A true Cult classic timepiece movie! 4.5 stars
Elan Bodwick | las vegas | 08/17/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This once rare newly restored italian Tinto Brass film from 1968 is a must own for those of us who cherish films that thank god someone bankrolled and took the time to shoot. It has all the elements- psychedelic sex- surrealist comedy- political and sexual commentary- full frontal nudity- absurdity and other things left unmentioned. This is part El Topo-part Fellini on acid with Monty python and Charlie Chaplin all moving along at relatively quick pace- There are scenes that have to be seen to be believed. Ofcourse its an art film- ofcourse it can be overbearing at times buts its a very interesting and eyepopping trip. The movie has been restored to Tinto Brass's original directors vision- with english subtitles the transfer is good not great and the audio could have been cleaner. But if youre a Jodorowsky fan- love weird settings and bizarre camera angles, situations, and characters than you cant go wrong. In fact id say this film is one of the premier "cult" films. The only thing i disliked was the horrific violence spliced in via WW2 footage that tainted the spirit of the 60s wonder of The Howl- which has a strong antifascist message among its many tirades- in fact it has a very pure anarchist spirit and amidst all the craziness theres many underlying viewpoints both political and sexual that its trying to convey. It deserves the rep its garnered by cult afficianados which often isnt the case with many "cult films"!"
Nonsensical Psychedelic Eurotrash of the highest caliber !
4-Legged Defender | ATL. GA. | 10/07/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"There`s no coherent plotline to speak of, it`s a barrage of late 60`s Italian Psychobabble that`s like 'Alice Through The Looking Glass' on Acid - that said, the dialogue is poetic, the imagery indellible, erotic and unforgettable, IF you enjoy late 60`s European flicks with a high amount of anti-war sentiment. If not, RUN AWAY NOW! PS- Tina Aumont never looked better!!"
Joseph L. Mummerth | pa. | 12/26/2009
(3 out of 5 stars)
"it is worth watching ,but I`d never pay $26.00 for it ! very strange, disconected film . like a bad acid trip . it has its moments , and of course tina aumont is absolutely beautiful ! would I recommend it ? only if you can get it cheap , and if you like them weird !"
A carnival of weirdness
Zack Davisson | Seattle, WA, USA | 02/18/2010
(4 out of 5 stars)
""The Howl" (Italian title "L'Urlo") holds the dubious honor of being the film that director Tinto Brass decided to make instead of A Clockwork Orange, which he had been offered by Paramount Pictures. Brass apparently still had hopes for directing "A Clockwork Orange" after completing "The Howl" (a giant poster for Paramount Pictures can be seen in the hotel in "The Howl"), but after the film was released and subsequently banned by the Italian film board censors, Paramount withdrew their offer and handed the film over to Stanley Kubrick.
After seeing "The Howl," I am glad that "A Clockwork Orange" ultimately ended up in Kubrick's hands instead of Brass', but I can see the potential here. At this stage in his career, Brass was not the bottom-loving director he would become with films like Cheeky! and Frivolous Lola, but was instead an avant-garde and surrealistic filmmaker who used his camera like an impressionist's brush. It hardly seems to be the same Tinto Brass at all.
Inspired by Edvard Munch's painting "Skriket" ("The Scream") and Alan Ginsberg's poem "Howl," "The Howl" is more of an interlocked collection of scenes and imagery rather than a film with a story. This is pure psychedelic psychosis, with symbolic characters and enough random acts of weirdness to make the most devout fan of cult cinema happy. The rough story has Anita (Tina Aumont, Salon Kitty) as a bride who leaves her fiancé Berto (Nino Segurini) at the alter (where the wedding was being presided over by a priest with a shrunken head necklace) to run off with Coso (meaning "Whatshisname," and played by popular comic actor Gigi Proietti). The two make their getaway in a double-decker English bus, and encounter such strangeness as a cannibal philosopher in a loincloth and periwig, a wind-up midget wearing a Napoleon costume and a Hitler mustache, and a lion who chastises them for disturbing the restful peace of a cemetery.
If the above description makes you want to see "The Howl," then you are the target audience. This is a film for those who don't mind wave after wave of weirdness, and who think Alejandro Jodorowsky (El Topo) was a master filmmaker. The imagery here is as bizarre as it is beautiful, and Brass makes the most of Tina Aumont's stunning looks. Filmed "on location in Rome, Naples, Berlin, Paris and on a nudists' island, "The Howl" is a non-stop surrealistic journey that must be experienced rather than described.
Cult Epic's release of "The Howl" is a bit damaged, but was created from the best print of the film available. Extensive restoration costs lost of money, and on a film this obscure we just have to be happy that it is available at all.
One warning: the reason for "The Howl"'s banning was not due to the sexuality you would expect from a Tinto Brass film, but for reasons of violence and animal cruelty. Both a mouse and a goose are killed onscreen for "The Howl," and people who are sensitive towards animal rights should probably stay away.