Hi, Bryan Here….
October is here, and that means Halloween is around the corner. Over the course of October, we will be doing our favorite top 10 horror lists. We are starting with the top 10 Werewolf films. I’ve always been a fan of werewolves, and I admit, I have also been deeply afraid of them. There is something so mysterious and yet so vicious and magical about a werewolf that draws me into any and all films that have something to do with werewolves. So I present to you, Boomstick’s top 10 Werewolf films. Enjoy.
10) ‘In The Company of Wolves’ (1984)
Angela Lansbury tops this film off for me. This is a bizarre take on Little Red Riding Hood. Basically, a 13 year old girl lives on the edge of a forest when her grandmother (Lansbury) comes to visit her. And instead of Lansbury telling her how to solve crimes, she tells some pretty fucked up stories on what happens to girls who trust wolves. And yes, the actual kind of wolves, not the implied kind. So what does this 13 year old girl do? She ventures into the forest to see her grandma a little while later and comes across a big, mean werewolf. The sexual tension in this movie is off the charts and plays out more like a fairy tale, than an actual horror film.
9) ‘Bad Moon’ (1996)
This movie gets a bad rap, but I still enjoy it. A couple is out in the jungle when a werewolf jumps out and kills the girl and kicks the shit out of the guy. Of course, the guy returns to his home in the USA in hopes of forgetting his significant other and to lead a normal life. However, shit starts getting real again, and everyone blames this guy’s awesome dog, who is perfectly named, Thor. Don’t fuck with Thor. Yes, there are plenty of cliches in this film, but that is what makes it good, I think. This movie is like ‘Air Bud’, but more hardcore and with werewolves.
8) ‘Wolfen’ (1981)
The dad in ‘Big Fish’ and the commander of the Battlestar Galactica once did a werewolf film together. That film was called ‘Wolfen’, and followed a detective searching for clues to solve a case of mysterious murders and grizzly crime scenes, one involving millionaires. The commander of Battlestar Galactica tells this detective that long ago, a werewolf ruled this land, and now it is back with a furry vengeance. Also, this movie receives points for this being Gregory Hines first film. The visual FX were actually good for the time, and this was genuinely scary and very smart.
7) ‘The Howling’ (1981)
This is the bitter rival of ‘An American Werewolf in London’. They both came out the same year, and had similar transformation scenes. Joe Dante directed this one, and is quite good. It’s not that funny and is on the slower pace of things, but it delivers. It will make you think twice about going to a retreat ever again. The wolf in this film looks very cool and there are some great bloody scenes. Dee Wallace is awesome in this as she always is in anything she does. There are quite a bit of references to the old werewolf films and horror directors in this movie.
6) ‘Silver Bullet’ (1985)
Sweet chocolate christ, man. A fucking werewolf movie with Corey Haim and Gary Busey. How could you not like this movie? Busey plays a character named Uncle Red, which is enough for me to purchase every copy of this movie. Plus, what’s any kind of horror list without something from Stephen King. This movie makes the top 10 for many reasons. One of them being is that a small kid who is minding his own business, flying his kite, is torn to bloody pieces early on. That’s fucking awesome. Add to that, Haim is in a wheelchair through the whole movie who actually takes out one of the werewolf’s eyes with his toy rockets. Solid and presently funny werewolf film.
5) ‘Teen Wolf’ (1985)
The only werewolf film that I can think of which was in no way a horror film, but rather a sweet, coming of age comedy film with zero deaths or blood whatsoever. Instead, our werewolf, played by the lovable Michael J. Fox, rocks out and does backflips on top of a moving van. Not to mention, that when Fox turned into a wolf, his basketball skills got significantly better. This film taught me a lot growing up and still holds a close place in my heart. Everyone wants a friend like Styles and everybody wanted to be the Wolf.
4) ‘Ginger Snaps’ (2000)
I fell in love with this film and its sequels after first watching this on DVD back in 2000. This did not get a wide release, but it should have. ‘Ginger Snaps’ is a coming of age film with werewolves added in. Instead of these girls getting their periods and asking guys out to the school dances, they grow tails, and kill for blood. I think if John Hughes were to make a werewolf film, this would be it. There are some great death scenes in this film, especially the school janitor.
3) ‘The Wolf Man’ (1941)
The monster that started it all. Lon Chaney, Claude Rains, and Bela Lugosi are all in this. It’s like a trifecta of horror in one film. This film is still frightening today. They tried to remake it a couple of years ago, but that failed miserably. It’s such a simple story of an ordinary man who returns to his hometown, only to be attacked by that vicious mythical creature. Being a reasonable guy who just had some very unreasonable things done to him, he struggles with his new power, or shall I say curse. It’s still scary to think about this film when you are walking down the dark hall, hoping you won’t run into the wolf man.
2) ‘Dog Soldiers’ (2002)
This might be the coolest and most fun werwolf film ever made. The first time I watched this, after the movie was over, I immediately started it over and watched it again. This wolf tale follows an elite military group in the woods, who happen to stumble on a pack of werewolves. The elite commandos take up shelter in a house in the woods to try and fight off these mean and nasty werwolves. So not only do you have giant werewolves who can stand on two legs, but you have a bunch of trained killers using any means necessary to kill the beasts. The elite commandos are tough and very funny. Plus, there are buckets of blood to go around for the entire family. I love this hardcore werewolf movie.
1) ‘American Werewolf in London’ (1981)
In my opinion, this film is the ultimate werewolf film. First off, the werewolf is scary as hell in this film. With one clean bite, your entire neck will be gone. There are nazi werewolves in this film who kill an entire family in full uniform, a zombie ghost who haunts his best friend, and one of the coolest transformation sequences (done by the talented Rick Baker) ever shot on film. Plus, this film was the inspiration for Michael Jackson’s ‘Thriller’ video, well at least the werewolf scene. Director John Landis did a perfect job of mixing comedy and horror into one film. Not only will you be on the edge of your seat and see tons of blood, but you will laugh your ass off with this movie too. Next time you backpack with a friend in a foreign country, make sure you carry silver bullets, because this could happen to you. And don’t forget, this film won an Oscar.
This one gets honorable mention, because a guy that shouldn’t make horror films, made this horror film. That’s right, Mike Nichols made this. The same guy who directed ‘The Graduate’ and ‘The Birdcage’ made ‘Wolf’. Jack Nicholson gets bitten by a wolf and starts to terrorize the city he’s in. It’s like his Joker character, but less funny. This film isn’t all that bad, with promising performances by James Spader and Michelle Pfeiffer, and Jack Nicholson amped up to 11, one cannot help but include this film on a werewolf move list.
‘Monster Squad’ (1987)
This one gets a special shout-out due to it’s awesome one-liner and cool as hell werewolf sequences. No, this film is not a werewolf film, however, this is a monster film, which has the wolfman in it. This is like if ‘The Goonies’ were searching for monsters instead of pirate treasure. I’m sure that’s how the producer and director pitched it. First off, Jon Gries plays the Wolfman. You might recognize Gries as Uncle Rico from ‘Napoleon Dynamite’. Secondly, we all found out the Wolfman had nards. Classic.