By Raymond Knowby


John Landis (BLUES BROTHERS, ANIMAL HOUSE, THE KENTUCKY FRIED MOVIE) wrote and directed this darkly comedic tale about an American tourist (David Naughton) bitten by a werewolf while backpacking through England’s foggy moors. His victims return as the miserable undead to encourage suicide, so that the bloodline will be severed and their curse along with it.

Of course, David falls in love with the beautiful nurse who helps to rehabilitate him after the accident (Jenny Augutter), and before they have time to enjoy anything more than a quick fling, a trail of mangled bodies begin piling up. All signs of foul play lead back to the poor tortured boy, as he soon finds himself waking up naked and in public animal captivity without memory of any murderous exploits.

Will David take his own life under the encouragement of his dead best friend, Jack (hilarious performance by Griffen Dunne), or continue with his savage lunar activities until the authorities finally dispatch him?

Really well put together, production-wise, and seems to walk that fine line between humor and horror with pitch-perfect balance. Rick Baker deservedly won an oscar for his mind blowing practical effects–of note is the infamous shapeshifting sequence, which remains still to this day the best ever put on celluloid. It has yet to be topped by any werewolf movie since.

Hair-raising special effects round out AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON.