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The 100




American Werewolf in Paris, An
(1997)
Reviewed by Russell Tharp
Rating: 8.5 Beans

here needs to be a special circle of Hell set aside for those who soil the memories of good movies by riding their coattails with a lousy bunch of sequels. "Jaws" comes to mind, as do "Halloween," "Superman," and "The Amityville Horror." If such a place exists, you can be sure to find those involved with this misbegotten rip-off of John Landis' classic "An American Werewolf in London" someday getting their asses jabbed with the rustiest pitchforks available.

Tom Everett Scott ("That Thing You Do") is Andy McDermott, a college-age doofus who embarks on an "extreme sports" tour of Europe with two of his Mountain Dew-overdosed buddies. While in Paris to bungee jump off the Eiffel Tower (yeah, right) he meets a woman (Julie Delpy, who was apparently instructed to fake a French accent, in spite of the fact that she is actually French) who jumps off the Tower without the bungee cord. Andy rescues her--in a stupid stunt sequence that defies belief, the laws of physics, and the meager talents of the lame special effects team--and naturally falls in love with her in the two seconds between lowering her safely to the ground and knocking himself senseless on the return bounce up the Tower. From here, the plot degenerates so horribly I'm not even sure how best to summarize it.

Delpy is a "good" werewolf who, like that kid on TV's "Buffy the Vampire Slayer," locks herself in a cage when the moon is full. She is involved with a group of skinhead werewolves who claim that their goal is to prey on the weak and the poor and the homeless, yet they keep holding parties to feed on American kids with the resources to fly to Paris and bum around for the summer. One of Andy's "Do the Dew" buddies is killed, and Andy is bitten, so now he's a werewolf, too. Now, we all know that Paris is in that special part of the world where the moon is full for about 28 days a month, so Andy immediately transforms into a werewolf and kills several people, which is necessary so the movie can recycle "Werewolf in London's" joke about the pissed off undead following the hero around. Delpy explains that she has been working on a cure for lycanthropy, but her first attempt actually caused a transformation despite the cycle of the moon. So, of course, the skinhead werewolves steal that formula so they can inject themselves with it and become wolfy at will. Chaos ensues, but boring and stupid chaos, so not even THAT is interesting.

There is also some confused plot about eating the heart of the werewolf who infected you, as well as a pointless scene of hearts in a blender, a little gratuitous nudity, and an undead girl whose eyeball pops out when she tries to whistle. And then there are the werewolves themselves. How can I put this delicately...? They suck. They were computer-generated, although the computer used was apparently an old Atari 2600 videogame console, and they just plain suck. Not only were they so unconvincing that they may as well have had a mouse pointer floating over their heads, but they were also absolutely and totally unscary. Why any film would opt for CGI effects that look exactly like men in really bad dog suits is beyond me, but that's what happened here.

So, yet one more good horror movie has been pillaged by filmmakers with the talent and intelligence of Formica. As far as I'm concerned, those pitchforks will never be rusty enough.






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