It’s another Myth Movie Night. Grab your moonshine, break out the passport, and start up your VHS player. We’re visiting London in the classic 80s horror film, An American Werewolf in London. DON’T GO OFF THE ROAD. We’re serious.
This week, Eric recommends Monstrum, a new show from PBS studios that looks at humans’ unique drive to create and shape monster mythology through oral storytelling, literature, and film. It digs deep into the history of those mythologies, and we think you’d love it!
Content Warning: This episode contains conversations about suicide, self-harm, gore, death, and mental health. (National Suicide Prevention Hotline)
Clips discussed (NSFW):
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Julia: Welcome to Spirits Podcast, a boozy dive into mythology, legends, and folklore. Every week, we pour a drink and learn about a new story from around the world. I'm Julia. Amanda's not here, but I am joined by ...
Julia: And this is episode 127, Myth Movie Night: An American Werewolf in London.
Eric: I have not seen this movie. But, the two of you did, and it sounded like a blast.
Julia: We did. It is a classic eighties film. It is as good as it gets when it comes to practical special effects, and it has some really interesting takes on the werewolf myth, which we've talked about werewolves in the past before, but I thought this was really interesting to see it kind of on the big screen.
Eric: Yeah, I think any time we can incorporate some pop culture into the podcast and kind of differentiate from the standard week to week deep dive into something old, and look at it through a pop culture lens, that's a lot of fun. And it mixes it up nicely for everyone.
Julia: Yeah, I've been really enjoying our Myth Movie Nights. I plan on doing a bunch more in the future. Hopefully it is something that y'all enjoyed. I know we got a lot of really positive feedback from our Hercules episode. Hopefully this continues to be fun and exciting for everyone.
Eric: And you know what's also really fun to look at, Julia?
Julia: Is it the emails that come in every time we get a new patron?
Eric: It sure is. Tell me about those new patrons.
Julia: Well, our new patrons this week are Christy, Colleen, Veronica, Atticus, and AP. And they join the ranks of our fantastic supporting producer level patrons, Philip, Julie, Eeyore, Mercedes, Samantha, Christopher, Kathy, Vinnie, Danica, Marissa, Sammy, Josie, Neal, Jessica, Phil Fresh, and Deborah. And do you know who I would sit down and watch an eighties film with at any point, even if it was a bad eighties film?
Eric: Would that be those amazing, legend level patrons?
Julia: It would be. It would be Hailey, Sarah P, James, Jess, Sarah T, Sandra, Audra, Jack Murray, and Leanne.
Eric: So what were you and Amanda drinking while you watched this lovely film?
Julia: Well, see, I had a little red wine before we started recording, and then Amanda broke out the Tennessee Apple Moonshine, and it just, it got a little wild.
Eric: That does, in fact, sound like that's exactly what would happen, when you bust that out.
Julia: Yeah. Speaking of wild, Eric, besides Endgame and Game of Thrones, which we don't spoil for our fans because we love them, what else have you been checking out lately?
Eric: Yes, I have been checking out the new web series that you can find on PBS or YouTube, called Monstrum, which was worked on by me and Amanda's old internet friend, Leslie. Monstrum is a lot like Spirits, a take ... stories about monsters and myths and legends, and they take a closer look. And they're done in these really nice short episodes, and they do things that are different than the way Spirits talks about them. So right now they have two episodes up. One is about are the white walkers really Nordic zombies? And the other is on the original headless horseman.
Julia: Ooh. That sounds really good. I'm going to have go check that out.
Eric: Yeah, so, head over to the episode description, and click on Monstrum, and check out their web series and give it a sub on YouTube.
Julia: Plus, our friend Leslie worked on it, and that means we know it's good.
Julia: Speaking of things that we know are good, Eric, we're going to be in a bunch of places this summer, and going into fall.
Eric: Yeah, we are heading pretty much all around the east coast, and a little bit of the mid-west/south as well.
Julia: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Eric: Tell us where we're going.
Julia: Well, we've talked about this before on the show, but we're going to be at PodX in Nashville, Tennessee, June first and second. We're going to be doing three panels. We're going to have a booth. So if you're going, you can come say hi. If you haven't bought your tickets yet, you can get 10% off those tickets by going to podx.com/multitude. Get that 10% off. Get those cheap tickets. Come say hi, because we're going to have a blast there. And just announcing this today, we also want to tell you about two upcoming Multitude live shows. That's right. We're going to be performing at The Bell House in New York City on June 21st, and at CitySpace in Boston on October 10th. If you're a patron, you'll be getting a link for presale tickets today, which is Wednesday, May 1st, if you're listening to this in the future. And then general say will be going up on Friday, May third, at 10:00 AM.
