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An American Werewolf In London - See Before You Die! January 1st 22:55
By James Whittington, Thursday 30th December 2010

An American Werewolf In London PairReleased at a time when horror cinema was awash with hack n' slash shockers, An American Werewolf In London was a refreshing change from all those faceless killers that were lurking around. For the first time in ages we had a creative and creepy creature feature, the most memorable since Jaws scared us out of the water during the mid 70s.

Written and directed with passion and wit by John Landis, the movie was, and still is, one of the finest pieces of werewolf horror and though it contained some of the funniest moments committed to celluloid; it also brought some very visceral and gruesome sequences. Oh, and the small matter of the finest transformation scene ever filmed.

The story is solid with a traditional feeling, as a pair of American tourists who are out wandering the English countryside and are attacked by a mysterious beast. Rescued by locals, the surviving man soon undergoes a terrifying transformation.

Containing many classic moments such as a sequence within the pub, “The Slaughtered Lamb”, a chase through the London Underground and Rick Baker’s unforgettable and Oscar winning man-to-werewolf transformation piece; the film also contains more quotable lines than any other.

The cast includes David Naughton and Griffin Dunne as the unfortunate American back packers with Jenny Agutter, John Woodvine and Brian Glover giving depth to the British characters. Look out for cameos from Frank Oz, Rik Mayall and even Landis himself.

But what makes this movie different from other werewolf films is that the script is as strong as the effects. Plus the transformation sequence was shot in a room that’s well-lit with plenty of extreme close-ups.

Packed with humour and horror, the film mixes these genres with ease, incredible really as the gore score is pretty high here with rotting corpses and decapitations graphically realised in deep colours.

As you’d expect in this day and age a remake is on the cards but let’s sit back and enjoy the original and remind ourselves why we all love horror movies in the first place.


Related show tags: AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON
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