An American Werewolf In London

An American Werewolf In London

american werewolf in london transformation

Welcome to Werewolf Month on 2 Guys and a Chainsaw, #sponsored by Manscaped!

Our first film is John Landis’ classic horror-comedy about two backpackers in the English countryside who get attacked by a werewolf. Hilarity ensues as the dead one comes revisits his friend to warn him that he is the last living werewolf in this line of werewolves and really ought to kill himself to save humanity.

This film is most notorious for having perhaps the best werewolf transformation sequence in the history of filmmaking by special effects artist Rick Baker. It so impressed Michael Jackson that he enlisted the Landis and Baker team to produce his amazing Thriller music video. Talk about lightning in a bottle!

Check it out now to hear our step-by-step analysis and recounting of this horror classic.

And if your outer wolf is in need of taming, get 20% OFF @manscaped + Free Shipping with promo code CHAINSAW at #manscapedpod #manscaped

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An American Werewolf In London (1981)

Episode 390, 2 Guys and a Chainsaw Podcast

Todd: Hello, and welcome to another episode of Two Guys and a Chainsaw. I’m Todd.

Craig: And I’m Craig.

Todd: This time, it was my idea to do this movie, and the only reason it came to my mind is because it was my turn to pick. And Craig and I were chatting about something and he happened to mention an American Werewolf in London and I was like, Dude, we have not done An American Werewolf in London.

It’s one of those movies that I can’t believe we have been doing this for over eight years and have not hit. So it’s such an important movie in a couple different ways for me growing up. I didn’t actually get to see it until, uh, I think I was a teenager maybe, but Obviously, it’s known, for many of us anyway, as being the thing that sort of inspired Michael Jackson to hire John Landis and Rick Baker to do the Thriller video and made that video as good as it is, and that is just, we could do a whole episode on the Thriller video, I feel like, right?

And why not? So, today we’re doing Thriller by Michael Jackson. No, we’re doing an American Werewolf in London, 1981, John Landis. By this time, John Landis had had quite a few comedy hits. He had done Kentucky Fried Movie, Animal House, I think he had just finished Blues Brothers a little bit before he decided to tackle this, which was based on a script that he wrote way back in 1969, before his first film.

And, uh, he just shelved it, realized it was gonna be expensive to do, it’s gonna, you know, a lot of makeup effects, and obviously on location in London. And so he shelved it and then brought it back out later. Interestingly enough, and this I did not know about John Landis before we started talking, is John Landis first movie was a horror comedy.

1973, called Schlock. That was his directorial debut. And it was about an ape man in Southern California who is attacked in his cave. Wanders into the suburbs, falls in love with an adolescent girl. Of course, she’s just scared of him, so he resorts to kidnapping her. Kind of like, uh, low rent King Kong type thing.

Which was, his whole conception was, uh, uh, more of a basically a parody. Of the monster movies of the fifties. And this is pertinent because not only is it a horror comedy, which this film is as well, but it was one of Rick Baker’s first movies as well. And it started their partnership. And Rick Baker is the one responsible for the amazing.

Amazing transformation effects in this movie and countless other horror films. Yeah, I thought that was kind of interesting. 

Craig: Rick Baker, I assume, is the makeup artist that you’re talking about? Yeah, yeah, yeah. And I mean, I feel like this whole episode could just be about that one transformation in the movie, even though there are other, like, that transformation is so great.

That it kind of, I can’t think of the right word. Like it overshadows the rest of the makeup work in this movie. Like there’s great makeup work in this movie throughout the werewolf in its entirety, like in its ultimate form. I really like, it’s impressive. Yeah. I really like it, but also Griffin Dunn’s character who gets like progressively more.

Like, decomposed and dead. Like, every one of those looks is, is great. The reason that this came up, we, you and I did a mini sode for our patrons about like, the first horror movies we remember seeing and this is one of the first ones that, I remember, I just remember being a really little kid. I have no idea how old I was, but I, I don’t have a lot of memories from that time, but I, I remember being small and, and sneaking around to get glimpses of this.

And as I said in the minisode, I’m sure my dad knew, 

Todd: you know, like I was trying 

Craig: to be sneaky and sneaking around and stuff. I’m, I’m sure he knew that I was watching and it like, it’s like a visceral memory and I’ve seen it since then. I’ve probably watched it. I don’t know. I probably watched it a bunch of times, but I haven’t watched it in a really long time and especially I haven’t like sat down and watched it start to finish in a really long time and I was kind of surprised by my reaction to it.


Todd: Yeah. In what 

Craig: way?

I don’t know, like, I thought it was a little boring. There were definitely big time things that I liked about it, so I don’t want to put this movie down. But it was a little boring. 

Todd: Alright, fair enough. Well, it’s not the slam bang action fest that a lot of horror movies are, but it’s also a werewolf story, and they usually aren’t, right?

A werewolf story, and I think I’ve talked about this before too, in some ways, not all of them, because you can take them in many different directions, but if you kind of take the traditional werewolf trope, it’s kind of like the Dracula story. The creature only comes out in certain circumstances, at night.

It’s a threat, and then the morning comes, and Dracula’s asleep in his coffin, and the werewolf is transformed back into a human. So, unless your whole movie takes place over the course of some crazy night, which is just one giant werewolf attack, or, you know, Dracula’s one night of mayhem and they happen to catch him at the end, you’re gonna get these periods of calm.

And this movie’s interesting because it involves a guy who has been attacked by a werewolf, But he’s not sure that he now is going to transform into a werewolf, but he’s kind of all but sure a lot of the movie is him wrestling with this idea thinking, nah, no, it can’t be true. Even though all of the evidence.

points to the fact that, you know, he better beware when that full moon comes. And I think that’s where some of the comedy comes in, is this sort of self denial. Yeah. This is not like a horror comedy like your Shaun of the Dead. Like, when you hear the word horror comedy today, You think of something that’s a little slapstick, a little silly, people are doing one liners and quips.

