Slumpy - Right-On Film Reviews

Friday, 25 November 2011

An American Werewolf in London (1981)

In 7 words or less: One American's lupine adventure goes quite badly.

What's it all About? Two wise-cracking Yanks decide to go back-packing around the Great British Isles and what better place to start than the Yorkshire Moors. After being kicked out of the worlds most unfriendly pub (after the Ivor Davis in Cardiff) they have a rather nasty scuffle with a big Wolf. Things go badly from there for David (Apart from hooking up with a sexy nurse).

Things are looking up for David with Nurse Alex acting so inappropriately.

Best bits? It all just feels so nostalgic for me, a real fun watch. The bits that stand out are the first sequence in the Yorkshire Moors and the Slaughtered Lamb Pub. You get to know the characters really quickly, and they are likeable too, so when they start being hounded by an unseen beast on the moors it really feels tense.

Britain on a shoe-string.

There's a scene in the london underground where a man is being chased through Tottenham Court Road Station where you don't see the wolf at all, until after a lingering shot there's a quick flash of the werewolf walking into frame, and it's just so cool. It's a man in a suit and it's there for less than a second but it's so effective.

Obviously the transformation scene is an incredible achievement for monster films. It still looks great, but it did get a slight snigger from me this time around. But I'm okay with that.

Another highlight are David's increasingly violent dreams in which he imagines all sorts of crazy stuff happening, like evil apes with Uzis smashing into the flat. Also the visits from a rapidly decomposing Jack throughout the film add some light but disturbing touches.


Did it make you think thoughts? Yes! Why does David wake up in a London hospital, instead of say, Manchester, Sheffield, Leeds or countless others in the area. It's one hell of a drive from Yorkshire to London. Any would have been better in an emergency. Anyway, that would have been a very/slightly different film.

It's rare to see a director make such good use of a location in another country. Nothing's really wasted on showing the sights of London, it really feels like David has just dropped into this Nurses life for real. It's also interesting to see the place where you live thirty years previous.

Would you watch it again? Oh goodness yes! I actually wanted to hit play again after it had finished! No Joke. This is now concreted as one of my favourite films. I really want to see this in the cinema now. I didn't manage it the first time around as I was one month old.

Rating (out of 100%): 91% The perfect blend of big scares and comedy. It all just feels so good to watch, a special moment in cinema.

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