An American Werewolf in London
This movie was majorly traumatic for me. Majorly. As in, to this day I can't walk the 1/4 mile from my cottage in Ireland to the neighbor's at night. I honestly can't. Logically, I know that werewolves don't exist. But that doesn't seem to matter in the moment. Sigh. It effed me up. Big time. Now, that wouldn't have happened if I had been able to sit through more than 20 minutes of it when I first saw it at age ten. I would have discovered it was fairly campy and unrealistic in its close-ups of the werewolf. But I didn't find that out until college, when the damage was already done. Nope, that first 20 minutes messed me up and it messed me up big-time. It was the scene with the guy from the old Dr. Pepper commercials- David Naughton- and his friend. Silly boys. They had to go and venture off the moonlit path. And I, an innocent child, paid the price when one of 'em got ripped apart. Oh well. Enjoy.
Amazon.com Director John Carpenter and special makeup effects master Rob Bottin teamed up for this 1982 remake of the 1951 science fiction classic The Thing from Another World, and the result is a mixed blessing. It's got moments... Amazon.com Director John Carpenter and special makeup effects master Rob Bottin teamed up for this 1982 remake of the 1951 science fiction classic The Thing from Another World, and the result is a mixed blessing. It's got moments of highly effective terror and spine-tingling suspense, but it's mostly a showcase for some of the goriest and most horrifically grotesque makeup effects ever created for a movie. With such highlights as a dog that splits open and blossoms into something indescribably gruesome, this is the kind of movie for die-hard horror fans and anyone who slows down to stare at fatal traffic accidents. On those terms, however, it's hard not to be impressed by the movie's wild and wacky freak show. It all begins when scientists at an arctic research station discover an alien spacecraft under the thick ice, and thaw out the alien body found aboard. What they don't know is that the alien can assume any human form, and before long the scientists can't tell who's real and who's a deadly alien threat. Kurt Russell leads the battle against the terrifying intruder, and the supporting cast includes Richard Masur, Richard Dysart, Donald Moffat, and Wilford Brimley. They're all playing standard characters who are neglected by the mechanistic screenplay (based on the classic sci-fi story "Who Goes There?" by John W. Campbell), but Carpenter's emphasis is clearly on the gross-out effects and escalating tension. If you've got the stomach for it (and let's face it, there's a big audience for eerie gore), this is a thrill ride you won't want to miss. --Jeff Shannon