Pop Junk’s 31 Days of Halloween: # 16 An American Werewolf in London.

Werewolf films are a classic horror staple and in the 80’s there was a boom of some really good werewolf flicks, but I thought one stood above the rest.

An American Werewolf in London is a 1981 Horror Comedy by John Landis; set in the English moors and follows the vacation of two college dicks; David (David Naughton) and Jack (Griffin Dunne) who stubble upon a quaint pub with a mysterious patronage who warn them not to leave the road when walking after dark. Well it’s a horror flick so they’re not gonna listen and the two decide to find a short cut….David wakes up in the hospital with a nasty bite wound to his shoulder; the freshly deceased, and rapidly decomposing, Jack arrives soon after to deliver the grim news that, unless he commits suicide, David will become a werewolf when the moon is full.  This is all you really need to know walking into a Werewolf movie isn’t it.

I have to be forth right and say that I had never seen this flick til this year and I was impressed.  Whenever I hear “horror-comedy” I role my eyes and usually pass but this movie is both genuinely funny and pretty scary and gory.  A huge tip of the hat goes to the late/great Stan Winston who won an academy award to his work on this movie.  When David hallucinates seeing the mangled corpse of his dead friend while he munches on his hospital food is simultaneously charming and gross.    Then the real show stealer is the metamorphoses scene when David finally turns into a Werewolf.  It’s pretty pretty drawn out but holy hell does it make you miss the days of organic special effects and loath the current corruption of CGI in horror movies.  This scene is followed by  his horrific rampage through piccalilli circus culminating with a quick ending .

The best parts of this movie really lies in the re-occurrence of the dead friend which are really funny because he has decayed further and further with every appearance.  Now I’ve heard people shit on this movie for having such an abrupt ending but I thought it was good and fit this particular movie perfectly.  This movie is currently on Netflix watch instantly for your viewing pleasure.  A great 80’s horror flick and maybe the best werewolf movie I’ve ever seen done with a clever twist.

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~ by ATOM on October 16, 2011.

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