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Author Topic: The Howling films of the 80s
aTomiK
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The Howling (1981)

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"After a bizarre and near fatal encounter with a serial killer,
a newswoman is sent to a rehabilitation center whose inhabitants may not be what they seem." (IMDb)

Just watched this very good horror film again.
The film was directed by the great Joe Dante and written by John Sayles and Terence H. Winkless.
Dante and Sayles worked together earlier also in Piranha (1978).

The movie stars, Dee Wallace, Christopher Stone, Belinda Balaski, Elisabeth Brooks, Dennis Dugan, Patrick Macnee
and cool co-stars like D1ck Miller and John Sayles himself.

The cast did a pretty good work, Brooks looks very nice as the "maneater" Marsha.
The creature effects, created by Rob Bottin, are fantastic.
These early 80s horror films have that special feel that i love.
Recommended!

Any fans here?

Next: Howling II.

The Howling trailer

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the young warrior
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i agree atomik the howling is a really well made early 80s horror ,you always find a lot of people make instant comparisons between the howling and an american werewolf in london whenever the movie is mentioned and the howling normally seems to come off second best.

i must admit i personally do prefer american werewolf but still rate the howling right up there,the cast,the effects,the atmosphere,it's got it all,a really great movie and the only one from the series that i own.


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from the sequels the only one i've watched is howling 2,so i'll be watching your thread with interest.

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Dutch Gannon
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I just watched this one as well in HD on Sony. It's the fourth time I've seen it. Strange that the first time I saw it I thought it was only just okay, liked it mostly because it was and 80's horror with that great film look which is absent from films today. Then it got better and better with repeat viewings. I've always been a fan of Joe Dante two of his films being my all time favorites The Burbs, and Innerspace. Not to mention both Gremlins films and Matinee, But this one is really great too.

You know I heard alot of bad stuff about the Howling 2, Your Sister is a Werewolf but when I watched it I thought that it was a film that had potential, but was slopped together in too many places to be good. I liked the whole queen of the werewolves sexual predator thing with Sybil Danning, and Christopher Lee could have been good, didn't really like the blonde guy though. On the whole the film just felt unpolished.

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Bernie_Lomax

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Rick Baker left his protege Rob Bottin to take over doin make up & special effects after Rick was summoned away from the film by John Landis for AWIL.

AWIL is my favourite horror movie of all time but I do often wonder that if Rick Baker was to have stayed on doing The Howling and not done AWIL how things would have turned out.

I know it's got nothing to do with story but often the comparisons are made because of the make up and the type of wolf used. Rick Baker refers to his quadraped as a demon dog from hell and John Landis refers to the biped in The Howling as a Poodle werewolf.

I think Bottin done a really good job but unfortunately could not match up to his mentors handywork.

I like the story and the soundtrack of AWIL much better too.

I know you guys probably aren't after comparisons but it's only natural considering they are both werewolf movies, both made in 81 and both done by great directors and writers.

One thing I really did not like about this movie is how bad the news reporter looked as a werewolf. It didn't look scary at all. Just looked like a spoiled pathetic dog that hadn't been fed yet.

Overall I thought the movie was ok.

I would honestly give it about 5-6/10.

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J2ME
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I've only seen the first. Not bad, but not a patch on "An American Werewolf in London".
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aTomiK
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I don´t mind the comparison in this case, Bernie.
Like you said it´s natural and yes, i knew that Rick Baker was hired but left to do AWIL.

I agree that the Dee Wallace werewolf looks pretty bad but otherwise the ending is great.
Maybe they made her look like a poodle to increase the shock value... (the shooting)

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Bernie_Lomax

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aTomiK, I can't remember the ending heaps well but you are probably right.
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Dutch Gannon
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Hey Bernie got to disagree with you on the music, Pino Donaggio a masterful composer and this theme is fantastic, kind of gives you a romantic/tragetic/jazzy rock feel, I love the ending with the hamburger being grilled, Elizabeth Brooks "Rare". Indicating she's out on the prowl looking to seduce and eat her way through America like burgers, plus it makes me hungry... For both the burger and the woman actually. Great ending

I also like all the side characters, guy in bar who believes the footage is real, has almost no emotion to it. "It was real, she turned into a werewolf and they shot her" Cops at beginning "Don't ask me, ask quickdraw McGraw over here". Classic stuff.