So these shows are going to be different each time. If you saw our Seattle live shows that we did at PodCon, they're going to be different from that, but a similar style. So you get a different experience every time. So if you're in the New York City and Boston area, maybe you want to get tickets for both. Also, these venues are on the smaller side, so I would recommend getting those tickets ASAP. So if you want more info on all of the live events that we're going to be going to in the near future, you can head to multitude.productions/live. That'll have links to tickets if they're available, everything you could possibly need to know about, about these venues.
Eric: Yes, these shows are super excited. We are so stoked to do all of them. But The Bell House, for me, is so exciting. The first time we ever talked about doing a podcast together was almost exactly four years ago, within like a month, and it was at The Bell House, and we were all ... the three of us were seeing a show. And even before I had any reason to ever perform at The Bell House, before I had ever been to The Bell House, I was like, it would be so cool to perform at The Bell House. It's such a great venue that Netflix specials have been shot at, and so many other things. So it is just super duper exciting for all of us to be able to do that. So it's going to be a Multitude show, so you're going to get a little bit of content from all of the Multitude creators, in one way or another. So we are super excited to do all these exciting shows. And I am-
Eric: Particularly stoked for The Bell House show.
Julia: Yeah, we're all going to be there. If you love Spirits, but also Potterless, and also Join the Party, and also HORSE, and also Waystation, all of us are going to be there. You get to see all your favorite people. Like I said, you can go to multitude.productions/live to check out ticket info, dates, times, et cetera. And really, it's going to be a blast. We would love to see you there.
Also, I am trying to get better at providing content warnings for our episodes. this one in particular. You can find the content warnings in the show notes. But I do want to say at the top here, in case you were driving and can't check the show notes at the moment, this episode contains conversations about suicide, self harm, gore, death, and also mental health issues. So, take care of yourself. Stay safe. And, we will see you, later on in this episode.
Eric: So without any further ado, join us for Spirits, episode 127, Myth Movie Night: An American Werewolf in London.
Amanda: Welcome to another Myth Movie Night where Julia has really taken a hard left turn, and made me watch An American Werewolf in London.
Julia: Yeah. I guess, kind of content warnings for the beginning of this episode for-
Julia: Gore, violence, suicide, and just mental health issues all together.
Julia: I think that basically covers everything. Also, tits. I guess, if that's a content warning for you. Tits.
Amanda: And like a definite abuse of the medical care giver, patient relationship.
Julia: Yeah, that wasn't great either.
Amanda: If you have not watched the film and you plan to, just make a healthy choice for yourself-
Julia: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Amanda: As to when and if you do that.
Julia: That is fair.
So I guess we can just dive right in. I feel like we'll just kind of go through the plot, and I'll stop us when I have some comments about it. Does that seem-
Julia: Fair? Okay.
Amanda: I like it. And my first impressions of the film, perhaps, are useful to share. It starts with some idyllic moors, AKA, someone got to be dying soon.
Julia: That's true. You are correct.
Amanda: Yeah, we very much flash to a life that I have led backpacking through the UK and Europe, where we have the sheep farmer who lets the two Americans with matching coats out of the back of his sheep truck, tells them not to walk on the moors and to stick to the roads. Julia, they don't stick to the roads.
Julia: They don't. Also, I'm just going to give us a quick pause because, first, the producer of the film is Lycanthrope Films.
Amanda: Ooh. I thought you were going to say that's someone's name, and I was going to say, "Liar." So, that makes more sense that it's a production company.
Julia: It's not, but it is directed by John Landis. You know anything about John Landis, Amanda?
Amanda: Sounds familiar, but no.
Julia: So he directed movies such as National Lampoon's Animal House. He also, you might know him best for, directing Michael Jackson's Thriller, which he actually ... Michael Jackson approached him after seeing this film, to do Thriller, the music video. The-
Amanda: That makes total sense.
Julia: 11 minute long music video.
Amanda: Which is wonderful.
Julia: Yes, it is very good. But you can see how those special effects kind of come into play after we go through this movie.
Amanda: Totally. Totally.
Julia: So, yeah, as you say, we got those sweet, misty moors. We have Blue Moon as the opening song, which is funny.
