Werewolf Classic The Howling Has Been Restored In 4K, Will Return To Theaters Next Month

Following the full Harvest Moon last night, Blu-ray.com announced that Joe Dante's 1981 lycanthropic classic, "The Howling," will not only be restored in glorious 4K but also hit theaters this Halloween season to celebrate the film's 40th anniversary. Rialto Pictures will introduce the new 4K restoration theatrically across the country on October 20, 2021. In the United Kingdom, StudioCanal will release a 4K Blu-ray and standard Blu-ray restoration on October 25, 2021.

Check out the studio's description below:

Imagine your worst fear a reality with this brand new 4K 40th anniversary restoration of The Howling, approved by Director Joe Dante (Gremlins). With ground-breaking special effects by Rob Bottin ("The Thing", "The Fog", "Total Recall"), The Howling has been stunningly restored for a new generation of horror fans. Graphically violent, sexually explicit and nightmarishly intense, it remains one of the most original werewolf movies of the eighties. After an intense confrontation with a serial killer, news anchor Karen White (Dee Wallace) is left traumatised and suffering from amnesia. In need of recovery, Karen takes refuge within "The Colony", a country retreat organised by her psychiatrist Dr Waggner (Patrick Macnee). But things at "The Colony" aren't as idyllic as they originally seemed and as blood curdling screams break the midnight silence, Karen's memories slowly begin to come into focus.

The 4K Blu-ray release includes the following special features and technical specs:

  • Exclusive new 4K restoration of the film
  • NEW Inside the Career of Joe Dante — newly produced featurette examining the career and legacy of Joe Dante
  • Welcome to Werewolfland — a look back into the special effects of "The Howling"
  • Deleted Scenes
  • Outtakes — These outtakes will leave you howling!
  • Five collectible art cards
  • Booklet — 20-page illustrated booklet featuring original press kit, new stills, and essay
  • Poster — exclusive new poster for the 4K restoration of the film
  • 4K Blu-ray/Blu-ray combo release
  • Optional English SDH subtitles for the main feature

You Can't Tame What's Meant To Be Wild, Doc

"The Howling" is one of the most iconic werewolf films of all time. It's a beloved horror film that spotlights the art of practical effects and how utilizing an array of animation techniques can complete a storyline. Many cinephiles love Joe Dante for "Gremlins," "The Burbs," and "Explorers," but "The Howling" is quite literally its own beast. 

Released the same year as John Landis' "An American Werewolf in London," Dante's film shoots straight for horror and less comedy by comparison. Its legacy is primarily secured by the impressive practical effects from Rob Bottin who created the transformation scenes and previously worked with Dante on his film "Piranha." While Rick Baker was initially on board to tackle the special effects, he went to work on "An American Werewolf in London," instead.

The special effects were state-of-the-art at the time and will be amazing to see restored in 4K, especially on the big screen. In addition to latex and prosthetics, the film also utilizes cartoon animation, stop-motion animation, and puppetry. Bottin's talent shines bright in "The Howling" and quickly launched him on a trajectory to become horror royalty in the special-effects department. His iconic work can be seen in "The Thing," "RoboCop," "Total Recall," and "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas." 

Anyone who is a horror fan or enjoys practical effects will consider this release a must-own and especially a must-see on the big screen this year. In a way, it's like witnessing the professional transformation of both Dante and Bottin, since "The Howling" was a pivotal moment in both of their careers.