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[Trailer Vs. Trailer] ‘The Howling’ Battles ‘American Werewolf In London’!!

Back in 1981 two classic werewolf movies were released, An American Werewolf In London (directed by John Landis) and The Howling (directed by Joe Dante). Both directors have more than earned their place in the horror pantheon for these works alone, and they would continue to contribute to the genre (Innocent Blood, Gremlins etc…).

What’s interesting about both of these 1981 films is that they’ve never really been topped in their sub-genre. When you ask someone what their favorite modern werewolf film is, they’ll usually say either Howling or AWIL. Also, it’s more likely than not that they will immediately volunteer why they prefer their choice over the other film, such is the nature of the rivalry between the two works. While both movies have their merits, I prefer AWIL on pretty much all counts (its transformation sequence outdoes some admittedly very impressive work in The Howling as well), which is funny considering I’m a Joe Dante fanatic.

But what about the trailers? Pretend (if you can) that you’ve never seen these films – which piece of marketing speaks to you the most? If you had to see only one movie, which would you choose? Check them both out and VOTE in our POLL below!



  • Allan

    American werewolf in London,better trailer for a better film

  • djblack1313

    WTF?!! i’m so glad i never saw the trailer for THE HOWLING before i saw the movie!! lol. they totally spoil the ending of the fucking movie. just goes to show that trailers have been spoiling huge parts of movies for decades. lol.

    i agree w/ Allen that the trailer for LONDON is way better than the cheesy trailer for HOWLING (even though i love both movies a lot!).

    • djblack1313

      p.s. i really like these polls you guys have been adding (the FRIGHT NIGHT 2 one and this one)!! they are fun!

  • ChristopherJones

    An American Werewolf in London has the superior trailer by far. We need some more decent werewolf movies like these two, though I did really enjoy Ginger Snaps and Dog Soldiers.

    • Canucklehead

      Ginger Snaps was awesome….the sequel not so much

  • Joe-Banger

    All the above comments are correct! An American Werewolf rocks the FUCK out of any wolf or were wolf film past and present! I knew before I read the article who the author was and this is a really good idea! Keep them coming Evan/BD!

  • Canucklehead

    Two great films, two really bad trailers.

  • Feydakin

    An American Werewolf in London clearly has the better trailer, mostly due to it’s higher production value because it’s a bigger budget movie and had a larger marketing budget. Let’s be honest though, this was the 1980’s and none of the trailers are particularly “good” by today’s standards. Honestly, if I were to watch one of these movies right now I would choose The Howling, no question…

  • kevinhorror

    I was always an enthusiast for the Howling as it creeped me out with the story, the disturbing theatre scene, the creepy setting at the colony, and for the werewolves. Overall, it is my favorite werewolf movie (which is faint praise since there really aren’t that many werewolf movies, much less good werewolf movies.) I never cared for American Werewolf in London or really any John Landis movies. But AWIL just never did it for me. I hated the dead characters talking to the main guy. Just thought it was always overrated.That being said, out of the two trailers the AWIL is by far the superior trailer. It was well done, didn’t over sell the premise, just hinted at what the movie was about. The Howling trailer is (like djblack1313 mentioned) is typical of 80’s trailers and its a cheesy trashy trailer that gives way to much away.

  • Baphochrist

    Both trailers were shitty but AWIL less so. Also I find both films varying degrees of overrated. My favorite werewolf movie is and probably always will be Silver Bullet. I know it’s silly as fuck in parts and relatively “light” but the atmosphere is amazing imo.

  • CuChullain

    I know it was par for the course for trailers in the 80s, but the voice-over for The Howling trailer would have killed any ambition I had to see the film.

  • PrinnyDood

    Pretending I have never seen either film, just by trailers alone, I would go with American Werewolf. The Howling trailer is awful.

    As far as the two movies go though, I don’t know which one is superior. They both are awesome in different ways.

    I guess I could say The Howling is the scarier movie, but American Werewolf is the most entertaining.

  • Ravinus

    AWIL better trailer, but The Howling is my preference in movies. I like the darker nature of The Howling. Not to mention, The Howling has full frontal and werewolf sex.

  • Sick_skwerl

    I think the AWIL trailer is pretty good, a lot of “less is more”. And watching the trailer, it doesn’t even really spoil who the werewolf is (unlike the total spoiler for the ending in The Howling trailer.)

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