An American Werewolf In London 1981

I always come back to this movie. This is a horror-comedy movie that works. It’s not a parody. It’s a horror movie that happens to have funny moments.

Two Americans (David and Jack) are traveling through Europe. They go to a pub (The Slaughtered Lamb) and it’s strongly hinted for them to stick to the main roads on their way out by the unfriendly locals…well guess what? They don’t and soon Jack is ripped to shreds and David is badly scratched by a werewolf. David wakes up in a hospital with Nurse Alex Price taking care of him. That is the nurse I would want.

David starts having horrific nightmares. In the hospital, Jack reappears to David as a decomposing corpse. He keeps telling David that he should kill himself because David will turn into a werewolf and kill others. David goes home with Alex and Jack keeps reappearing and eventually, David does turn into a werewolf.

He ends up killing bystanders as the werewolf and now Jack comes back and is decomposed more and this time brings the new kills to meet David.

Jack cares about David and hates the situation but he will be left to wander like this unless the werewolf curse is broken…

When the movie came out on VHS I bought it. It was one of the first movies I bought on DVD. It is very effective as a horror movie with comedy. That can be a hard thing to do without it becoming an outright parody.

John Landis had just finished The Blues Brothers and Animal House when he directed this. In two years he would hit again with Trading Places. Then came the Twilight Zone with the Vic Morrow tragedy. After that Landis’s career was damaged.

Rick Baker did the special effects for this movie. The transformation is great and the wolf is effective. The effects look good today.

The music is great. Bad Moon Rising, Blue Moon, and  Moondance are featured.

The cast is David Naughton, Griffin Dunne, Jenny Augguter, and Rick Baker makeup effects.

If you like horror movies you should like this. I would not recommend the sequel An American Werewolf in Paris…that one doesn’t stack up against the original.

Supposedly Max Landis, John’s son is planning to remake this movie. Personally, I don’t think it needs it. It’s hard to remake a classic.

Author: Badfinger (Max)

Power Pop fan, Baseball fan, old movie and tv show fan... and a songwriter, bass and guitar player.

21 thoughts on “An American Werewolf In London 1981”

  1. Watched it- I am not a horror movie type- i find most of them funny because they are so stupid- but this was good- smart- well made- thumbs up! and Jenny Agutter!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes that was very unfortunate… I liked at the end of the movie where they had the– congratulations to Lady Diana Spencer and Prince Charles–it was made that long ago!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I just liked the movie right off the bat…the music is really well placed also… gosh I forgot about that at the end. He balanced the humor and horror well.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. We did the Beatle tour of London and drove to Liverpool and had a guide take us to the beatles sites there – it was funtastic.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. That sounds great… my wife and I want to go to Europe in the next couple of years. Sometimes I’ll see the Abbey Road web cam and watch people almost get hit trying to pose…

        Liked by 1 person

      5. It is crazy- people act so unaware its an active road…. the worst place for that is Dealey Plaza- people run out in the middle of the road to get their picture taken on the X and act like its Disneyland–and the red light changes and here come three lanes of traffic heading for them..

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Sorry for the late reply…it was caught in spam…Yes it is… It’s one of the few horror movies that cross the line to humor and doesn’t lose it’s bite…no pun intended lol.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Hey Max, just sampling some of your archives. And had to add that I adore this movie – you’re right, its the perfect combination of horror with some pretty funny moments, great soundtrack, and some pretty good special effects. I especially like the scene where its a dream within a dream sequence when Jack visits David.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s a hard trick to do without being campy…combining those two. Oh yea…I know the one you are talking about man. That is the first movie I bought on DVD I think.

      Liked by 1 person

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