Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Halloween Gorge-Fest, Day Three: The Howling

Movie: The Howling (1981)
Director: Joe Dante
...Who Went On To Make: Gremlins, Innerspace, and the beloved, aforementioned The 'burbs.
Channel: AMC

First Impressions: Yeah, it's Dee Wallace Stone Night on AMC, apparently. Anyway, here's what I was looking for. It's from 1981, so it all has this late-70s grimy, ugly veneer to it that's immediately off-putting. It freaked me out just with those scenes of scary urban sex crime in the back of a porno store at the beginning. I'd never been to Times Square in the '80s, but I bet it was just like that. Anyway, then it moves on to the weirdo werewolf camping community, and while of course it's ultra-cheesy with crappy wolf outfits and the sex priestess lady who's dressed like Barbarella. And that doesn't even get into the occasional confusions over what kind of evil we're dealing with. (They're werewolves...and undead?) Still, there are more than a few scenes that were honestly scary, and for an old movie, that's saying something. It's a fairly ideal blend of hilarious and creepy, and that's mostly what I'm looking for.

Notable Edits: It's not just the swears getting bleeped out or the gore getting cut away from; it's also cutting to a commercial right in the middle of a tense sequence, thus killing all the suspense that had been building up for five minutes. BOO, inept TV movie editors!

Scary Or Funny? Both. Good stuff.

Best Killing? I should probably rename this "grossest part" because that's what I'm really looking for. Ideally, that part's a killing, but I'm finding that that's not always the case. In this movie, that part is the werewolfening and animal-sexening of Dee Wallace's porn-stached husband and Barbarella, Empress of Wolves. It's narsty.

Future Airings: Saturday 1:00 AM and 10:00 AM (AMC)

Previously: The Frighteners, Urban Legend, Hostel, Children of the Corn

1 comment:

jessica said...

I remember my stepfather's family watching this late at night when I was very young - 7 or 8 - and me pretending to be asleep while watching through my eyelashes. Scared the ever-loving bejeezus out of me.