As werewolf month continues on Rewind of the Living Dead, we look back at the 1981 classic “An American Werewolf in London”…
Back in 1969 while working as a production assistant on the film “Kelly’s Heroes,” future director and writer John Landis was traveling through Yugoslavia when he was witness to a gypsy funeral where a body was being buried with the utmost precaution to prevent the dead from rising from the grave.
That sparked an idea in Landis’ mind after he realized that he would never be able to actually confront the undead and he wanted to write a script that reflected a young man going through that same ordeal. He finished the first draft but then tucked it away as he began working on crossing over into his own career as a director where he was behind the camera for massive comedy hits such as “Animal House” and “The Blues Brothers.”
After he had found success as one of the hottest new directors in Hollywood, Landis decided to revisit his script from a decade ago. He secured financing for the film but Landis was told his script was “too frightening to be a comedy and too funny to be a horror film.”
Landis them teamed up with special effects artist and creature creator Rick Baker to ensure that his film had the definitive transformation from man to animal as he brought his lycanthrope to life on the big screen.
In fact, Baker ended up taking home an Academy Award for his work on the movie — the first time the prestigious Oscars had ever given an award for make-up in filmmaking.
In the latest episode of Rewind of the Living Dead, we’re going to stay on the road and beware the moon as we look back at the 1981 horror classic “An American Werewolf in London”…
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