Story: Dee Wallace is attacked by a serial killer. To help her recover she attends a group therapy camp in the woods with her husband. Unfortunately, it’s overrun by werewolves.

The Film Itself: Pay attention! This is a horror classic we’re talking about and I won’t hear any of that malarkey about the special effects not being done by computers! “The Howling” has become a modern horror classic, and for so many reasons. I’ll start with the special effects. Before “The Howling” if you wanted someone to turn into a werewolf on-screen it usually looked like the person is taking a nap while hair was glued to their face. “The Howling” is the film that changed that. For the first time, under the guidance of make-up geniuses Rob Bottin (“The Thing”) and Rick Baker (“Gorillas in the Mist”) we saw a human literally become animal in front of our eyes. The “air-bladder” effects may seem a little corny today because of C.G.I., but there’s something really fulfilling about effects like these because they do possess a distinct organic quality that C.G.I. artists still have yet to master.

The story in “The Howling” is also different from anything else that involved werewolves. There are no strange gypsies or full moons lore. “The Howling” is about a couple, who after suffering a very traumatic event, get suckered into a weird psychotherapy group. The werewolves in “The Howling” is more about keeping your identity, not falling in with the “pack” mentality than it is about “curses”.

“Gee, thanks for the history lesson and literary analysis, Mike. Does the movie kick ass?”

Well, I guess if you just want to watch one of the scariest damn werewolf movies ever made, then I suppose you’ll be getting that too.

Special Features: The new special edition contains a great audio commentary track, plus a bonus disc with a full making-of documentary with recent interview from the cast and crew. Also included are some older interviews and an making-of featurette from the films original release. The DVD looks and sounds great, no complaints. I don’t own a $5000 TV and home theater system so almost all DVDs look great to me. – mike c.

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