Thursday, October 10, 2013

The Howling: Episode I

 Joe Dante's The Howling was one of those iconic werewolf films of the 80s more notable for its visual ballast than as a standalone film, although it's not bad. But seriously, if the effects are one of the only lasting impacts here, they're enough. Rob Bottin, who sits among the pantheon of special effects masters that came of age in the late 70s/early 80s alongside Tom Savini, Rick Baker, and Stan Winston, created effects in this film that have yet to be equaled in over thirty years, despite advances (or because of) in effects/computer technology.

The story: an obnoxious reporter runs afoul of a serial killer/werewolf and is sent by her hilariously skeevy therapist to his New Age group therapy/cult retreat in the woods to get better. Wouldn't you know it, the place is a goddamn coven of werewolves. Something about that part of the movie gives me a real Ken Russell vibe. Reporter's hubby, who has the manliest of mustaches and a penile-cleft haircut, gets hit-on by a slutty gypsy and then mysteriously bitten when he rebuffs her. Hubby refuses to put out for reporter-lady the next night, then goes out to roam the woods, where he finds slutty gypsy. The two enjoy some sensuous forest-fucking, which had to get pine needles in awkward places. Then, lord ha'mercy, they start lycanthroping all over the goddamn place, although I have to call continuity shenanigans since slutty gypsy did not grow three sets of tits.

Anyway, reporter lady whines incessantly and calls two of her friends to come investigate the goings-on of these horny monsters: lady friend gets eaten by Robert Picardo and dude friend, who looks disturbingly like Seth Meyer (and, even more disturbingly, has directed most of Adam Sandler's films) turns out to be the goddamn Van Helsing of werewolves and blows away everyone with silver bullets and then burns up the rest
in a barn. In a delightfully sneering Joe Dante-esque twist, reporter lady intentionally turns into a werewolf on national TV to warn the public, gets shot by Seth Meyer, and absolutely no one gives a fuck. At least all the werewolves from the cult are dead, except gypsy slut, who is seen whoring it up in the epilogue.

The Gaffer's Rating: 2.5 out of 4 Snausages.

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