Monday, October 20, 2014

31 Days of Halloween - Day 20: An American Werewolf in London

For the last few years I always do a 31 days of Halloween month. The past few years I re-read all the original Goosebumps books and before that I'd watch 31 horror movies. However I realized every single time I watched 31 Horror movies I exclusively picked ones I enjoyed. I decided to do something slightly different. I composed a list of every horror movie I owned and put them in alphabetical order. Then using a random number generator I generated 31 numbers and watched the movies that corresponded with those numbers. Some are great films and others… well… are less than fun let's say. I hope you enjoy!

Day 20: An American Werewolf in London (Movie #15)

I first discovered An American Werewolf in London through the Michael Jackson Making of Thriller VHS tape. I wanted to see the transformation scene that they spoke about in the doc being that I was obsessed with the music video for Thriller. However, I saw this when I was quite young and got so scared by David's nightmares early on in the film that I never made it to the transformation scene.

I actually don't remember when I actually DID see the full movie. I'm sure this was part of literally hundreds of mom and pops video rentals but I honestly don't remember. My memories are strictly of that first failed attempt at watching. I do know that it wasn't until college when I bought this on DVD that I fully able to appreciate the tone, sense of humor and impressive passing.

There's so much that makes this movie enjoyable but what I appreciate the most is the fact that this is John Landis' first attempt at a horror film. While his comedy background is put to fantastic use with Griffin Dunne's performance as Jack it's even more effective when the film goes from comedic immediately to horror and back to comedy. 

I've heard a bunch of websites refer to the special effects (and specifically the transformation sequence) as the real star of the film. While I can not argue that they're absolutely stunning for me I think Griffin Dunne's deliciously dark comedic performance is what will almost stick with me. I don't know if it's the way that he says "Hi David" with a Mickey Mouse dolly or the matter-of-fact way he tells David to kill himself but I love every second he's on the screen.

Chances are you've seen this movie but if you rewatch keep an ear out for all the "moon" songs throughout. Somehow I missed this little joke until that college viewing. 

Matt Kelly is the host of the popular podcast The Saint Mort Show, a frequent contributor to, the founder of Chords for Cures and the co-writer/co-director of the upcoming comedy Describing the Moon. He also loves it when people surprise him with purchases from his Amazon Wishlist… just saying.

No comments:

Post a Comment