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An American Werewolf in London

A 1981 horror-comedy directed by John Landis.

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You have to love a horror movie that features a clip from "The Muppet Show."

  • Oct 28, 2007
And if you love werewolves, all the better. "An American Werewolf in London" works on so many levels, that its small wonder so many regard it as a latter-day classic of the genre. A quarter of a century has passed since its original release and An American Werewolf in London still stands (hairy) head and shoulders above any other lycanthrope movie. Its perfect direction from John Landis, great black humor, groundbreaking make-up effects, and wonderful performances make the 1981 classic absolutely unmissable. Naughton plays David Kessler, an American back-packer traveling across Europe with his best pal Jack (Griffin Dunne). However, stopping off to visit the Yorkshire moors turns out to be a big mistake when the two lads are attacked by a werewolf and so goes the story.

As the "Werewolf" of the title, Naughton does very well, especially in scenes where his costume consists mostly of excess hair. And as his buddy, Dunne easily steals the film with his observations and his worsening situation. And the special effects! Rick Baker once again makes his name supreme as makeup wizard unparalleled with so many different effects for werewolf transformations, attacks, zombified victims, etc. But there's another side to this film you may not see coming. This film has one of the best senses of humor in this genre since "The Bride of Frankenstein". You'll forever try to mimic the mother's response when her son tells her, "A naked American man stole my balloons!"

I would never dream of telling you how it ends; but consider that this was directed by John Landis, think about the other films he's directed then see if what you expected comes out in the end. It did for me. One final note: I haven't seen "An American Werewolf in Paris", but I have no desire to see any film trying to ape on the greatness achieved here. Let well enough alone. Great film but one ugly disc cover.

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More An American Werewolf in London reviews
review by . October 15, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
Pros: Has werewolves!     Cons: The main character's sometimes inexplicable behavior     The Bottom Line: Awoo, werewolves of London!     You know, I really do wish people who create special effects in movies would harken back to the older times on occasion. Sure, with a computer you can create a whole world and scale the camera in ways unheard of in previous eras, but can you really look me in the eyes and say the computer-generated special …
review by . November 05, 2005
I was obsessed with werewolves when I was in second or third grade. Something about them just fascinated me. (Ironically, I was also terrified of wolves) In second grade, I was determined to see "An American Werewolf in London" as soon as possible. It sounded like a great movie. After about three years of begging, my father finally allowed me to watch it.    The film begins with two college students travelling through the English countryside. After a bizarre encounter with the …
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About this movie


In John Landis' (THE BLUES BROTHERS, ANIMAL HOUSE) dripping black comedy, two American students (David Naughton and Griffin Dunne) on a European vacation wander into a creepy local pub in Northern England and are quickly thrown out. Stranded and alone in the dark countryside, the pair get lost in their search for warm lodging. Little do they know that they are about to be changed forever by an ancient terror as they walk along the moors on a moonlit night. Only one of the students survives a deadly attack by a supernatural beast--at least he thinks he survived, until the next full moon rolls around. Terrific makeup effects (by Oscar winner Rick Baker), clever editing, and raunchy tongue-in-cheek humor made this suspenseful and thrilling horror effort an instant classic.
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Director: John Landis
Genre: Horror
Release Date: 21 August 1981 (USA)
MPAA Rating: R
Screen Writer: John Landis
DVD Release Date: September 18, 2001
Runtime: 97 min
Studio: Universal Studios
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