No, like the humor in here is just comes from the situations. It comes from sort of the absurdity of things that are not directly pointed out to you. You have to be sitting there and shuffling with and go, Oh, I see what they’re doing there. You know, Oh, that’s funny. You know that even the whole bar, you know, that, you know, it’s these two.

Backpackers who are hiking, they’re both Americans, and they are starting a three month European trip, and they’re starting out in the nor in the northern England, out in the countryside, which raises some questions. How are they starting there? Did they land in London and then just decide to go up north and take a trek down after riding in the back of a guy’s truck with his sheep?

I don’t I don’t know! I guess they’re truly backpackers, they want to see all the wilderness, but In any case, they go into the next pub that they find, which is out in the middle of nowhere in this tiny, tiny little town, and it’s called the Slaughtered Lamb. So, and there’s a, what is that called, that flap that hangs out in front, the sign?

The sign, yeah. There’s a term for it, right? A shingle. The shingle that’s hanging outside that says the Slaughtered Lamb, and it’s a pike. A werewolf’s head on it. A wolves head. A wolves head on it. But if that doesn’t bring a smile to your face, the minute you first see it, like you’re not paying attention to this movie,

And, and then they walk right in and instantly ’cause it’s a trope. Everybody goes silent, just completely silent. And these guys, instead of going. Alright, well, maybe we’ll try the next pub down the road, decide to sit down anyway, and look around at the witchcraft symbols on the wall. It’s just so damn funny!

Craig: Yeah, it is, and I’m gonna defend this movie against myself. I really do like it, but it feels at this point kind of Wait, I feel like this was kind of the, these were the last moments where this movie could be the way it was without being a wink and a nod at itself. Like these two guys are on this trip or whatever and end up at.

This bar, but it’s not like the bar in Pee Wee’s Big Adventure where everybody looks like super threatening. It’s just, everybody is just really super annoyed that they’re there. That, the, the movie doesn’t, it doesn’t make any sense. Like, the conceit is That they know that there’s a werewolf. The people in the bar.

Yeah. The people in the bar know that there’s a werewolf and it’s a full moon. And like, I guess they’re just so annoyed that these guys showed up at their bar that they’re gonna be like, yeah, let the werewolf have them. 

Todd: Well, to be fair, the bartender, she, you know, kind of tries to stop them from going out.

Clip: Jack, we better go. Are you kidding? I’m starved. There’s no food here.

Shall we go, Jack? Apparently so. You can’t let them go. Uh, how much do we owe you? Nothing, lads. I’ll be with you. Oh, thank you. Wait! You just can’t let them go? Go! Stay on the road Keep clear to the moors. 

Craig: And it really is funny It’s a funny movie like because they don’t do any of that like they They immediately get off the road and they just casually stroll off.

It’s so funny. 

Todd: You’re watching their cheat. Why would you do that? That doesn’t make any Sense, even if you’re not paying attention and you’re just walking with your friend, you’re still going to stick to the path you’re on without thinking about it. Right? You’re in a foreign country. 

Craig: Yeah. Can you imagine?

Like, I don’t know. I’m a, I’m pretty naive to the ways of the world, but, and I know that England is much smaller than America, but you go wandering off in America and the wilderness, you’ll be lost forever and die. Right. Yeah, it happens a lot, actually stick to the road, but they don’t. And then they start hearing werewolves howling.

Oh, okay. So I came in saying it’s boring and now I’m like trying to recall it to summarize it. And they’re like, Oh, that was fun. That was funny. No, it wasn’t boring. It was cute because like they’re banter back and forth. I’m actually a little bit sad that Jack played by Griffin Dunn dies so early in the movie.

Yeah, he was a fun guy because those two guys, him and David Naughton, and I have seen both of these actors in other things. Nothing that like is, stands out. But I’ve seen them both in other things and actually watching this, I wondered about casting. I wondered if they like went back and forth between which of these guys is going to be our main guy and which of them is going to be the side guy, because I think it could have gone either way.

It really could have. They’re very similar. They look a lot alike. And they’ve kind of got the same. Quippy, based on the characters they play, sense of humor, and I like them both. The only thing that I specifically remember Griffin done, oh no, there’s two things. 

Todd: Go on. Okay. 

Craig: He was in My Girl. He played the teacher, that little Zzbeta Sultanfuss.

I had a big crush on in that movie, but the best movie that he was in was who’s that girl starring Madonna. Oh my God. 

Todd: Great. My God. Oh, I want to go back and watch that. Wasn’t that Madonna’s first movie? And she wasn’t in many movies, right? Just a couple. She wasn’t. Well, she’s been in a 

Craig: handful. And not many of them good.

No. I thought that she was quite good in Evita. But Who’s That Girl is a ridiculous movie, and it’s 

Todd: hilarious, and it’s so good. It’s just a vehicle for Madonna to be Madonna, you know, it’s self promotion. She’s really silly, she really plays 

Craig: up her silly, bubbly, I can’t wait. Let’s, well, hello and welcome to two guys in 

Todd: Madonna.

Here we go. Who’s that girl from 1987 starring Madonna? 

Craig: I could seriously talk about that movie all day. It’s one of my favorite movies. I watched 

Todd: it all the time when I was a kid. I’m actually marking it right now to watch before the week is over. Now that you brought it up, I’m kind of, I need to revisit this.

It’s so good. I quote 

Craig: it all the time. But anyway, these guys, they’re cute, they’re funny, they’re having a nice time, you know, like, yeah, I feel bad when they get attacked by a werewolf and, uh, Griffin Dunn gets killed and David Naughton gets like mauled, but I guess the townspeople collectively had a conscience and decided that they were going to help him actually, and so a whole horde of these townspeople shoot the werewolf.

While it’s attacking David. Hm. That’s convenient that the actor and the character have the same name. Right. So, poor Griffin Dunn is dead. But David wakes up in the hospital after having been unconscious for three weeks. Weeks? What? I know. How did that happen? Where is, where 

Todd: is his family? 

