review for An American Werewolf in London on AllMovie

An American Werewolf in London (1981)
by Robert Firsching review

Because of the admittedly justified attention paid to Rick Baker's amazing werewolf transformation effects, certain other elements of this irreverent, impressively realized horror film have been neglected. John Landis' witty script and careful direction strike just the right balance between nervous laughter and savage gore, and a pair of nightmares near the beginning of the film are among the most canny and effective shock sequences of the '80s. The appealing cast is highlighted by Griffin Dunne, who turns in a sardonically funny performance as an increasingly grotesque decomposing zombie which provides most of the film's considerable dark humor. Landis reverts to his usual car crashes and mayhem in the film's disappointing conclusion, and throws in another "See You Next Wednesday" reference for his fans, but the majority of this film -- though definitely not for the squeamish -- is wonderfully entertaining and highly recommended.