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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The greatest Werewolf film ever!
1981 was The Year of the Werewolves...the furry fiends leaped onto movie screens in three major films: "The Howling," "Wolfen," and the classic of the genre, "An American Werewolf in London." There has never been a greater werewolf film, there has never been a better transformation scene, and few horror movies can match the entertaining...
Published on July 13 2004 by Claude Avary

3.0 out of 5 stars Amusing horror hokum with some nice touches
John Landis crafts an enjoyable piece of horror hokum, a tongue-in-cheek werewolf thriller that gives an affectionate nod to the old horror movies and also manages to deliver a few scares.
The title says it all: The mainstay of the film's humour, at least for the first half, is the irony of an American finding himself in England. The jokes are as much a poke at...
Published on Jan. 11 2004 by

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "Dr. Pepper" guy gets nipped, Nov. 25 2006
bernie "xyzzy" (Arlington, Texas) - See all my reviews
This review is from: American Werewolf in London (DVD)
David (David Naughton "Be a Pepper") and Jack are Americans visiting England. Evidently they are not aware of the many werewolf movies. Everyone knows to beware of the moors. Not these two. Yep one gets bit the other ripped. Of course no one believes David when he mentions his hairy dreams and his suspicion that he may be experiencing that change in life. Long before the movie "Six Sense". David also saw dead people.

While in hospital for his bite recovery, a nurse (Jenny Aggutter of "Logan's Run" fame) takes a special interest in him and takes him home like a stray. So is he a bit unbalanced or does he have a nocturnal apatite that includes a lot of dumb people?

There is lots of great and not so great music with a moon motif in the background.

The movie stretches the theme too far. The jokes are just enough off to not be jokes. The pacing is off enough to make your fangs grate. Many opportunities were missed. And the abrupt ending leaves you wondering why?
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The greatest Werewolf film ever!, July 13 2004
1981 was The Year of the Werewolves...the furry fiends leaped onto movie screens in three major films: "The Howling," "Wolfen," and the classic of the genre, "An American Werewolf in London." There has never been a greater werewolf film, there has never been a better transformation scene, and few horror movies can match the entertaining mixture of humor and scares that writer/direction John Landis ("Animal House," "The Blues Brothers") achieved here.
Although there had been humor in horror films before this movie, "An American Werewolf in London" showed once and for all that having comedy in a horror film didn't mean that the film would lose out in the scare department. Landis makes it clear that the film is NOT a comedy -- the horror scenes are carried with dead-seriousness and shocking impact -- but there is so much quirky humor surrounding these scenes that the film becomes incredibly likable and buoyant. Most of the laughs come from seeing the old movie werewolf premise dropped into the modern day and watching the characters try to deal with it.
Actors Griffin Dunne and David Naughton, neither of whom had been in a movie before, create a wonderful 'ordinary guy' feeling to their characters of two young American boys backpacking through Europe. In rural England, they have a nasty encounter with a legendary monster, and Naughton faces the consequences of being bitten when he returns to London and takes up living with a pretty nurse (Jenny Agutter).
The transformation scene is justly famous and a milestone in visual effects. Make-up wizard Rick Baker lets the viewers watch a real-time twisting of a human body into a wolf shape: limbs stretch, snouts pop, hair grows, the body's amazing to watch. (And on DVD, you can watch it over and over and over again). Even computer graphics can't achieve an effect as startling as this one.
This DVD offers some nice extras. The image is good, and the 5.1 Surround Sound is decent (although there's not a lot of back speaker sound). Actors Naughton and Dunne do feature commentary on the film, and provide some interesting information and sound as if they were having a great time reliving the experience. I wish that Landis had been on the commentary as well, but you can hear his thoughts on the film in an 18-minute interview. Landis is an absolute hoot to listen to; the guy is as funny as his movie, and he absolutely bursts with ideas and observations. To go along with the Landis interview is an 11-minute interview with make-up maestro Rick Baker. He provides a fascinating look at crafting what he calls "the coolest werewolf film ever made." Also included is a vintage featurette on the making of the film, although it's only about five minutes long (but you get more of wise-cracking John Landis), ten minutes of archival footage of Baker making a cast of David Naughton's hand, and an assortment of storyboards, outtakes, and production photos.
"An American Werewolf in London" is a major turning point in horror films and visual effects -- and even over twenty years later, it is still one of the most entertaining movies of its decade. It hasn't aged at all, and this DVD lets you experience it the way it should be seen (and in the company of wild-man John Landis!)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Watch out for the FULL MOON, Jan. 13 2013
mario s (Brampton,ON, Canada) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I bought An American Werewolf in London, 2-disc full moon edition, from The picture is great, widescreen, very colourful, unlike the VIDEOGAME colours of today's movies (An American Werewolf in Paris).
