Thread Rating:
  • 0 Vote(s) - 0 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
An American Werewolf in London
#1
I honestly think this is one of the few films I would call being close to perfect. Everything just works so well it's fantastic and it's a shame to see what Landis was capable of before the horrible incident with Vic Morrow and the two Vietnamese kids. His work prior to The Twilight Zone is absolutely classic, his work afterwards...not so much (with the exception of Spies Like Us).

I love everything about this film and each time I watch it I pick up on some other little minor detail or non-sequitor which makes me love it even more. The dream sequences alone are enough to make me fall in love with the film (that scene with the Nazi Zombies/Werewolves haunted me as a kid) but then you add all the wry little jokes like the songs in the background and the half heard jokes and it becomes almost perfect.

Just a brilliant, brilliant, brilliant, piece of work. The best horror comedy of all time (just ahead of Shaun of the Dead).
Reply
#2
I've always been a fan of the effects work in this film. Even knowing about prosthetics, air bladders and what have you, I still for the life of me can't believe I'm looking at anything except a guy's body going through an excruciating transformation.

Bonus points to this movie for also having two things I like but never see enough of: a dead "sidekick" and a scene of horror at a movie theater, which always puts a nice meta spin on the experience.
Reply
#3
Definitely ahead of its time. The dry humor mixed with the gore (and the fucking horrifying Rube Goldberg car crash) didn't sit well with critics. My brother took me to see it for my 11th birthday, and I had to leave after being fucked up for life by the Nazi dream demons. I revisited it after growing some pubes, and it's been a favorite ever since.
Reply
#4
I prefer Company of Wolves on effects work (it's a question of style more than quality), but this is otherwise an excellent film.
Reply
#5
I've always been more of a Howling fan myself, but AWL is still top-notch. My only quibble is the abrupt ending.
Reply
#6
Quote:

Originally Posted by Xagarath Ankor

I prefer Company of Wolves on effects work (it's a question of style more than quality), but this is otherwise an excellent film.

Company Of Wolves is closer to the style of transformation the werewolf myth suggests. But just the beginning of An American Werewolf In London scared me more than every horror movie I've ever seen.
Reply
#7
Not only is the tone of this movie an exceedingly difficult one to achieve, it's absolutely note-perfect and sustained through the entire film. In comparison, the also-very-excellent Shaun of The Dead is inconsistent after the first 20 minutes.
Reply
#8
Quote:

Originally Posted by Ratty

I've always been more of a Howling fan myself, but AWL is still top-notch. My only quibble is the abrupt ending.

I know what you're saying. I sort of wrestled with that ending for a long time, but have arrived at the conclusion that it completely works. It's the equivalent of a stage performance where the performer finishes the encore, drops the mike on the stage, and stomps off: the deed is done, the punchline's been told and that's it. Show's over, folks, now get the hell out. It's also a brilliant counterpoint to the humor that AWIL is laden with insofar as its brief and brutal. There's no silver bullet clause to save David. It's just *BANG* and dead. Hell, even that ending is immediately subverted, however, by "Blue Moon" playing over the end credits. That's my take, anyways.
Reply
#9
Another thing to add. This movie totally changed how I perceive Blue Moon. It completely creeps me out ever since.
Reply
#10
Quote:

Originally Posted by stelios

But just the beginning of An American Werewolf In London scared me more than every horror movie I've ever seen.

I've always thought that the attack on the moors is one of the most visceral, intense moments I've ever seen in a movie. It's so unrelentingly brutal, mostly (in my opinion) due to the sound work. We don't see a lot of the attack itself because the camera stays with David as he flees, but the screams and tearing sounds are pretty hard to take. I find it difficult to sit still through (like, almost, Irreversible difficult).
Reply
#11
The best werewolf film and the best horror-comedy film. In my opinion, AWL surpasses Shaun of the Dead and other horror/comedy fusions (Return of the Living Dead, Evil Dead 2, Club Dread, etc.) because it's unbalanced in favor or the horror elements. With the more comedic films the sense of menace is diluted by the jokes and antics, but AWL is a scary film first and foremost.

