R, 1 hr. 37 min. Directed by: John Landis. Release Date: Aug 21, 1981. DVD Release Date: Dec 09, 1997.
***REPOSTED FROM THE LATE LATE SHOW WITH NEW EDITS/COMMENTS****
and a bit spooky, this movie possesses all the charms of a classic
monster movie while still being very much a part of the 1980s. This
monster flick has all the classic jerky-movements and quirky camera
angles that you'd expect from the genre, but it also had a modern feel
to the movie. While not far removed from Silver Bullet or even The Thing, this movie has a style that others of its kind lack.
The story is quick-paced and fun to watch, although it
does veer slightly from the traditional werewolf lore a bit. There
was, for some reason, an inordinate amount of nudity. What?! 80s
"horror" with excessive or unexplainable nudity? There also seems to
be a lot of sexuality in the film, and for reasons I can't explain.
While there is a little sex in the movie, a good chunk of the film takes
place in a pornographic theater, so, well, there's that. It wasn't
necessarily out of place, but it felt odd for a movie as old as this.
acting is fairly decent, but the monster makeup could use some work, as
could the animation behind the werewolf. Even for the decade of
production, this comes off as a bit cheesy. Normally, I try not to
compare movies that are decades apart on their effects, but there are
werewolf movies around the same time (like Silver Bullet) that had better effects, but quite frankly, this was far and away a better movie than Silver Bullet or even The Howling. So I guess they traded up in the right direction.
I should say that this is probably my favorite werewolf movie, even though I'm so hard on it. I think it's a hard concept to pull off (mostly because of the transition and "wolfman" effects) because Hollywood seems to be limping across the finish line, and because there's such a wide mythos to choose from, I think filmwriters are working on these stories like they're salad bars: you know, take a little of this, a little of that, and throw a big ass puddle of ranch dressing over the top.