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   AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON (1981) 

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CAST
David Naughton
Griffin Dunne
Jenny Agutter
Don McKillop
Paul Kember
John Woodvine
Joe Belcher
David Schofield
Brian Glover
Lila Kaye

DIRECTED BY
John Landis

PURCHASE


DVD




Time: 97 mins.
Rating: R
Genre: Horror

Won Academy Award for Best Makeup.


SYNOPSIS: Two American students on a walking tour of England are attacked by a Werewolf. One is killed, the other is mauled. David, the survivor, begins to have nightmares of being a werewolf. He must find a way to save himself and the last wolves recent victims before he loses control for good.

BOTTOM LINE: Believe it or not, I have only recently seen this film all the way through. What a shame. I find it amazing when camp classics actually hold up year after year. This movie is darkly humorous and deeply disturbing, some of the best moments coming when it's both. It doesn't get much deeper than it's title, yet it holds your attention and grabs your heart.

You can't help but feel sorry for this poor American college boy turned killer wolf, even when he's ripping his victims to shreds. All he wanted was to spend some quality time abroad seeing the sights and getting laid. What he gets is death and dismemberment. I'd complain to my travel agent.

What gives this film it's edge are the amazing special effects and the outlandishly creepy dream sequences. Plus, nobody decomposes funnier than Griffin Dunne. The love story angle is kind of weak, but they had to fill the time between the initial attack and the next full moon with something. Plus, it would be really sad if he didn't get laid. Something positive had to come out of the experience.

Rick Baker won his first Oscar for his makeup work here and hasn't looked back since. Naughton turning into a wolf is one of the most terrifying things I have ever seen. Made all the more impressive since the effects were done before the advent of CGI. It's one of the main sequences that keeps this film watchable. If you like to laugh while you're being terrified, than this is the movie for you.



Jack Goodman: "Have you tried talking to a corpse? It's boring."

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