An American Werewolf in London
The Olympics held in London this year brought millions of people from around the world to the rainy city on the prime meridian. Also, there was a blue moon out just the other night. Therefore, I’m trying to think of a movie to review that has something to do with London, and the moon…
Nah, I’m coming up empty. While I think of something to review, you guys just read this “American Werewolf on London” review I wrote a little while ago.
Written and directed by John Landis, this black comedy mixes horrific, nightmare inducing imagery with some morbid chuckles, to create a film that is stringer than the some of it’s parts. Which is good, because, as you might notice while watching, a lot of body parts tend to get removed.
The film opens with two American tourists, Jack and David, wandering about the English country side. The two are trying to locate someplace to stay for the night, and eat some good food. Unfortunately, this is England, and thus good food is rather scarce. They do eventually come across an inn, called “The slaughtered Lamb Pub.”
While the name is certainly good at deterring potential customers, the patrons, Rambunctious and disdainful drunks, are even better. After telling a couple of rather funny American jokes, they kick the kids out, telling them “Stick to the roads. Beware the moon.”
Since they are in a horror movie, the boys decide to do neither.
while wandering about, aimlessly, the boys end up in the middle of a foggy heath. No, I’m not talking about the candy bar. While in the middle of the moor, they are suddenly attacked by a vicious werewolf. Jack dies, and David is severely injured by the encounter.
Thankfully, some local policemen slay the thing, shooting it to death. It then turns out this supposed werewolf is actually a naked man. Kind of like that girl I used to date… but that’s a story for another time.
David wakes up in a hospital in London, and is told his friend is dead. David doesn’t take this well, and begins to burst into tears, which greatly offends the visiting American dignitary. While there, he falls in love with the slapped on love interest, a nurse named Kathy.
But not all is well at the hospital. David starts to hallucinate, and see Jack’s mutilated corpse. Ghost Jack tells David that he is a werewolf, and that in order to free the souls of all those killed by werewolves through history, the last werewolf in existence must die. That wolf being David.
They then swap some cool ghost gossip, and talk about Jack’s funeral, and all the groovy sights to see in London. Because, hey, a little laughter sometimes drives the point home harder. Like when the coverage of the JFK assassination was interrupted by an episode of “Tommy 7”
David ignores these messages from beyond the grave (Because who cares what god thinks, anyway?) and starts living with the nurse named Kathy until he can get home to America.
Then David turns into a wolf, and starts running around London killing the homeless.
Now, I need to explain about the context of this film. This theme of a wild beast brutally mauling and killing vagrants in the city was far scarier back in the 1980’s. That is because, this was filmed long before Mayor Bloomberg adopted a similar policy to clean up the streets of manhattan.
David awakes, naked in a zoo, coated in human blood. Full of horror, he realizes Jack’s prophecy has come true (Oh, would you look at that! A spirit from beyond the grave being right!) and rushes to the police station. But no one believes he’s the killer. Can he stop himself from murdering more when the full moon rises in a few hours?
Filled to the brim with black humor and hairy scares, “An American Werewolf in London” is one monster of a monster movie. You will laugh, scream, then laugh some more. Then scream. Some scenes (Including one where David needs to obtain some balloons) simply can’t be forgotten once watched. My only complaint: That it isn’t longer!