Originally Posted by The Great Owl
I just finished watching the Scream Factory Blu-ray of The Howling, and I think that it's a great disc across the board.
It's interesting how memory can sometimes play tricks on us. I saw The Howling during my middle school years back in the mid-1980s, and was blown away by the special effects and story. For some reason, though, I've always regarded it in hindsight as a goofy movie, mostly because of the final scenes. When I first saw the movie, I thought that the final werewolf transformation looked stupid in comparison with the transformations earlier in the film, and I suppose that this memory was magnified in my mind over the years to the point that I started to think of the whole movie as slapstick.
I held off on buying this Blu-ray of The Howling for the longest time for the above reason, but, as with other Scream Factory titles that I've picked up this past month, my 1980s nostalgia got the best of me.
When I revisited The Howling tonight and saw it for the first time since that initial childhood viewing, I was taken by surprise at how much I loved the experience of watching it from an adult perspective. The final scene actually works quite well, and it's not nearly as goofy as my memories had led me to believe. From my adult standpoint, I also related to the social aspects of the movie a lot more, especially in terms of the "New Age" commune-style setting of the Colony. The Howling is not an outright scary movie, per se, but it works a lot better as a horror film than I expected it to while watching it right now in 2014.
I had a minor childhood crush on Dee Wallace, since she was the queen of a handful of movies that I enjoyed back then (E.T., Cujo, The Howling, etc.). She's quite gorgeous in The Howling, and this is my favorite role of hers, because she is quite convincing in conveying how her character is dealing with a traumatic moment early in the story. I had forgotten that Kevin McCarthy (Invasion of the Body Snatchers) appears in this film, and his inclusion lends some old-school horror credibility to the whole affair.
The video quality of this Scream Factory Blu-ray is impressive, and I'll go so far as to say that I think that it's one of the best transfers in the Scream Factory lineup. I have no complaints about the audio quality. As with other Scream Factory releases, this one comes souped up with some quality supplements that not only go into depth about this movie, but manage to touch base on the sequels (none of which I have bothered to see) as well.
Right now, I'm going through the movie again as I listen to the first commentary track with Joe Dante, Actors Dee Wallace, Christopher Stone and Robert Picardo. It's quite fun, even if there are a lot of cooks in the kitchen.
This is the last of the Scream Factory titles in my stack that I have been watching for the past week. I'm looking forward to giving my wallet to the studio again when The Legend of Hell House is released in a few weeks.