S.M. Douglas

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Tag: Halloween

Was 1981 the Best Year in Horror Film History?

Here we are folks. I have been building toward this post for an entire year. Last October I discussed how 1981 featured several of the greatest werewolf films and transformations of all time. Then, this spring I waded into the controversy over two of the more iconic nature-horror films of all time: both featuring lions and both released in 1981.

At that point I probably could have stopped with quite a case built as to why 1981 was a great year for horror fans. But of course horror is much more than werewolves and animals run amok. For instance, I haven’t even mentioned as of yet perhaps the most successful horror genre of the past forty years – the slasher film. Largely kicked off by the October 1974 release of the Texas Chainsaw Massacre (which introduced several key elements of the genre – including murder by power tools and a powerful mask wearing killer) the genre exploded in popularity during the early 1980’s. Continue reading

Last night was the debut of American Horror Story’s new season. As the best horror show on television you should really check it out. And yes, last year’s season was a bit of a downer compared to seasons one and two, so hopefully they right the ship this year. Anyway, and as such, it’s time we redirect our popular culture coverage to the upcoming Halloween festivities.

Halloween is one of my favorite holidays. I hope it is yours as well. To kick things off I would like to begin with a much maligned and abused genre: werewolf films. A follow up post in weeks to come will delve more into what makes a great werewolf film, which one’s I think were the best, and so on. In the meantime, and to get your juices flowing, I thought I would leave you with the two greatest werewolf transformation scenes of all time (by the way if you disagree feel free to write in with your thoughts or clips of your favorites).

Now, both these clips come from films released in 1981: The Howling and American Werewolf in London. Along with The Wolfen 1981 is perhaps the best year ever in werewolf film or television history. Enjoy:

From The Howling:

Now from American Werewolf in London:

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