Every Saturday night The Tomb of Terror opens, unleashing reviews of the obscure and the classic in horror cinema.
I love werewolves. They are my favorite movie monsters, beating out the more popular faves, vampires and zombies. Maybe it’s because there haven’t been a ton of werewolf films. Vampires and zombies are easy for no-budget films to pull off, so we see A LOT of films about them. It’s a little harder to turn a person into a giant wolf, so we don’t have to worry about quite as many terrible werewolf films being out there. In 1981, we got no fewer than three big werewolf releases, all of them bringing something different to the subgenre and bringing the monsters into the modern day. The first out of the gate was Joe Dante’s The Howling. This low budget effort featured the first use of prosthetic effects to turn a man into a werewolf and show the beast with more than just gluing hair to an actor’s face. A short four months later, these effects would be outdone by the amazing work done by Rick Baker in An American Werewolf in London. That seems to be the fate of The Howling—always the werewolf bridesmaid, never the bride. In a world where American Werewolf is widely regarded as the best werewolf film, does The Howling earn its second place reputation, or is it the underrated king of the werewolf pile?