This Week in 1981: 'The Howling' Transforms Horror Movies

1981 was a good year for werewolves. Thirty summers ago, we saw 'Wolfen' and 'An American Werewolf in London,' but even before those, on April 10, 1981, there was 'The Howling,' the innovative and influential movie that kicked off a werewolf vogue that persists to this day.

The film, about a traumatized woman ('80s horror mainstay Dee Wallace) who takes refuge in a remote woodland resort that turns out to be populated by werewolves, was notable for its frightening makeup effects. Rob Bottin brought an unprecedented realism (if that's the right word) to the movie's werewolf transformation scenes, even before the more celebrated work by his mentor, Rick Baker, appeared in 'London' a few months later. The movie also updated the mythology a bit. Silver bullets are still key, but here, the wolves are shapeshifters who can transform at will (no waiting for the full moon). Also, 'The Howling' has what may be the first wolf-on-wolf sex scene.
The Conspirator
PG-132010
Based on 37 critics

A novice lawyer defends the only woman charged with conspiring to kill President Lincoln. Read More

Scream 4
R2011
Based on 32 critics

Sidney Prescott's (Neve Campbell) return to Woodsboro coincides with that of the Ghostface Killer. Read More

Atlas Shrugged
PG-132011
Based on 19 critics

A powerful railroad executive tries to keep her business afloat while society crumbles around her. Read More

Rio
G2011
Based on 29 critics

A domesticated macaw (Jesse Eisenberg) goes on an adventure with the bird of his dreams. Read More