Kiss And Van Halen Rockers Provide Howl Effects For The Wolfman Movie Remake
January 18, 2010
David Bentley of CoventryTelegraph.net reports that Puerto Rican actor Benicio Del Toro’s strong, intense features have led him towards many dark and tragic roles, the latest being the lead in the remake of The Wolfman, released on February 12.
But the character’s spine-chilling howl comes from somewhere else together.
Rock stars Gene Simmons – lead singer of Kiss – and David Lee Roth – frontman of Van Halen – were among the many people who came in to the studio to provide animalistic sound effects for the film.
Director Joe Johnston explained that the creature’s blood-curdling ululations weren’t as simple to achieve as you might expect.
He told BoxOffice they had listened to the baying sounds of werewolves in other films but thought most sounded phoney.
Johnston said: “When we were designing [Benicio’s] howl, we were going off in a lot of different directions. We tried a lot of things to see what would work and be interesting. We listened to every wolf howl ever done on every film. We listened to all of them. And you’d be surprised how unconvincing most of them are. Some were just wolves, but some were men going, ‘Aoooooooo!’
“We didn’t get a lot from our research in what’s been done before. We were looking for this great pure tone – we knew we were going to process it and overlay elements but we wanted that great foundation.
“We tried Gene Simmons and one of Gene Simmons’ howls is in the movie. I don’t think Gene Simmons would recognise it, but it’s in there. We had David Lee Roth come in and do a few howls.
“It was great. These guys, they’re not only singers – they’re comedians. Hilarious sessions. You can imagine Gene Simmons and David Lee Roth in there howling with the picture on the screen. And they would do it, crack a few jokes, and try it again.”
Johnston explained that the veteran rockers were among many ‘howlers’ who contributed to the monster sounds used in the film.
“We had opera singers come in and howl, we had animal impersonators. Gene Simmons and David Lee Roth were pretty near the end of the process. By then we knew what we were looking for, we were homing in on it. And their stuff became the most useful stuff that we did.
“I don’t think they would recognise it after what we’ve done to it because we’ve digitally processed it and added cool overtones and all that stuff.
“We were basically just looking for a wolf howl you’d never heard before. What we realised is that everybody in the audience knows what a wolfman sounds like. Even if it’s from their imagination, it’s all pretty much the same thing.
“We just wanted our howl to be the best version of that howl. And I think we’ve come up with something that’s definitely spine-tingling, and at the same time it’s familiar enough that the audience is going to recognise it – it’s what they expect, with enhancements.”