Thursday, 31 October 2013

The Cardboard Dog Halloween Movie List Part 6: Werewolf Movies

The beast that walks among us. The Lycanthrope. The Wolfman. One of cinema's most famous and tragic monsters. To combat the current myth that werewolves like to spend their spare time in the club-house hanging out topless with other werewolves, this list has been complied. It has five of the very best werewolf films that cinema has yet to offer...

Top 5 Werewolf Movies

5. The Beast Must Die (1974)
The absolute coolest werewolf movie ever made. This is another Amicus production and has a great concept which actually deserves and requires to be updated. Basically, we have an extremely wealthy businessman turned hunter, Tom Newcliffe (an ace performance by Calvin Lockhart) who gathers a group of individuals to his country pile – as he believes one of them is a werewolf and he's in the mood for a hunt! The score is straight out of a Blaxploitation movie and the action has more than a few fine set pieces to be proud of. The most unique part of this entry? The Werewolf Break. Thirty seconds to collect your thoughts and deliver your guess as to who the hairy murderer has been all along. The film has character and is criminally underrated, however some lovely people have decided that the movie deserves a moment of glory and as such, is being shown at the Ulster Hall on Sunday 3rd November – do try to check it out. Yo, Hollywood, this one needs remade.



4. Silver Bullet (1985)
Or Gary Busey meets the Werewolf. Two awesome things about this movie. Gary Busey is crazy Uncle Red and Corey Haim is in it as cute-as-a-button Marty Coslaw. The story is once more set in Small Town America, this time in a town at the mercy of a werewolf with locals getting offed every full moon. In time, the beast is injured by young Marty as he sets off fireworks while completely alone in the woods. At night. During a spate of werewolf attacks. FFS. Anyway, like Steven Seagal, the beast is now out for justice and makes Marty his number one priority. Marty then tries to convince Uncle Red that he's being stalked by a werewolf – then the real fun begins.



3. Dog Soldiers (2008)
A complete surprise in that it came from nowhere AND was a predominantly British production. A film that benefited from a strong cast of likeable characters, gloomy setting and great premise, Dog Soldiers is a mix of Assault on Precinct 13, Aliens and Zulu – all flavoured superbly by director Neil Marshall. The movie follows a group of British squaddies as they find themselves under siege by a pack of werewolves in a remote farmhouse in the Scottish Highlands. The film majors on tension and humour, and you'll be on the edge of your seat as the makeshift barriers crumble and the beasts claw their way in.



2. The Howling (1982)
As luck would have it, this movie was released in the same year as our top movie, An American Werewolf in London AND also happens to be one of the best werewolf movies made (also reviewed in an earlier post here). The action is set in America and centres around a young couple who seek quiet reflection in the Californian woods. Bad luck for them, there's demonic howling at night that can only be coming from evil lycanthropes. As the nightmare unfolds around the couple, it really is a battle between man and beast – a creature at the top of the food chain. The visual effects aren't as good as An American Werewolf in London but what effects are? The horror is there and some really creepy set pieces too. All from the director of Gremlins.



1. An American Werewolf in London (1982)
Regarded as a classic amongst fanboys and general horror fans, An American Werewolf in London is still one of the very best in horror films. Horror and humour are an effective combination and director John Landis combines the two very well. Opening with two American students travelling through rural England, the film gathers pace as soon as they arrive in East Proctor – a small village terrorised by a werewolf every full moon. Upon being told to leave the local pub, the students are both attacked; one dies and one is bitten, cursed to become a werewolf. The story expands as the cursed student recovers in a London hospital, time getting closer to his monstrous transformation (which BTW is still the best transformation scene to date). Great scares and visual effects that are a real spectacle – enjoy!



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