Wednesday, November 23, 2011
He Made Me Do It:: The Howling vs. Rio Bravo
This is He Made Me Do It.
This is a movie challenge featuring Brad and Richard choosing movies for each other to watch.
This could get ugly.
Richard: You need to see The Howling. It is imperative! There are two kinds of people in this world: 1) An American Werewolf in London people and 2) The Howling people; and there can be no in between (okay, I guess this is debatable). I am of the latter half and I want you to join our ranks. The Howling is creepy, cheesy, freaky, and is filmed much more beautifully than most people give it credit for. It also comes from 1981, that mythical, magical year when cinema was truly balls-to-the-wall awesome.
Brad: I have tried a few times over the years to see this but when I get to the scenic retreat I always lose interest. Not this time. First off let me say that I do like (not love) An American Werewolf In London. The British countryside opening and the pub scene are fantastic, Jenny Agutter is sexy, and the make up is amazing. But for some reason it doesn't grab me like it should. The opening of The Howling I like quite a bit with it's DePalmaish early 80's sex thriller feel. All bets are off once Dee enters the sex booth. Speaking of Dee and her husband Christopher Stone, they always remind me of Christopher and Susan George, another married horror couple, and that is a good thing. The secondary couple is good in this as well and you are absolutely correct in that it is a underratedly, beautifully shot film. Any scene of the fog filled forest is amazing. It has my favorite kind of werewolf makeup, the kind that is horrifying in it's Muppetness. 1981 was possibly the greatest year for North American horror (certainly werewolves) and Dante does a fantastic job, and the John Sayles script is full of nice winks at fans but not too jokey. So in the end as I weigh the two werewolf films I find that The Howling tips the scale in it's favor. Send me a The Howling Fan Club Membership Card and I'll sign it. See you at the meetings!
Brad: You should watch Rio Bravo because it plays into a lot of John Carpenter's catalog. Dean Martin was never better, Ricky Nelson is nonchalantly cool, Walter Brennan is hilarious, and Angie Dickenson is ubersexy.
Richard: This is a testament to our friendship, duder. I can't believe you of all people would give me an assignment featuring THE DUKE. For the record, I cannot fucking stand John Wayne. Of all the actors from Hollywood's golden age that just do not compute in my feeble cinematic brain, it is this joker. But, much to my surprise, I really enjoyed Rio Bravo. It is a very entertaining film and totally different than what I had imagined. Dean Martin steals the movie showing his character go through an amazingly painful transformation from a drunken lout to a hero. And Ricky Nelson is too cool for school. Holy crap. Angie Dickinson was very good but seeing her fall for Wayne's character just took me out of the movie. I really enjoyed how Rio Bravo ended on a much different note than I predicted it would and damn, it is just so frickin' well made. I definitely see how this film influenced Carpenter's Assault on Precinct 13.