The Howling Turns 36! – Retro Review

“The news lady is turned into a werewolf!” Today marks the 36th anniversary of The Howling! Today, PopHorror pays tribute to this Werewolf cult classic.

The Howling was directed by Joe Dante. Movie buffs already know Dante also directed Gremlins in 1984 and The ‘Burbs in 1989. It was actually Dante’s work in The Howling that gave him the opportunity to make Gremlins. Dante and The Howling’s screenwriter, John Sayles, have collaborated before on Piranha (1978) and after on Matinee (1993).

The Howling was released the same year as An American Werewolf In London. Both werewolf transformations were strikingly similar; this wasn’t a coincidence. Legendary special effects artist Rick Baker started the special effects for this film, but he had to leave to work on An American Werewolf In London. He left everything in good hands, though, because The Howling’s special effects were still impeccable.

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Of course, this film wouldn’t have been as great without its leading lady Dee Wallace! Dee has really made a name for herself in the horror community. Karen White in The Howling is arguably one of her most famous roles. The only scene in the entire film that she was really uncomfortable with was the porn shop scene. All the discomfort you see on the her face was real.

Of course, Dee Wallace isn’t the only fantastic actor in this film. Her on-screen husband was played by her real life fiancé Christopher Stone. Slim Pickens played a very small but memorable role as Sam the sheriff.

We also have to commemorate Elisabeth Brooks’ performance as the beautiful and brutal Marsha Quist. Marsha’s brother, Eddie, was played by Robert Picardo. Robert actually improvised the famous line “I want to give you a piece of my mind” before pulling the bullet out of his head.

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The Howling will always be considered a classic in our horror-loving hearts. It gave us a good mystery, incredible special effects, and one of the weirdest sex scenes ever put on film. The Howling has truly left its mark in the history of horror!

About Karli Lawson

I basically grew up watching horror films and spooky things. I watched my first horror film when I was 4 years old. I've wanted to be a writer ever since I've read Stephen King books in middle school. I love writing and talking about my favorite genre. I hope to one day be successful in screenwriting and filmmaking. Everything horror, of course!

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