Without the jokes, The Howling would otherwise be a competent B film – but for one scene. It was a scene that made audiences at the time sit up and pay attention and turned The Howling into a cult film – this being the scene in the middle of the film where Robert Picardo transforms into a werewolf. It is a show-stopping set-piece that for once and all put the old Lon Chaney-type lap dissolves into their grave.1000 Misspent Hours praises it saying, "...director Joe Dante was not content merely to make a conventional werewolf movie with state-of-the-art special effects, ... The Howling forges boldly on into unexplored territory." Slant Magazine gives it 4 out of 5 stars. Roger Ebert isn't a fan. There's a 66% critics rating at Rotten Tomatoes.