SyFy’s Seven Werewolf Movies

Of course I have slightly different choices/emphases—that’s part of the fun of making lists: they’re always unique to you, and always and definitely “right”—but, man, I really dig the stills they cycled through for this:

their whole write-up, in case the video blinks to “unavailable” (the video IS embedded there, and is on YouTube here)

As for my, say, top THREE, it’d be more like, in this order from left to right (though it may wrap if you’re on a phone, I suppose):

But, I mean, two of those are already on SyFy’s list, so who am I complain, right?

Anyway, how about I go through SyFy’s cool list and, I don’t know, drop some little tidbit or another about each, in order from their last to their first:

Werewolf of London

  • The original transformation designed for this movie was later used in The Wolf Man, of course, to great effect. But? The REASON it had to get delayed was that the Scopes trial was still too big in the cultural rearview, meaning no film that hoped to not get stomped by the censors could even dream of putting anything on screen that might support this heretical idea that man and beast are on a spectrum together. So they kind of brilliantly ended up doing it like this:
we should all be so devious

Dog Soldiers

  • Correct me if this has changed, but I heard somewhere that the master for this film is lost, yes? Which is why we’ll never get a blu-ray of it. Anyway, these werewolves are definitely cousins to The Howling‘s, in the most wonderful way:

The Wolfman (2010)

  • I agree with SyFy: wonderful transformation scene. Best maybe since An American Werewolf in London and The Howling. Or, that first one in Hemlock Grove. The werewolves that transformation produces, though? They don’t work quite so well for me. They’re too thick and lowdown, look more like X-Men’s the beast than Prof Lupine’s lithe and lean killing machine:
easy call, yes?

The Curse of the Werewolf

  • Hey, a studio FINALLY adapted a little-little bit of Guy Endore’s 1933 werewolf omnibus The Werewolf of Paris (I hesitate to call it a ‘novel,’ since it’s so junky and kitchen-sink, but I do appreciate its evident intent, to just include every bit of werewolf lore there is). This is one of those puffy-shirt wearing werewolves, though. Really, it’s pretty much the same werwolf that shows up on Kolchak a few years later:

Not to pick on Kolchak too much, though. I mean, every werewolf from this era, whether on the big screen or the small, pretty much looked like this. Here’s one that’s kind of a distillation of them all:

An American Werewolf in London

  • The Slaughtered Lamb, “stay off the moors,” the ghost-friend hanging around all gross—so much iconic stuff, for sure. I think what I like best about this is that, when David’s transforming for the first time, the shirt he makes sure to rip off is “NYU,” meaning of course “New York University,” meaning of course that, in wolfing out, he’s ‘leaving’ the city, the same as Jack Russel always had to in Werewolf by Night. Out of the city’s the only place a werewolf can really be a werewolf. Also, props for best-ever use of that old standard “Blue Moon”:
it’s wonderful that it HURTS. there should always be a price for getting all this ability

The Company of Wolves

  • For so many years I fondled this VHS cover. Seriously, it may be the best one ever. I’ll never not love the way Red’s looking over, kind of saying in her head, What are you spitting up now, Jeff? Like, she’s more mildly offended than freaked out. It’s kind of perfect:

The Howling

  • This is often my #1 as well, except when I remember that Ginger Snaps exists. This was the first werewolf movie I ever saw. Right around the same time, I read my first werewolf novel, The Wolfen, which is kind of part of my DNA now, along with The Howling. Good choice, SyFy. If only production hadn’t run short of money at the end of the story, had to kind of throw everything together, man, this would be the best one ever. There’s no better werewolf than Eddie Quist, right? RIGHT? Anyway, I got to hang in a green room once with Dee Wallace, and she told me that’s not her in the wolf-head at the end, on the news. She had it specified in her contract that she wouldn’t do that kind of heavy make-up or something, so what we see there . . . I think it’s animatronic, maybe? Or is there some other person in there? Either way, it’s not the mom from ET, whom I always, instead, know as the nervy reporter from The Howling :

Anyway, thanks, SyFy, for nudging me back into Mongrels-land for a touch. But, I mean: not like I’ve really left, since I was about twelve . . .

Author: SGJ