Craig: He got scratched by a big dog and he was unconscious for three 

Todd: weeks.

Where was his family? In America. Ha ha ha, just hanging out, hoping he’ll recover in London. Nobody came to see him. Nobody’s making phone calls. I mean, don’t get me wrong, this was definitely before the era of cell phones. We were not that in touch, but Usually you were a little concerned and his family knows that shit’s gone down.

Much later, he ends up calling them and he has to answer the question. Oh no, I’m fine now. Was this the first time they learned that, Oh, he’s out of his three week coma. I don’t care. I just thought that was such a weird 

Craig: line. Like it would have been so much. I could have just been a day later, right? Or two, it didn’t really matter, did it?

I guess in thinking about it, like they had to give him time to heal because he did have. Like those, those deep wounds in his chest that eventually become scars. True. So, so maybe they wanted to, you know, if we’re going to put him back on the street, it’s got to be believable that he’s healed. Okay.

Whatever. Fair enough. Fair enough. So what? Who cares? But, and, and, you know, like it sets stuff up. There’s a nurse named Alex, right? Isn’t that her name? Mm hmm. And like. I don’t know. She’s immediately horny for him, it seemed 

Todd: like to me. Both of the nurses are horny for him. One of them makes a comment about how he’s Jewish, and she’s like, How did you know that?

How do you know for sure? And she’s like, Well, I checked. I’ve read so 

Craig: little trivia. Like, I didn’t do any research for this movie at all. But one of the only things that I read And this surprised me was that they had to be really cautious about full frontal nudity with him because he’s uncircumcised.

And like, it’s a whole point in the movie that he’s circumcised. So all of the effects and all of the shots of him are pretty chased. Like, he’s always, he’s always in a position where his like legs are covering up his wiener. And I just assumed that was probably a ratings thing. I did you rarely see I didn’t know they were covering up covering him up because he was uncut

Todd: it’s it’s kind of nuts when you think about it because we’re not used to seeing a lot of male nudity period in movies there is a lot of male nudity in this movie. And there were times when the little, you know, there’s a little dangle flashes by one or, you know, a few times, but 

Craig: there are like when he’s running around in the forest in his dreams, that was 

Todd: when he’s escaping from the zoo.

There’s a bit of that, but also think about that for a minute. Would we have noticed or cared? And also that is just one line really like he had to take such great care and shooting this guy just to preserve that one little joke that I’m sure 

Craig: it would, you know, male nudity, male frontal nudity for whatever reason is just uncommon and always has been.

And I think that it’s because men, what is it? Like everybody’s got a dick, like, and they come in all shapes and sizes, like just. Just calm down. Like nobody really cares. Some people have great big ones. Some people have little ones. Just calm down. But I feel like so much of our dignity is connected to that.

Not stupid. I love it. But it’s just connected to that little piece of flesh that 

Todd: hangs between your legs. So stupid. Honestly, I think it’s because it’s genitalia. Like even female frontal nudity in movies. Even when you see a little bush, right? Like, that’s really all you see, unless you’re watching a porn.

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Craig: conversation has got really weird like.

My, my point, my point was kind of that you see. Full frontal nudity in women a lot and and all the time and and I feel like for what God, it’s so dumb, but like I understand, even though I don’t have a lot of experience that it’s not all the same, but when you’re just looking at women. You know, from afar and just seeing them naked, like, that’s just what a naked woman looks like.

Like, penises look different. 

Todd: Well, thank you for that, Dr. Craig. I’m clearing that one up. But just to finish my point, right, if a woman just stands there facing the camera full frontal, unless she’s, like, spreading her legs way out or something like that, you’re not seeing the details of her genitalia. So it’s still.

Hidden, whereas a man, if he’s just standing there, all we need to do is stand there and you’re seeing everything he’s got, you know, I think it kind of just falls into that realm. 

Craig: Well, fine, but I mean, it’s objectively true that you see female full frontal nudity 90 percent more than male. Yes, of course, 100%.

I also think, God, I feel like I was just in a group chat or I just watched a movie, a great movie, by the way, poor things watch it immediately. Emma Stone, Willem Dafoe, uh, newer one, huh? Yeah. Emma Stone just won best actress, the Oscar for best actress for this movie. And it’s kind of a Frankenstein type movie where Emma Stone is kind of like, Kind of like the Frankenstein’s monster, but I’m not going to say anything more than that about it.

Because, seriously, it is so artful. It reminded me of Pearl in the way that Pearl reminded me of the Wizard of Oz. And like, it’s just absolutely visually stunning. Lots of nudity, get ready to see Emma Stone naked. I am so ready for that. I mean, she looks like a naked woman. That’s kind of the whole point.

She looks like a naked woman. But also there’s several instances of male nudity in that movie too. And I think that I group texted my friends. And when I say my friends, I mean the people that I work with. So like my coworkers, I’m like. Lots of dicks in this movie, they always look weird just flopping around, like if they’re, if they’re not hard, they just look silly.

Todd: It is true. Maybe the reason we don’t see enough male nudity, so much male nudity in movies is just. Cause it’s such a big joke. Like people just laugh at it. 

Craig: It 

Todd: would be way too distracting. 

Craig: There’s, there’s a point in that movie where some guy, and these are not even like good looking men, they’re just average guys, and this guy is like.

Crawling around on all fours like a spider monkey and he’s lit from behind like there’s a big Window behind him and so you just see his wiener just like flopping around between his legs. I’m like that is so awkward

Todd: What are we talking about? We have veered more off topic than usual, honestly, but Oh my God, an American werewolf in London. Well, after the attack, he wakes up in a hospital. So what these townspeople have done. Is they have rest his wounds beforehand. That point is made like three or four times by the doctor.

They’ve dressed his wounds and they’ve taken him and dropped him off at the hospital. I also have questions about this, but meet 

Craig: me too. And let’s talk about them. 

