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House of Horrors Presents...

You can see some common threads running through my favorite horror movies. Now if you were some big Hollywood director and your soul duty in life was making horror movies for my viewing pleasure, you'd think you had it made in the shade....wrong!!!! But if you add a few zombies, mixed in with some demons from hell and sprinkled in a werewolf or two, you would probably be worshipped beyond your wildest dreams. The keys to my heart are pretty simple, ah?

Well you've seen the zombie movies I have on the site and the few demon pages (with more on the way), but now it is time to looking at what I consider the  third greatest werewolf movie of all-time, "An American Werewolf in London." As you can see this fine film ranks right behind "The Howling" and "The Wolf Man" on my Lycanthrope scale. "The Howling" and "An American Werewolf in London" are so similar, yet so different. They both set standards for the modern art of the transformation. But the  similarities end with the werewolves. "The Howling" was dark and horrific, whereas "An American Werewolf in London" (AWIL) was dark and comical.  Both films deliver the goods on a grand scale.

Of the two, "AWIL" was the first one I was exposed to and it ranks right up there with "Evil Dead 2" in being able to provide a perfect mixture between horror and comedy . Most films that do this fail in a miserable way (i.e Ghoulies, HIDEOUS, etc). "Dead Alive" is another  exception to this rule.

Unlike "The Howling", "AWIL" played more toward the traditional theme of the "reluctant werewolf". This is the theme that Lon Chaney, Jr. helped establish and one that has served as the foundation for many werewolf movies. I, for one, would never be a "reluctant werewolf", but would use my newly found powers to clean up society. One can dream can't he?

The transformations in "AWIL" were truly amazing. Where "The Howling" shrouded their transformations in shadows of pale blue-green lighting (which I think was very eerie), "AWIL" did it in well-lit room liked they were trying to show off their mastery of the effect. This also helped to expose their limitations. Rick Baker originally was hired to do the effects on "The Howling", but left shortly into the production because he knew John Landis was about to start filming "AWIL". The assistance that he gave Rob Bottin on "The Howling" was invaluable and in effect probably help make "The Howling's" transformation more effective and realistic. This is only my opinion, please e-mail me why you agree or disagree.

One problem I have with "AWIL" was the use of a four-legged werewolf. The two-legged version just seem more menacing to me. The creature still possesses the strength of the wolf coupled with the derangement of mankind. Becoming the ultimate killing machine. But I still liked the werewolf in "AWIL" at least they didn't go to the extreme of making it look like normal wolves (i.e. "Wolfen") or put a little hair with some fake fangs and call it a werewolf (i.e. "Wolf").  I definitely prefer the two-legged variation in "The Howling" and "The Wolf Man".

Also, just saw the sequel "An American Werewolf in Paris" and I was very surprise. It was pretty damn good. Not as good as the original, but very entertaining. The werewolves were CGI (computer enhanced) and I usually don't like that, but in this film I did. Due out in video in May and I highly recommend it!!!!

Checkout "The Howling" page. As always please e-mail me if you have anything you can add to this page, or if you have any comments, criticisms or suggestion.

 

An American Werewolf in London

While backpacking across England, Jack (Griffin Dunne) and David (David Naughton) decide not to heed the warnings of the local yokels and "beware the moon". As the rains falls and the moon rises steadily into the night, they are viciously attacked by a werewolf. Jack is ripped to shreds and David survives with a bite wound. It seems that this bite comes with a pretty hefty price tag, you become a werewolf.

Next thing Jack realizes is that he is in a hospital recovering from his wounds. If things weren't bad enough for poor David, with all the nightmares and such, he also receives a visit from Jack. It seems because of his unnatural death, Jack is forced to walk the earth in limbo and the dead are really boring him. He warns David to "beware the moon" and asks him to kill himself before he kills any more boring people.

Even with the visits from Jack, David is still having a hard time believing he's a werewolf. That's until the bad moon rises. Let the killings begin. Later, Jack confronts David again in a porno theater along with the victims of his recent carnivorous lunar activities. It a really hilarious scene with the decaying Jack and David's  victims offering ways he can take his life. Silver bullet, not in this case.

In the end there there are some awesome scenes of werewolf  carnage in Piccadilly Square. Is the bloodline stopped? Has Jack finally gotten his freedom?  What about the new sequel?? I won't say. Rent it the next full moon!!!!!

 


  • When preparing the soundtrack, John Landis had wanted both Cat Steven's Moonshadow and Bob Dylan's warbling rendition of Blue Moon. Both men rejected the offer because they had both recently found god and thought the subject was inappropriate.

  • Rick Baker won an Oscar for "Best Makeup".

  • In the closing credits it reads, "All characters and events in this film are fictitious. Any similarity to actual events or persons, living, dead, or undead is purely coincidental."

  • The budget for this film was $10 million.

  • This was a "pet" project (no pun intended) of John Landis for 11 years before it got made.

  • Rick Baker had been serving as a consultant for "The Howling" when he got a phone call from John Landis about joining the film.

  • The film was release August 21st, 1981 in the US.

  • "An American Werewolf in Paris" grossed over $30 million worldwide.


Click on box cover for these recommendations


The HowlingThe Wolf ManAmerican Werewolf in Paris
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Like to play a werewolf???? Try White Wolf's RPG "WEREWOLF: The Apocalypse" and release the beast.

Visit the official An American Werewolf in London website

 

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