In less than three days we will see what, if anything, new Oscar winning actor Benicio del Toro and replacement director Joe Johnston have to offer the whole 'man into beast' fright film formula. Ever since CG became a staple of scary movies, Hollywood has been trying to reinvent and reinvest in the werewolf film - The Wolfman being the result of such revisionist retro reach. Long a staple of schlock and serious filmmakers alike, this undoubtedly allegorical narrative (human's channeling their inner creature) has been the basis for both straight forward storylines (as in Universal's original classic with Lon Chaney Jr.) and oddball reinterpretations (Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, perhaps?).
It's not a flawless formula. There have been some relatively rough examples of the 'cad into cur' saga that definitely try even the most obsessed fright fan's patience. For every shoddy, schlocky attempt, however, there have been one or two wildly successful efforts. Avoiding all the 'bat vs. wolf' histrionics that make any Twilight at test of Underworld mantle, and stayting clear of the whole "old school, time lapse facial fur" ideal, SE&L suggests these ten titles. Each one illustrates how effective - and ethereal - the whole late night/lycanthrope subject can be.
An American Werewolf in London
(David Naughton, Griffin Dunne - directed by John Landis)
(Dee Wallace-Stone, Dennis Dugan- directed by Joe Dante)
(Albert Finney, Gregory Hines - directed by Michael Wadleigh)
(Emily Perkins, Katharine Isabelle - directed by John Fawcett)
(Jack Nicholson, Michelle Pfieffer - directed by Mike Nichols)
The Curse of the Werewolf
(Oliver Reed, Clifford Evans - directed by Terence Fisher)
The Company of Wolves
(Sarah Patterson, Angela Landsbury - directed by Neil Jordan)
(Corey Haim, Gary Busey - directed by Dan Attias)
Brotherhood of the Wolf
( Samuel Le Bihan, Vincent Cassel - directed by Christophe Gans)
(Sean Pertwee, Kevin McKidd - directed by Neil Marshall)