IMDb > The Howling (1981)
The Howling
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The Howling (1981) More at IMDbPro »

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The Howling -- Trailer for The Howling

Overview

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Director:
Writers:
Gary Brandner (novel)
John Sayles (screenplay) ...
(more)
Contact:
View company contact information for The Howling on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
10 April 1981 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
Imagine your worst fear a reality
Plot:
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 »
Plot Keywords:
Awards:
2 wins & 2 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
The Pulp Fiction/Kill Bill of Horror Movies See more (182 total) »

Cast

  (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
Jim McKrell ... Lew Landers

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)

Jonathan Kaplan ... Gas Station Attendant (uncredited)

John Sayles ... Morgue Attendant (uncredited)
Beverly Warren ... Extra (uncredited)
Bill Warren ... Extra (uncredited)
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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)
 
Stunts
Carmen Babnick .... stunts
Bruce Paul Barbour .... stunts (as Bruce Barbour)
Roger Creed .... stunt coordinator
Marneen Fields .... stunt double: Dee Wallace
John Moio .... stunts
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 .... 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
 
Thanks
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
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Additional Details

Also Known As:
Runtime:
91 min
Country:
Language:
Color:
Aspect Ratio:
1.66 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Certification:
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?

Trivia:
Art director Robert A. Burns had previously worked on the sets for The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974). In fact many of the grisly set dressings for this film were hold-overs from "The Texas Chain Saw Massacre"; most notably the corpse in the armchair seen in Walter Paisley's bookstore.See more »
Goofs:
Continuity: Werewolf Eddie needed to press the Play and Record button at the same time to record Terry's attack. But only the Play button was pressed down.See more »
Quotes:
[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:
Soundtrack:
Rocky Mountain WaltzSee more »

FAQ

When was Bill bitten?
I thought werewolves could only transform during a full moon?
What is 'The Howling' about?
See more »
6 out of 6 people found the following review useful.
The Pulp Fiction/Kill Bill of Horror Movies, 29 May 2010
Author: jzappa from Cincinnati, OH, United States

The Howling demonstrates Joe Dante's penchant for exploitation aesthetics, ironic revision and the subversive critique of genre staples, the combination of the sensibility of a cartoonist and a social satirist. It escapes me why this film is seen as no more than a werewolf slasher pic even by respected critics, because in a sense, it did what Scream did fifteen years later: self-deconstructing. It is not about the plot. It is about itself. It comments on all the conventions it happily plays upon itself. The violence, gore and werewolf metamorphoses are disarmed by the ironic way Dante utilizes and annotates them. He inserts countless in-jokes and references, often veiled and subtle, not just to movies and TV like with The Big Bad Wolf in The Three Little Pigs but also concerning characters eating Wolf Brand Chili, the momentary glimpse of a copy of Howl by Ginsberg, mention of DJ Wolfman Jack, characters with names like Terri Fisher, which could be a reference to the British director Terence Fisher, who did direct a film called Curse of the Werewolf. The focus of this extremely hip post-modern wolf man movie is mostly on the humor, satirizing pop culture and the self-help craze, gaining comic effect even from some of the special effects.

But it goes much much deeper than merely being reference-happy. What is really clever about The Howling is its pervasive visual references to a variety of media forms and aspects of popular culture themselves. We see cameramen, bystander-like TV sets and movie posters galore, we go behind the scenes of a network TV station. There is stop-motion animation and puppetry as well as special effects by Rick Baker and Rob Bottin that were state-of-the-art at the time. A silhouette of one of the monsters is obviously a cartoon animation (not unlike in Abbott & Costello Meet Frankenstein). John Sayles (who co-wrote the blatantly metatextual script) and Roger Corman have cameos. Dee Wallace-Stone plays a Hollywood TV news anchor who is being stalked by a serial killer. In cooperation with the police, she takes part in a sting to capture the killer by meeting him in a scuzzy porn theater, where he forces her to watch a film of a young woman being raped, before she sees him emerging from the shadows. The final scene is a brilliant diametric reversal of this scenario in terms of the role of what's really happening, what's happening on the screen, and in what way horrific reality is stopped by bullets.

The brave anchor nonetheless submerges the memory of the tremendous sight which she cannot accept, so her therapist, Dr. George Waggner, named after the director of The Wolf Man with Lon Chaney and Claude Rains, sends her and her husband, Bill Neill, a thinly disguised reference to the director of Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man, to a secluded countryside resort for treatment. As expected, the colony is chock full of oddball characters, and eventually werewolf sex, frightening shapeshifting and silver bullets abound. But all this elemental and earthy stuff takes place outside of the reach of mass media, at least to some extent, so a TV news anchor returning from this experience is going to want the world to know! But how can she? In a society surrounded and inundated by all kinds of bright, flashing mass broadcasting all the time, how can she make them truly connect and believe her claims no matter what she shows them?

As befits a real B-grade horror flick, the leads are all basically interchangeable. Most of the more solid moments are left to the character actors, played by B-movie vets like Slim Pickens, John Carradine, and Dick Miller, as well as Patrick Macnee, who plays Wallace-Stone's shrink. I tend to nix comparisons to Tarantino because his fans tend to write off a lot of interesting filmmakers as QT wannabes, but this movie was made long before Tarantino burst onto the scene: The Howling is like the Pulp Fiction or Kill Bill of horror movies. It's a post-modern pastiche that arrives insisting it is the real thing to some degree, casting all the right people, playing its own creative variations on a classic old-hat plot device, engulfing us with reminiscences of other movies and media like it and at the same time giving it a real-world edge. The Howling so consciously plays upon fantasy and allusions to midnight movies of yesteryear and werewolf lore, and reintroduces common, prototypical features of style. And there is always something about that self-aware quality that frees us from taking it seriously and we have so much more fun with it.

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