(aka "The Howl" )


directed by Tinto Brass
Italy 1969


Anita (Tina Aumont, TORSO) has been involved in a student riot and was arrested. Her relating of her rape by the police to her straight-laced boyfriend Bernard (Nino Segurini of Brass' NEROSUBIANCO) to propose marriage. Seeing marriage as a trap (not surprising given the bizarre outdoor ceremony), she takes to the road along with Coso (Luigi Proietti, REVENGE OF THE MUSKETEERS). By bus, by car, and by foot, they stumble into one bizarre situation after another. They tour a sex motel, are captured by philosophical hippie cannibals, she gets raped by soldiers, he is put in front of a firing squad, they meet a midget Napoleon, free the prisoners of a hippie penitentiary, and attend an orgy in the London tube station before Anita returns to the real world (or does she) to race head on to her destiny (prompting the titular howl).

Shot without a script largely on location (when financer concern over rumors of salacious scenes being shot on set prompted Brass to move the shooting to the Italian countryside and even so far as London where he had previously shot DEADLY SWEET) with black and white inserts both for effect as well as when lighting was insufficient for slow color filmstock (the film was Brass' second collaboration with cinematographer Silvano Ippoliti and is always visually interesting), THE HOWL according to director Tinto Brass is not a film about 1968 but a film OF 1968 and has more in common with the happenings, plays, and films that Fernando Arrabal and Alejandro Jodorowsky (whose Arrabal adaptation FANDO Y LIS was also filmed around the same time) than it does Godard's "road movie" WEEK-END. Its social criticism is more emotional than intellectual and the cast play it with total conviction and abandon (Aumont is just as willing to doff her clothing as the many hippie extras and exhibitionist performance artists) and Fiorenzo Carpi's score is as manic as the situations in the film.

Eric Cotenas

Theatrical Release: 12 April 1972 (Italy)

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DVD Review: Cult Epics - Region 0 - NTSC

Big thanks to Eric Cotenas for the Review!

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Cult Epics

Region 0 - NTSC

Runtime 1:32:18 (4% PAL speedup)

1.83:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 7.68 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.


Audio Italian (Dolby Digital 2.0 mono)
Subtitles English, none
Features Release Information:
Studio: Cult Epics

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1.83:1

Edition Details:
• Audio Commentary by Tinto Brass (in English)
• Photo Gallery
• DEADLY SWEET trailer (16:9; 3:25)

DVD Release Date: July 28th. 2009

Chapters 12



Cult Epics' transfer of L'URLO is certainly not one of their better ones. PAL-NTSC conversion issues aside (the interlacing sometimes makes hash of Silvano Ippoliti's roving camerawork), the color is pale and the image grainy. While the Italian Sky Classics station aired a much sharper and more colorful version, it was the 91 minute (PAL speed) censored version. Cult Epics' version was supplied by Tinto Brass and features several instances of footage (only some involving nudity) that were deemed objectionable (including a quotation from Malcolm X). A composite restoration may not have been financially feasible but this fully uncut version is of special value and would still trump a competing release of the shorter version despite image quality.

Director Tinto Brass provides another great English language commentary and, like his commentary for DEADLY SWEET, he has some great anecdotes about the shooting conditions and the actors (don't look for any understanding of the story). His accent is thick and he sometimes stumbles over the language but it is still a great listen. He points out the use of stock footage as well as footage from his own documentary CA IRA, the London locations in this film where he had previously shot scenes for DEADLY SWEET, his infatuation with the late Tina Aumont (who also appeared in his SALON KITTY), and working with hippie extras. The trailer for NEROSUBIANCO is that of the US release by Radley Metzger's Audubon Films under the provocative title THE ARTFUL PENETRATION OF BARBARA (the upcoming Cult Epics release will be sourced from Metzger's materials so hopefully it will be uncut as the Italian version suffered some cuts to nudity and some optical censoring).

 - Eric Cotenas


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Region 0 - NTSC




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