Bad Moon Rising
by Brody Rossiter
An undeniable classic of the horror genre, John Landis’ An American Werewolf in London and its unforgettably macabre narrative has haunted horror lovers ever since its release back in 1981.
When American backpackers David and Jack fail to heed the warnings of a pub full of inhospitable locals and stray onto the misty North York Moors, they fall prey to a vicious wildling, which suffice to say, leaves the pair a little worse for wear. Landis’ lycanthropic tale manages juggle a love-story, a darkly comic buddy comedy, and most importantly a visceral horror flick which draws upon the local lore shared over a drink on a rain-soaked evening within its justifiably celebrated narrative.
Despite the unique premise, Landis’ eighties fable owes much of its shock-factor to ground-breaking makeup designer Rick Baker, whose gory portrait of death and transformation painted upon the canvasses of the film’s actors, earned him an Academy Award. It may be over thirty years old but an American Werewolf in London still remains one of horror cinema’s most influential and impactful tales – just make sure it’s not a full moon if you’re walking home after that midnight screening.