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AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON

AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON ($25) is one of the modern classics of the horror genre. This breakthrough horror film revived the classic movie monster back in 1981 when the genre was turning exclusively towards the slice ‘em dice ‘em teen slasher motif. Written and directed by John Landis (at the time famous for ANIMAL HOUSE), AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON plays as both a graphic horror outing as well disturbing black comedy.

David Naughton stars as David Kessler, a young American backpacking his way across Europe with his best friend Jack Goodman (Griffin Dunne). One evening, while traveling in the English countryside, a large animal savagely attacks David and Jack. Poor Jack is torn to shreds, but David survives thanks to the locals, who shoot down the beast. David awakens in a London hospital to discover what has happened to him and Jack. After a series of horrifying nightmares, David’s dead friend Jack visits him and warns David that he will turn into a werewolf at the next full moon.

Thinking that Jack’s visit is just another nightmare, David ignores the warnings. Jack’s visits are one of the film’s highlights thanks to Griffin Dunne’s amusing performance. Dunne supplies much of the film’s dark humor with a perfect delivery of Jack’s complaints about being one of the walking un-dead. Another highlight is Rick Baker’s Academy Award winning special effects. Baker’s groundbreaking werewolf transformations set a new standard for special effects work. The cast of AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON also features Jenny Agutter, John Woodvine, Lila Kaye, David Schofield, Brian Glover, Don McKillop, Paul Kember and Frank Oz.

Live Entertainment offers AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON in fine looking Letterboxed presentation on DVD. The Letterboxed transfer is quite close to the film’s 1.85:1 theatrical aspect ratio and the framing looks properly balanced. Color reproduction is quite good and the image is sharp and well detailed. Dark sequences also reproduce well without too much apparent film grain. MPEG-2 compression artifacts were not a problem on this DVD.

The film’s soundtrack has been re-mixed into Dolby Digital 5.1 with fairly pleasing results. There are some directional effects in the mix, but the music on the film’s soundtrack seems to have received most of the attention in the re-mix. The interactive menus offer access to a theatrical teaser as well as scene selection.

All reviews are Copyright 1998 THE CINEMA LASER and may not be copied or reprinted without the written consent of the publisher.
THE CINEMA LASER is written, edited and published by Derek M. Germano.


 
AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON 



 


DVD reviews are Copyright 1998 THE CINEMA LASER and may not be copied or reprinted without the written consent of the publisher.
THE CINEMA LASER is written, edited and published by Derek M. Germano.


 

 

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