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Attack of the 31 Nights of Halloween Movie List.
Follow along with us for a month full of classic and fun spooky movies. Each night there will be a movie review of the next movie on our Halloween Movie List. Leave a comment on each post with your opinion of that movie. On the last day you will find the magic phrase you will use to unlock the entry worth 25 entries in the giveaway. You must comment on each post.
Night 30 - An American Werewolf In London
Tagline - Beware the Moon
A masterpiece of terror
The Monster Movie
From the director of Animal House -- a
different kind of animal
Written and directed by John Landis (Animal House, The Blues Brothers and Thriller) and released on August 21, 1981 by Universal Pictures (rated R). David (David Naughton) and Jack (Griffin Dunne) are on a backpacking trip around Europe. While hiking through rural England they stop at a little pub called "The Slaughtered Lamb". After upsetting the locals they are sent out into the cold wet night with one caution..."Beware the moon and stick to the roads." Oooops! Yah, our boys aren't too bright and are strolling across the moors in no time flat. They soon find out what the locals were warning them about. Werewolves!!!
This is darn close to my favorite horror film ever. The blend of humor and horror is spot on here. The effects were cutting edge and won an Oscar. I still prefer them to many overdone CGI effects. And the use of moon related songs is fun and effective. I could never hear "Bad Moon Rising" by Credence and not think of this movie. This is one of my yearly "must see" on Halloween.
Creepiest scene is the man being stalked in the subway terminal. Even though you hardly see the beast it's filmed so well that it gives an uneasy feeling
Take a look at the original trailer
Some trivia about the movie
1. John Landis originally wanted three other songs to add to the soundtrack: Cat Stevens wouldn't allow "Moonshadow" to be used because he had stopped allowing his secular music to be licensed for films following his conversion to Islam; Bob Dylan wouldn't allow his version of "Blue Moon" to be used in an R-rated film, as he had just begun his brief conversion to Christianity; and Elvis Presley's version of "Blue Moon" proved unavailable due to the ongoing lawsuits involving his estate.
2. The legal disclaimer in the closing credits reads, "Any resemblance to any persons living, dead, or undead is coincidental". This was also placed at the end of another John Landis project: Thriller (1983) (TV), which was reportedly inspired by this film.
3. David Naughton was reportedly cast because John Landis had seen him in a television commercial for Dr. Pepper. I remember this commercial! He also had a top 40 hit song!! He was on a TV show in '79 called "Makin' It" and he sang the theme song. 8)
4. In 1997, the movie was re-recorded as a Radio drama by Audio Movies Limited for BBC Radio 1 in England. It was broadcast during Halloween that year, in short snippets throughout the day. Brian Glover, John Woodvine and Jenny Agutter reprised their roles from the movie.
5. Studio executives hoped John Landis would cast Dan Aykroyd in the role of David and John Belushi as Jack. John Landis refused.
6. John Landis came up with the film following an incident while shooting Kelly's Heroes (1970) in the countryside of Yugoslavia. While driving along a country road with a colleague, Landis encountered a gypsy funeral. The body was being buried in a massively deep grave, feet first, while wrapped in garlic, so as he would not rise from the dead.
7. Director Cameo: [John Landis] appears briefly near the end of the film. He is the bearded man who gets hit by a car and thrown through the plate glass window in Piccadilly Circus.
8. When trying to call home, the telephone number that David Kessler gives the operator (516-472-3402) contains a Long Island, New York area code. It is also an unusual case where an actual phone number is used.
9. At the very end of the film, an advertisement for Universal Studios is shown along with a suggestion to "Ask for Babs". This is a reference to a "Where are they Now" item featured towards the end of Animal House (1978), another film by John Landis.
10. This is the first film to earn the Academy Award for Best Makeup. That category was created in 1981.
11. The final look of the werewolf beast was based on make-up creator Rick Baker's dog Bosko.
12. The Werewolf Howl that was used for the film, was a combination of a actual wolf and an elephant, it was also said it was played backwards by the producer 'George Folsey Jr'. in the "Beware The Moon" documentary. Director John Landis also stated on the "Beware The Moon" Documentary that the Howl was a combination of 7 or 8 different animals.
13. Frank Oz, who's know for voicing Fozzy Bear and Yoda, plays Mr. Collins of the American embassy, who attempts to console David. His voice is also heard later, during the Muppet Show.