COLUMN: Aaron's Backstage Pass: The Howling Review

Created: 08/07/2013 2:22 PM KSTP.com By: Jenna Jaynes


Photo: Photo Courtesy Shout Factory

I know this is hard to believe but I had never seen “The Howling” until I received a review copy from Shout Factory.  It is one of those movies that I wanted to watch, but never got the chance.  It’s a shame that I never watched it sooner. 

“The Howling” was released in 1981 and was directed by Joe Dante.  It stars Dee Wallace, Patrick Macnee, Dennis Dugan, Christopher Stone, John Carradine, Slim Pickens and Elisabeth Brooks. 
 
Dee Wallace plays a reporter named Karen who is almost killed by a serial killer while doing an undercover story to help police catch him.  She takes some time off of work and goes on a weekend retreat to “the Colony” with her husband.  The people there seem strange and Dee Wallace learns that the serial killer is linked to “the Colony.”  You also learn that “the Colony” has a very dark secret and once Karen discovers it, she must fight for her life to escape. 
 
I really liked the story a lot and thought that it was very well written.

“The Howling” was creepy and very suspenseful, because you didn’t know what was going to happen next. You had an idea of what was going to happen but you were not sure.  There are a lot of great surprises and I loved the ending.

The special effects were phenomenal and looked amazing. There was some stop motion animation used and it looked great. There was also an animated scene that was kind of strange and seemed out of place.

The extras that are on “The Howling” are unbelievable. I was entertained for hours.

The bonus features include: 
- Audio commentary with actor Gary Gradner 
- Deleted Scenes with optional audio commentary from Director Joe Dante 
- Horror’s Hallowed Grounds – A look at the films locations 
- Interview with stop motion animator, Dave Allen 
- New interviews with screenwriter Terence Winkless, Executive Producer Steven A. Lane and editor Mark Goldblatt 
- Audio commentary with director Joe Dante and actors Dee Wallace, Christopher Stone and Richard Picardo 
- Unleashing the Beast: The Making of The Howling Multi-part Documentary 
- Outtakes 
- Making of a Monster: Inside The Howling Documentary 
- Photo Gallery 
- Theatrical Trailers 
 
“The Howling” is a great film and I wish I would have seen it earlier.  It has a great story and the special effects were amazing.  The extras that come on the disc are worth the price alone. If you are looking for a great horror film that is creepy, then I would highly recommend that you check out Shout Factory/Scream Factory’s “The Howling” Collector’s Edition.

For more information on Shout Factory go to www.shoutfactory.com