Hello fine readers of Spill! I've decided to do something different today: instead of reviewing new releases it's dawned on me that it is the first quarter of the year, aka the time where no interesting movies are released into theaters. So this leaves me with little option but to rent movies I haven't seen but keep hearing people yap about and then review them for the fine readers of Spill! Now then, let's take a look at the first installment in a new series of blogs that I like to call:
RAGMAN'S RENTAL THEATER!
Yes the great John Landis film, An American Werewolf In London is known as a classic horror film and also a milestone in special effects make up. It's also known for it's comedy and completely inappropriate soundtrack.
So with this in mind I put the dvd in the dvd player, started it up, got that really stupid universal logo that shows me all their other movies for no inexplicable reason, and saw the boring english countryside.
I don't know what it is about the english countryside that annoys me, perhaps it's the fact that I grew up in the midwest and see countrysides like that now and then. Or perhaps it's the fact that it's just so plain that makes me not give a crap about it.
I mean really look at this image google brought up:
WOW! TREES! GRASS! AND MORE TREES! OH AND THERE'S A HOUSE OVER THERE!!!
Honestly, I don't get why people constantly do landscape shots of that boring place. This is why I think Joe Wright is a hack for crying out loud and An American Werewolf In London has the audacity to open up with it! Grrr!
Well after the opening credits our two main characters, David and Jack get out of a truck piloted by what I guess is a sheep hearder, and go off into the ever boring countryside talking about girls they'd like to slam up to a bedpost. Time lapse and we see them walk into a pub where all the locals look at them like they're not welcome.
They order tea, and afterwords Jack asks what's up with that weird pentagram and candles they got on the wall. Objecting to this, the locals then tell both David and Jack to F-Off and go out into the moon light. I mean that's rude, if I were to walk into a pub and see a pentagram on the wall with two candles hanging besides it I'd think it would be perfectly reasonable to inquire about it, perhaps start up some conversation or something. But alas our poor protagonists are sent off, where they once again meet the evil boring english countryside, wonder off, and are eventually attacked by a werewolf.
Jack is torn to pieces as his friend David watches in horror, only for the werewolf to pounce on David for standing around like an idiot. Luckily for David the people at the pub come and save him with a rifle that they use to shoot the werewolf.
Some time passes, about three to four months I think, and David wakes up in a hospital bed where he's told his friend Jack is dead and that he's now in London where he has to answers stuff about a police investigation. Apparently the police investigators think that Jack and David were injured by a madman, even though David says they were attacked by some wild animal. This leads the investigators to call him a stupid American and leave even though all logic would be on David's side since Jack was found ripped to shreds and David has friggen scratch marks! Hmmm, a person is ripped to shreds huh? A mad man must've had enough power to do that!
But not all is lost as David winds up with a pretty hot nurse. Eh best friend dies, your in a foreign country, and the police are a bunch of idiots, but you do get a hot nurse... I say it's a fair trade. However David also has these weird dreams, dreams involving him running through the forest naked and eating a deer, dreams involving him in bed doing a cheap jump scare, and most horrifying of all a dream involving miss piggy! Again not a bad trade when you have a hot nurse, moreso since the nurse seems to want you to call her by her first name and feed you food.
However one person in this film does not like David to have a hot nurse and that is Jack who has come back from the dead to basically explain to David that he (David) is a werewolf (and to probably c-block anything going on with the hot nurse). He explains to David that he has the curse of the werewolf which can only be stopped by David killing himself and spending time talking to Jack once he's dead. Holy crap! He is trying to c-block him from beyond the grave!
David then does what any sane man would do, call back the hot nurse!
Fast forward a bit and David gets released from the hospital, but with nowhere to go he asks the hot nurse if he can stay at her place and miraculously she agrees. At her place she shows David around, tells them that she's only had seven before, three of them being one night stands,(why she's telling him this I don't know, perhaps she's really lonely) and we're treated to a nice ol' sex scene which has the purpose of acting like an enhancement to the believability of their relationship. Afterwords David gets up and is then confronted once again by Jack who tells him that he will become a werewolf tomorrow and that he really should kill himself.
Seriously, if you just get's through tapping some nice nurse ass and your annoying friend comes back from the dead asking his you to kill yourself wouldn't you be pissed? Really, what the hell is Jack's problem!?
Fast forward once again to the next night where David is all home alone in the nurse's house and he does turn into a werewolf... Wow I guess Jack really was trying to look out for David... I should also point out that the effects shot of this scene is pretty awesome and worth the price of admission alone.
Anywho David does what any American werewolf in London would do, go around killing snobby British people!
The next day David wakes up in a zoo and after some hilarious hijinks he finally makes it back to the hot nurse's house where she asks him to go back to the doctor's. In the taxi, the cab driver informs David of the snobby British people he murdered last night and this leads to David trying to get arrested and to more development of his relationship with the hot nurse.
This is where the climax of the film comes in as we're treated with the choices David has to make in order to save the people of London. Does he make the right decision? Well if I told you I'd probably get some angry comments from people talking about me ruining the ending of the movie.
Now overall I'll say that I liked this film. It wasn't as great as everyone was making it up to be but the effects were pretty cool and the movie was paced pretty well. Perhaps a bit too well as I felt the movie kind of ended a bit abruptly. I thought it was a fun little movie to watch and I liked the comedic bits.
Would I go out and buy it? No. I liked it as a one off movie but I don't see myself watching it again. There really wasn't that much that stood out to me that I thought was extraordinary besides the make up effects. The story is enjoyable but it's nothing to rave about. The main problem I had is that it didn't really scare me, and as something that's trying to be a horror film/comedy it needs to succeed in both areas. Overall the film is just ok to me. I think if the mood was polished up a bit more it would have done the trick but alas that's history and you can't go back in time.
However I guess the whole horror thing has to do with this being a werewolf story and most werewolf stories just aren't that good and never really are that scary. In general with werewolf stories the main person we're supposed to feel sympathetic with is the villian himself and it's hard to pull off any sympathy. I mean, I really wanted to feel sympathetic towards David but the movie didn't do anything to make me feel like he was worth caring about. Again, maybe that's due to the fast pacing and the fact the film's only 97 minutes but I never cared about David feeling bad for his actions.
The bottom line, it's a movie you'll have fun with but it's not the best werewolf film out there. That still goes to the original wolf-man. I will say this though, this film does have the best transformation in any werewolf movie you'll ever see.
This has been Ragman's Rental Theater. I hope you've atleast found this to be an entertaining read.
p.s. WEREWOLF! WEREWOLF!