Musings and discussions on [b]American Werewolf in London[/b]

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Scott Weinberg, Sep 19, 2001.

  1. Scott Weinberg

    Scott Weinberg Lead Actor

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    Just watched this DVD. This movie is as fantastic as I remember.
    1. What do you all think of the ending? Obviously this discussion will include spoilers, but if you've never seen American Werewolf in London, you need to shut off your computer right now and go get it.
    2. Does the transformation sequence still stand up after all these years? I'd say so. I was particularly skeeved when David flips over onto his back and we hear some icky "sucking" sounds. [​IMG]
    3. Is Jenny Agutter a cutie or what?
    4. David Naughton's not much of an actor. I keep wishing that he and Griffin Dunne had switched roles.
    5. Don't you just love the subway scene?
    Lastly, I am be insane - But I remember there being some kind of "dog with man's face" during the Picadilly Circus carnage, but my friend insists that that creature was from Invasion of the Body Snatchers. Anyone got any input on this one?
    Curious to see what you all think of this movie and the new SE DVD.
    (I never knew you couldn't use bold tags in a topic header. I am dummy.)
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    [Edited last by Scott Weinberg on September 19, 2001 at 10:58 PM]
     
  2. SteveGon

    SteveGon Executive Producer

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    Scott, the dog-faced man was from Invasion of the Body Snatchers. Anyway, I'm on the fence about picking up AAWiL. I'm running down to Best Buy next week to pick up Citizen Kane and Blood Simple - maybe if BB has a good price on it, I'll pick it up. There's just so much stuff coming out that I really want!
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  3. Nate Anderson

    Nate Anderson Screenwriter

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    1. Yes, the ending kinda sucks, but it was inevitable. It couldn't have ended differently. What would you have preferred, the ending to American Werewolf in Paris?
    2. I think the transformation scene still holds up...it's amazing, and it was cool listening to David Naughton talk about it on the commentary. It's my favorite scene of the movie.
    3. Yeah...
    4. I don't.
    5. Yeah that was cool. Keep an eye out for the See You Next Wednesday poster.
     
  4. JonZ

    JonZ Lead Actor

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    I dont dislike the ending, you have to kill the thing.
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  5. Chuck Mayer

    Chuck Mayer Lead Actor

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    Scott (and Co.),
    I had never seen this until yesterday (I bought the DVD at BB - which now has a tremendous DVD section!). I had seen the AW in Paris (no, I didn't pay, and yes, I was forced) and that sucked. I was born in 1974 so I just never got around to this, although I was familiar with some of the legends. Picked it up b/c I like good horror movies, and I kept hearing rave reviews. Unlike most new movies I buy, I opened this and watched it first night through.
    What can I say? It's a classic, and it still stands up today. The transformation (which was what I had heard the most about) was incredible, and the movie was as cool as the title (one of the best ever, IMHO).
    Yes, Jenny is quite hot. Great movie. CBB ending. The song helped a little, but it seemed pretty sudden. I am glad he got killed b/c anything else would have been a copout [​IMG]
    Take care,
    Chuck
     
  6. Seth Paxton

    Seth Paxton Lead Actor

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    I always thought the ending was appropriate for the storyline.
    Yes, I think the handling of the effects was very good and much more "realistic" than much of the CGI transforms we see today.
    She's a babe.
    I don't think it would be as good if their roles were switched.
    I have always thought of the subway scene to be one of the masterpiece moments of cinema, especially horror cinema. It's just so well done, terrific shots, great editing, good use of the location.
    That was actually the first thing I thought of when we visited London 2 years ago. The tubes are so great anyway, but how could I not think of that cinematic connection when getting off the tube by myself around midnight and walking up those stairwells (of course some stops/lines are deeper than others, but still...).
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  7. Ben Motley

    Ben Motley Supporting Actor

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    Jenny Agutter... mmmmmmm! I have been in love with this woman since, oh, 1976? Check her out in Logan's Run, where she shows her form off very nicely, and in Walkabout, where there are some scenes that will leave you spellbound, including nudes (and no, contrary to popular belief, she was not 15 when she filmed this, but 18 - so don't go freakin' out). She is a beautiful woman with grace and charm to spare... yes, a cutie [​IMG] .
    As for the ending of AWIL; yes, it ends quite suddenly. I mean, when it ends, it ENDS. But it only could have ended that way, I feel. And the hope, shock and pain that Jenny conveys there at the end, all in mere seconds, is one of the most heartwrenching displays of emotion on film, IMO. Good job Jenny!
    Naughton? Yeah, not a great actor, but I thought he was perfect for the role; a goofy, naive American college kid, who has no idea how to deal with or even accept what happens to him. I thought he did very well.
    The effects? Oh yeah, I think they hold up immensely. Is it any wonder that Rick Baker got an Oscar for this? And that he's still getting the big budget, high profile gigs today? Say what you will about POTA, but Baker was the right man to take that on.
    John Landis - Bravo my man. You certainly delivered with this one.
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  8. Ben Motley

