Holy cripe, did you know next year this movie turns 35?
We start off with two guys backpacking across England, cause its the early 80s and you could do that. They come across a bar called the Slaughtered Lamb and its irritable patrons. The pair are basically thrown out, and told to stay on the road during a full moon. Of course, they wander off the road and get attacked by a large animal. Jack is killed, and David is wounded, but the people from the Slaughtered Lamb show up and kill the Beast. David sees a naked man next to him before he passes out and is taken to a hospital in London.
David wakes up and is questioned by police, who ignore his stance that an animal did this. They tell him that the pair were attacked by an escaped lunatic. David doesn’t accept this explanation.
Jack shows up as a corpse, and these bits are the best part of the movie. Jack tells David that is was a Werewolf, and that because David survived, he will become a Werewolf too, and the only way to end the curse, and not kill innocent people, is the kill himself before the next full moon. David is not exactly happy with the prospect of killing himself, especially since he has a HOT NURSE coming home to him at night. meanwhile, the Doctor goes to the Slaughtered Lamb to check out David’s story, but despite being English, the patrons don’t care, but one man lets the Doc in on the truth before he leaves to go back to London.
So then we get to the fun bits of the movie, David does change into a wolf and goes a-prowling, I don’t know if it was a cost thing or they couldn’t make it look right, but the movie put ALL the monies into that changing scene, and it looks awesome. The bulk of the Werewolf scene is done via POV of David, and its great the way people react, Jack shows up again, David begins to have nightmares and more fun!
So how is An American Werewolf in London?
In a word, Awesome.
I love Jack. he’s dead and having a ball. Anytime Jack in on screen its not scary, its funny- as Jack adds more to his posse, the humor just keeps building- and then we jump to a straight horror film. I wish John Landis had done more like these, hell, I wish anyone could do more like these. The sequel is a pale comparison, and not nearly as fun. This is a solid mashup and an all-around fun movie. I’m giving this one a 10. If I find a version with some decent features, or a scrubbed special edition- its going on my shelf.
The only real nitpicky thing I can come up with is the kills all come in a burst, this movie is done over, what? 3 days, the one where Jack and David get attacked by the Werewolf, then a month later while David is out, and then like 2 days in London. I understand that we only have the full moon to deal with, but I would have liked, it spread out a bit more, maybe with David starting to see more and more visions, but that would be really hard to do well and keep such a tight movie on track.