FINAL GIRL explores the slasher flicks of the '70s and '80s...and all the other horror movies I feel like talking about, too. This is life on the EDGE, so beware yon spoilers!

Oct 6, 2007

Day 6- "Beware the moon, lads."

Sorry, kids, just a quickie today. I'm about to head out to Shriekfest, wherein I'll be taking in some of the finest indie horror in da woild. Yay!

I wanted to give a shout out to John Landis's An American Werewolf in London (1981), though, before I split. I'm not a huge werewolf fan, but I'm a huge fan of this film- it's quite a masterful blend of horror and comedy, but the humor is dark enough that it ends up being more scary than funny, unlike, say, Shaun of the Dead (which I love, BTdubb).

The werewolf stalking sequences are downright terrifying- particularly the scene early on where David (David Naughton) and Jack (Griffin Dunne) wander off into the moors, despite being warned by the weirdo locals to "Stick to the roads".



Rick Baker's amazing effects- most famously shown off in the lengthy transformation sequence- make me pine for the days when movie monsters were made of yak hair and latex instead of pixels and nothing.

You know, there's a 'Slaughtered Lamb' pub in New York. I frequented it many times- they've got an unbelievable beer selection. Every time I went, I hoped the place would be full of cranky British types who were extremely superstitious and would warn me of vague dangers, but every time I only found a disinterested New York waitstaff and a bunch of hipsters. Once I had a booth by a window, though, and I saw a drunk guy on the street pee his pants, which may in fact be more frightening than being chased by werewolves.

12 comments:

Bill Walsh said...

As I've long suspected, you're a Pepper.

And a shout-out to Rick Baker who won his first Oscar for this flick.

Just a very, very fun movie, possibly most memorably for Griffin Dunne's increasingly gory undeath...

Den Harrow said...

The first werewolf attack is probably the best jump scare ever and you're absolutely right about the humour being often more scary than funny - except for the "porn film snippet" of course.

Pierce said...

This is one of the few movies that I wish I could go back to when it was new and see it for the first time in a Theater.

...as a matter of fact I wonder if I can squeeze in a viewing of this tonight after I re-watch The Burning...Who needs sleep?

ARBOGAST said...

One of the perks of being an angry old man now is that I got to see AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON in the cinema at the impressionable age of 20 or 21. It was an experience and movies were cheap enough back then that you could go again and again without breaking the bank. This movie is a masterclass in marrying yuks to shrieks without losing the tension and it's amazing how rarely this combination works in other movies. (Part of the answer is that John Landis and Co. were making a movie that hadn't been made before, while everyone since then has been trying to remake AAWiL.) Not long after the movie came out, my roommate at the time and I spotted John Woodvine in New York and chased him into Sacks Fifth Avenue, where we pressed him for trivia while standing in the men's fashions department. He was far more gracious than we deserved. I'm disappointed Woodvine hasn't had a larger profile in America.

Anonymous said...

hmm. let's try this again - first comment post didn't go through. sigh, now i have to repeat myself and it's going to feel staged. anyhow, the running zombies were invented by dan o bannon when he made Return of the Living Dead in the 80s. Also I thought 28 days later was a piece of shit. that was pretty much the gist of my post, only it was more clever the first time.

Anonymous said...

also, i enjoyed your movie posters for the romero zombie films and the o bannon film. it's a damn shame how bad dead reckoning or land of the dead was. i wasn't too crazy about seeing 28 days later on the marquee though. i would have rather seen living dead 3 (or 4?) RAVE TO THE GRAVE up there. (sci fi original woot woot)you know, i just don't know what my problem is these days. i want to like 28 days later, i want to like sean of the dead... but it just seems like horror, lacking a real place to progress, has decided to overcompensate with "watch me make a clever joke per-second" or WOW EXTREME MOUNTAIN DEW DRINKING ZOMBIES BIGGER FASTER MEANER. hey wait, that actually sounds kinda cool... :)

melizer said...

Arbogast, you are amazing. I sure miss paying a dollar to see two movies twice. I only vaguely remember the transformation scene from seeing American Werewolf this on tv, probably edited to ribbons, and it was forever ago. Throw another movie on the pile!

Tea Drinker said...

I love this film. It was one of the first horror films I ever saw. Even my mother, who is incredibly difficult to frighten, is scared by the scene in the London Underground.

Zane Grant said...

There is a bar called the Slaughtered Lamb in NYC?

I hope they have food, and I hope another 20-something werewolf movie comes out soon. The 19th century one that is coming out next year looks pretty boring.

Aerialgrrrl said...

One of the very, very greatest horrors, if not films. Almost perfect. Normally I would shun geek t-shirts but as my married name is 'Lamb' I would don a 'slaughtered lamb' t in a heartbeat.

Stacie Ponder said...

Well, then...don away!

Stacie Ponder said...

The Slaughtered Lamb does have food...I think it's run by the same people who run the Jekyll & Hyde place, although the Lamb is a bit out of the way and less touristy. Definitely worth it for the insane number of beers, and the giant stuffed werewolf on display!