The Howling [1981]





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Published on Jan 8, 2009

Karen White (Dee Wallace-Stone) is a television news anchor who is being stalked by a serial murderer named Eddie Quist. In cooperation with the police, she takes part in a scheme to capture Eddie by agreeing to meet him in a sleazy porno theater. Eddie forces Karen to watch a video of a young woman being raped, and when Karen turns around to see Eddie she screams. The police enter and shoot Eddie, and although Karen is safe, she suffers amnesia. Her therapist, Dr. George Waggner (Patrick Macnee), decides to send her and her husband, Bill Neill (Christopher Stone), to "The colony", a secluded resort in the countryside where he sends patients for treatment.

The colony is filled with strange characters, and one, a nymphomaniac named Marsha Quist (Elisabeth Brooks), tries to seduce Bill. When he resists, he is attacked and bitten by a wolf-like creature while returning to his cabin. He later returns to find Marsha waiting and the two have sex by the campfire. During the encounter, both shapeshift into werewolves.

After Bill's wolf bite, Karen summons her friend Terri Fisher (Belinda Balaski) to The Colony, and Terri connects the resort to Eddie Quist through a sketch he left behind. But Karen begins to suspect that Bill is hiding a secret far more threatening than marital infidelity. While investigating, Terri is attacked by werewolves, and one corners her in Waggner's office. Before it can murder her, she places a phone call to her boyfriend, Chris (Dennis Dugan), who has been let in on the werewolf angle and sets off for the colony armed with silver bullets.

Karen is confronted by the resurrected Eddie Quist once again (the policemen who shot him were obviously not using silver bullets), and Eddie transforms himself into a werewolf while she watches. She escapes, and Eddie is later shot by Chris with a silver bullet. As it turns out, however, everyone in the colony is a werewolf. These werewolves can shapeshift at will; they do not require a full moon. Karen and Chris survive their attacks and burn the colony to the ground.

Karen resolves to warn the world about the existence of werewolves, and surprises her employers by launching into her warnings while on television. Then, to prove her story, she herself shapeshifts into a werewolf, having become one after being attacked at the colony. She is shot by Chris on live television, and the world is left to wonder whether the transformation and shooting really happened or was the work of special effects. It is also revealed that Marsha Quist escaped the colony alive and well.


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