“Blu-ray Review “The Howling: Collector’s Edition”

TheHowling-lLuActors: Dee Wallace Stone, Patrick Macnee, Dennis Dugan, Christopher Stone, Belinda Belaski
Directors: Joe Dante
Rated: R (Restricted)
Studio: Shout! Factory
Release Date: June 18, 2013
Run Time: 91 minutes

Film: 4 out of 5 stars
Extras: 4.5 out of 5 stars

When it comes to “The Howling” it is considered one of the greatest werewolf films. It also features on of the best transformation scenes during its time, along with “An American Werewolf in London”. The practical effects are nothing short of amazing and a must see if you have never experienced it. I miss these days where everything wasn’t CGI.  Believe it or not this film also spawned seven sequels a crappy high school reboot. “The Howling” stars the amazing and lovely Dee Wallace and if you grew up with this film, what guy didn’t have a crush on Elisabeth Brooks? Am I right? Horrorhounds should be very excited with this release and just wait to you see the special features!

Official Premise: From the director of “Gremlins” and “Piranha” comes the ultimate masterpiece of primal terror. Severely traumatized by a near-fatal encounter with a serial killer, TV newscaster Karen White (Dee Wallace) takes time off at a secluded retreat called “The Colony.” But when, after nights of being tormented by bestial, bloodcurdling cries, Karen ventures into the woods seeking answers, she makes a terrifying discovery. Now she must fight not only for her life but for her soul!

Unlike with the recent “Lifeforce” transfer approved and worked on by Tobe Hopper himself, Scream Factory packed the 1080p transfer in 1.86:1 from previously released European Blu-ray. Don’t get me wrong it is still pretty sharp and looks great. “The Howling” includes a brand new DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track along with the original mono track as a DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 track. I have to admit, the 5.1 track is quite epic, especially with the transformation scenes. Pino Donaggio’s score also is complemented very well. I was a little upset that this “Collector’s Edition” is Blu-ray only unlike the recent “Lifeforce” Blu-ray which is a Blu-ray/DVD combo pack. But they make it up with their amazing special features.

There are tons of speicWith “Howlings Eternal with Steven A. Lane” we get some back story from the executive producer. “Cut to Shreds with Editor Mark Goldblatt” gives us the scare techniques used in the film. “Interview with Co-writer Terrence Winkless” gets some insight on the film’s writting process. “Horror’s Hallowed Ground: A Look at the Film’s Locations” is hosted by Sean Clark as he tours the film’s shooting locations. “Making a Monster Movie: Inside The Howling” is a cool behind-the-scenes vintage featurette. “Interview with Stop Motion Animator David Allen” is a look into the special effects. “Unleashing the Beast – The Making of The Howling” is an in-depth feature look into werewolf mythology.

Next up are the commentary tracks, which there are two included. The first is with director Joe Dante, Dee Wallace, Christopher Stone and Robert Picardo. It is not a new track but still great to hear Christopher Stone again (R.I.P). The next audio commentary is with author Gary Brandner, which is a new commentary hosted by Red Shirt Productions’ Michael Felsher. I was not a big fan of this track and definitely still prefer the first over it. Lastly included there are a few Deleted Scenes with Optional Commentary, some Outtakes, a Theatrical Trailer and a Photo Gallery included.

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