Todd: Yeah, 

Craig: do those towns people think that they have prevented him from becoming a werewolf? Why are those towns people protecting the werewolf and they’re not?

Because they shoot it. 

Todd: Yeah. Like, 

Craig: they just kill it, like, why are they living in fear? Why not? Why didn’t they just kill the werewolf anyway? 

Todd: Yeah, get a posse together instead of, uh, holding yourselves up in the, uh, in the bar. It’s kind of weird. And there’s only one. Well, maybe they don’t know. Maybe they don’t know there’s only one.

But, but anyway, yeah, I don’t understand why they’re protecting her. Cause, him. Cause they know that he’s been bitten, so they know that he’s gonna turn. But instead of taking care of him. Which would have been super easy. Because their cover story is That a wild maniac was on the loose and, you know, killed the one and scratched him up.

And that’s the guy, right? Like, once the werewolf is shot, he immediately transforms back into a guy. And so the police are satisfied. They’re like, yep, here’s the guy who’s been shot. And here are these two unfortunate people and yadda yadda yadda yadda. They could have just Off to this kid too for his own good and everybody else’s or just let him there to die or 

Craig: whatever.

That doesn’t make any sense. Like I’m not, I’m not bothered by it cause it’s just a movie, but it doesn’t make any sense. Like those guys show up in the pub and they’re all super weird. About it. And then they send them out and the one barmaid is like, Oh, we shouldn’t do this, but everybody else is like, shut up.

But then even though they’re all grouchy, then they go out and they shoot the werewolf, but then they release the kit. It doesn’t make any sense. And it’s, it’s fine. I don’t. They have, you alluded to it, but they have like 

Todd: a star. It’s not a pentagram. It’s like a pentagram without the circle. The pentacle, I think is what it’s called.

Craig: Yes. Yes. On the wall. And one of the guys Griffin Dunn says something about it. This setup is kind of stupid, but it doesn’t matter. But then, like, okay, so then he’s in the hospital, both nurses, as you said, are super horny for him. That was hilarious. Like, he’s, he’s a good looking guy. Don’t get me wrong. But he’s a patient.

He’s a, well, he’s a patient. And he’s like, he’s just a guy. He’s just like an average guy, not special. Right? No, he’s not like a Hemsworth or anything, you know? Do 

Todd: you think though there was a little bit of a fetishism going on here? Like, Ooh, he’s an American. We don’t see many of those, you know? I think that’s what they was kind of alluded to.

Craig: I know God, I just, I, I’m so far removed from my twenties. I forget. These people are young. They’re in their twenties. They’re horny for everybody. True. 

Todd: And she’s only had seven lovers, three of whom were one night stands. That is a whole conversation. 

Craig: I remember when she said that in the movie, I’m like, are we gonna talk about that?


are we gonna talk about if we’ve ever had one night stands? I 

Todd: think what we need to talk about is the forced sexual feeding in the hospital. What? He won’t eat. He’s not hungry. And that’s the theme. Again, we’re supposed to figure out, you know, it’s because he’s not satisfied with regular food. But he doesn’t want to eat.

Clip: You put me Kessler. How did I do that? Well, you ought to take these after you’ve eaten. Now what sort of nurse would I be if I failed in so simple a task as handing out some pills? You can leave the pills. I’ll take them later. Aw, come on, Nurse Price. You can call me Alex. Come on, Alex. Should I be forced to feed you, Mr.

Kessler? You can call me David. Shall I be forced to feed you, David? 

Todd: And he’s like, well, I’m not hungry. So she plops down on the bed, and in a very sexually suggestive scene, starts cutting up his food and feeding it to him while they are inches away from each other and staring into each other’s eyes. Oh 

Craig: yeah, they’re touching.

Like, she scoots 

Todd: right up next to him. This is the most unprofessional nurse in the history of the profession. Outside of porn movies. But it’s cute. Honestly, I didn’t mind because I knew the script. I knew it needed to go here. I knew that, you know, there was going to be this love interest and she’s going to be the one.

And so I was fine with it. You might as well have some goofy scenes like this to kind of kick things along, you know, down the road. I was fine with it. And actually I thought it was kind of cute and charming. So what, you know, and you kind of have to give him 

Craig: some relationships. The only other relationship that he had was his friend who’s dead now visits him still.

I keep trying to get there and not getting there. But Griffin Dunn, Jack, keeps visiting him, and the first time he visits him, it’s what he would look like immediately following the werewolf attack. So like, he’s all slashed up. I mean, it looks like him, it looks like Griffin Dunn, but he’s all slashed up, and 

Todd: it looks So good.

Oh my God. You can’t take your eyes off it. It looks so good. Like half of his throat is gone. The skin on his face is just hanging off in flaps. And apparently, well, he’s in there and he’s eating too. He like, he like grabbed some of his toast from the hospital bed. And as he’s eating, and apparently, one of the scenes that John Landis had to cut out, which he later regretted cutting anything, uh, for the MPAA, was a bit of that toast was supposed to fall out of his neck.

After he had eaten it. I mean, they put some effort into this, and Rick Baker himself said 

Craig: fantastic. 

Todd: Like, he just loved the fact that John Landis had such confidence in his makeup ability that this first appearance of him with all this makeup is in full daylight, all the lights on. You can just see every little bit of it.

And why not? It is amazing. Yeah. 

Craig: And it’s wet. And like, like, of course I’m looking at it hard. So, like, I can see. That it’s a prosthetic on Griffin Dunn’s face. I, I can see that because I’m looking for it specifically, but it looks great. And every single time Griffin Dunn reappears, and it’s always funny because he’s continually in a new stage of decay every time you see him.

But that’s physically the way that he appears. To his friend, like he’s just talking to his friend. Like he’s still the same guy he was before. And he just keeps telling him you have to kill yourself. 

Clip: Please believe me. You’ll kill people. Listen to me, the supernatural, the power of darkness. It’s all true.