But I do agree some of the effects could have been polished up, Eddy's transformation could have been speeded up, some shots where his eyes are bulging out look a bit too goofy, and it took so long, that I asked my brother I wonder which was faster Eddies transformation, or the time it took Sam Elliot to get his gun out of his holster to pistol whip Ike Clanton on Tombstone.

Karen's transformation could have been better, probably one of the greatest film screams of my opinion and she turns into a blonde marmot, I think they could have made something more werewolf like and still maintained a level of beauty or goodness In fact I feel confident I could come up with one.

P.S Bernie have you checked out any of Pino Donaggio's other soundtracks? Try this one it's good.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7ipM9obtWeg

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aTomiK
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Howling II: Stirba - Werewolf Bitch aka Howling II: ... Your Sister Is a Werewolf (1985)

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"When Ben, the brother of one of the werewolf victims from the first movie,
is told that the world is actually full of werewolves and they're planning to take control, he is skeptical.
After a good deal of convincing from werewolf hunter Stefan, however,
he finally agrees to join Stefan's band of lycanthrope hunters
in Transylvania on a mission to kill Stirba, Queen of the Werewolves.
Can the group survive against her army of evil?" (IMDb)

Wow this was a bad but highly entertaining sequel, directed by Philippe Mora.
Starring Annie McEnroe, Reb Brown, Christopher Lee, Sybil Danning, Marsha A. Hunt and Judd Omen.

The acting is subpar and the screenplay sucks but somehow this film keep you entertained.
Of course it´s always great to see Sybil Danning and yes, she´s gives her best once again.
She has some wicked outfits which i liked very much.
Christopher Lee chose the role only because there was no werewolf flick on his presume before this one.
It is said that when Christopher Lee was cast in Gremlins 2, one of the first things he did was apologize
to director Joe Dante for being in this film. [Smile]

I didn´t like the locations that much (filmed in Czech Republic)
and all the extras look like they are local farmers.

The creature effects look awful but quite nasty at the same time.
The score, composed by Stephen W. Parsons, is pretty decent.
You can hear the theme tune too many times though.
I loved the legendary end credits [Big Grin]

All in all, not a good movie but i´ve seen worse.

Howling II trailer

Next: Howling III, wish me luck [Smile]

I own this UK vhs tape:

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aTomiK
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Howling III: The Marsupials (1987)

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Oh my god, this movie is a one big joke [Smile]
Once again directed by Philippe Mora and this time set in Australia
the werewolves strike back, or are they marsupials, or what are they?

Howling III is not a horror movie but a pure comedy. There are few "horrific" moments but those won´t last longer
than few seconds. There´s also lots of scientific mumbo jumbo and sometimes i felt that
i was watching a documentary from science channel.

The acting is bad and the cast knows that nothing is to be taken seriously.
Like someone said on IMDb, the comedy is inappropriate, badly timed, and too farcical for words.
The movie stars Barry Otto, Imogen Annesley and Lee Biolos.

The score, composed by Allan Zavod, sucks but the soundtrack includes few interesting Aussie bands like
Vitamin Z, I´m Talking and Caine and Abel.

Vitamin Z - Wipe Your Tears Away

The guys watch a movie called "It Came from Uranus" on theater, We can see Frank Thring
as a director of "Shape Shifters part 8", cheap werewolf effects and Dame Edna? Oh dear.. [Big Grin]
The film closes with text "Adios Amigos". You have to see it to belive it.

