 7 days.