Return of the Living Dead comes next in terms of balance, and is probably the closest in balancing the two genres. Shaun is a good zombie movie, and a brilliant film all around, but aside from a couple of moments it's not particularly scary.
Reply
#12
Even before the attack the moors seem like this eerie, malevolent place. They're almost an alien landscape. It's scary to watch even as they're just walking and talking.
Reply
#13
Quote:

Originally Posted by nekkerbee

The best werewolf film and the best horror-comedy film. In my opinion, AWL surpasses Shaun of the Dead and other horror/comedy fusions (Return of the Living Dead, Evil Dead 2, Club Dread, etc.) because it's unbalanced in favor or the horror elements. With the more comedic films the sense of menace is diluted by the jokes and antics, but AWL is a scary film first and foremost.

Return of the Living Dead comes next in terms of balance, and is probably the closest in balancing the two genres. Shaun is a good zombie movie, and a brilliant film all around, but aside from a couple of moments it's not particularly scary.

An American Werewolf In London works so effectively as a horror movie for me that the comedic aspects fail to register.
Reply
#14
Quote:

Originally Posted by Mattioli

I've always thought that the attack on the moors is one of the most visceral, intense moments I've ever seen in a movie. It's so unrelentingly brutal, mostly (in my opinion) due to the sound work. We don't see a lot of the attack itself because the camera stays with David as he flees, but the screams and tearing sounds are pretty hard to take. I find it difficult to sit still through (like, almost, Irreversible difficult).

Agreed.

This is one of my favorite films, one of the first to truly scare me as a kid. I remember watching it with my dad one night and he fell asleep, leaving me along during the scene where he's transforming in the porno theater. That scene in Piccadilly is absolute mayhem- crazy shit. The humor, the gore (Jesus Christ the hanging bit of flesh on Jack's neck!), everything fucking works, and works better each time you see the film. It's up there with The Thing as one of the tightest horror flicks ever made, and the effects still haven't been topped.

Also, I've said this before in some other thread, but the shot of the werewolf advancing on the guy in the subway is so simple and so horrifying.
Reply
#15
Quote:

Originally Posted by Alex Riviello

Also, I've said this before in some other thread, but the shot of the werewolf advancing on the guy in the subway is so simple and so horrifying.

Definitely. I think that sense of horror is heightened by the fact that it's filmed under the harsh glare of bright, fluorescent lights. Also, by the fact that I couldn't, for the longest time, figure out how they produced the effect of the werewolf walking to the base of the escalator.
Reply
#16
Quote:

Originally Posted by Alex Riviello

Also, I've said this before in some other thread, but the shot of the werewolf advancing on the guy in the subway is so simple and so horrifying.

Agreed. Scariest moment of a wonderfully scary film. I don't know if it counts as a "reveal" in the traditional sense (it's not the clearest look at the beast), but, unlike Jaws where Bruce suddenly sticks his head out during Brody's chumming duty, it's all the more menacing because of the way the wolf slowly walks towards the businessman on the escalator. Its prey is helpless, so it can take its time.
Reply
#17
Quote:

Originally Posted by Phil!

Definitely ahead of its time. The dry humor mixed with the gore (and the fucking horrifying Rube Goldberg car crash) didn't sit well with critics. My brother took me to see it for my 11th birthday, and I had to leave after being fucked up for life by the Nazi dream demons. I revisited it after growing some pubes, and it's been a favorite ever since.



The fuckers still creep me out today.

My only complaint about the film is that the Wolf looks really odd in those final shots, he just looks incredibly fake and his movement seems really mechanical. It almost takes me out of the movie.
Reply
#18
Great movie, horror and comedy are blended well. Jenny Agutter.
Reply
#19
its a good flick and I love the transformations, but, the eventual werewolf per say aint so hot IMO. it's too much like a bear or something. the werewolves in The Howling are much better
Reply
#20
American Werewolf In Paris was better.
Reply
#21
Quote:

Originally Posted by cfMC

its a good flick and I love the transformations, but, the eventual werewolf per say aint so hot IMO. it's too much like a bear or something. the werewolves in The Howling are much better

There's an interview with Rich Baker on the DVD regarding the wolf design. He talks about the fact that he wanted the wolf to be bipedal, but Landis insisted on having a "hellhound" design. There's a really terrible handheld cut of the interview on Youtube.

