John Landis on

Werewolf of London

Released 1935
Distributor Universal Pictures

Before Universal introduced their own “official” werewolf legend in 1941’s The Wolf Man, the studio produced this trial run, directed by Stuart Walker and starring Henry Hull as a proto-Larry Talbot—he plays an unlucky explorer who changes into a snarling beast. Unlike Lon Chaney’s full-body transformation, Hull remains close to human form with only a hint of the monster—fangs, snout and sinister widow’s peak. It’s enough to terrify his ethereal wife played by Valerie Hobson. Warner Oland makes for a memorable adversary, himself afflicted by the moonlight curse—he and Hull have a standoff worthy of Karloff and Lugosi. Jack Pierce designed the stripped down but still frightening make up.

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About John Landis

John Landis is the director of Animal House, The Blues BrothersAn American Werewolf In LondonTrading Places, Schlock, Kentucky Fried MovieSpies Like UsThree Amigos!Into The Night, The Stupids, Innocent Blood, Coming To America, Burke & Hare, and Michael Jackson’s Thriller and Black Or White among many other films, commercials and extensive work in television. He was the Executive Producer and often director of HBO's celebrated series Dream On, and contributed two movies to the Masters of Horror series, Deer Woman and Family. His feature length documentaries Mr. Warmth: The Don Rickles Project premiered on HBO, and Slasher on IFC.

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