Thursday, June 08, 2006

An American Werewolf In London (1981)

It's actually quite harrowing, he really isn't having as much fun as that looks.

Genre: Comedy Horror Romance Thriller (USA, UK)

Starring: David Naughton, Jenny Agutter (Logan's Run; Walkabout)

Directed By: John Landis (Animal House; The Blues Brothers)

Overview: Two American friends decide to vacation on the moors, finding themselves the hapless victims of a werewolf attack.

Acting: I won't admit genius of the cast is anywhere near John Belushi and Animal House caliber, but I will say how impressed I was with the secondary players. All the support characters, especially the British ones were great... Hilarious even! Juicy faced guy too!
Rating: 8

Cinematography: I don't usually commend a film for great editing, it's not something I pay attention to all that closely. This movie however, does such a good job of going from viscous werewolf attack to squealing subway tracks, or from monstrous roars to the roaring lion at the zoo, it's hard not to be impressed. As for that initial transformation? Truly impressive.
Rating: 8

Script: "Mum? A naked American stole me balloons."

There's some great lines in this. Undead people spouting about how it sucks to wander the earth, cursed from the bite of the werewolf, old Brits crying out that there's no strange creatures on the moors, little one liners here and there, but also the drama that unfolds is pretty good too. That touch of the romantic plot isn't all lovey-dovey stupid. John Landis is a good writer, and he keeps it up here too.
Rating: 8

Plot: Talk about the most abrupt climax to credits I've ever seen. There could have been a nice wrap-up, but there was no denouement whatsoever. I suppose it really wasn't THAT necessary, but from that last scene straight to the song "Blue Moon" without a hitch? Insane. Jostling really. Either way, I didn't find this plot had anything to offer in the way of original content: Dog bites man, man turns to dog, viscous cycle continues, but it's still fun. When something is nice and simple, sometimes that can go a long way.
Rating: 7

Mood: The genre first of all is hard to gauge. It's not all that funny, it's not all that Romance, it's not all that Thriller, and I wouldn't put it under Horror either. It's this weird mix that doesn't fit the mold, but not really in a good way. Also, the entire soundtrack is made up of songs that have a theme of 'moon' but that never suit the setting. On the other hand we have some honest portrayals that don't shy from appropriate nude scenes, and that's a touch that makes good.
Rating: 6

I'll given em this much. That werewolf looks scary...

Overall Rating: 74% (Were's The Beef?)

Aftertaste: After watching this, I wondered what made it so great and impressive. I didn't find it was anything special, and though each part rated fine, that's pretty much all the film was... FINE. There's just something about this one that fell a little short for me I suppose. I'm not even really sure what it was. Maybe they should have stuck more to one genre. Oh well, it was super garage-sale cheap.