It has 2 audio tracks, English 5.1 and French 2.0 mono, on feature disc. Disc 2 has extras including,"Beware the Moon, I Walked with a Werewolf", etc in English.
Both discs have subtitles in English, French and Spanish, which I display because I am a fanatic for subs. Not only it improves my hearing/pronunciation and spelling/reading, writing skills as far as English is concerned but also helps me learn other languages. This way I kill more birds with one stone.
The movie's length is 1h 40 min. approximately.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The greatest werewolf movie ever made!!!, June 4 2003
Jimmy Lee "James" (Manhasset, N.Y. United States) - See all my reviews
This is deff. the most scariest, thrilling, werewolf movie out there. It has tonz of gore, blood, and awesome deaths. This is the first werewolf movie where you actually see the transformation between man and wolf. All the other werewolf movies show some features being transformed but then stop the camera and the guy magically grows hair and huge teeth. The acting is great and the screen shots are very well done to give the movie more thrill. The blood and scary music really keep you focused throughout the whole film. This is deff. worth buying, don't wste your time on american werewolf in Paris!! Absolutely herendous!!! The movie dosn't come close to being as good as this one. A deff. Buy in your dvd collection!!!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars best werewolf movie ever made, Dec 17 2007
many people believe the Howling to be a better film than An American werewolf in London.i happen to disagree.i do think The Howling is a pretty decent movie,but i don't think it measures up to An American Werewolf in my opinion,it has better dialogue than The Howling,better characters,better creature effects i:e.transformations.i also found it much more suspenseful.the tone of the film is much more serious(for the most part)than the howling,and there aren't any unintentional laugh out loud scenes,as i felt there were in The Howling.The Howling may have been played partly for laughs,but it didn't work for me.A.W.I.L was played mostly straight though there are some comedic elements in the movie.In A.W.I.L these scenes work.but in The Howling i don't think they do. many people say that The Howling is the best werewolf movie ever made,but i don't's a pretty decent,fun movie to watch,i just don't think it's as good as An American Werewolf in London.i also think A.W.I.L is more substantial as a horror movie.these are just my thoughts,of course and others may disagree.anyway,for me An American Werewolf in London is a 4/5
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5.0 out of 5 stars THE Werewolf Movie to See!, June 23 2004
Monty Moonlight (Austin, TX, U.S.A.) - See all my reviews
This review is from: American Werewolf in London (DVD)
David Kessler and Jack Goodman are two young Americans backpacking through Europe, just trying to have a carefree, good time. On a particularly chilly night, they find themselves wandering across an English countryside and getting pretty desperate for shelter, when they come across a pub called "The Slaughtered Lamb." Not deterred by the graphic advertisement, inside they find the pub is really quite cozy and atmospheric. Fellows are playing darts, having a game of chess, telling politically incorrect yet totally hilarious jokes... Everyone seems a bit disturbed at first sight of the two American travelers, but things warm up once they are accepted as being completely harmless. That is, until Jack asks the forbidden question: "What's that star on the wall for?" The two young men are quickly turned out into the cold without an answer. If only they had known, but the only information they were given was a bit of advice: Beware the moon... and stick to the road. But these are two carefree, American boys just looking for a good time. They're not worried about things like...werewolves! After only walking a short distance, the boys have wandered off the road and onto the moors, and only a few moments later, they are being circled by something horrible! The fog is too thick to see, but before they can react, the beast has attacked! In seconds, Jack Goodman is ripped to shreds! His friend, David, is running in fear! He stops to think for a moment, then runs back to help is already dead friend. Now, David is the one being slashed at, but before the creature can do his worst, a shot rings out and it's all over.
David wakes up to find himself in a London hospital 2 weeks later, desperately searching for his less fortunate best friend. He is cheerfully informed of his situation by the stern but benign Dr. Hirsch, and the short-tempered American representative, Mr. Collins. But when David insists that it was a wolf that attacked him, he is treated less than respectfully. It seems to have been confirmed that it was an escaped lunatic that did the damage to David and Jack, and no one is interested in hearing otherwise. David is frustrated, and his new, animalistic nightmares aren't helping, nor are the ones involving nazi were-creatures, but his mood is lightened as he is distracted by a lovely nurse named Alex Price. Alex is equally infatuated with David, and the two grow closer by the day, despite David's apparent mental state. You see, while having breakfast one morning, David had a visitor: his friend Jack; his DEAD friend Jack. The purpose of his visit was to warn David that he would transform into a werewolf at the next full moon, and if he doesn't want to hurt anyone, he must take his own life. When David is finally released from the hospital, his next stop is Alex's flat. The young pair indulge themselves in each other, but all is not well with David, who is plagued by repeated visits from his increasingly decaying friend. Soon, the full moon is upon him, and David's moment of truth has finally arrived.
