The bestial nature of man: werewolf classic 'The Howling' revived for festival
By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
3/28/2014 (3 years ago)
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)
While vampires have enjoyed an infusion of new blood thanks to the Twilight series, and as film director Joe Dante says, "Zombies are the most fashionable monster of today," there was a time when furry-faced lycanthropes, or werewolves, ruled the silver screen. Director Dante's 1981 werewolf film The Howling is set to be honored with a special, new high-definition screening at Hollywood's New Beverly Cinema, Friday, March 28.
In The Howling, a husband and wife discover that members of a sinister New Age retreat are secretly werewolves!
LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The Howling tells the story of TV news anchor Karen White (Dee Wallace, also known as the mother in Steven Spielberg's E.T.) who is ordered by her therapist to retreat to a therapeutic resort named "the Colony," after a traumatic event with a serial killer. Once there with her husband (Christopher Stone, Wallace's real-life husband), the resort's many colorful characters and lectures about "returning to nature" lead up to the place's deadly secret - they're all werewolves!
While The Howling is very fondly remembered, it was just one of three werewolf films that were made and released that year - An American Werewolf in London and The Wolfen being the other notable two. Dante is at a lost as to an explanation.
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"I'm not really sure. Every so often, such as when Splash was made, there were a bunch of mermaid movies being contemplated. When Splash opened they basically folded up their tents and went home. In this case, I think there were a number of pictures that were being made without the knowledge of the others. For some reason, 1981 was the year of the werewolf."
In regards to the enduring myth of the werewolf, Dante adds that "It's connected with freedom. I think one of the more challenging titles was I Was a Teenage Werewolf (1957) which is a perfect metaphor for puberty. All of a sudden you have all this hair sprouting out on different places where you haven't had hair before.
"It's also connected to events that we're not supposed to do. When I was doing research, I was surprised how far back this legend goes. In the 19th century, you have a lot of psychological mumbo jumbo, like lycanthropy and werewolves. So when you go back, there are all these stories about animals, which are partly why the Native Americans worshipped them and the Egyptians. They present a different side of power, which we sort of envy. You have to admit that civilization is a bit of an afterthought."
There will be a cast and crew reunion screening at the New Beverly Cinema. Presented in digital hi-def, this will be the best this film has looked since its original release in 1981.
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