Monday, November 23, 2009

An American Werewolf in London: I Wish John Landis Was My Friend.

I've said it before and I'll say it again; I. Love. John. Landis. I'm thoroughly convinced the man is a genius. It's difficult to find such perfect comedic timing paired with such perfect fear and horror but he does it! An American Werewolf is the delight of the century because it both scares and frightens without being overwhelmingly pushed into one or the other genre. David is an extremely likable character whom we grow to love and even shed a tear for by the end of the film.

For those that do not know, An American Werewolf in London is about... an American werewolf in London. David and his friend Jack are backpacking through a rather vacant English countryside. They are warned to stay away from the moors and keep to the main road but of course neither are done and a werewolf kills Jack while scratching up David pretty well. David's last conscious image is that of a naked man lying shot to death on the ground. Back in a London hospital David is visited by Jack who tells him he must kill himself if he is to break the curse upon the werewolves victims.

I guess I just love everything about this movie. The bromance between David and Jack is fantastic, the scene in the moors is both painstakingly anxiety provoking and hilarious, and the movie is littered with fantastic lines, lots of fun gore and amazing make up. David's first transformation into the werewolf is so excruciating you can almost feel your own hands and feet growing to unusual proportions and werewolf claws ripping through your flesh. Every thrill is fun and entertaining- even the one with the unfortunate resemblance to that demon face in the Exorcist I hate so much....!

It could really be the demon's twin brother in all honesty. And there's even a pretty swell love story albeit a brief one, but a believable one nonetheless. David is such a great character it almost kills me to watch the ending. Oh right speaking of the ending....the Piccadilly Circus massacre is pretty outstanding. The carnage is comparable to Final Destination 2 and every body part thrown across the screen brings a smile to my face.

The dream sequences are also another amazing source for the hilarity/terror combination. They are so absurd and terrifying at the same time- it's a perfect representation for what a dream really is.

Werewolves will always be an interesting subject to me. The idea of a two part monster- a monster we fight within ourselves is pretty darn compelling and provocative. Sure there is an aspect within each of us that we hate and secretly want to warn the public about- but how do we do so without sounding like an utter nut job? David tries his best by shouting that Prince Charles is gay and what not but it's just no good.

The ending is very upsetting- and terrible idea by the way Alex, trying to appeal to David's emotions while being transformed. Do you know anything about werewolves? Amateur.

If you have not seen this movie I suggest you attend to the matter immediately. It's drop dead hilarious, scary, and just plain amazing. I wish I could show it to my family at Thanksgiving but somehow I don't think the images of flesh ripped open, and man pubes would sit well with Grammy Doris. Oh well.

The Divemistress has reminded me of one of the best scenes! Enjoy!

Buy An American Werewolf in London at Horror Movie Empire.


DM said...

I love this movie! One of the most terrifying moments in horror (in my humble opinion, anyway) is the scene in the tube. We're at the top of a very long escalator and the werewolf is just coming into view. I love the dreadful suspense, the want-to-see-but-dare-not-look feeling.

Chris H said...

I was certain there'd be a screenshot of David Naughton's bare butt as he raced through the park naked with only a balloon to cover his nethers.

also, YES YES YES at this post!

I think Mike drooled all over Landis when he got his autograph at a Fangoria convention a few years ago.

Andre Dumas said...

Ahh that scene is so great! While that scene was happening I remember thinking,that they had reverted to a Jaws technique of not actually showing the monster and then he slowly came walking up and yeah. Crazy. Just crazy.

Chris....JOHN LANDIS' AUTOGRAPH?! Oh man I would die in peace if I met John Landis...John Landis and Pinhead. Someday...

Gory said...

I love this movie so much. This was a movie I begged my dad to take me to when I was a kid and it freaked me out so bad I had to leave the theatre. I think it was another 6 years before I saw the whole thing.

Have you watched the Beware The Moon doc on the new disc? It is fantastic!!

Andre Dumas said...

Oooooh I have not, I will have to check that out!

the jaded viewer said...

The greatest werewolf transformation scene ever. Nuff said.

Gory said...

Normally I would be wary of double dipping a purchase but it is worth it for the 90 minute documentary. It was made by a fan so it is filled with much love and admiration. And they talked to everyone.

JLG said...

"Have you ever talked to a corpse? It's boring!"

Nice review. Love this movie.

Chris H said...

The more I think about it the more I believe this is the greatest achievement ever in the world of cinema. And I never ever and I mean never use hyperbole. Ever!

baker2D said...

It is an awesome movie, however, John Landis said himself at this years frightfest that he never intended it to be funny. However, he may be lying to himself as it is undoubtedly one of the funniest horrors i have ever seen. Movie is epic.

Andre Dumas said...

Hmm that's very interesting baker, although it kind of makes sense to a point. I think the terror is genuinely terrifying, but the comedic timing between the two men is just classic and there's no way around it. He must have been joking... that silly John Landis!