Two backpackers walk into a bar…wait, this isn’t the premise of a joke. It’s this twosome in An American Werewolf in London, friends Jack and David, who are cold and hungry and looking for sustenance at The Slaughtered Lamb pub.
In-group out-group dynamics send the men packing, but not before this warning from the unfriendly denizens: beware of the moors.
Rattled, the guys take off on foot, and out of the shadows emerges a giant, furry, clawed beast.
Jack is mauled. David survives, confined to a London hospital bed (hence the title of the film) and he’s none the worse for ware, save for a few scratches.
After (more than) hitting it off with a tending nurse, and ending up back at her place, he starts to feel strange symptoms. But this isn’t because of an STD. It’s the first signs he’s about to transform.
The effects come courtesy of the guru himself, Rick Baker, and boy are they spectacular. The muscles spasms, the jutting snout, the newfound taste for red meat…
It’s a toss up as to what’s the best modern werewolf horror. Obviously, you’d have to give nods to Wolfen, The Howling and Ginger Snaps, but perhaps the most spirited and best-paced is An American Werewolf in London, comedy director John Landis’ foray into the horror genre.