THE HOWLING
1981, Rialto Pictures, 91 min, USA, Dir: Joe Dante

TV anchorwoman Dee Wallace, traumatized after acting as bait for a Hollywood serial killer’s bloody demise, takes a sojourn in an Esalen-type retreat - only to find the entire New Age community is made up of werewolves! Directed with tremendous energy and black humor by genre specialist Joe Dante (and co-written by indie film godfather John Sayles), this tongue-in-cheek chiller features a Who’s Who of great genre character actors.


ALLIGATOR
1980, British Lion-Columbia Distributors, 92 min, USA, Dir: Lewis Teague

Twelve years after a baby alligator is flushed down the toilet, it grows to mammoth size in the city sewer system (thanks to a diet of hormonally enhanced animals improperly disposed of by a local research facility). When bodies start popping up, Chicago detective Robert Forster is the first - and only - authority figure to grasp the reality of what is happening. Screenplay by John Sayles.


PIRANHA (1978)
1978, New World Pictures, 94 min, USA, Dir: Joe Dante

Screenwriter John Sayles cleverly riffs on JAWS in this early directorial effort from Joe Dante, in which a school of deadly mutant piranha heads for a sleepy summer community. Combining crisp action with razor-sharp satire, this fast, funny and scary creature feature is one of the best films to come out of producer Roger Corman's New World Pictures in the 1970s.


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