Director John Landis was just 19 years old when he wrote this imaginative and deliciously creepy horror film starring David Naughton and Griffin Dunne as two young American backpackers who venture onto the Yorkshire Moors one night despite being warned by the suspicious people of the Slaughtered Lamb not to. Soon enough, they find out why they should have listened when they are pursued by a hungry werewolf. Dunne meets a horrific end, while Naughton discovers the bite he has received has turned him into a half-wolf when he wakes up in a London Zoo one morning with the taste of human flesh in his mouth. You can bet the rest of the film is as terrific as its premise, thanks to a clever script, and some wonderful special effects (the transformation scene still packs a jolt even after all these years) by Rick Baker, who was hired by Michael Jackson soon after the movie’s release to work on his classic video, “Thriller”. To be completely honest though, ”Werewolf In London” is a very rewarding film, not for its gory sequences, but for its freshness, suspense and winning comic approach. And of course, London.
For anyone who has enjoyed the old Universal’s classic version of ”The Wolf Man” saga, this modern tale of horror doesn’t violate any tradition. And in case you’re not familiar with any of the above, no worries; “An American Werewolf In London” is a movie that easily stands on its own. It’s definitely one of the best of its genre.