Amanda: Very good.
Julia: We get the hitchhiking Americans in the middle of Northern England, which I guess at this point, like I know my mother did hitchhiking and backpacking through Europe-
Amanda: Oh my god, she did. She totally had a glass of wine and told us all about the dangerous thing that she did, and we were like-
Julia: She did.
Julia: Mom, please. Please, mom. I beg of you.
But, yeah, apparently, it's just these two guys. They're best friends. Their names are David and Jack. I had them labeled as Red and Green, because that's the color of their jackets, until they said their names again, later on in the film.
Amanda: Yeah, I had to check on IMDB, and mentally de-age the person from their headshot on IMDB-
Julia: Ooh, yeah.
Amanda: Because I totally forgot which was which.
Julia: That is fair.
Amanda: But we get lots of discussion about how much Jack hopes that his love, Debbie Cline, will be meeting him in Rome, and he very much wants to get it on. And they talk in, really, just excruciating detail about how much he wants to have sex with her.
Julia: Yeah, they want to fuck, which is a great instinct, because we talk about ... It's really introducing the idea of the animal instinct, the id, very early on in the film, which is going to come into play, obviously, with any werewolf myth or story, so ... Really, really laying it on thick.
Amanda: You see, I'm glad that we have both of our perspectives here, Julia, because my notes from that, which we're going to include, by the way, in our patron show notes for this episode, so, good time to join our Patreon.
Julia: I'm just going to take pictures, because all of mine are handwritten.
Amanda: Even better. Mine are typed. But my notes here are, "Oh. They are really making use of their R rating." We have the word fuck twice in the first 10 minutes, and lots of discussion of sex, and to me it felt like, "Oh, we're PG-13, so, wait for one curse word. At one point someone's going to say piss."
Julia: No, I ... You'll see later, we'll talk about the special effects for some of the gore and stuff like that, but it is very impressive, but I think they knew they weren't going to get that PG-13 rating, so they're just like, "Ah-"
Amanda: For sure.
Julia: "Fuck it, at this point."
Amanda: Let's do it.
Julia: So, they end up arriving in a small village of East Proctor, which I Googled. I don't think it's a real place. I could be wrong.
Amanda: No, Leicestershire is, which was the other side of the arrow that they-
Julia: Got you.
Amanda: Stops next to. But I don't know anything about that in particular.
Julia: Thank you.
Amanda: The moors are real.
Julia: Yes, the moors are real.
Amanda: Well, not the-
Julia: The moors are real.
Amanda: I guess not the real moors, because it's not the West Country, but yeah. The beautiful, rolling hills of Northern England where there ain't much around.
Julia: We should mention that they are released from the back of this farmer's truck with a bunch of sheep and a sheep dog in the back, and he tells them, "Stay on the road. Stay off the moors." And of course they're like, don't really care. They start talking about sex immediately. So they arrive in the village of East Proctor, and they stop at the Slaughtered Lamb, which is a bar? It doesn't seem like it's an inn, because they don't try to-
Amanda: It's a pub.
Julia: Stay there. A pub, yeah. That's a more accurate thing. So the Slaughtered Lamb has a great signage, where it is a wolf's decapitated head on a pike as their sign, so clearly-
Amanda: It sure is.
Julia: Doing some good indication right of the bat that like, "Oh, yeah. Wolves."
Amanda: So, what do we think the symbolism here. Because, it's called the Slaughtered Lamb, so that would indicate that you have sacrificed one animal for protection to appease the gods, to sort of make peace. But the head is of the wolf. So is the implication, you think, that they either obviously think themselves to be like wolf hunters, or maybe, the pentacle things that we're going to be coming up on in a moment, do they think of themselves as the one safe place?
Julia: I think it's a idea of lost innocence. So you slaughter the lamb in order to create the wolf, so to speak.
Amanda: My ... again, much less highbrow. My first impression was like, this is what it's like to be an American in England-
Julia: Is it?
Amanda: Where you walk in and you are suddenly the loudest and brightest and largest person in any room that you are. At least that was my experience at 19, studying abroad, because you just ... I walk into a bar, and people turn and look at me, and I'm just like, "Oh, no. Oh, wait, I am just loud by nature compared to everybody else." So I thought it was extremely funny when they walked in and immediately it was silent. The filmmaking is wonderful here. There really is such an extended shot. There's such a sort of excruciating pause as the guys put their stuff down, ask for a hot drink. There's no hot drinks. They ask for food. There's no food. And just try to settle in.
