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The Howling
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The Howling (1981) More at IMDbPro »

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The Howling -- Trailer 2 for The Howling
The Howling -- Clip: Turning into a werewolf
The Howling -- Trailer for The Howling


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6.6/10   21,133 votes »
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Up 21% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Gary Brandner (novel)
John Sayles (screenplay) ...
View company contact information for The Howling on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
10 April 1981 (USA) See more »
All your nightmares are about to be transformed into one single inescapable fear! See more »
After a bizarre and near fatal encounter with a serial killer, a television newswoman is sent to a remote mountain resort whose residents may not be what they seem. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
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2 wins & 2 nominations See more »
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User Reviews:
AAAHHHOOOO... werewolves of California. See more (190 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

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 Quist

Robert Picardo ... Eddie Quist
Margie Impert ... Donna

Noble Willingham ... Charlie Barton

James Murtaugh ... Jerry Warren

James MacKrell ... Lew Landers (as Jim McKrell)

Kenneth Tobey ... Older Cop
Don McLeod ... T.C. Quist

Dick Miller ... Walter Paisley - Bookstore Owner
Steve Nevil ... Young Cop
Herbie Braha ... Porno Cashier (as Herb Braha)
Joe Bratcher ... Radio Man
Bill Sorrells ... Kline

Meshach Taylor ... Shantz (as Mesach Taylor)
Ivan Saric ... Jack Molina
Sarina C. Grant ... Hooker (as Sarina Grant)
Chico Martínez ... Man on Street
Daniel Núñez ... Liquor Cashier (as Daniel Nunez)
Michael O'Dwyer ... Drunk
Wendell Wright ... Man at Bar
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Forrest J. Ackerman ... Bookstore Customer (uncredited)

Robert A. Burns ... Porn store patron (uncredited)

Roger Corman ... Man in Phone Booth (uncredited)
Robert Hammond ... Bar Patron (uncredited)
John Jensen ... TV Sports Announcer (uncredited)

Jonathan Kaplan ... Gas Station Attendant (uncredited)

John Sayles ... Morgue Attendant (uncredited)
Beverly Warren ... Extra (uncredited)
Bill Warren ... Extra (uncredited)

Directed by
Joe Dante 
Writing credits
Gary Brandner (novel)

John Sayles (screenplay) and
Terence H. Winkless (screenplay)

Produced by
Daniel H. Blatt .... executive producer
Rob Bottin .... associate producer
Jack Conrad .... producer
Michael Finnell .... producer
Steven A. Lane .... executive producer
Original Music by
Pino Donaggio 
Cinematography by
John Hora (director of photography)
Film Editing by
Joe Dante 
Mark Goldblatt 
Casting by
Susan Arnold 
Judith Weiner 
Art Direction by
Robert A. Burns 
Costume Design by
Jack Buehler 
Makeup Department
Rick Baker .... special makeup effects consultant
Joe Beserra .... makeup effects studio artist
Rob Bottin .... special makeup effects creator
Greg Cannom .... additional makeup effects
Bill Davis .... assistant makeup artist
Morton Greenspoon .... creative contact lens effects (as Morton K. Greenspoon O.D.)
Tina Kline .... contact lens technician (as Tina Klein)
Shawn McEnroe .... first makeup effects assistant
Medusah .... assistant hair stylist (as Anne Aulenta-Spira)
Medusah .... assistant makeup artist (as Anne Aulenta-Spira)
Art Pimentel .... second makeup effects assistant
Margaret Prentice .... makeup effects studio artist (as Margaret Beserra)
Josephine Turner .... special hair work
Josephine Turner .... wig maker
Gigi Williams .... hair stylist
Gigi Williams .... makeup artist
Kevin Brennan .... special makeup effects artist (uncredited)
Steve LaPorte .... special makeup effects artist (uncredited)
Bill Sturgeon .... creature effects crew (uncredited)
Production Management
Peter Manoogian .... second unit manager
Jack C. Smith .... unit manager
David C. Thomas .... production manager
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Jack Cummins .... first assistant director
Jack Cummins .... second unit director
Jon Davison .... second unit director
Nancy King .... second assistant director
Art Department
Mary Church .... art assistant
Ivo Cristante .... property master
Richard Hescox .... production illustrator
Steven Legler .... set designer (as Steve Legler)
Frank Ventrola .... production illustrator
Sound Department
Ken King .... production sound mixer
Douglas Vaughan .... boom operator
Special Effects by
Doug Beswick .... special mechanical effects
Roger George .... special effects
Jeff Shank .... effects unit line producer
Steve Shank .... effects unit line producer
Visual Effects by
David Allen .... stop motion animation
Peter Kuran .... love scene and main title animation: VCE
Rick Taylor .... effects camera operator (uncredited)
Susan Turner .... visual effects (uncredited)
Pam Vick .... cel animator (uncredited)
Mike Warren .... optical effects (uncredited)
Carmen Babnick .... stunts
Bruce Paul Barbour .... stunt player (as Bruce Barbour)
Roger Creed .... stunt coordinator
Marneen Fields .... stunt player
John Moio .... stunt player
Conrad E. Palmisano .... utility stunts
Camera and Electrical Department
Norman Cattell .... first assistant camera
Doug Cragoe .... grip (as Douglas Cragoe)
Matia Karrell .... electrician
Laurel Moore .... still photographer
John C. Murray .... lighting gaffer
Stephen L. Posey .... camera operator: second unit (as Stephen Posey)
Ronald Raschke .... second assistant camera
Ted Rhodes .... best boy grip
Richard Sands .... electrician (as Rick Sands)
Richard Sands .... grip (as Rick Sands)
Roger Sassen .... best boy electric
Kurt Young .... key grip
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Nancy G. Fox .... wardrobe supervisor
Editorial Department
Kent Beyda .... associate film editor
Alan Toomayan .... assistant film editor
Music Department
Chris Carney .... composer: song "Rocky Mountain Waltz"
Joyce Fienhage .... composer: song "Howling Chicken"
Rick Fienhage .... composer: song "Howling Chicken"
Marshall Leib .... music coordinator (as Marshall Lieb)
Natale Massara .... conductor
Other crew
Allen Alsobrook .... production assistant
Donald P. Borchers .... production associate
Frank Capra III .... production assistant
Susan Gelb .... production accountant
Frank Gomon .... television material provided by
Robert Jellen .... insurance (as Bob Jellen)
Stephan Kertesz .... production assistant
Sherri Lubov .... production assistant
John Ott .... production assistant
Jeanne Rosenberg .... script supervisor
Jack C. Smith .... location manager
Terry Smulen .... assistant to producer
Michael Takacs .... television technical advisor
Mark Tarnawsky .... production assistant
Stokely Van Camp .... television material provided by
Forrest J. Ackerman .... special thanks
Jane Alsobrook .... special thanks
Jamie Anderson .... special thanks
Paul Bartel .... special thanks
Michael Chapman .... special thanks
Roger Corman .... special thanks
Mick Garris .... special thanks
Gary Graver .... special thanks
Jonathan Kaplan .... special thanks
Sylvia Neil .... special thanks

