An American Werewolf in London
Happy Werewolf Wednesday, everyone! This week I’m going to talk about what I think is one of the most iconic werewolf movies of all time: An American Werewolf in London.
Released in 1981, this self-proclaimed comedy-horror film from legendary director John Landis was not just a commercial and critical success at the time of its release but has gained cult film status as the years have gone on. For those of you unfamiliar with this eighties gem, the basic premise is as follows: two American backpackers travelling through England are attacked by a werewolf. Only one of them survives the attack — but having been bitten, he is fated to suffer the curse of the werewolf until he dies.
This film was a big inspiration to me as I wrote Hungry is the Night. I think the transformation scene in American Werewolf is the most terrifying, visceral things ever put on film and I was determined to recreate something like it in my work. I didn’t want the shift from human to werewolf to be a simple, easy, or pleasant thing for my characters — I wanted it to hurt. I wanted to give some balance to their power. Yes, werewolves in the world of The Night series can transform into eight foot tall, practically invincible, incredibly strong and agile creatures, but it doesn’t happen at the drop of a hat, and it doesn’t happen without a price being paid.
For me, there is only one werewolf film more iconic than An American Werewolf in London: the original The Wolf Man film from 1941. Maybe I’ll talk about how that film inspired certain aspects of The Night series next Werewolf Wednesday! For now, I’d love to hear from you: are you a fan of this eighties flick? Is there a werewolf movie you love more? Tell me about it!