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The Howling (1981)

R | | Horror | 10 April 1981 (USA)
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After a bizarre and near deadly encounter with a serial killer, a television newswoman is sent to a remote mountain resort whose residents may not be what they seem.

Director:

Joe Dante

Writers:

Gary Brandner (novel), John Sayles (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
2 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Dee Wallace ... Karen White
Patrick Macnee ... Dr. George Waggner
Dennis Dugan ... Chris Halloran
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 Margie Impert ... Donna
Noble Willingham ... Charlie Barton
James Murtaugh ... Jerry Warren
James MacKrell James MacKrell ... Lew Landers (as Jim McKrell)
Kenneth Tobey ... Older Cop
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Storyline

In a red light district, newswoman Karen White is bugged by the police, investigating serial killer Eddie Quist, who has been molesting her through phone calls. After police officers find them in a peep-show cabin and shoot Eddie, Karen becomes emotionally disturbed and loses her memory. Hoping to conquer her inner demons, she heads for the Colony, a secluded retreat where the creepy residents are rather too eager to make her feel at home. There also seems to be a bizarre connection between Eddie Quist and this supposedly safe haven. And when, after nights of being tormented by unearthly cries, Karen ventures into the forest and makes a terrifying discovery. Written by Tim Kretschmann <Tim.K@VirComm.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

All your nightmares are about to be transformed into one single inescapable fear! See more »

Genres:

Horror

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Spanish

Release Date:

10 April 1981 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Aullidos See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$17,986,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Because to their work in this movie, Joe Dante and Michael Finnell received the opportunity to make the movie Gremlins (1984) for Steven Spielberg. That movie references "The Howling" with a smiley face image on a refrigerator door. Eddie Quist leaves yellow smiley face stickers as his calling card in several places all through this movie. Also James MacKrell's character as news reporter Lew Landers appears in both "The Howling" and "Gremlins", which suggest both movies share the same universe. See more »

Goofs

When Eddie has Karen White in the porno booth, he says, "None of them do. They're not real, the people here. They're dead. They could never be like me," but his mouth is almost always closed the whole time. 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 »

Crazy Credits

A burger being fried on a grill plays out over the closing credits. See more »

Alternate Versions

In the French video version (TF1) The scene where "Eddie" rips a bullet out of his forehead just before turning into a werewolf is missing. The theater version was uncut though. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Scream: The Inside Story (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

To Make Your Believe
(uncredited)
Composed by Pino Donaggio
Conducted by Natale Massara
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
The beast of the best when it comes to werewolves
4 December 2005 | by terrible2See all my reviews

In 1981, horror movies were on the verge of their greatest comeback. The 1970's gave us Alien, Jaws and the Exersist, but we had lost the creepiness of the classic "Universal" monster films, such as Dracula, The Mummy and (my personal fave) The Wolfman. Pop culture had come to know the werewolf as a guy that hadn't shaved in a while and grew fangs. Joe Dante had a different idea. I was a freshman in high school in 1981 and some friends and I played "hooky" from school and went to see The Howling. After about 10 minutes I was so scared, that I actually found myself wanting to go to math class. Dante's film is full of suggested terror, although once he shows you, he never lets up. Karen White (Dee Wallace) is a popular newscaster who has managed to catch the eye of a serial killer. She decides to help the police trap him, but unannounced to us is the fact that the killer has a secret... A very dark secret. After a terrifying encounter, Karen and her husband Bill (Christopher Stone), take a long needed vacation. A retreat colony up in woods is their destination and the townsfolk (including the late, great John Carradine) are just normal everyday people who welcome them with open arms. As the days go by, strange things begin to happen and we realize that the colony is actually a colony of... Anyway, the visuals are great and this was long before the computer generated crap that they throw at us these days. Eddie Quist (Robert Picardo) is the resident bad dude or (wolf) as you may, and has one of the most classic transformation scenes I have ever witnessed. His sister Marsha Quist (Elisabeth Brooks) is definitely the hottest werewolf I've ever seen, and the cast is rounded out by Sheriff Newfield played by the one and only (Slim Pickens). The Howling certainly revolutionized the modern werewolf which has come a long way since Lon Channey Jr wore an afro wig and a pig nose, and there's not a lot of werewolf stranglings in this one. I have seen every werewolf movie ever made (literally), and The Howling has always remained my favorite, with An American Werewolf In (London)comming in at close second. If you have never seen this classic film, I urge you to go rent it, turn off the lights and pull the blanket up tight under your chin (for faster head covering action). You won't regret it, after all werewolves were meant to be big, ferocious, violent beasts that rip their victim apart. Nuff said.


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