Howling III: The Marsupials trailer

Next: Howling IV. I wonder, where can they go from here?

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Kash
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Cool thread aTomiK, I've only seen the original and actually prefer it story wise to an American Werewolf in London. Dee Wallace and Elisabeth Brooks were good, the werewolf transformations range from convincing to overtly comedic. John Sayles witty script makes a lot of post-modern references and its all quite tongue-in-cheek.
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the young warrior
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you are a very brave man atomik taking on the howling sequels,i hope you manage to keep your sanity intact [Big Grin]

i agree with you about howling 2 it is a complete mess but it's also very(unintentionally) funny and quite entertaining as bad movies go.

i've read the next one howling 4 - the original nightmare is one of the better sequels in the series,saying that i have also read a lot of other not so favourable reviews.

anyhow good luck,i think you're going to need it!

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Dutch Gannon
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I honestly think that the Howling 2 could have been saved, I wouldn't have made it a sequel to the Howling but the movie could have been good, using all the elements that worked and polishing them up with a good script.

As For Howling III i've never seen it. But I remember very little from Howling 4 when i was very young, I had it on tape and remember watching the part with the naked she wolf woman, it was taped on a tape with several other films, I would always sneak a peak when I could.

I like that last Howling III poster, I wish modern day film makers would go back to the Handpainted posters.

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aTomiK
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Howling IV: The Original Nightmare (1988)

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"An author who was sent to the town Drakho, because of a nervous breakdown,
gets wound up in a mysterious mystery about demons and werewolves.
She starts seeing ghosts and dismisses them as her own imagination,
but when they turn out to be real she starts to get suspicious of the odd town and of its past." (IMDb)

Well, in this fourth film, they decided to go back to the origins of the Howling saga.
Howling IV is said to be most faithful adaptation of the Bary Brandner book.

But is it a good movie..? No it isn´t.
This straight to video movie is so boring that i started to miss the craziness what parts 2 and 3 had.
And that is not a good sign. In fact, it is dangerous [Big Grin]

The film, which was shot in South Africa, had financial problems and most of the original crew left during the production.
Finally, John Hough (Biggles, American Gothic) got the director credits.
The cast is soap opera caliber: Romy Windsor, Michael T. Weiss, Antony Hamilton, Susanne Severeid and Lamya Derval.

Most of the plot involves Windsor and Severeid solving this mystery around a nun called Sister Ruth.
Weiss and Hamilton come and go and Derval is the "evil" seductress.
Finally after some 65 minutes we get to see little werewolf action but it´s too late.

Two neat f/x scenes and the smooth theme tune are the best parts of this borefest.

Justin Hayward - Something Evil, Something Dangerous

Howling IV trailer

Next: Howling V.

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aTomiK
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Howling V: The Rebirth (1989)

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"When a group of people from different walks of life converge in a Hungarian castle situated in Budapest
which has been sealed for 500 years, they bring with them a werewolf which slowly begins to cut their numbers down.
The movie is The Howling a la Agatha Christie's Ten Little Indians." (IMDb)

Another poor Howling sequel.
Directed by Neal Sundstrom and starring Ben Cole, Philip Davis, Victoria Catlin, Elizabeth Shé and stephanie Faulkner.

The acting is slightly better but it wont help much because the screenplay sucks.
The crew head to the castle during the first ten minutes and after that
it´s all about wandering through the castle halls and catacombs. Very dull indeed.

No on-screen werewolf kills (just like in part IV),
everytime the beast attacks, they cut to another scene. So frustrating!

I also own Howling 6 and will give my review in the 90s section later.
But in the meantime i need to check out some quality films first to keep my sanity [Smile]

Howling V trailer

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Dutch Gannon
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Hey aTomiK found this on youtube whilest trying to find a trailer for Howling IV, you might find it interesting, as a time capsule at the very least.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zblvS-8pC7A&feature=endscreen&NR=1

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