AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON
Dir. John Landis USA/GB 1981 97 mins (18)
David Naughton, Jenny Agutter, Griffin Dunne, John Woodvine, Brian Glover, Frank Oz, David Schofield, Lila Kaye, Rik Mayall
An immediate cult classic on its release in 1981, John Landis’s comic-book tale of a flesh-eating lycanthrope rampaging through night-time London gave Jenny Agutter a plum role as a tender, hardworking nurse thrust headlong into a nightmare romance. Shocks and gags abound in this seminal movie. The initial attack on a rain-soaked Yorkshire moor (“Beware the moon, lads!”) is a masterpiece of heightened terror, whereas the (very human) monster’s conversations with his rotting, undead pal are decidedly surreal. Boasting, for the 1980s, state-of-the-art special effects – Rick Baker won an Oscar for his designs – An American Werewolf in London is funny, sensual and extremely gory.