The true tale of The Howling soon shall be revealed. A new book that covers the making of The Howling films is slated for publication. Even those who aren’t huge fans of the franchise may still find the concept of the “making of” book to be intriguing.
The Howling (1981) remains one of the all-time classic werewolf movies in cinema history. While An American Werewolf in London (1981) may be more well known, The Howling clearly is the better film. In addition to better special effects and scarier werewolves, The Howling featured an intriguing and mysterious plot that unfolds slowly over the course of 90 minutes. Screenwriting legend John Sayles of Alligator (1980) fame and director Joe “Gremlins” Dante truly crafted a horror classic.
They had a little help. The film is an adaptation of the 1977 potboiler by horror author Gary Brandner. Brandner’s novel proved successful enough to spawn a 1979 sequel. Hollywood noticed and adapted his original novel into a feature film. Over the years, numerous sequels to the original Howling were made. The problem with the follow-up films centers on their downright awfulness. While the original was a classic, the sequels come off as atrocious “quickies” designed to cash in on the original’s success. The bulk of the sequels went straight to video and cable.
The Howling does maintain a legacy in the annals of horror. Bryn Curt James Hammond’s new book, The Complete History of The Howling, finally tells all the tales regarding the behind-the-scenes journeys of all the films. The book arrives in May. Fans of The Howling cannot wait.
They also cannot wait for a studio remake of the original. Plans for a big-budget remake continue to lag in development. With the horror genre experiencing a slight resurgence recently, the remake may end up moving forward.