The undead surround me. Have you ever talked to a corpse? It’s boring. I’m lonely. Take your life David kill yourself before you kill others

Craig: Like I and all of the other people that have been killed by this line of werewolves are doomed to roam the earth until The line of werewolves dies out and you’re the last one

There is a heavy suicide theme, like Griffin just keeps telling you, I’m serious, kill yourself. It’s 

Todd: the only way. And so that, you know, the movie becomes, again, we all understand, well, this is going to have to happen. And he even seems to understand this is gonna have to happen, cause he sees his friend, and then later he sees more of his victims, but he doesn’t want to.

He doesn’t want to kill himself. 

Craig: Well, and he doesn’t want to accept the fact that he’s a werewolf. And he has kind of a nice week. That’s the thing. There was the full moon, then he was unconscious for three weeks. Then he had a nice week where he had like a hot girlfriend and he was getting laid and they were having a great time.

They were having sex in the shower. That was kind of hot. Yeah. That was kind of hot because I felt like it was real and that it wasn’t horny. Yeah. It wasn’t about just banging. It was about like body contacts. Like they were like. Embraced and like feeling each other’s bodies. And I’m like, that’s real.

Todd: Honestly, I thought the chemistry between these two was great. Yeah. That’s how I bought it. And also, like you said, the sex was kind of sweet and Landis had to cut quite a bit of the sex as well to get the R rating, which he wished he hadn’t done. But I think it’s it works the way it is and we haven’t mentioned it but uh, this woman nurse, um, Well, alex nurse price is played by jenny a gutter who we just recently saw because we just did the whole child’s play Series and she was she In Child’s Play 2, she was the The mom?

The stepmom? The stepmom, yeah. The foster mom. Foster mom. I totally missed that. When you said her name, it sounded so familiar and I had totally forgotten. And dude, she has been working like a crazy. Like, she’s super busy right now on the TV series called The Midwife. Oh, she’s been in and out. She was in Captain America Winter Soldier as Councilwoman Holly and the Avengers.

And she’s been in so much on TV and movies that it’s uh, it’s pretty impressive. Uh, Logan’s Run, I also remember because I really was fascinated with Logan’s Run. That’s, that’s, uh, That’s a 1976 movie, but when I was a kid, I watched that several times, and, and she was, uh, quite attractive in that as well.

So yeah, she’s a good looking gal, I don’t blame him. I agree with you a hundred percent. They seem 

Craig: young. Like Love affairs, young love affairs, oh, how I remember them fondly, but yeah, so they, so they have this, you know, young love affair, but his friend keeps showing up to remind him that he’s a werewolf and that he needs to kill himself and he doesn’t want to admit it, but it all comes to fruition.

When, I don’t know, he’s staying with her, like that, you’re right, like, it’s so quaint and so 1980s that the nurse is like, So, do you have anywhere to stay when you leave? I don’t know, right? So he stays with her and they make sweet, sweet love in the shower and stuff, but then she leaves, I, I don’t know, I guess she has like a long shift or something.

Todd: She’s gotta go to work. Yeah. Yeah. 

Craig: And the transformation, it’s the full moon comes and he transforms and it’s long and I had forgotten that this didn’t happen until well, like the first half of the movie, maybe later it happens late, the werewolf transformation happens late and it’s worth. The weight because it’s, um, it’s so great.

So good. It’s so fantastic. I still don’t really even understand how they did it because it all looks practical, but there’s so much stretching like a flesh and. I can only imagine there, that there was like, mechanisms underneath latex or something to make these stretching effects happen. It’s all in close up.

And it goes on for a long time. His fingers are stretching into claws. His, this part of his face is stretching out into snout. His legs and feet are stretching to be more canine and it’s slow and you get to see every bit of it, and it is just out of this world, I honestly don’t. Think that. Anything has met or beat 

Todd: it.

You’re absolutely right, it’s pretty nuts. Rick Baker has said that he was um, initially kind of miffed that he had spent like three months working on that one mechanism for the, the maw, you know, when his face just stretches out into a snout. And he said Landis goes in there and all he wanted was a seven seconds, one take, and he was, it was moving on.

And he said, initially I was really put off and kind of mad at him, until I first saw it in the theater with an audience. And he was like, people were standing up. And cheering during that seven seconds. He was like, yeah, that guy knew what he was doing. And he had been working on the howling before he started this movie because Landis happened to be ready to shoot this at the same time he was doing prep work on the howling and Landis got in an argument with him.

He’s like, look, you’re supposed to be saving this for my movie, for my werewolf movie. And so he did hold back on some of the stuff he was working on. And I believe he eventually handed off a number of howling stuff over to another guy. So that he could then come here and work on this movie, so.

Craig: Confession! 

Todd: I’ve never seen The Howling. The fact that we haven’t done it yet, too, is kind of crazy. Let’s do it. Yeah, it’s a very different kind of movie, but it’s, it’s well regarded and it’s, uh, it’s pretty good, yeah. 

Craig: All of his werewolf stuff is great! Like, oh my god, I love all of it. He attacks and kills a couple who are drunk and like, are just walking around.

It’s fun. He attacks and kills some homeless guys. You don’t see a whole lot. No, you don’t. You don’t see a whole lot. And I’m not mad about it. 

Todd: It still worked for me. Well, you know what, like not seeing a lot of it is what low budget movies do, and it becomes painfully obvious. But we have just been treated Yeah.

To the most gorgeous high budget effects. And so after that, the movie doesn’t need to prove itself to us anymore. You know? So, we end up seeing a lot of the transformed werewolf himself, which is amazing. Walking around, running around in the street and all that, this is later. But like you said, during these scenes, we don’t see a lot of the attacks, and that’s fine.

There was, uh, three bums who were just, right, it’s so typical, right? This bum with a burning oil drum and everything. Of course, Along the river with, uh, I guess if you’re shooting in London, you got to get all the major landmarks in you want, so, you know, it’s got the, the tower bridge right behind him. Like, okay.

