The Howling
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The following FAQ entries may contain spoilers. Only the biggest ones (if any) will be covered with spoiler tags. Spoiler tags are used sparingly in order to make the page more readable.

For detailed information about the amounts and types of (a) sex and nudity, (b) violence and gore, (c) profanity, (d) alcohol, drugs, and smoking, and (e) frightening and intense scenes in this movie, consult the IMDb Parents Guide for this movie. The Parents Guide for The Howling can be found here.

After a near fatal encounter with a serial killer, Los Angeles' KDHB-TV news anchor Karen White (Dee Wallace) emerges with no memory of what actually happened to her. Subsequently, she and husband Bill Neill (Christopher Stone) are invited by her psychiatrist, Doctor George Waggner (Patrick Macnee) to undergo group therapy at the "Colony", his private rehab center isolated in the northern California woods. However, the strange people and the howling at night puts Karen on edge, so she asks her KDHB colleagues, Terry (Belinda Balaski) and Chris (Dennis Dugan), to join her. Terry uncovers evidence of werewolves and is killed by one. Meanwhile, Bill has begun meeting the Colony nymphomaniac, Marsha Quist (Elisabeth Brooks), for werewolf trysts in the woods.

The movie is based on The Howling (1977), a novel by American author Gary Brandner. The novel was adapted for the screen by American screenwriters John Sayles and Terence H. Winkless. The Howling was the first movie in a series of movies that included: Howling II: Stirba - Werewolf Bitch (1985), Howling III (1987), Howling IV: The Original Nightmare (1988), Howling V: The Rebirth (1989), and Howling VI: The Freaks (1991). The Howling: Reborn was released in 2011 as a reboot, but it is a not a remake of the first movie nor is it related to the story in Brandner's novel.

Viewers are divided on the answer to that question. Some think Eddie (Robert Picardo) just wanted to turn her into a werewolf. However, he could have done that in the booth, but he didn't. A more likely explanation is that he wanted her to accept his "gift" and to come to him willingly and be his mate. Unfortunately, he lost trust in her when she tricked him by bringing along the police.

There are some deleted scenes that show the doctor had to be certain Karen didn't see Eddie change in the booth. If she had, her memory returning could blow away the secrecy of the werewolf colony.

The werewolves in this movie can transform anytime they choose. They don't need the full moon nor do they have to transform just because there is a full moon.

The werewolves barricade themselves in the barn to get away from Chris and his silver bullets. He and Karen then set fire to the barn and run for the car. They pass Sheriff Sam Newfield (Slim Pickens) on the road and stop to give him a lift, but he begins to turn into a werewolf and shoots out their tires. Chris shoots Sam, and they take his patrol car. Before they can get the engine started, they are swamped from all sides by more werewolves. One of them breaks the rear window, hops into the back seat, and bites Karen on the shoulder before she is able to shoot him with a silver bullet. They finally get the car going, Karen looks in the back seat and sees that the werewolf she killed was her husband Bill. Sobbing, Karen says, "We have to warn people, Chris. We have to make them believe." The next scene shows Karen returning to her position as news anchor. Instead of reading the scripted report, she begins to talk about her experience at the Colony. As she nears the end of her speech, she gives visual proof by turning herself into a werewolf after which Chris shoots her. Of those in the viewing audience, some think it's special effects but one man in a bar claims it was real. The camera then pans down the bar, and Marsha can be seen seated there, waiting for her hamburger to cook.

Bill was bitten while on his way home just after taking the rabbit to Marsha. The werewolf comes out of nowhere and bites him on the shoulder. It's difficult to tell who actually bit him, but a good guess would be either Marsha or her brother T.C. (Don McLeod).

Partly, because there's a German DVD available that features some kind of an extended cut with nearly all the deleted scenes reinserted that can be found on the US Laserdisc or US DVD plus two scenes that are not featured amongst the deleted scenes of the US DVD. A detailed comparison with pictures between the normal R-rated version and this special cut can be found here.

"Good" is subjective, and doing an IMDb search on the keyword "werewolf" will call up over 500 movies, too many to be listed here. A good place to start might be with Werewolf of London (1935), one of the first werewolf movies ever made. It features the same artist who did the makeup for Larry Talbot in Universal's seminal werewolf movie The Wolf Man (1941), which was remade in 2010 as The Wolfman. The Howling has been cited as THE werewolf movie, along with An American Werewolf in London (1981, same year) as reawakening the werewolf genre. Both movies were followed by The Company of Wolves (1984) (a retelling of Little Red Riding Hood), Stephen King's Silver Bullet (1985) (strongly recommended), Teen Wolf (1985), Wolf (1994), and Bad Moon (1996). More recent movies recommended by viewers include Dog Soldiers (2002) and the Ginger Snaps series—Ginger Snaps (2000), Ginger Snaps 2: Unleashed (2004), and Ginger Snaps Back: The Beginning (2004). Although not exclusively about werewolves, the series of movies following Underworld (2003) and Twilight (2008) have also added immensely to the genre. A real treat can be found in Paul Naschy's Spanish Hombre Lobo series, in which Naschy plays Waldemar Daninsky, a sympathetic character who has been cursed to live as a werewolf. There are almost a dozen movies in the series, but the classics include the earlier ones: Las noches del Hombre Lobo (1968), La marca del Hombre Lobo (1968), La noche de Walpurgis (1971), La furia del Hombre Lobo (1972), Doctor Jekyll y el Hombre Lobo (1972), and El retorno de Walpurgis (1973). If you can find them, they provide a different slant on the killer werewolf.


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