An American Werewolf in London (1981)

What’s always been most striking about John Landis’s lycanthropic thriller is the brilliant way it veers from comedy to gruesome terror and back again, in the blink of an eye. Figure in the services of make-up supremo Rick Baker, some of the most inventive shocks imaginable (those zombie Nazis!) and a dynamite selection of moon-related FM radio classics (not to mention Jenny Agutter’s face), and there’s no wonder it placed so high on this list. Horror parody was always going to be a doozy for Landis, given that he’d previously made such classic funnies as The Kentucky Fried Movie, Animal House and The Blues Brothers – but there’s no doubt that American Werewolf is his crowning achievement. DA
Dir John Landis (David Naughton, Jenny Agutter, Griffin Dunne)

Click here to view The 100 best horror films

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