Picks and Pans Review: An American Werewolf in London
"Is that you, Harry?" may sound like an innocuous line, but it's one of the many howlers in this hip horror flick from Animal House director John Landis. Like The Howling, this film has a fast, funny script and stunning visual effects. It stars that likable Dr Pepper plugger David Naughton—no, he doesn't sing "I'm a werewolf, he's a werewolf, she's a werewolf; wouldn't you like to be a werewolf too?" He and newcomer Griffin Dunne (author John Gregory Dunne's nephew) are innocents abroad who encounter a man-eating monster on the moors. Dunne is undone. Naughton survives only to find he has bitten off more than he can chew. The sound track is laced with amusingly apropos tunes like Blue Moon, Moondance and Bad Moon Rising. (But where, oh where is Warren Zevon's Werewolves of London!) Naughton is appropriately all-American, while Dunne displays a deft comic touch despite an increasingly unsettling appearance. Landis maintains the delicate balance between horror and humor until the final scene's gratuitous series of car crashes, a curse left over from Landis' The Blues Brothers. Catch this one before the next full moon. (R)
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