Saturday, 31 October 2015

#Halloween A Horror Movie Mini-Tour of #London No.3: An American Werewolf in London (1981)


A Horror Movie Mini-Tour of London No.3 An American Werewolf in London (1981)

(Catch up with No.1 28 Days Later HERE.)

(Catch up with No.2 The Omen HERE.)





It takes a pretty special project to be a successful spoof, a genuinely shocking horror and a bloody good movie all at the same time. Pun most definitely intended.

An American Werewolf in London has a special resonance here at the London Walks blog: it teems with London locations; and our protagonist is bitten by a werewolf on (gulp) a walking tour…

Okay, it’s not a guided walking tour like a London Walks guided walking tour, but we take no risks. Have you ever noticed that your London Walks guide is usually toting a bag of some description? Ever wondered what’s in it? Well wonder no more…

• Stake & mallet

• Rosary

• Garlic

• Gun with Silver Bullets

• Ample copies of the London Walks leaflet 2015/16 which, through a cunning combination of origami and Jianzhi (a traditional Chinese method of paper cutting known to all London Walks guides) can be fashioned into all of the above as well as being most absorbent when treating werewolf bites




In writer/director John Landis’s 1981 film, Jack Goodman (Griffin Dunne) stalks the streets of London on a murderous rampage, leading a lycanthropic double life that is not without its lighter moments (!). 

The scene in the wolf enclosure at London Zoo, where Jack wakes up stark naked after a night of shapeshifting and carnage is particularly memorable. In an attempt to cover his nudity, Jack takes some balloons from a schoolboy. The little boy’s memorable deadpan complaint to the nearest (clothed) adult remains one of my favourite lines in any movie: 


“A naked American man stole my balloons.”

Here's the trailer…




For those of you as obsessed with London-spotting in the movies as I am, An American Werewolf… is a particular joy. The usual suspects are here, of course: Trafalgar Square, Piccadilly Circus and the rest. But I'd like to pick two out-of-the-way locations which have an added advantage, namely…

You can swing by these locations from An American Werewolf in London after taking a walk with An American Tour Guide In London. Our very own London Walks Pen and Daily Constitutional Special Correspondent David Tucker leads his Hampstead and Kensington walking tours close by these locations…


One of the gorier scenes is set on Hampstead Heath, with Well Walk featuring in the build-up…

(Spoiler alert? Well, the smart money was always on the werewolf…)




Redcliffe Square in Kensington stars as the exterior of Nurse Alex Price's flat (as played by Jenny Agutter)…



(As you can see from the map above, Brompton Cemetery is also very near by. Brompton Cemetery is the final resting place of William Terris, as featured in yesterday's blog post by Daily Constitutional Associate Editor Richard III.)

But it is perhaps the chase scene at Tottenham Court Road Underground station that is of most value to us today, given just how much that station has changed in the intervening 34 years. Here's how Tottenham Court Road looked before the installation of the Paolozzi mosaics…









This third part brings our short series to a close… for now. But in the best tradition of such things, The Horror Movie Mini-Tour of London will return…





A London Walk costs £10 – £8 concession. To join a London Walk, simply meet your guide at the designated tube station at the appointed time. Details of all London Walks can be found at www.walks.com.









Bookmark and Share

No comments:

Post a Comment