An American Werewolf in London (1981) starring David Naughton, Griffin Dunne, Jenny Agutter, John Woodvine, David Schofield, Brian Glover, Lila Kaye directed by John Landis Movie Review

An American Werewolf in London (1981)   2/52/52/52/52/5

David Naughton in An American Werewolf in London (1981)

Feeling Wolfish

I first watched "An American Werewolf in London" back at the end of the 80s on the recommendation of a friend who proclaimed it was the funniest horror movie they had ever watched. It didn't do anything for me back then and I wiped it from my memory but with 25 years having passed since I last watched it I thought I should give it another watch. Unfortunately I was even more disappointed than I had been the first time around with only two things impressing which I will get to in a bit.

Friends David (David Naughton) and Jack (Griffin Dunne) are going to backpack around Europe for 3 months starting in the Yorkshire Moors. As night falls they come across a pub "The Slaughtered Lamb" but are quickly made to feel unwelcome by the locals whose only advice to them is beware of the moon and stick to the roads. Unfortunately in the darkness of night they venture off the road and before they know it are attacked by a werewolf with Jack being killed and David maimed. When David comes too he is in a London hospital where the cute nurse Price (Jenny Agutter) is caring for him. But as a full moon comes round again David starts to transform into a werewolf and goes on the rampage in London.

Jenny Agutter in An American Werewolf in London (1981)

Let me make this simple; "An American Werewolf in London" is supposed to be a horror comedy yet neither was I amused or scared by anything I watched. Oh I could see where the humour and horror was meant to be coming from but not once did I laugh or recoil from what I was watching. And this isn't just the case now because I felt the same when I watched it at the tail end of the 80s.

But there are two things about "An American Werewolf in London" which did impress me and the first of those are the special effects/ make up. Both the special effects to change David into a werewolf and the rapidly rotting body of Jack were good, no they never scared me but they did impress. And then there is Jenny Agutter as Nurse Price and I have never seen Agutter look as scrummy as she did in this, trust me if you had Nurse Price looking after you in hospital you wouldn't want to leave. But that is it and for a movie which is beloved by many and heralded as a cult classic I found it a complete let down.

What this all boils down to is that "An American Werewolf in London" has never really done it for me and to be brutally honest has always disappointed me. But if you want to watch a movie with good special effects and a sexy Jenny Agutter then give it a go.