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An American Werewolf In London  (1981)

Cast: David Naughton, Griffin Dunne, Jenny Agutter
Director: John Landis
U.S. Distribution: Universal / PolyGram
U.S. Release Date: 8/21/81
Running Time: 1:37
MPAA Rating: R

Lycanthropy is defined as "a delusion that one has become a wolf". Interest in the subject may have peaked in 1981 when two outstanding werewolf films were released: The Howling and An American Werewolf In London.

David Naughton and Griffin Dunne set out on a walking tour of bloody-olde England (literally). They really should have listened when the locals warned them to stay off of the moors.

Naughton survives a vicious werewolf attack only to be haunted by his dead friend (appearing in all of his mangled glory) and nightmares of his own roaming around London with a hunger for human flesh. Oscar-winner Rick Baker transforms Naughton into the incredible lycanthropic man. For all of his agonizing, Naughton comes off as a character we can feel sorry for (even while he is offing unsuspecting Londoners in the process).

Like The Howling, American Werewolf plays out in a splendly entertaining tongue-in-cheek manner, and even manages to pay homage to the old-fashioned werewolf films that came before it.

© 1999, Delton Perrodin

"Best Horror Film" of 1981

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