31 Days of ’80s Horror – The Howling

31 Days of Horror Day 29 banner

Welcome to 31 Days of ’80s Horror boys and ghouls! Each day in October I’ll be posting about a horror film from the 1980s, some of which you may have heard of, others may be a little more obscure. This is the month to celebrate all things spooky so I wanted to present some films from my favorite era of the horror genre. I hope you enjoy the column and discover some new ’80s horror flicks to watch, or rewatch, whatever the case may be. I know I’ll be checking out some of these ghastly tales myself since I’ve come across a few that even I’ve never heard of! So on with the horror! On with the terror! On with the ’80s!

The Howling movie poster

The Howling

Severely shaken after a near-fatal encounter with a serial killer, TV newscaster Karen White takes some much-needed time off. Hoping to conquer her inner demons, she heads for “the Colony,” a secluded retreat where her new neighbors are just a tad too eager to maker her feel at home. Also, there seems to be a bizarre link between her would-be attacker and this supposedly safe haven. And when, after nights of being tormented by savage shrieks and unearthly cries, Karen ventures into the forest to find answers, she makes a terrifying discovery. Now she must fight not only for her life… but for her very soul!

This 1981 werewolf movie comes from director Joe Dante (Gremlins, The ‘Burbs) and stars Dee Wallace (E.T., Cujo). Kevin McCarthy (Invasion of the Body Snatchers), Dennis Dugan (director of Beverly Hills Ninja and Saving Silverman), Belinda Balaski (Piranha), John Carradine (Monster in the Closet) and Robert Picardo (Gremlins 2: The New Batch, Star Trek: Voyager). I thoroughly enjoy Dante’s werewolf tale which sits amongst my favorite werewolf movies. While An American Werewolf in London featured a truly awesome werewolf transformation, Joe Dante’s The Howling takes the award for my favorite werewolf design. That’s not to say, of course, that I don’t also love Rob Bottin’s werewolf transformation, which feels a little more raw and disturbing with the flesh bubbling up. I enjoy the mystery of the story and the serious tone that Dante and screenwriter John Sayles inject into the movie all the while allowing for some satirical humor to come through without disrupting the dangerous edge of the werewolves. If you want some werewolf action for your Halloween movie watching, The Howling comes highly recommended.

How to watch The Howling

The Howling is currently available as a Collector’s Edition Blu-ray from Scream Factory (Buy The Howling on Blu-ray) and as a Special Edition from MGM on DVD. (Buy The Howling on DVD).


To see the other entries in the 31 Days of ’80s Horror column, click here!

If you want to read up on another werewolf classic, visit horrorella.com to read why you should be adding An American Werewolf in London to your queue of movies to watch for Halloween.

by Ben McBride

Follow Ben on @monsterpopcorn


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