An American Werewolf in LondonÂ is a 1981 American comedy horror feature filmÂ written and directed byÂ John Landis (Innocent Blood; Schlock). The movie starsÂ David Naughton,Â Jenny AgutterÂ (Child’s Play 2), andÂ Griffin Dunne.
Two youngÂ Americans, David Kessler (Naughton) and Jack Goodman (Dunne) are on a backpacking holiday in England. Following an awkwardly tense visit to a village pub, The Slaughtered Lamb, the pairÂ venture deep into the moors at night.
They are attacked by aÂ werewolf, which results in Jack’s death and David being taken to aÂ London hospital. Through apparitions of his dead friend and disturbingÂ dream sequences, David becomes informed that he is a werewolf and will transform at the nextÂ full moon…
Shooting took place mostly in London but also inÂ SurreyÂ andÂ Wales. The mock British softÂ smutÂ film, See You Next Wednesday, shown at the fictitious Piccadilly Circus Eros cinema features actress Linzi Drew, also in Death Shock.
American Werewolf was released in the United States on August 21, 1981 and grossed $30.56 million at the box office. Critics generated mostly favourable reviews. It was one of three high-profile wolf-themed horror films released in 1981, alongsideÂ The HowlingÂ andÂ Wolfen.
The film was followed by a belated and poorly received 1997Â sequel,Â An American Werewolf in Paris, which featured a completely different cast and none of the original crew. AnÂ Indian film,Â Junoon,Â was also apparently inspired by this movie.
“John Landisâs film is dry, sly and endlessly quotable (âa naked American man stole my balloons!â). As an added bonus, the special effects still look remarkable, even in the age of CGI: thereâs something about the look of real latex skin stretching over metal-frame bones that no amount of processing power can possibly replicate.” Tom Huddleston, Time Out
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Main cast and characters:
- David Naughton … David Kessler
- Jenny Agutter … Nurse Alex Price
- Griffin Dunne … Jack Goodman
- John Woodvine … Dr. J.S. Hirsch
- Lila Kaye … Pub Landlady
- Frank Oz … Mr. Collins
- David Schofield … Darts Player
- Brian Glover … Chess Player
- Rik Mayall … 2nd Chess Player
- Don McKillop … Inspector Villiers
- Paul Kember … Sergeant McManus
- Michael Carter … Gerald Bringsley
- Will Leighton … Joseph
- Frank Singuineau … Ted
- Sydney Bromley … Alf
- Albert Moses … Hospital Porter
- Elizabeth Bradley … Woman at Zoo
- Alan Ford … Taxi Driver
- Christine Hargreaves … Ticket Lady
- Linzi Drew … Brenda Bristols
- John Landis (uncredited) … Man Smashed in Window
- Vic Armstrong … Bus Driver in Piccadilly Circus
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