Saturday, February 13, 2010

The Howling: Murray Futterman Visits Me in My Dreams.

Well it's happened again. It's starting to get a little awkward actually, I think I've successfully made it through a horror movie without seeing the Murray and then BOOM! Murray Futterman appears and I scream out loud.

It's not that I don't love seeing him- because obviously he's one of my favorite cameos ever, but I can't believe he has so many random parts in movies!

Ok moving on. The Howling is great. I enjoyed going into it knowing next to nothing about the story line- because it really is a truly different way to look at werewolf culture. Although both this and An American Werewolf in London were released in the same year- they both are fantastic- and if it had not been for my burning love of John Landis I would have a hard time deciding which I liked better. Well..that's kind of a lie- because The Howling is a little lacking in areas of dark comedy, and pure genuine thrills and of course story so American Werewolf rightfully wins. Anywho, both movies were praised for their make up effects- and both movies have an equally painful transformation scene. Dee Wallace was great- although sometimes she was a bit too catatonic for her own good- and funnily enough she wasn't catatonic enough when she discovered her friend ripped apart in the doctor's office. But never mind the movie was still great and it had me fooled all the way till the end about just how weird this "colony" really was.

Organized communities like this colony- really freak me out. How creepy was it at the end when...SPOILER everyone turned out to be a werewolf? They really had me fooled there because I thought the werewolves were just the slut girl and her brother. Again the idea of mental illness being the start of it all with the doctor providing therapy- and having them all be wolves was great! It really sticks it to those people like Larry Talbot's father who believe lycanthropy is a real disease and not someone actually turning into a wolf.

I also loved in the beginning how the you were kind of searching for how the werewolf was going to fit in. That scene in the porn store was intense- and later when they pulled out the guy's tray in the morgue and he was gone! With the claw marks on the back of the door? Crazy. I also loved that moment when Dee Wallace's friend stumbled upon the room in the cabin with the exact same drawings that the murderer had back in his apartment. And the ultimate shock moment- of when she finds his folder in the filing and cabinet and the wolf arm is right there! I loved that.

The wolves in this movie were really something. I think almost more impressive maybe than An American Werewolf in London- although that could have been because there were simply just more of them. American Werewolf still wins in the transformation scene though. The Howling transformation scene- did look painful but we really didn't care whether or not creepy Eddie Quist was experiencing pain. It still looked cool as fuck-
and I think the best part was maybe the wolf mouth expanding like that.
I guess I just felt like it went on for far too long. Just frickin change already. Still great though- and the gore in particular was pretty surprising...especially when he takes that thing out of his head? Barf.

There were a lot of great things going on here- although I'm still not sure about that sudden cartoon looking shot of Bill doing that wolf woman. What was that all about by the way? I just wanted to see some real wolf sex, is that too much to ask for? The ending scene in the car was exciting and sad at the same time- and the news announcement at the end was great. Overall I was truly surprised by how much I enjoyed this. I figured I was out wolfed out- but it turns out a good werewolf movie can always entertain.

Also side note- I loved Dee Wallace as a werewolf! She was almost cute looking. Too cute and fuzzy really...she mostly looked like a big bunny rabbit. Classic.

Buy The Howling at Horror Movie Empire


Evil Dave said...

I love how she just stares at him during that long transformation scene. Run, stupid. Better yet, grab something silver and whack him. And the live broadcast of the werewolf transformation is hands down one of the silliest moments in horror.

Still, the doctor from Voyager is damned creepy. Eep. I think he is creepier without fur and fangs and claws.

The third in the series is bad, bad, bad. You'll love it.

Franco Macabro said...

The Howlings werewolves were more of the half human half werewolf kind, and the one in American Werewolf looked like just one big monstrous wolf walking on four legs.

I agree, American Werewolf beats this one in the transformation sequences and over all, American Werewolf is a much better film then The Howling. But the Howling is still a fun watch. I wish Joe Dante was still making cool movies like this one instead of Looney Tunes Back in Action.

Pax Romano said...

Great minds...we were watching this just the other night.

I could not help but notice so much more about it, have not watched in years...Karen seems to be slightly based on Jessica Savitch (who was a very popular newscaster at the time), the poking fun at EST and other self help groups so popular in the late 70's and early 80's, the first Werewolf (Eddie) presented as sort of a Hillside strangler sort of character.

And the cameos, Dick Miller (as you mentioned), Roger Corman out side the phone booth (just like William Castle's stint in Rosemary's Baby), Forrest Ackerman in the bookstore...I'm sure I missed a few others.

Actually, I like this film much more than American Werewolf - it's fun, silly, and exciting. Whereas AWIL seemed like it could not make up it's mind ... speaking of which, I love when Eddie says, "I want to give you a piece of my mind"

Anonymous said...

I posted a little while ago on how this was my favorite werewolf movie. It's so classic, and downright scary. That opening scene in the porn booth -- did you notice it was a rape scene, too? Kinda like what Eddie was going to do to Karen before the cops got there. And don't forget the hot werewolf sex scene!

I just loved the werewolves and the transformation scenes -- much better than the CGI stuff they have today. They used the CGI in An American Werewolf in Paris and it didn't seem nearly as 'realistic' as these werewolves did.

Also, that scene when the friend is in the shack -- scary as hell -- and then when she's at the filing cabinets -- ahhhhh!!!! Love it to this very day!

Beyond the Wall of Sleep said...

One of my favorites (and Joe Dante is one of my favorite directors, so I concur with The Film Connoisseur). I actually met Robert Picardo (the werewolf) at a Star Trek convention. I was the only one there who praised him for his work in The Howling and Legend. He was tickled and showed me some behind the scenes photos he had from filming The Howling. Fantastically nice guy. Unbelievable how good he is at being evil.

Unknown said...

It doesn't hold up as well over multiple viewing like AWiL does, but it's still good to break out every now and again.
I always wondered why annie didn't just turn tail and bolt during the extended transformation sequence. She should've benn in her car and barelling down the highway long beofre Eddie had changed.