Production CompaniesDistributorsSpecial EffectsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
91 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Argentina:18 | Australia:R | Australia:M (TV rating) | Canada:R (Manitoba/Nova Scotia/Ontario) | Canada:13+ (Quebec) | Chile:14 | Finland:K-18 (uncut) (2004) | Finland:K-18 (heavily cut) (1981) | France:-12 | Iceland:16 | New Zealand:R16 | New Zealand:(Banned) (Special Edition DVD) | Norway:18 (video premiere) (1984) | Norway:(Banned) (1981-2003) (cinema release) | Portugal:M/18 | Singapore:M18 | Sweden:15 | UK:18 | UK:18 (Special Edition DVD) | UK:(Banned) (Special Edition DVD) | USA:R | West Germany:16

Did You Know?

To add to the hidden puns throughout this film, there is a book placed near a phone during one scene: Allen Ginsberg's "Howl".See more »
Crew or equipment visible: When Terry is in Dr. Waggner's office talking to Chris on the phone, there is an over-the-shoulder shot of Chris. Just before it cuts back to Terry in the office, a crew-member's shadow is visible moving toward Chris.See more »
[first lines]
Dr. George Waggner:Repression. Repression is the father of neurosis, of self-hatred. Now, stress results when we fight against our impulses. We've all heard people talk about animal magnetism, the natural man. the noble savage, as if we'd lost something valuable in our long evolution into civilized human beings. Now there's a good reason for this.
See more »
Movie Connections:
Rocky Mountain WaltzSee more »


When was Bill bitten?
Is there a longer version available of The Howling?
How much sex, violence, and profanity are in this movie?
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18 out of 21 people found the following review useful.
AAAHHHOOOO... werewolves of California., 27 January 2006
Author: AngryChair from Brentwood, USA

Terrific modern werewolf film from director Joe Dante remains one of his best movies.

News Anchor has a terrifying encounter with a lunatic murderer, then decides to seek rest in an isolated colony of weird characters. It's about to become a hairy situation!

Writer John Sayles (who does a humorous cameo as a morgue attendant) makes The Howling a clever and deeply spooky picture with some nicely tongue-in-cheek humor. The story references lots of old-school horror movies, notice how many of the characters in this movie are named after directors of old werewolf films. Dante lends some well-crafted direction, giving the movie a truly haunting atmosphere. He builds some great suspense and the occasional good shock. The art direction by Robert Burns is also quite good, making for some creepy settings. Rob Bottin's makeup FX are impressive and frightening. Pino Donaggio's music score is splendidly dramatic.

Dee Wallace Stone does a strong performance as the film's troubled heroine. Patrick Macnee, Dennis Dugan, Belinda Balaski, and Christoper Stone are also good in their supporting roles. Elisabeth Brooks and Robert Picardo make for some truly scary villains.

Along with Landis's great American Werewolf in London, which ironically came out the same year as this film, The Howling ranks as one of the very best modern werewolf movies!

**** out of ****

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omg, she totally‥ deb127
6.6(Howling) and 5.8(The Wolfman)? Misleading neel_majhi
What a Disappointment CreatedBySin
Donaggio's HOWLING score sampled in SCREAMERS (1981)? swr2777-1
RIP Patrick Macnee sillyspaghetti
Werewolf Films from the 1980s Biffco1985
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