The werewolf genre should be a no-brainer. The concept of the beast within, of hidden rage and monsters buried inside a man (or woman), tied to the environment or the phases of the moon, is rife with possibility. However, it has somehow ended up a sadly neglected concept, relegated to a series of seriously bad movies. Crap like Skinwalkers, Van Helsing, Cursed, An American Werewolf in Paris and the unending series of truly terrible Underworld movies (which, along with Alien vs. Predator, are doubly guilty of ruining one of the greatest potential cinematic matchups ever), all sully the good name of lupine therianthropy, aka lycanthropy.
And those are just the so-called first tier werewolf movies that have caused genre fans misery over the years. It doesn’t factor in the endless list of c/d-movie direct-to-video tripe like Mario Van Peebles’ Full Moon, the Michael Pare/Mariel Hemingway shitsnooze Bad Moon, and a whole series of other wolf/moon titled cinematic barf bags.
But there is hope for those of you who love some shape-shifting badassery, if you’re looking for a fix to hold you over until the release of the remake of The Wolfman. If Richard is your favorite character in the Anita Blake novels (the early ones, before they started to, you know, suck), if you look at a full moon and have a craving for a nice rare steak, if you sometimes wish you could just explode into fur and fangs and fury, then this is the list for you.
In no particular order:
An American Werewolf In London (1981), directed by John Landis
Wolfen (1981), directed by Michael Wadleigh
In The Company of Wolves (1984), directed by Neil Jordan
Ginger Snaps (2000), directed by John Fawcett
Dog Soldiers (2002), directed by Neil Marshall
The Howling (1981), directed by Joe Dante
Teen Wolf (1985), directed by Rod Daniel
Silver Bullet (1985), directed by Daniel Attias