6.6/10
31,371
237 user 139 critic

The Howling (1981)

R | | Horror | 10 April 1981 (USA)
Trailer
1:35 | Trailer
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 (based on the novel by), John Sayles (screenplay by) | 1 more credit »
Reviews
Popularity
4,322 ( 736)
2 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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
Robert Picardo ... Eddie
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
Edit

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:

The fright begins this fall... See more »

Genres:

Horror

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

In this movie, the werewolves stand upright; like demons or vampires (or people); in An American Werewolf in London (1981), the werewolf stands on all fours; like a dog. See more »

Goofs

When Chris arrives at the colony in his Mazda, you hear the tires squeal, but his car is on the grass, not the cement. 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

The opening credits roll over TV static and features dialogue snippets from the movie. See more »

Alternate Versions

The original uncut Fake Porn Movie (parts of it can be seen in the sex shop scene) was supposed to be included on the UK DVD by Momentum. But the BBFC rejected it due to "serious concerns about the portrayal of sexual violence". See more »

Connections

Referenced in Being Human: Pack It Up, Pack It In (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

Transformation
(uncredited)
Composed by Pino Donaggio
Conducted by Natale Massara
See more »

User Reviews

 
A masterpiece of an underrated cult classic werewolf film
15 October 2016 | by ivo-cobra8See all my reviews

The Howling (1981) is an underrated cult classic werewolf film of the 80's a masterpiece in all horror genre. It is one of my personal favorite horror movies. From the director of Gremlins and Piranha comes the ultimate masterpiece of primal terror. Filed with edge-of-your-seat suspense genuine thrills and amazing special effects, this riveting werewolf tale sinks in teeth into your deepest fear and never lest go. This is my third favorite werewolf film of all time, I love this film to death! It was filmed and released the same year as was An American Werewolf in London my number 2 favorite werewolf horror film this is the third one that I love to death!

A hip, well-made horror film brimming with film-buff jokes and amazing wolf transformations!

This is still one of my favorite werewolf films, it isn't a great movie but the effects, directing and acting are really solid. Now, I do admit that there are a couple missed opportunities regarding the werewolves screen time-wise, like they could've shown some earlier in the film. But still, it's a pretty good film. This movie got a several sequels which I don't care for but I am going to give a second chance to see Howling II: Stirba - Werewolf Bitch (1985) because it has a good theme score.

he film is about a television newswoman (Dee Wallace) sent to a remote mountain resort after a fatal incident with a serial killer, unaware that the inhabiting residents are werewolves. First and for most this is THE werewolf movie that started it all Besides American Werewolf in London (classic by the way) but this is a true werewolf horror. What a cast!!! The lovely delightful Dee Wallace oh my god, she was everyone's favorite movie mom (ET) The special effects (c'mon people for its time 1980/1981) great editing, amazing creepy music, weird people, a very secluded setting.. werewolf's!! Need I say more!! Anyone who knows horror films understands "The Howling" was a ground breaking film, and not just for the cutting edge SFX (for the time) that still holds up today.

What I love about this film is beautiful actress Belinda Balaski as Terry Fisher who sees the island that a serial killer (Eddie Robert Picardo) drew, she run to the cabin and she fight off the werewolf, she chopped a werewolf's hand with an ax what a shocker. In this movie you have a pack of werewolf's who kill's people and Dee Wallece has to fight for her own life. I love the transformation of werewolf's in this film, I love the character Chris Halloran (Dennis Dugan) shooting werewolf's with a silver bullets. Chris bolts werewolf's inside of barn and together, Karen and Chris pour gasoline all around the barn and set it on fire and kills the rest of the werewolf's this a bad ass scene and the best one in the movie!

I love the howling in this movie, Karen and Chris are surrounded in the car by group of werewolf's and they hardly escape. Karen is bitten by werewolf wow I love this movie. I love the music score by Pino Donaggio and mostly I love the acting by Dee Wallace.

The film won the 1980 Saturn Award for Best Horror Film while still in development, and was one of the three high-profile wolf-themed horror films released in 1981, alongside An American Werewolf in London and Wolfen. Over the years, The Howling has accumulated a cult following. Its financial success aided Joe Dante's career, and prompted Warner Bros. to hire Dante (as director) and Michael Finnell (as producer) for Gremlins. A franchise consisting of seven sequels arose from the film's success.

The Howling (1981) is my second personal favorite werewolf horror slasher film in the horror genre I love this movie 10 out of 10 it is wisely scary and it is also intelligent film.


57 of 68 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 237 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Spanish

Release Date:

10 April 1981 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Howling See more »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$1,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$17,985,893

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$17,985,893
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »

Contribute to This Page



Recently Viewed