Wednesday, October 1, 2008

31 Days Of Horror: Day #1 The Howling

I love Joe Dante. He speaks to the anarchist in me. Dante makes monster movies that think that monsters are the greatest thing in the world, and our world would benefit by having some around to shake what needs shaking. His films are powered by a deep love for genre, a deep disdain for form, and energy that Tex Avery would envy. In away watching Gremlins 2 gets me just as excited about wrecking some havoc as Anarchy In The UK. Of course there is the slight difference that one makes me want to write some crazy shit and the other makes me want to throw beer bottles at cop cars.

In Dante’s world, Christmas is a day of bloody terror, the happy face sign is the mark of a serial killer, skyscrapers are there to be torn down, a summer camp is just a big buffet, a cute pet spawns ravenous monsters, Nuclear apocalypse is just an excuse for some kickass movies, Suburbia houses the biggest monsters of all, and Werewolves are very into “I’m OK, You’re OK.”

Dante is the first punk rock horror filmmaker, like the first generation of punk Dante simultaneously strips down and soups up his films. Taking them down to the basics and then letting those basics rip. Without Dante no Sam Raimi, no Peter Jackson, in short no fun.

The Howling follows a newsreporter who finds herself used by the police in a sting operation against a particularly nasty serial killer. Things quickly go south and she finds herself in the depth trapped in the seediest peepshow in LA’s Red Light Disctrict (which is saying quite a bit) as a psychopathic werewolf shows her his homemade snuff. Things only go down hill from there.

Suffering from post traumatic stress, her psychiatrists suggests that she take it easy at the colony. A little retreat he has up in Northern California. Just an isolated heavily wooded area where you can unwind and enjoy barbeques, group therapy, lycanthropy, orgies, cattle mutilation, and the occasionally bloodlust fueled murderous rage. Spoiler alert, this does not alleviate her stress.

Like all of Dante’s films (well all of his films aside from Looney Tunes Back Inaction see what I did there?) The Howling is a blast to watch because Dante himself is having a blast. As he packs his film with old horror movies, old horror stars (You have not lived until you’ve seen Werewolf Slim Pickens and John Carradine), cartoons, and the crazy gore effects his deviant mind can imagine. Here one of the main werewolves decides to give Dee Wallace a piece of his mind.

The Howling is simply put one of the sickest, craziest, funniest, monster movies ever made. The perfect film to kick off the countdown to Halloween with.

Tomorrow: William Castle, Vincent Price, LCD, and The Ultimate Dick Move!

No comments: