Out of all the werewolf movies out there, there are two, only two, that stand in contention for the title of greatest werewolf movie ever made. Universal Studios’ 1941 masterpiece THE WOLFMAN (originally the grammatically incorrect THE WOLF MAN) starring Lon Chaney Jr. and Hammer Studios’ 1961 equally masterful THE CURSE OF THE WEREWOLF starring Oliver Reed. Which one takes the title? It depends on whom you ask, but I’d have to give it to THE WOLFMAN just because it was first and it set the bar. THE CURSE OF THE WEREWOLF reached that bar, tied that bar, but didn’t manage to overleap it. Still, it is a close second.
Moving out of the classics territory, what would you say is the greatest modern werewolf movie? (I would classify anything after 1970 as “modern.”) Again there are two contenders, and they’re so neck-and-neck, or snout-and-snout, it’s hard to pick between them. There is AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON from 1981 and THE HOWLING, also released in 1981. Uh-oh. They both came out the same year, so we can’t pick based on which one was released first. (Technically it was THE HOWLING, which came out in April of that year; AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON came out in August.) If a gun were put to my head, I’d have to go with AWIL, but it’s daaaaaaamn close.