An American Werewolf in London

31 Horror Movies I Own #27: An American Werewolf in London

Another horror-comedy, An American Werewolf in London is the film that kicked off my obsession with gory special F/X.

College backpackers David and Jack are hiking across some spooky, fog-covered moors in England when the stumble upon a pub called “The Slaughtered Lamb”, and notice that everyone inside is a bit jumpy. They leave and a large wolf attacks them both, killing Jack and leaving David alive but wounded.

David, now in the process of becoming a werewolf, is then haunted by Jack—as it seems the rule is werewolf victims are doomed to roam the earth as bloody ghosts until their murdered is killed. To complicate matters, David and sexy nurse Alex start to fall in love…just before the full moon.

The best part is of course, the climatic scene with lupine David terrorizing Piccadilly Circus, but really I love everything about this film. There’s tons of great blood and gore and clever humor, and overall it’s just tight, well-constructed cinema.

But the scene that I tend to watch over and over again is David’s first werewolf transformation, when latex-effects master Rick Baker rocked the 80s horror movie genre by winning the Oscar in 1982 for Best Makeup effects. However, if you’ve only seen that part, you’re missing out. You should DEFINITELY see the entire film.

Unlike most other fans I’ve talked to, I also like the sequel, An American Werewolf in Paris, ignoring the somewhat sub par CGI werewolves because of the adorableness of both Tom Everett Scott and Julie Delpy, and also because I heart it to death for coming up with the whole “Americans Only” party invite/slaughter-fest thing. Trust me, it’s good!

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