In 1981, John Landis put his own spin on Universal's "The Wolf Man," and the result was a new classic for werewolf fanatics everywhere. The story is very familiar. A young American travels to England and gets bitten by a werewolf. He falls in love with a local girl, but their romance is interrupted when he grows convinced that he will become a werewolf himself. He finally transforms, reeks some havoc, and commits some murders. He becomes a sympathetic character as he expresses his fear and guilt over what he has done, but soon he transforms again and is finally killed, the film ending as suddenly as his life. With the brilliant look of its werewolves, Rick Baker's masterful effects (thankfully, CG free), and the genius of John Landis, "An American Werewolf in London" brought a realism to the werewolf genre that is reminiscent of the olde legends and lore. No silver bullets or fully dressed lycanthropes here! Many call this film a horror-comedy. Well, it's definitely more horror than comedy, despite what you might hear. It doesn't have any more comedy than one would find in the real life of an average, young, American male. It's just so honest that it's funny. I was in London last New Year's, and they DID have Dart competitions on TV! As for horror on the other hand, this movie's got it. You may not find the film scary at first, but try taking a lonely, nighttime walk after viewing it. I've always found the subway scene particularly disturbing. And what can one say about the cast? Simply perfection. David Naughton plays the American werewolf superbly, from carefree traveler to suicidal lover. Jenny Agutter is lovely and sympathetic, Griffin Dunne is funny yet convincing, and John Woodvine is the Doctor you hate to love. Brian Glover is disturbingly suspicious, and who can forget the cast of "See You Next Wednesday?" *ahem* It all adds up to one of my favorite motion picture experiences!
A sequel was released in 1997 called "An American Werewolf In Paris." CGI effects, a few confusing plot points, and zombies that were more annoying than funny marred the final product, but overall it was still a highly fun viewing experience, despite all its criticism to the contrary. See it and judge for yourself. Some say it's not a legitimate sequel because the story has nothing to do with the original film. I've heard conflicting theories though. Some sources have stated that the female lead in "AWIP" is supposed to be the daughter of David Kessler and Nurse Alex Price. Intriguing and highly possible, even probable, but it's never stated outright in the film, so I'm still waiting for some official word on that.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Morbidly delightful., June 19 2004
There's this scene in An American Werewolf in London where our protagonist is having a conversation with the decomposed corpse of his best friend while watching a pornographic movie in an adult theater. There are others in the screenroom that eventually reveal themselves to be victims of our tragic werewolf. Why are they here? To convince the poor man to commit suicide. "You gotta kill yourself, man. Tonight's another full moon." He then proceeds to change into the beast and terrorizes the movie theater.
I bring this one scene up because it had a profound effect on me when I first saw this at eight years old (I know, I eight year old shouldn't have been watching this). I had never scene anything as twisted before and I've rarely seen anything like it since. That's the most important thing about this film. It has never been successfully imitated.
Two American best friends are backpacking through England when one night on an lonely road out in the old country, they're attacked by a vicious creature. One man dies, the other receives near-fatal injuries. After a brief stay in the hospital, the protagonist is taken in by his lovestruck sympathetis nurse. The visions of his deceased best-friend begin to haunt him delivering a terrifying prophecy: On the night of the first full moon, you'll become the creature that attaked you.
I recently saw what I consider to be a disaster of a movie...Van Helsing. I bring this up because of the interesting werewolf transformation in the film. The werewolf would convulse and then proceed to rip his flesh from his body revealing the monster underneath. All of this was done photorealistically as CGI. But with all the realsim, it still doesn't have the impact of the first werewolf transformation in An American Werewolf in London. But why? Are we desensitized as movie-goers? Personally, I think it comes down to style. Modern filmakers are too obsessed with how real their effects look that they've become lazy convinced that the realistic CGI will be enough to satisfy the audience. They've forgotten how easy it is to creep someone out. Modern special effects should inhance the atmosphere set by a monster...not replace it.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Bad Moon Rising, June 6 2004
The JuRK (Our Vast, Cultural Desert) - See all my reviews
I'd read that the impetus for AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON started in the former Yugoslovia in 1969. A young John Landis was working on KELLEY'S HEROES and saw a burial at the fork in a road straight out of an old Transylvania movie.
