Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Top 10 Werewolf Movies

A tribute to those shaggy man-wolves of cinema who've thrilled us with their lycanthropy and chilled us with their lunacy.

10. I Was A Teenage Werewolf - 1957. Michael Landon stars as the teenager who's hypnotherapist experiments on him, regressing him into a primal, rampaging werewolf. A far cry from Little House on the Prairie. 

9. The Howling 6 - 1991. The Howling was a phenomenal werewolf film. Sadly the sequels were abysmal. Howling VI however, does have some redeeming qualities making it arguably the best among them. Here a man not only struggles to form relationships while being a blood-thirsty werewolf, but now contends with a circus owner who wants him in his freak show. A circus owner, who also happens to be a vampire. 

8. Wolfen - 1981. Interesting spin on the genre. The wolfen are  breed of shapeshifters, worshiped and admired by the native Americans in and around New York City. Albert Finney plays a detective investigating a series of murders that look like animal attacks.

7. Wolf - 1994. Jack Nicholson let's out his wild side. As a mild mannered editor in a publishing company, Will Randall is used to getting pushed around by his superiors, colleagues, and friends. But a bite from a wounded wolf changes all that. Will becomes aggressive in his personal and professional life, all the while the call of the pack urges him to let lose the wild within.  

6. Ginger Snaps - 2000. Here, Werewolf-ism is a metaphor for puberty. Ginger is going through changes, and more than simply breasts. Ginger and her sister a a couple of goth kids who enjoy photographing each other in various "death" poses. But when Ginger gets bit by a wolf, her sister must find a cure. 

5. The Wolf Man - 1941. Quit literally the film that put the werewolf on the cinematic map. Starring the big names in early Universal horror films, Lon Chaney Jr., Claude Rains,  and Bela Lugosi, they gave us the iconic image of the werewolf for decades to come.

4. Dog Soldiers - 2002. This film is the Howling meets Rambo. A squad of British soldiers are on a training mission when they run afoul of a pack of werewolves. It's intellect vs instinct as trained soldiers take on natures most ferocious hunters. 

3. The Company of Wolves - 1984. This is an interesting addition to the werewolf genre. The Company of Wolves is a horror anthology in which each story revolves around werewolves, including a dark retelling of the classic red riding hood fable. The stories attempt to put the werewolf into a more erotic light, all told by "the Grandmother", played by Angela Lansbury.

2. An American Werewolf In London - 1981. This film certainly breathed new life into the genre with the most brutal and realistic transformation sequence to date. With American tourists traveling through English moors gives off a sense of traditional horror in a contemporary period. 

1. The Howling - 1981. Hands down the best werewolf film. The first to introduce the werewolf in an anthropomorphic form, it also showcases the werewolf in a pack, and not just a lone man, cursed with lycanthropy. Great effects and tense moments make this a hit at any Halloween party.