When it comes to cinematic monsters the werewolf has always been the bastard stepchild to the vampire, with the sheer amount of vampire films outnumbering werewolf movies by a staggering amount, but that’s not to say there haven’t been some really great werewolf movies over the years. In the early 2000s, we got the female coming-of-age through lycanthropy allegory Gingers Snaps and the badass soldiers versus werewolves in Neil Marshall’s Dog Soldiers, but most notable were the two titans of the genre who duked it out in the box office back in the 80s with one being the John Landis dark comedy An American Werewolf in London and the other Joe Dante’s The Howling, but that was far from the end of the story.
Now, while An American Werewolf in London spawned one rather forgettable sequel, in the form of An American Werewolf in Paris, somehow Joe Dante’s film spun off to become a full-blown franchise that just kept pumping out sequel after sequel for decades to come and the most noteworthy aspect of the Howling Franchise is that it almost works as an anthology series as there is but the rarest occasion of a producer or director trying to force in some sort of continuity, but even more noteworthy is how the sequels ranged from goofily bizarre and entertainingly bad to the simply outright bad ones. Below you will find my collected reviews for all eight of The Howling movies, just click on the poster or links below to venture into the dark world of cinematic lycanthropy.
While on the trail of a serial killer newswoman Karen White finds herself embroiled in a dark secret surrounding a remote mountain resort.
Christopher Lee and Reb Brown team up to defeat Werewolf Queen Sybil Danning in one of the more bizarre sequels to ever grace a franchise.
A young woman flees from her tribe of marsupial werewolves in this very non-sequel to the Joe Dante classic and is the film that really set the franchise in a more anthology-based direction.
A successful author retreats to a small town after suffering a mental breakdown and is tormented by terrible visions and the occasional werewolf. This movie could best be described as a remake of the Dante film.
A group of strangers are invited to an ancient Hungarian castle but one of them just so happens to be a werewolf and before you can say “And then there were none” bodies start dropping.
A villainous carnival owner captures a werewolf so as to include it in his growing menagerie of inhuman exhibits but something even more sinister is going on. You could almost say “Something wicked this way comes.”
A small desert town has their Country Western line dancing interrupted by some werewolf attacks, which is lucky for us because nothing much else happens in this poor excuse for a podunk town.
A teenage boy quickly learns that high school romance is a lot tougher when you’re also a werewolf, which is something more guidance counsellors should point out.
The Howling Franchise: From Great to Goofy.
Franchise Rank - 6/10