He wrote his werewolf movie, but it went nowhere until Landis hit it big with ANIMAL HOUSE and THE BLUES BROTHERS. He then took out his werewolf script called (as the story goes) AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN PARIS, a take off on the Gene Kelly musical, AN AMERICAN IN PARIS. When the French didn't cooperate with locations, the setting was changed to London.
That's what I'd read.
One of the things that makes this film so special--other than the lean writing and the (at that time) eye-popping special effects--is how it manages to be both funny and scary.
How often do you find that?
I met John Landis at a film festival recently and he's very modest about his films. He shrugs off ANIMAL HOUSE and WEREWOLF, sometimes referring to them as "my dumb little movies." I'm just Joe Schmo Fan but I hope he someday realizes how great those films are. Hollywood is STILL trying to make lightning strike again like it did with ANIMAL HOUSE and how many horror movies can you count that strike such the exquisite balance of AMERICAN WEREWOLF? (If you bring up the RETURN OF THE LIVING DEAD movies, then you've already lost the argument).
As far as the extras on the DVD, I was disappointed by the actors' commentary. Too many dead spaces. As much as Landis loves to talk about movies, I'm still wondering why he doesn't do commentaries for ANIMAL HOUSE and AMERICAN WEREWOLF.
He did an excellent commentary for KENTUCKY FRIED MOVIE with Jim Abrahams and the Zucker Brothers.
What young American boy, especially the space cadet nerd, didn't have a crush on Jenny Agutter after LOGAN'S RUN and AMERICAN WEREWOLF?
(One last little note: the film also makes great use of London locales. Picadilly Circus, Trafalgar Square, the London Underground, etc.).
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5.0 out of 5 stars "I Will not be threatened by a walking meat loaf!", April 26 2004
By A Customer
This movie is by far the best werewolf movie i have ever seen, Screw an american werewolf in paris. Its all about this one, This werewolf movie is number one! I cant help but tremble with fear at the part were david and jack are walking in the woods then david slips jack comes over and helps david up this was the part in the movie that scared the living daylights out of me i was watching this movie by myself one night when i was alone at home and i thought it wasnt going to be scary a friend of mine said it was really scary so i bought it on dvd and watched it on Dolby Digital 5.1 surrond sound thats what made the movie so realistic. well anyways, all of a sudden a werewolf appears out of nowhere and leaps at jack, tackles jack to the ground and begins ripping jacks chest open that part of the movie will haunt you forever. That scene in the movie was so realistic that u can actually here jacks flesh ripping. Whenever i hear that it just sends chills down my back sheesh. Even thinking about it gives me chills. anywayz i wasnt scared throughout the movie because the movie was funny thats what i like about movies like these. I thought it was stupid though at the end when david gets shot and killed then they play this really lame song when they are showing the credits that was stupid. And the beggininng of the movie when they played the blue moon song i seriously thought that was a stupid song for a opening werewolf movie. The opening scene for an american werewolf in paris was much much better. And The music rocked. well anyways very good movie and i highly reccomend it.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Medicore DVD release, March 21 2004
Christian Stock (Melbourne, Victoria Australia) - See all my reviews
The movie is great (4 stars), the extra stuff not.
- documentary: ok, but not too exciting. It more advertises the movie than giving a behind the scene look. A couple of interesting facts, but that's pretty much it.
- 2 interviews: good, but short (15min + 10min). This is the best feature on the DVD. (without these interviews my rating would have been 1 star)
- 3 behind the scenes technical effects: boring, for 10 min we see how to make an armcast.
- 4 commentry: this is the worst commentry, I've ever listened to. Firstly, there is not much talking. Over long stretches, one of the actors may announce the name of an actor we haven't seen beforehand, without giving any further info. And this happens every 5 minutes. Now and than (every 15 min) there is an about 3-4 sentence long communication between both actors, but mostly it's not very interesting. 1/3 of the whole dialog both actors discuss how hot the main actress was. A complete waste of time listening to this...
- 5 extra footage: without sound, and can be given a miss.
- 6 5.1 digital surround sound: Don't expect much difference from the stereo recording.
From a 21st anniverary edition I'd really expect more. If you can find a cheaper non-special release, get that instead. You won't miss any of the bonus features.
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An American Werewolf in London [Blu-ray]
An American Werewolf in London [Blu-ray] by John Landis (Blu-ray - 2009)
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