But one of those bums, I don’t know if you recognized him, he was a never ending story. Do you remember the old man who has all the inventions that sort of is, is at that place where the two sphinxes are zapping people with their eyeballs? Yeah, that was one of those bungs. Yeah. Yeah. The, the short guy, he pretty much looks like him too.

That’s no point here. Yeah. 

Craig: And on the next episode of the eighties with two guys in a chainsaw, we’ll talk for hours about the never ending story because it’s one of my favorite movies. The never ending story 

Todd: would 

Craig: be 

Todd: a theme month, I’m afraid. Yeah, we’d have to do at least four episodes. God. I still do.

I can’t say it still holds up today, maybe with a modern audience, but for Todd, nostalgic Todd, it holds up just fine. So good. What are 

Clip: we 

Todd: talking about?

You’d think we don’t want to talk about this movie as much as we’re talking about. No, I do 

Craig: this. I, I really like it. And I, these werewolf attacks are good and scary. I don’t know, like, I wonder how this movie would hold up with modern audiences. Like, I feel like we sometimes should talk with our friend Jordan, you know, who’s like in her twenties and, and see what people like that.

Think of these because I really enjoyed this movie, but I think that most of my enjoyment of it comes from the nostalgia. I don’t know that this. Would hold up for contemporary audience. I love the, the look of the werewolf in its full state, but it is also, it’s, it’s very reminiscent of the Gmort in the never ending story there.

It looks like a prop. It looks like a great prop. Yeah. And I love it, and I’m so proud of whoever made it, it’s so great. But it doesn’t necessarily look real, and I wonder how a contemporary audience would respond. 

Todd: Well, I watched it with Liz, and she had never seen it before, and she, she loved it. She thought the movie was great.

Good! Yeah, so. There’s one vote anyway. She’s definitely like, uh, more of a 90s girl than an 80s girl. 

Craig: Well, so she would still have some similar points of 

Todd: reference, but That’s true. That’s true. It’s interesting. You’re right. We would need to go, we would need to go deeper. We need to go with like a teenager or a 20 something.

Craig: Yeah, 

Todd: right. I 

Craig: don’t know. I like it. So the climax He goes to a porn movie, which I thought was, God, I swear to God, I watched these things, these movies, and I know that we’re going to talk about them. So in my head, I think about like, what are we going to talk about? And I, I thought about like, I’m going to ask Todd, have you ever gone to 

Todd: a porn theater?

Oh God. Ask my dad if he went to a porn theater. Can you imagine? But that is one thing Liz asked me. She’s like, People went to theaters to watch porn? Ha ha! Like, are they, are they jerking off in the seat? Like, and, yeah. 

Craig: Oh, they so are. Yeah. Yeah, they 

Todd: totally are. Well, apparently when he wrote this movie, he was acquainted with London, and he had exact places where he was planning to film.

And this theater on Piccadilly Circus, Back in 1963 or 69, when he wrote it, showed cartoons all day long. And by the time it came time to shoot this movie, it had become an adult theater, so we actually had to write that in. Not that he couldn’t have! I mean, he’s showing his own movie anyway. They filmed this movie.

This was the first thing they shot, was this fake porn movie segment. Oh, that’s funny. And, and it’s See You Next Wednesday is the title of it. And, uh, that is a, that is a running joke with John Landis. He got the line from like a 2001 A Space Odyssey, and he has inserted that in every movie he’s ever done.

Whether it’s a character saying it, Or whether it’s on a poster somewhere or a billboard or something like that. You know it’s a John Lennon’s movie if See You Next Wednesday pops up somewhat prominently in it. That’s hilarious. But he could have, he could have just made it a cartoon. I mean, he could have done that.

He changed the posters anyway. He showed his own movie on the screen. But I think it adds to the comedy that it’s in the porn theater because it’s just so funny to see these guys meeting in here and the porn movie itself is hilarious. It’s a, yeah, it’s a parody of a porn film as well. 

Craig: Was that guy like, okay, so he talks to his dead friend again.

And, and Griffin Dunn at this point is basically just a skeleton, like with some flesh remaining, which is hilarious. Cause he still just talks like himself. Like his voice doesn’t change and all of the other people that. Our main character has killed as a werewolf are also there. The young lovers that he killed, like, don’t even seem particularly mad.

How shall I do it? 

Clip: Sleeping pills. The gun! I know where you can get a gun. Don’t I need a silver bullet or something? Oh, be serious. Would you? Madness. Oh, a gun would be good. Yes. You just put the gun to your forehead and pull the trigger.

Todd: Bubbly and cheery. Like they probably are like they came across in real life. Oh, let’s go around the back and give them a scare. Oh, that’d be so much fun. Like, yeah, you should kill yourself. Oh, you know, you could do hanging. You could do this. Yeah, you have to kill 

Craig: yourself. So he wolfs out the question that I had was there’s one point where David Naughton is starting to wolf out, but at the same time, it could be like sexual ecstasy that he’s experiencing.

And a man appears next to him. Did that man want to kick him out of the theater? Or did he want to suck his dick? 

Todd: I, the way the man stood there and creepily looked at him, I kind of think it was the latter. 

Craig: I kind of think so too, but whatever, it doesn’t really matter because he turns into a wolf and starts eating people in there.

At this point, I looked at the time stamp and there was like 13 minutes left. Or a very short amount of time left. Right. I remembered how it ended. Watching it this time. I was thinking, wow, this movie was a slow build to a very fast 

Todd: finale. Well, I mean, it is about him and his denial, right? The whole movie is him putting off killing himself, basically.

And so I get that. It’s not like it’s a character study. It’s too funny for that. 

Craig: He’s a werewolf for two nights. I kind of glossed over that. And you mentioned how, after the first night, he woke up in the wolf enclosure at the zoo. And again, the limited amount of research that I did, like they just put him in a wolf enclosure and they were like, they were like, It’s alright, we already fed them.

Todd: I’d be a little worried with my wiener hanging out in a wolf enclosure. 

