Although unrelated to Gary Brandner’s original creation, the rather busy Steven M. Smith has ‘borrowed’ the title of The Howling and spun it off in his own chosen direction.
It all begins when a bunch of students Kirsty, Sophia and Jason decide to venture out into the woods to check out the mystery surrounding a scientist named Rathbone. Urban legend says that Rathbone got up to all sorts of things and the area where he supposed to live has monsters prowling around. The backstory is told through a brief news report hosted by a guy named Ben Tramer. Horror film buffs will recognise the name as it is the same one of the high school student Jamie Lee Curtis’ Laurie Strode in Halloween fancied. Another two characters are called Wint and Kidd, obviously named after the gay hitmen in Diamonds are Forever. However, I digress.
Stupidly, the three of them camp out in the woods and before long after a series of unfortunate events or have they been orchestrated? they stumble upon Rathbone’s property. Welcoming at first, everything seems okay if a little weird but evil experiments are taking place in the labyrinth’esque tunnels and soon enough the three friends become directly involved.
After the rather clever Doll Master, Smith and his regular acting troupe tackle a more twisted kind of horror. There are all sorts of vile creatures on display as well as some nice blood n’ guts in particular a rather graphic heart removal. I also liked the retro feel of the film as part of it is in black and white and when something nasty happens, colour literally bleeds into the picture which is a nice touch.
The Howling is a cool little low budget horror shot in just twelve days. I found it rather barmy and a bit ‘out there’ which I loved, so give it a bash.
- Starring Jon-Paul Gates Tiffany-Ellen Robinson Maria Austin Eirik Knutsvik
- Director Steven M. Smith