The last great werewolf movie I saw was the recent THE WOLFMAN starring Benecio Del Toro. This was a throwback to the old style movies and look at the werewolf more as a man than a wolf. I liked it, despite the lukewarm reviews. This one is due out on DVD June 1st.
Lawrence Talbot (Del Toro) is lured back to his family estate to investigate the savage murder of his brother by a bloodthirsty beast. There, Talbot must confront his childhood demons, his estranged father (Hopkins), his brother’s grieving fiancée (Emily Blunt, The Devil Wears Prada) and a suspicious Scotland Yard Inspector (Hugo Weaving, The Matrix Trilogy). When Talbot is bitten by the creature, he becomes eternally cursed and soon discovers a fate far worse than death. Inspired by the classic Universal film that launched a legacy of horror, The Wolfman brings the myth of a cursed man back to its iconic origins.
AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON is a classic for my generation. It was probably one of the first movies that really showed a werewolf transformation in an un-cheesy manner (though probably to view the movie today, I would cringe at the cheesy effects). This one freaked me out, and I guess that's what a great horror movie should do, yes? I recall that the star, David Naughton, was the Dr. Pepper guy. And if you're from my generation, you'll know what I mean by that.
While scanning lists of werewolf movies online, I came across this movie, LADYHAWKE. I've never really thought of it as a werewolf movie before, but it certainly does feature a wolf shifter character, so heck, I'll squeeze it in on this list. The wolf in question isn't a snarly, scary monster sort, he's just...a wolf. But he'd do anything to protect his lady, even if he never can be with her when in human form. Alas, she cannot be with him while in human form either. When he is human, she is a hawk; when he is a wolf, she is human. It is truly one of the greatest romances, starring a young Michelle Pfeiffer and Rutger Hauer. Matthew Broderick provided the comic relief. If you're in the mood for romance and some shifty characters I highly recommend this flick.
BROTHERHOOD OF THE WOLF (Le Pacte Des Loups) is an awesome French flick that is loosely based on the legend of the beast of Gevaudin, a werewolf-like creature that was rumored to have slaughtered innocents during the 18th century. It features some phenomenal action/fight scenes, and was beautifully filmed. It's got something for everyone: mystery, horror, action, romance, seduction, and sexy Frenchmen. Vincent Cassel and his wife Monica Belluci star, along with Mark Dascascos (The Iron Chef) and Samuel Le Bihan. Not a poorly acted role in the bunch. This is a must see!
MAD AT THE MOON is a sleeper title released in 1992. It's very subtle and slow and a western. It's a romance, and you're never really sure if the hero is a wolf or not until the very end. If you can find this one it's worth a look.
The UNDERWORLD franchise of movies features some awesome werewolves led by their lycan leader, Lucian, well-played by Michael Sheen. (I, personally, like him much better as a wolf than a vampire a la the Volturi.) It pits werewolves against vampires throughout the 3 movies, and has some great world building. The werewolves have an almost feline appearance to their faces, which is interesting. Who is the bad guy in this world? It changes and alters depending on whose eyes you're looking through. Rumors are a fourth in this world is to be filmed, and that it may be 3-D.
I haven't seen GINGER SNAPS but it turns up often on 'the best' lists. It's adolescent struggles as seen through the eyes of a werewolf. It is a horror flick, and isn't for the squeamish (like moi; hmm...so that's why I haven't seen it).
Now, that's it for my knowledge on werewolf movies. I know I'm missing a lot of really great ones, so I'm relying on all you awesome VampChix and VampBoyz to fill us in with a mini review of one of your favorite werewolf movies in the comments.
As the comments come, I'm going to add in the titles everyone is recommending:
SILVER BULLET (Is that Corey Haim I see peeking through the slash in that poster?)
Ohmygosh! How could I forget BLOOD AND CHOCOLATE? I loved this movie. Geared toward teens, it is a great romance and I love how they show the wolves shifting mid-run.
Remember, all week you have the chance to win a copy of MIDNIGHT CRAVINGS merely by leaving a comment. [Winners announced on Saturday.]