Craig: No, you will not catch me naked in a 

Todd: wolf enclosure. I don’t care how recently they’ve been fed. Right, but that leads to, like, a funny bit, you know, this is what, the movie kind of goes all over the place, maybe, maybe that’s something I can say, why it might not play so well, and maybe it’s not even well structured, I didn’t have a problem with it because it kind of all made logical sense.

Tonally speaking, and I know that this was something that early production houses, before Landis had more experience, were really skeptical about with the script. They said, the script seems too funny to be scary, and too scary to be a comedy. I don’t know if he ever really did strike that tone. I appreciate it, but I think a lot of it’s understated, you know?

Even the horror in some respects is a little understated, because You know, there are these horrible werewolf attacks and everything’s gruesome and bloody, but then the victims come back and they’re laughing at them. 

Craig: We didn’t even talk about the Nazi werewolves. Oh, God. How did we miss that? I forgot, like, because even before David turns into a werewolf, he has these nightmares.

About being a werewolf, or of werewolves attacking him, and the first one is just about, like, I don’t know, a regular werewolf, but then the second dream that he has, it’s like he’s home in America with his family, and he has two younger siblings, and his parents are both there, and somebody knocks on the door, and they open it, and it is an army of Nazi werewolves!

That come in and shoot them with machine guns, and like cut their throats with huge knives, like it’s insane. That part of this movie is insane. Comes out 

Todd: of left field, and it just, it’s bewildering, like where did this come from? It’s interesting because after that, uh, scene, Liz made a comment to me, she says, Oh, I see what’s happening.

Like, this is sort of his internal psyche. This is the werewolf killing off all of his humanness on the inside, and so I thought, oh yeah, that actually is. It actually makes sense that way. Otherwise, it kind of doesn’t make a lot of sense. I did read in the trivia, it was inspired by the writer of The Wolfman.

The original Wolfman, 1941, who said that he saw werewolves as metaphors for Nazis. Like the otherwise good men who are driven to animalistic violence, who know their next victim by the symbol of a star on their body. Okay. I’ve never thought of it in that way, but I mean, I get it. It 

Craig: works as a metaphor 

Todd: in 1941.

You probably had Nazis on your brain a little bit more than we do now. So, yeah. But yeah. Oh, my God, dude. That scene was crazy. And I had forgotten. About that scene in Hirely me to it’s even cool because it’s a jump scare within a jump scare, right? Cuz he wakes up from the dream and the nurse is there and he turns her she goes to the window and another Nazi Werewolf comes out and stabs her and then he wakes up again that I jumped I jumped really I did too 

Craig: I feel like I started out the podcast saying the movie was kind of boring and I mean, I, I was being honest when I said that, but sitting and talking with you about it, like there are so many notable things to talk about.

And I feel like if you are a fan of the genre, you need to see this movie. Oh yeah. You can’t really, I don’t think, talk about werewolf movies. Without acknowledging this movie. 

Todd: Yeah, for sure. 

Craig: The, the werewolf design and the transformation design in this movie are unmatched in my opinion, and I feel like so many other movies have copied the design and have tried.

To go for the only other piece of art that I would compare this movie to is Michael Jackson’s Thriller. Because, you know, it’s the same people involved and that music video is legendary. So again, like, you know, we’ve seen other werewolf movies like Cursed. We saw the one with the girls in high school.

Ginger Snap. I feel like in some way both of those movies pay a little bit of homage to this movie in the look of the werewolves. And the transformation scenes, and maybe that’s just me being nostalgic for these movies. I don’t know. I just feel like this movie kind of sets the standard for what werewolves are.


Todd: You’re right, 

Craig: especially cinematically. This movie sets the standard of what werewolves are. You can go with it, or you can deviate from it, and that’s fine, but an American werewolf in London 

Todd: set the standards. Especially for the modern one, right? Like, it’s not the first werewolf movie to come around, but it was the first one that’s not cheesy.


Craig: not just 


Craig: guy in an outfit. Right, with hair on his face. I’m all for a guy in an outfit. That’s fine, but This is special effects heavy, especially that transformation 

Todd: and it’s just done so well. Well, and I think you kind of made an interesting point at the beginning of the show, when you said, you know, that transformation seem in some ways overshadows the whole movie, it overshadows the history of the movie in a way, would we be talking about this movie so much, would we remember this film so much?

If that scene and the special effects were not so amazing. I mean, you said the movie was kind of, felt kind of boring, and I know exactly what you mean. The pacing felt a little off, it felt a little slow in parts, even though it was a lot of interesting, fun little parts strung together. In some ways, Maybe it was just a little slapdash, you know, like the way that it was strung together wasn’t quite as Skillful as the individual scenes that were strung together and now that I think about it That’s kind of what John Landis had been doing up to this point, right?

He had the Amazon women in the moon and Kentucky fried movie and the Blues Brothers, which are just Movies of sequences. Yeah, yes, yes. In a way, this is kind of like that. And maybe that’s why it doesn’t feel as cohesive and satisfying. It’s just a little disjointed in some way. And it’s abrupt. The way it ends is so abrupt.

Craig: Yeah, so he turns into a werewolf in the porno theater, he eats a bunch of people in there and then he breaks out and then somehow the girl and his doctor, who’s also been working with him, like, they find out and they go down there and the girl tries to talk him out of it. Killing people as a werewolf in a dead end alley.

And, but it doesn’t work because he’s a werewolf and, uh, he like jumps to attack her and a bunch of people shoot him. And then they show, as we’ve seen, we saw this when they killed the first werewolf too. It just shows David Naughton’s naked body. riddled with bullet holes and I that stuck with me for some reason when I was a kid like it’s one thing to see a monster be killed but to then see a naked Which, like, I, I just feel like you’re never more vulnerable than when you’re naked.

Like, a naked person with a bunch of bullet holes in them, that really resonated. I, I remember that from when I was a kid. That bothered me 

Todd: as a kid. Sure. Of course it’s going to because also, first of all, I thought the scene was appropriately emotional. I mean, I bought their relationship as quick as it was.