    Ben Motley Supporting Actor

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    I hate when I kill a thread. Is this all there is to say about the masterpiece that is AWIL?? I'm going out to the movies, and when I come back, I wanna see some posts. In other words... BUMP! [​IMG]
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  9. Brad_W

    Brad_W Screenwriter

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    refering to the dog with a human face, there was one in A Nightmare on Elm Street. That's all I have to say about that.
    I just picked it up tonight and didn't get a chance to watch it. How is the DTS mix?
    Tonight I bought:
    Suspiria LE
    The Stendhal Syndrome
    Total Recall LE
    Basic Instinct Unrated
    An American Werewolf in Paris... just kidding: London.
    Speaking of AAWIP: vomit. Another reason why CGI ruined horror films.
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  10. Rob T

    Rob T Screenwriter

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    I'll be picking up the SE DVD this coming week some tie. I do have the VHS version, though and I think it's pretty good. the transformation is amazing and Jenny Agutter is very hot! [​IMG]
     
  11. Dan Hitchman

    Dan Hitchman Cinematographer

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    A great horredy! [​IMG]
    The effects, for the most part, hold up very well to some of the very fakey CGI work nowadays.
    The ending... a classic and not a cop-out in the least. As John Landis said himself, the wolfman is a tragic figure... there is only one way it can end for him and that's death.
    Jenny Agutter is a major cutie and her last scene was very touching and her emotions seemed quite realistic. I had a lump in my throat. She's a great actress. Too bad she didn't go farther in the Hollywood acting circuit.
    An American Werewolf in London has it all: comedy, mood, shock, horror, gore, tenderness, SFX that hold up, great classic rock songs that fit perfectly, goofy porn scenes, and a sad, bittersweet ending. It gets better every time I see it.
    I didn't really make the connection of David being Jewish and the Nazi creatures in his nightmares until I watched the DVD. There are layers to this small, fairly low budget film that many blockbuster horror films wish they had.
    I really liked the fact that all the major songs in the movie were remixed and remastered for the 5.1 track from high quality, recently restored music sound stems and not the music dubs used for the original mix. It pumped the scenes up quite a bit. The DTS track really brought this out IMHO. Too bad the negatives didn't get the same attention. They didn't even look restored for the most part.
    Dan
    [Edited last by Dan Hitchman on September 22, 2001 at 10:31 PM]
     
  12. Scott Weinberg

    Scott Weinberg Lead Actor

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    OK, I was wrong. The man-faced dog was indeed from the 1978 version of Invasion of the Body Snatchers, but I also figured out why I was so positive that it was from American Werewolf in London.
    Anyone remember a horror compilation movie called Terror in the Aisles? Donald Pleasance and Nancy Allen doing the intros to various horror/thriller clips. I must have seen this movie about 8 times when I was a lad, and the Invasion and Werewolf clips were shown together, hence my lifelong confusion.
    Long story, eh? I'm off to watch Pieces now. Pray for me.
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  13. Dome Vongvises

    Dome Vongvises Lead Actor

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    I heard this movie was a classic, so I picked it up and rather enjoyed it. I love CGI and all, but the effects in this movie blow any CGI effect today. Why can't directors come to their senses and use both CGI and traditional effects?
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  14. Justin Doring

    Justin Doring Screenwriter

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    An American Werewolf in London is a great movie! I first saw it at a get-together in high school, and I absolutely fell in love with it (and Jenny Agutter)! I bought the new DVD the day it came out and I've seen it twice already, listened to the commentary once, and viewed all the special features. I'm glad this movie finally got the treatment it deserves (okay, the DVD isn't perfect, but it's far from bad).
    The ending is perfect for this film. How else could it end? I loved it in the commentary when Naughton said Landis said there would be NO sequel. I applaud that.
    I view An American Werewolf in London as more of a comedy than a horror film, but it works either way. There is so much quirky craftsmanship in this film that it will definately stand the test of time. The songs always crack me up, too; perfect choices! This is not to diminish Bernstein's contribution, however, as this film just doesn't showcase his talents as well as other Landis' films.
    As far as acting goes, Agutter gets an award in my book. She pulls off her rather awkward role beautifully; the final moments show that the entire film really belongs to her. This is not to imply that Naughton and Dunne are bad in any way. Dunne is quite entertaining with his limited screen time, and Naughton does what he's supposed to do; his role just isn't too exciting.
    And yes, Jenny Agutter is beautiful in every sense of the word.
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  15. Michael Reuben

    Michael Reuben Studio Mogul

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    The transformation scene still holds up, and so does Griffin Dunne's slashed throat and face when he first appears in David's hospital room. At the time, it was the most horrifying gore I'd ever seen, and it still is. I can't bring myself to look at it too closely. Counterpointed to Jack's dialogue and Dunne's delivery, it's even more unsettling.
    M.
     

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