Posted on Thursday, November 22nd, 2018 by Rob Hunter
(Welcome to The Best Movies You’ve Never Seen, a series that takes a look at slightly more obscure, under-the-radar, or simply under-appreciated movies. This week things get hairy as we go digging for some underseen werewolf gems!)
There are seemingly thousands of movies about vampires and zombies, but for some reason the werewolf doesn’t quite warrant the same degree of ubiquity. It’s arguably the cooler creature, but therein rests the reason why there are so few werewolf movies – and even fewer good to great ones. You can’t just toss some plastic teeth in an actor’s mouth or paint their skin gray. Werewolves require prosthetic effects/transformations, and they don’t come cheap. (Well, usually.) The advent and availability of inexpensive CG has seen a minor burst in the sub-genre in recent years, but quality-wise they’re more hairballs than hairy nightmares.
If the top tier of great werewolf films features An American Werewolf in London (1981), The Howling (1981), and Universal’s The Wolf Man (1941) then the next includes killer but less popular movies like Silver Bullet (1985), Bad Moon (1996), Ginger Snaps (2000), Dog Soldiers (2002), and Late Phases (2014). And then what? Seventy or so mostly forgettable tales of lycanthropes on the prowl? Yes, but there are also a handful of good ones you’ve probably missed! And I shouldn’t have to say this, but after seeing far, far too many lists including them I’m going to remind you that, while great, neither Wolfen (1981) nor Brotherhood of the Wolf (2001) are werewolf movies.
Keep reading for a look at six good to great – and even lesser known – werewolf movies that deserve a bite out of your time.
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Jonathan Levine, the director of The Wackness, All The Boys Love Mandy Lane and the upcoming dramedy Live With It, has submitted his list of the top 10 movies of 2010. Levine’s list is the most unique I’ve seen from a filmmaker this year, including a few selections I haven’t seen on any filmmaker or critic top ten list this year. Read the list after the jump.
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It’s been a while since our last movie poster round-up, so let’s get to it! In today’s edition we have new theatrical one-sheets for James Franco‘s Howl, an unrated NSFW poster for I Spit On Your Grave, the final poster for the 3D computer animated film Alpha and Omega, Philip Seymour Hoffman‘s directorial debut Jack Goes Boating, four character posters for the comic book adaptation of Red featuring Morgan Freeman and Bruce Willis, the big screen documentary adaptation of the book Freakonomics, eight character posters for Zack Snyder’s 3D computer animated adaptation of Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole, and an alternative poster for Piranha 3D, and six character poster for the big screen feature adaptation of Robert Rodriguez’s Grindhouse trailer Machete.
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On the day that a McSweeney’s parody/recontextualizing of some of Allen Gisnberg‘s most famous lines made a little ripple on the internet, it is appropriate that a trailer arrives for Howl, the film that chronicles the creation of the poem Howl and the obscenity trial that eventually followed its publication. James Franco stars as Ginsberg, and just as the film wasn’t widely praised at Sundance (David and Peter didn’t love it) the trailer is only modestly interesting. Read More »
The opening night feature film of the 2010 Sundance Film Festival was Howl, a nonfiction drama described as a “movie about a poem.” You might recall that we woke up at 6:30am and trenched in four feet of snow to try to score tickets to the premiere, and failed. We somehow got in… and in case you’re wondering, we’ve included audio of David Chen’s dramatic story of how he scored not one, but two tickets to the highly sought after film.
James Franco stars as the young Allen Ginsberg, who is still trying to find his voice. The story follows the creation of his groundbreaking poem HOWL, and the landmark obscenity trial that followed. The film also stars David Strathairn, Jon Hamm, Mary-Louise Parker, Jeff Daniels. Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman, two filmmakers best known for their documentary features The Times of Harvey Milk and Paragraph 175, make their narrative feature film debut.
