Friday, September 11, 2009

Friday Flashbacks: An American Werewolf In London 1981


An American Werewolf In London 1981
Director: John Landis
Writer: John Landis
Starring David Naughton, Griffin Dunne, Jenny Agutter, Frank Oz, John Woodvine, Lila Kaye and Brian Glover

Before, I get on with my review, I just wanted to tell everyone this is my 100th post on this blog. I never thought I would make it this far and I want to thank all of the readers for their support and I hope that I have steered you onto some good films or steered you away from some of the bad ones. Thus, ends my little interruption, now onto the review.
I am a big Werewolf movie fan, and this is one of my favorites and in my top 3 of all time werewolf films. It is a film that really balances humor with horror. It has some great funny moments and also some really tense and suspenseful moments. My personal favorite scary scene is when the subway passenger is being chased, it is an excellent use of suspense and terror. The comedy is great too especially all the banter between Naughton and Dunne. This is just such a well made film and definitely my favorite of Landis' film.
The plot basics are this, David (Naughton) and Jack (Dunne) are backpacking through Europe and are currently going through the countryside of England. They stop at a Pub and everyone inside acts bizarre and has superstitious things all over the wall. It freaks them out and they leave, and one of the patrons tells them to stay off the moors, but they do not listen and end up on the moors and begin to hear a howling and it freaks them out and they start running. Then, Jack is attacked by what appears to be a wolf and then jumps on David and is killed by the pub patrons. Before David passes out he sees the wolf change to a human. David wakes up in a hospital in England and begins to have horrible nightmares and begins to see his dead friend Jack, telling him he will become a werewolf. At first he doesn't buy into it. But, when a full moon comes he transforms and goes on a rampage. This leads to a final werewolf attack in London which ends tragically.
This is just an amazing film. Landis' direction has a perfect balance of humor and horror. The script by Landis also balances those two subjects well, and all the characters are fully realized and never seem to be stereotypes. The acting is great I, I especially love Naughton and Dunne and how they play off of each other. I loved Agutter too, she is very sexy and a very sympathetic heroine. The SFX are great and Rick Baker definitely deserved the Oscar for his work. To me, this is still the best Werewolf transformation yet put to screen. The gore effects are great, especially the slowly rotting Jack. One final great addition to the film is the music and all the songs that have Moon in the lyrics. I can never hear Creedence Clearwater Revival's without thinking of the transformation scene now. If you have not seen this film, you are doing yourself a disservice as a horror fan.
This one gets 5 out of 5

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