BobClark, yeah, but how does Paris rank against A Mexican Werewolf in Texas?
Reply
#22
One of my absolute favorite horror films of all time. I saw this the summer I was 17, and when school started, my best friend and I spent a big part of senior year just talking about this movie to death.
Reply
#23
Quote:

Originally Posted by Phil!

My brother took me to see it for my 11th birthday, and I had to leave after being fucked up for life by the Nazi dream demons. I revisited it after growing some pubes, and it's been a favorite ever since.

Same thing happened to me - I saw this at the (now gone) Jackson Cinema when I was a kid - I left right after that scene, walking home late at night with a full moon overhead (cue spooky music).

When we got cable TV, American Werewolf was one of the first films I watched. Now that I was older, I made myself watch the whole thing through, again late at night. I was hooked - this film made me a huge fan of special make-up effects, gruesome horror, and Jenny Agutter.
Reply
#24
Quote:

Originally Posted by BobClark

American Werewolf In Paris was better.

The only good bits of the film were July Delpy's, and even then, Jenny Agutter's were better.
Reply
#25
There's an actual restaurant called The Slaughtered Lamb in New York and it's modeled from the movie: http://www.slaughteredlambpub.com/sl...bpub/home.html

I'll also second all the love for this film. It's still the best werewolf movie ever and the FX are still some of the best ever in horror cinema.
Reply
#26
I used to walk by that place all the time when I worked in the Village. I've even spotted a few minor celebrities stopping in for a drink. Nobody was mauled, however.
Reply
#27
There's a bunch of theme bars from the same owner around the city- Jekyll and Hyde, forget the others....

A lot of times they've got people dressed up as dead brides and zombies walking around the block handing out flyers. Decent enough place. There's no pentangle on the wall though, that always seemed like a wasted opportunity.
Reply
#28
Another great thing about the film is how all the supporting characters are all memorable too. The guys in the Slaughtered Lamb like the dart guy and Brian Glover make for some of the movie's most quotable bits.
Reply
#29
Quote:

Originally Posted by Mattioli

BobClark, yeah, but how does Paris rank against A Mexican Werewolf in Texas?

See now that shit's scary because it's true!
Reply
#30
One of my favourite bits about the movie is the attack at the beginning. Actually, before the attack where Griffin Dunne asks "Shit, what is it?". I think that is the best "scared out of your wits" moment in any movie I've seen, mostly because it feels so real.
Reply
#31
Why anyone uses CGI for a transformation, when perfection/standard has been set here (and remains to be bested) is beyond me. It can't be budgetary.

Knowing Rick Baker's legacy= makes CURSED (he was involved) all the more painful.
Reply
#32
Quote:

Originally Posted by Alex Riviello

There's a bunch of theme bars from the same owner around the city- Jekyll and Hyde, forget the others....

I think it's just the two locations of Jekyll and Hyde and the one Slaughtered Lamb.
Reply
#33
Quote:

Originally Posted by Ravi

The guys in the Slaughtered Lamb like the dart guy and Brian Glover make for some of the movie's most quotable bits.

"THAT'S ENOOOOF!"
Reply
#34
Quote:

Originally Posted by DARKMITE8

Why anyone uses CGI for a transformation, when perfection/standard has been set here (and remains to be bested) is beyond me. It can't be budgetary.

Knowing Rick Baker's legacy= makes CURSED (he was involved) all the more painful.

I enjoyed his riff on the Henry Hull style werewolf in Mike Nichols' Wolf, however.

Black Sheep seemed to be riffing on Baker's transformation scenes here and there.
Reply
#35
Quote:

Originally Posted by nekkerbee

it's all the more menacing because of the way the wolf slowly walks towards the businessman on the escalator. Its prey is helpless, so it can take its time.

yeah, I LOVE this detail. love the way the wolf glides around the corners too. it is such a great sequence.

that whole scene is special to me though, since there was a time when I regularly used that very tube station (Tottenham Court Road) for my late night commute.
Reply


Forum Jump:


Users browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)