Thursday, October 14, 2010

The Goosebump Moment -- An American Werewolf in London (1982)

While we're on the topic of John Landis -- where else to go next but to the movie that inspired the Thriller video.

Many of my posts have championed the slow build-up of suspense as opposed to out-and-out shocks.

But sometimes, a shock is just what you need. In that regard, An American in Werewolf delivers.

It also manages to deliver the very tricky proposition of melding funny and scary. When it's pulled off, audiences tend to love being able to laugh after they're scared.

Prior to this film, its director was known primarily for large-cast unrefined comedies (most recently Blues Brothers), and its star (David Naughton) was known primarily as the I'm-a-Pepper Guy and for his one-hit disco wonder "Makin' It!". Put together with the special effects genius of Rick Baker, they created a darkly comic horror classic.

For this Goosebump Moment clip, I didn't want to go with the excellent but often-seen Transformation Scene. Instead, I wanted to show either shockcut dream sequence where Jenny Agutter as David's nurse/girlfriend awakes him in the forest, or the subway scene -- a great example of suspense without showing anything.

Unfortunately, thanks to NBC/Universal's legal department, neither of those clips are available on youtube.....but fortunately, the trailer includes shots from both of those scenes, is available on youtube, and is a kick on its own....

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