Yes. And she genuinely cared for him, I bought that too, and she wails, she’s pretty upset, this is her last ditch effort to save him, but it’s almost like she knows it’s probably futile, but she’s hoping, you know, she’s like, we can help, I can help you through this, and, and she can’t. And he gets shot in front of her.

And then it’s exposed. He wasn’t a wolf. He was a real person with feelings that she was making out with in the shower and all that stuff, you know, and to see that in front of you, that would suck. Yeah. To put it bluntly. And as a kid seeing that too, it’s just like, oh, he wasn’t a bad guy. You know, maybe, maybe this is one of the first movies you see where you see the bad guy get killed, but you’re faced with the uncomfortable confrontation that, you know, Not actually that black and white.

Craig: I like that about werewolf movies and werewolf stories. It’s that the person isn’t necessarily a bad person, you know? They just have this thing that’s unfortunate that they have to deal with. He’s a victim. Yeah, they’re a victim really, you know, vampires, I get it, they’re victims too, but then they’re dead and they’re evil being.

They’re like a new creature, really. They’re a new, they’re something new. I mean, they may have characteristics of the person that they were supposed to be, but the real person, the person’s soul is gone. And that’s not the. Same with werewolves. I, again, unsolicited recommendation. Alan and I watched the first season of Wolf Like Me.

Have I talked to you about that? No, you haven’t. It stars Josh Gad and Isla Fisher. And it’s cute. It’s like a cute little romantic comedy where he’s a widower and he has a young daughter and he’s, you know, navigating what life is going to be like now that he’s a widower and everybody wants him to get out there and date and stuff, but he’s really reluctant, but he finally starts dating and then he meets this girl, Isla Fisher, and she’s really nice.

Super cool. Cause she’s a widow too. And she’s just getting back into the dating scene and she, she just can’t be in a relationship. She’s can’t because she’s a werewolf 

Todd: and 

Craig: it’s great. It’s so cute. And they’re like these little 30 minute episodes. Each one, you should check it out. It’s really super sweet.

Love it. And honestly, like I liked this movie. I would 100, 100 percent recommend this movie to anybody. One of the few things that I’ve met, like I’ve been trying to get to it. And then I sidetracked on other things. One of the things that I love most about this movie is the music. 

Todd: Oh, it’s so good. Elmer Bernstein.


Craig: Well, I’m not even necessarily. Oh, you mean the score. I’m talking about the songs that are implanted. Like the, the very first thing over the credits is blue moon. You know, I’m not gonna, I’m not gonna sing for you waiting for it. No, but it’s, it’s, it’s adorable. You know, blue moon, you saw me standing alone, you know, like it’s so cute over the credits.

And then all of the other songs that are clearly intentionally inserted at intentional moments. And it’s not like just something just happens in the background. No, like I’m slapping 

Todd: you in the face with this song. It’s kind of part of the comedy in a way. Yeah. And you know what? I would say that having Blue Moon playing during the werewolf scene is comedic, and it Hood take the edge off?

But when I saw this as a kid to have this sort of like happier, I mean, it’s not like a peppy song, but it’s, you know, blue moon, you saw, I mean, you know, it’s, it’s a nice little song. They use three 

Craig: different versions of that same song. I know, yeah. In the movie. Like there’s, there’s the, the one at the end is, is the one that’s like bomb, bomb

You got, I got you singing after all,

Clip: but 

Craig: every time It’s so great. And I’m sorry to interrupt you. I know that you were talking, but it’s not just that song, but it’s also Moondance, I think is Kat Stevens. Great song. And then is it CCR bad moon rising? I see a bad moon rising. Oh God. So many moon song. And it’s just fantastic because like I said, it’s not like it’s subtle.

No. To say it underscores a scene is not even fair. It’s like the music starts and then it’s almost like a musical montage. 

Todd: Every time it’s fantastic. It’s that I loved that so much, but as a kid, seeing that transformation scene with that song, that the. Contrast was so startling that I thought it actually it made the scene more terrifying for me kind of like when maybe it’s the Same psychological effect as like when you see horror happening in the daylight.

This doesn’t jive You know, this makes me uncomfortable and I think it was the same way like I hear this song I’ve heard My parents used to play it in the car all the time and all that, but I never imagined I would have seen a werewolf transforming in such a gruesome way to this song. I actually found that that heightened the horror of that scene when I was a kid anyway.

Craig: It’s a great movie. It’s a great movie. If you haven’t seen it, you need to run out and watch it right away. Great performances. David Naughton and Griffin Dunn, I thought were both great and hilarious in this movie. I feel like they gave very understated performances. They really just feel like guys that you would know.

Yeah. And, and maybe guys that you would go on a backpacking trip with and drink and, you know, drink beers in bars with. Honestly, it wouldn’t have worked if they weren’t that way, you know, right, right. It’s great. The special effects are great. I can’t take back what I already said. I did feel like there were times that I love the opening up until the werewolf attack.

I felt like the recovery in the hospital lasted a little bit too long. I felt like the movie could have been a solid hour and it would have been great. And it is great still. I feel like there’s a little bit of unnecessary padding in there, but it deserves its reputation in the pantheon of horror films and special effects.

Todd: Agreed. I can’t say anything more. I feel the same way you do. And thus starts off our month of werewolf movies. Let’s do it. Let’s do it. I am down. I am down for the hairiness. I don’t know about that. Thank you so much for listening to this podcast. If you enjoyed it, please share it with a friend. If you have suggestions for werewolf movies that might be under our radar, please let us know.

You can do that by googling Two Guys in a Chainsaw. Just find any of our social media channels or our website, ChainsawHorror. com, and leave us a message in one of those places and we will totally get back to you. You can also leave a voice message if you want. There’s a link for that on the website as well.

Until next time, I’m Todd. And I’m Craig. With Two Guys and a Chainsaw.

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