100 Days of Horror welcomes you to ... SATANFEST 2013

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"Y'all know me, know how I earn a livin'. I'll catch this bird for you, but it ain't gonna be easy. Bad fish! Not like going down to the pond and chasing bluegills and tommycods. This shark, swallow ya whole. Little shakin', little tenderizin', and down you go. And we gotta do it quick, that'll bring back the tourists, that'll put all your businesses on a payin' basis. But it's not gonna be pleasant! I value my neck a lot more than three thousand bucks, chief. I'll find him for three, but I'll catch him, and kill him, for ten. But you've gotta make up your minds. If you want to stay alive, then ante up. If you want to play it cheap, be on welfare the whole winter. I don't want no volunteers, I don't want no mates, there's too many captains on this island. Ten thousand dollars for me by myself. For that you get the head, the tail, the whole damn thing."

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

100 Days of Horror Day Seventy-Four - "An American Werewolf in London!"


Howdy do, gentle reavers! And how are all my minions on this horrible day? Still wracked with tremors from a night of terrifying dreams of the walking dead? Yeah, me too! Isn't it wonderful?!

Anyhoo, yes and welcome to the blog that never ends, it just goes on and on my friend, and we're here to provide you with nonstop entertainment riddled with wit, insight and more than a few typographical errors.

Today's feature is another childhood favorite. Yes, I look upon certain movies with the same maudlin sentimentality that some people hold for their treasured childhood books. Well, if that's the case, this movie is my "Goodnight Moon."

Follow along if you can as we watch "An American Werewolf in London!" And prepare for two days of bloodsucking fun, with "Interview With The Vampire" and "Bram Stoker's Dracula!" And thanks as always for your attention! RAVE ON READERS!

An American Werewolf in London (1980): Directed by John Landis. Starring David Naugton, Griffin Dunne and Jenny Agutter.

The Skinny: One of the finest early 80s horror films to feature graphic transformations! When two young men hiking through Europe are attacked by a wild animal, one dies while the other finds himself at the mercy of his more animal instincts when the moon is full.

What's Good: This one got everything right. There's humor, there's terror, there's romance and there's an ending so stark that one can't help but be moved by the final images of David Naughton naked and bleeding in a London alley. After conquering the comedy world with "Animal House" and "The Blues Brothers,"director John Landis turned his sights to the horror genre, working from a script he wrote while filming in Yugoslavia in 1970. He still managed to keep teh tone light, however, even in some of the film's more terrifying moments. The whole production is anchored to the graphic transformation scene that occurs roughly halfway through the film. Today, this scene would undoubtedly be accomplished through CGI (case in point, the 2010 remake of "The Wolfman"). Way back in the 70s, however, they had a little thing that is now referred to as "practical special effects," and they were done with detailed props, mechanics and clever editing. And those special effects - created by the late great Rick Baker - changed the face of special effects in Hollywood, so much so that they actually created the Academy Award for Outstanding Achievement in Makeup (which Baker himself has won six times) for this film. This is one of the most outstanding modern horror films because of that savvy blend of terror and humor, the amazing effects, and picture-perfect casting.

What's Bad: Not a frigging thing. All horror movies should be this good. I'm pleased to have it in my collection and love to share it for the first time with people who have never seen it before. From the cast to the effects to the great selection of songs with "moon" in the title, this one is great from end to end.

Why We Like It: Because it scared the living shit out of me when I was nine years old. I mean, I had nightmares just from that ungodly inhuman howl alone. It sounded like nothing I'd ever heard before, in reality or in film, and it gave me the full-on willies. It's a great combination of a clever script and excellent filmmaking, and it never fails to disappoint. It's also a great adaptation of the original "Wolfman" story, with a nice blend of that "fish out of water" touch by displacing Naughton and putting him smack dab in London. And I can't say enough things about Jenny Agutter. She stole my heart in "Logan's Run," and when I see her topless in the shower with Naughton, I get weak in the bloody knees, guv'nor. She's the perfect romantic foil for the lycanthropic Naughton, filled with humor and caring and never coming across as false. Plus, she's an uber-cutie.

Memorable Stuff: There's plenty of banter between Dunne and Naughton to keep you and your creepy friends suitably entertained, but without a doubt the thing that will linger with you on and on is the transformation scene. While it's certainly effects driven, there is also Naughton's performance to note here as well - when his hand stretches before his face into a paw, you can truly see the pain, agony and horror on his face. Even when cracking jokes about his now-undead friend Jack, he manages to show us just how painful it is to turn into a bleeding wolf. Baker's effects are just staggering.