An American Werewolf in London M

Close up of a man in a hospital bed with yellow eyes and big teeth who looks like he is turning into a monster.
24 November
Arc Cinema
Dir: John Landis, M, United Kingdom, United States, 1981, 97mins, DCP,

Fright Night: Cult Cinema Classics at the NFSA with Venus Mantrap

When two American college students (David Naughton and Griffin Dunne) are backpacking through London, they ignore local lore and stray from the English moors, right into the path of a ravenous werewolf  ultimately turning their summer abroad into a living nightmare.  

An American Werewolf in London (1981), directed by John Landis (The Blues Brothers, Coming to America), blurs genre in a beloved classic that delivers equal parts horror and comedy. Celebrated for its special visual effects, this was the first film to ever receive a competitive Academy Award for Best Make-Up.  

Join us for this special edition of Fright Night as we approach the full moon and find out if David can undo the werewolf’s curse.  

The best moments in American Werewolf probably belong to Dunne, who may be a decaying cadaver but keeps right on talking like a college student: "Believe me", he says at Naughton's bedside, "this isn't a whole lot of fun"  Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times 

What you see here is good old-fashioned make-up and trickery making the incredible seem real. After the excesses of The Blues Brothers, AWIL is an exercise in restraint. David doesn't change into the wolf until a whole hour has elapsed, whereupon the movie's pace accelerates and the body count multiplies  Pat Reid, Empire 

See more films in the series Fright Night: Cult Cinema Classics at the NFSA with Venus Mantrap.


Venus Mantrap

Venus Mantrap is an androgynous construct whose roots are firmly planted in the world of drag. Exploring aspects of cabaret, performance-art and comedy during live shows, Mantrap has produced The Bowie Ball and starred in the one-person shows Life, Love and Lip Syncing and Valley of the Molls. Venus is regularly found at Smith's Alternative as the MC of Cabaret Voltaire and has been a featured artist at Glitterbox, LGBTIQ+ Elders Dance Club, Drag Cabaret and Finucane and Smith's touring show Dancehall. Follow them on Instagram at @the_venus_mantrap.



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