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The Howling

The Howling. Joe Dante. 1981.

[fifteen minutes pass]

I’m not quite sure why I bought this move? Because I’ve been watching a lot of werewolf movies lately? It might just be associative thinking.

But this is definitely not a movie I saw as a teenager… and I can see why. It’s a very 70s movie — not a slick 80s American horror movie at all. There was a phase change at some point, where they learned to powder the actors’ faces so they didn’t look shiny any more, and they told the actors “pretend you’re not in a Robert Altman movie”, and then suddenly! the 80s had arrived.

But this is a solidly 70s movie, with shiny faces and all.

And it’s a low-budget little movie and all.

[forty-five minutes pass]

OK, I was kinda onboard with watching a low budget horror movie… but this is incredibly tedious. I think I now remember why I bought it — I watched a DVD extra where one of the special effects guys said that this was the best werewolf movie. And, yes, the werewolves (and prosthetics) are pretty nice (for a movie of this budget), but the rest of the movie is…

I mean, there’s sort of a plot, and sort of a drama in here, but it’s just really hard to care.

Perhaps the nudity is why this movie has got a 6.6 on imdb. It’s a kinda repulsive movie?

[ten minutes pass]

That’s a really good werewolf! Really good!

[the end]

The featured review on imdb makes a case for this movie being all subversive and referential and stuff:

I think they’re reading too much into it. It’s a plotless werewolf movie that has a bunch of references to other (were)wolves in it, but that doesn’t really make it clever or interesting: It just makes it a plotless werewolf movie with a lot of references to ther (were)wolves. That’s easy and simple to do, and they did it. Obviously their focus was on making the werewolf transformations fun to watch, and they are.

OK, it’s a bit meta. But it’s not a good movie.

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