By Jaran Stallbaum
In preparation for our Elements of Cinema screening of AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON on Monday, Sept. 28th, we’ve compiled a list of reviews and further reading.
Roger Ebert discusses AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON in hindsight to its director’s past of mixing comedy with other unlikely genres, seemingly without meaning to, and particularly how this mix works when it sits in the genre of horror. Ebert goes through the film’s carnage reveal versus its anticlimactic ending, and elements of other John Landis films that may have worked in other pieces, but not here.
New York Times’ Janet Maslin commends director John Landis for his balancing of heavy gore and silly comedy. Maslin later on points that undermining the film’s violence at its highest points takes the motion of the story to an anticlimactic dead end at times.
Not Coming to a Theater Near You’s Victoria Large praises the film’s ability to mix gruesome gore and violence with slapstick, silly comedy in a methodically balanced way. She compares this balance with works by Sam Raimi in the film’s function, and notes that films like SHAUN OF THE DEAD receive dark, comedic inspiration from it as well.’
ReelView’s James Berardindelli regards AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON as the strongest of the three werewolf films to arrive out of the 1980s horror sphere. Berarindelli regards the film’s strengths in its creature transformation scenes. He also notes the multi-car crash appearance that surfaces in other John Landis films.
LA Times’ Mark Olsen examines John Landis’s young struggle to make his screenplay for AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON become a reality. Olsen discusses how the film that Landis wrote as a teenager earned him several other writing gigs, but did not initially boost the film’s success in particular. Production companies were fearful that the film was “too frightening to be funny” or vice versa, a combination that eventually earned the film its cult status.
Huffington Post’s Jim Hill speaks to John Landis about the cult aura surrounding his film AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON, and how he feels about his work being translated into a haunted attraction at one of the world’s most popular theme parks. Landis reacts nostalgically to the news of this attraction and discusses shooting the film in comparison to other works he’s shot and how his schedule differed for WEREWOLF IN LONDON in particular.