An American Werewolf Screening in Tulsa

16 Mar

When I texted my mother that I’d be taking in a screening of the 1981 classic, “An American Werewolf in London”, she texted me to “stick to the roads, be aware of the moon, and stay off the Moors.” No I’m just kidding. She told me that it was the first movie she and my dad had ever taken me to.

This text revealed to me what all the sessions of therapy had not, and I finally understood why shadows and werwolves scared me so much growing up. I still to this day can’t be in the same room if the Thriller video is on television (the Vincent Price part especially creeps me out).

I hadn’t seen “Werewolf” since I was a kid, and hadn’t even thought about it, until I saw an advertisement for it on Facebook somewhere (Actually thats a lie. This chick and I rented it from Blockbuster one night after our shift at Red lobster. But she thought it was cheesy, so we mugged down instead of watching it.). I figured if there was a movie that was made to be seen on the big screen, then this was it.

If you ever have the chance to see it at the theaters, you should do it. It is hilarious, it is spooky, and it is in a way sad.

For those of you who’ve never seen it, it is about two American college students from New York, Jack and David, who are  backpacking across Europe. They start in England with the intention of finishing up in Italy.

Jack starts the movie off stating his reservations about being in a cold, and spooky part of England, when they could be in warmer weather with better chances of meeting women. Jack,a smart aleck, with a typical New York sense of humor is both easy to like and loathe. His inability to pick up on social cues indirectly causes the two of them to be forced out into the moors, on a wet and chilly night.

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It is only after they hear the howling of a wild animal, that they realize that they didn’t heed the advice of the local townspeople, and see they did not keep to the road, and that there is a full moon.

The results are disastrous and David wakes up to find that he was in a coma for 3 weeks, his best friend Jack was “killed by a madman” (as David may or may not have been running away from–leaving Jack behind), and that he is in London, having bad dreams about Nazi monsters killing his Jewish family (scenes which are both terrifying and darkly humorous)

There is a heartbreaking scene of the main character, David going into a phone booth, and calling his little sister in New York to tell her that he loves her before he tries to unsuccessfully off himself. It sets up an epicly weird scene that turns into an unforgettable 25 minutes of cinema.

For such a hokie movie, it really forces the audience to feel an assortment of emotions. The gags are really dark, but extremely funny. The dialogue is loaded with Jewish humor that can be easy to miss if you know nothing about the culture. There is even a classic Knock Knock joke sprinkled in the script for good measure.

I don’t think a movie like this would see the light of day in this era. The 80’s were a riskier time for movie making. People were not afraid of making bad movies where the mistakes could be just as fun as the highlights. Gore and humor aren’t exactly synonomous in this day and age. There is a self awareness about this film that isn’t around in a lot of “scary” movies.

The final scene in the movie is the biggest payoff, and when the credits roll, you don’t really know what to feel like. It was so good, I went back the next night; knowing I wouldn’t have a chance to sit in a theater and see it on the big screen again. Believe it or not, it was just as good the second time around.

Thanks Mom and Dad for hipping me to this film so early in life. The therapy, high electric bills, and sleepless nights finally paid off. This might be my new favorite movie. Now if I can somehow talk the Circle Cinema into screening the Warriors movie………..

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One Response to “An American Werewolf Screening in Tulsa”

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  1. “Take Me With U” A Screening of Purple Rain | Nuclear Polio Vaccination - May 5, 2016

    […] parents were never shy about exposing me to anything as a young child (refer to my write-up on American Werewolf of London), and revisiting all these old songs from my childhood is like hearing them for the first time. As […]

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