Thursday, August 2, 2012

Blood Of The Vines: The Howling


Wine Goes To The Movies

For the dog days of summer, what could be better than a movie with some canine teeth?  And some claws.  And a loud bark.  And a nice wine for a dog day afternoon.

The Howling” is a great 1980s werewolf film - there were a few of them back in the day.  This one boasts TFH head guru Joe Dante directing a screenplay by John Sayles - not to mention the likes of Patrick Macnee, Slim Pickens, John Carradine and Kevin McCarthy onscreen.  I’m in.

First of all, save your silver bullets.  Do you know how much ordinary stuff can kill a dog?  Wine is right up there - or any alcoholic beverage.  But how about milk?  That’s bad for Fido, too.  Chocolate, also not so good for Rover.  Nor are avocados, persimmons, eggs, fish, salt, sugar, yeast or macadamia nuts.  It looks like the only thing dogs can safely eat are Bonz.  So why so much trouble killing werewolves?  Can’t we just send them to a buffet?

While swirling my Cru Vin Dogs red blend, I take offense when one of the characters in “The Howling” says, “You’re from Los Angeles. The wildest thing you’ve ever heard is Wolfman Jack.”  Hey, writer, if you think wild sounds don’t happen in Los Angeles, I wish upon you every next door neighbor I’ve ever had.  Have you never been rolled out of bed by dueling garbage trucks at 7:00?  I didn’t think real people worked that early - just people who have to do things like get the news ready for you.

If you’ve never seen a newsperson turn into a werewolf, you’re missing a treat.  Oh, yeah, I’ve been around some newsrooms in my time.  TV, radio, something they used to call “newspapers.”  I’ve seen a few newspersons go off the deep end.  I’ve seen some things I wouldn’t want to see on the big screen - it was horrible enough life-size.

When I tell people about screaming arguments in which a variety of common newsroom items thrown at me ended up stuck in the soundproofing behind me, I hear gasps.  I don’t have the heart to tell them I returned fire with a severely brown coffee cup that put a dent in the paneling and left a mural-sized stain that is still being talked about today.  That was followed up by a left-handed sling of a half-empty pint bottle of Wild Turkey from the photographer’s drawer.  The news is not pretty when you get it.  It’s even uglier before that.

Was I writing about werewolves?  Yes, I suppose I was.  Sometimes I don’t know if I can scream.  Sometimes I don’t know if I can stop screaming.  The news does that to me.  So does Mad Dog 20/20.

Let’s pair a Santa Maria Valley Syrah with “The Howling,”  from Ambullneo Vineyards - not least because it’s called “Howling.”  Also because it’s dark and brooding.

Howl’d you like these?

Mad Dogs and Englishmen - Monastrell from Jumilla, Spain will go great with any movie, actually.

Stone Wolf Winery - Willamette Valley wine watched over by a wolf.  Do we trust him?

Grey Wolf Winery - The werewolves of Paso Robles are not drinking pina coladas.  They’re drinking this.

Werewolf Cabernet Sauvignon - They actually have nine different wines from Transylvania - oh, wait, that’s vampire country.


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