Howl began as a documentary concept, but morphed in a narrative feature (which in my opinion was the begining of the end for the project). /Film’s Peter Sciretta and David Chen were in attendance at the Eccles Theatre for the world premiere, and have recorded a video blog review, which is embedded after the jump.
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Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman, two filmmakers best known for their documentary features The Times of Harvey Milk and Paragraph 175, make their narrative feature film debut with Howl, a nonfiction drama which premieres at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival as one of the 16 films which were selected from 1,058 submissions for the U.S. Dramatic competition.
James Franco stars as the young Allen Ginsberg, who is still trying to find his voice. The story follows the creation of his groundbreaking poem HOWL, and the landmark obscenity trial that followed. Also starring David Strathairn, Jon Hamm, Mary-Louise Parker, Jeff Daniels. Seven more photos after the jump.
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In TV news tonight: It looks like Heroes may finally be put out of its misery come the end of its fourth season (which is currently airing). A source tells E! online, “Everyone is expecting this to be the last season. The cast, the crew, everyone.” The news comes after Sendhil Ramamurthy was cast in an upcoming NBC pilot, Rex Is Not Your Lawyer.
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With the announcement of the Sundance 2010 lineup, it’s time to start seeing images from some of the invited films. Until now, for example, all we’ve seen of James Franco as poet Allen Ginsberg in Howl has been one photo released back in June. Now here’s a new one, and it’s very quintessential ‘beat poet.’ I like it, but really just want a trailer.
After the break, a shot of Kristen Stewart as a stripper, and new stuff from Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows and Nightmare on Elm Street. Read More »
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This is the sort of story that we’d often relegate to Page 2, but I’m interested enough in Howl, the upcoming picture about poet Allen Ginsberg, that I want to take the chance to highlight the first photo of James Franco in character as Ginsberg as published by EW. I’ve been following Franco’s Ledger-like emergence as a serious actor with great interest, and this could be a key project in his career. Written and directed by the team of Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman (who also made doc The Celluloid Closet over a decade ago) the film focuses on the publication of the poem Howl and the landmark obscenity trial that ensued. Sharing the frame with Franco there is Aaron Tveit, playing his longtime partner Peter Orlovsky; compare this shot to actual photos of Ginsberg and Orlovsky after the jump. Read More »
The Allen Ginsberg biopic, Howl, starring James Franco as the American weird beard beatnik poet and intellectual has filled out a lovely cast: Paul Rudd, Alan Alda, Mary-Louise Parker (so tempestuous on Weeds), Jeff Daniels, and David Strathairn have all signed. The actors will portray real-life characters involved in a 1957 obscenity trial, which saw the publisher of Ginsberg’s epic, landmark poem, “Howl,” forced to defend the work’s graphic descriptions of homosexual acts and its merit to society. The court ultimately decided in the publisher’s favor.
The indie feature marks the debut of documentarians, Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman, who co-directed the homosexuality-in-film doc, The Celluloid Closet. Epstein also directed The Times of Harvey Milk, which won the 1985 Oscar for Best Documentary, and Gus Van Sant, who directed Franco in this year’s Milk, is producing Howl. Got all that? As if Paul Rudd needed yet another posse. It’s been noted that Franco resembles a young Ginsberg, before the beatnik took on his chubby, bald-yet-hirsute appearance—as played by David Cross in I’m Not There—and joined NAMBLA.
“Fifty years later, Ginsberg’s vision is as relevant as the year he wrote it,” Friedman said in a statement to the trades. “It resonates with issues of free speech, government censorship, militaristic empire building, fear-mongering, sexual conformity and the co-opting of religion.”
The Allen Ginsberg Trust sought the directors for the project. This is def a film to keep an eye on, though I’d prefer to see a full-fledged and objective biopic rather than a damn-the-man flick a la The People vs. Larry Flynt. Franco’s is a role that could have been filled by Johnny Depp in the ’90s, smart career trajectory.
Discuss: Looking forward to Howl? Do you agree with the director’s remarks? Any thoughts on Ginsberg?