The Howling (1981)

The Howling (1981)

Taglines: Imagine your worst fear a reality.

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.

The Howling is a 1981 American horror film directed by Joe Dante, and starring Dee Wallace, Patrick Macnee, Dennis Dugan, and Robert Picardo. Based on the novel of the same name by Gary Brandner, the film follows a television newswoman sent to a remote mountain resort after a fatal incident with a serial killer, unaware that the inhabiting residents are werewolves.

The film was released on April 10, 1981 and became a moderate success, grossing $17.9 million at the box office. It received generally positive reviews, with praise for the makeup special effects by Rob Bottin. 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 Movie Poster (1981)

The Howling (1981)

Directed by: Joe Dante
Starring: Dee Wallace, Patrick Macnee, Dennis Dugan, Christopher Stone, Belinda Balaski, Kevin McCarthy, John Carradine, Elisabeth Brooks
Screenplay by: John Sayles
Cinematography by: John Hora
Film Editing by: Joe Dante, Mark Goldblatt
Costume Design by: Jack Buehler
Art Direction by: Robert A. Burns
Music by: Pino Donaggio
Distributed by: Avco Embassy Pictures
Release Date: April 10, 1981