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
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.
Howling", "AWIL" played more toward the traditional theme
of the "reluctant werewolf". This is the theme that
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
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"
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.