Julia: My favorite line is, it's like, "Oh, you want tea?" They're like, "Do you have tea?" She's like, "No. But I can make it for you."
Amanda: Yeah. It's very good. It's very much like, mom, can I have some dinner? No. May I have some dinner? Fine.
Julia: Yes, but basically, they enter this pub. Everyone becomes silent the moment they enter. They true to be accommodating and nice, and no one wants them there, basically. They mention that they're American, and a guy starts telling an American joke. And while they tell the American joke about the Alamo, if I remember correctly. While this gentleman, who is a local, is telling this joke, they notice a pentagram on the wall, with burning candles and whatnot. So-
Amanda: Now, it's just a star.
Amanda: Is a pentagram upside down? What defines a pentagram? Just like a five pointed thing?
Julia: Yeah, it's basically a five pointed star. So, I actually did some research on this. When the pentagram is upright, that is a symbol of the spirit overcoming the physical, the animal instincts, the id of a human. When it's upside down, it's the animal instincts overcoming the spirit, the more, quote unquote, human. The upside down one is referred to as the Lilith Pentagram. And usually, that's the one that we associate with, quote unquote, evil. In this instance, I don't know if the filmmakers just didn't give a fuck, or they inverted the trope, so to speak, where they both inverted the star and inverted the trope.
Amanda: Well, I thought it was more that they ... that the pub, because the lady said, the proprietress, that it had been there for 200 years. Which maybe she was exaggerating and trying to get him off her back, or maybe it has been drawn and redrawn for that long in this village. But either way, it makes sense to me that that's the imagery, because these people are trying to maintain their, quote unquote, civility, humanness-
Amanda: Over the animals, even though they are acting in somewhat of a barbaric by just killing any potential threat.
Julia: I think ... the way I read the scene, at least, is that, yeah, it probably has been there for 200 years, but they're kind of playing it off like, "Oh, we don't know. We just do it because it's tradition-"
Amanda: Oh, for sure.
Julia: But they obviously know that the werewolf is still a thing. Also, the friend, Jack, mentions that the only knowledge he has about the pentagram is from the Universal film, The Wolf Man. And according to him, the pentagram is the sign of the wolf. And I'm just like, well, that seems like nonsense, but okay.
Amanda: Yeah, and he actually references it ... I don't know if it was in this scene, or if you're talking about the one later in the movie, but it also comes up again, later, when David talks about The Wolf Man.
Amanda: Which I thought was really cool and meta. To me, as an audience member, that would make me feel a lot more scared, to know that this is a universe where the werewolf movie industry also exists, and yet this is still happening.
Julia: You know what's really interesting, too, is this film was actually released by Universal Pictures-
Amanda: Oh, that's so funny.
Julia: Who own the rights to The Wolf Man and a bunch of other Wolf Man stories, so-
Amanda: They're like, "Ooh. Cross promo? Yes, please."
Julia: Yes, we will talk about Bela Lugosi as a Romani person.
Amanda: Well, the boys don't make it much longer, do they? When-
Amanda: When Jack brings up the mark of the Wolf Man, LOL. And really putting his foot in it.
Julia: "Used in witchcraft," I think is one of the lines he says. I'm like, okay.
Amanda: Okay, Jack. But the pub men end up kicking them out, even though the barkeep is against it, and is like, "Is that a good idea?" They repeat the warning not to go out on the moors, and they say, "Beware the moon," which will become a refrain-
Amanda: Over the movie.
Julia: The boys do leave, and they kind of just run out-
Amanda: Where do they go, Julia? Where do they go?
Julia: Into the moors, like idiots.
Amanda: They go to the moors.
Julia: My favorite-
So, I think one of my favorite things is they intercede the shots of the boys on the moors with scenes from the bar, and at one point the barmaid, or the bar-mistress tells them, "Well, someone needs to go after them. We can't just let them go out there. Isn't that murder? Isn't that something like that?" And the one baldheaded gentleman who was telling the Alamo story before, he goes, "Should the world know are business?" Like, ooh, that is quite a line. Thank you, sir.
Amanda: Yeah. Also, very close to my heart, having grown up as I did.
Julia: Yes. And the fantastic part is, almost immediately upon watching those boys in the moors, we watch them walk off the road. I'm like, you motherfuckers. You dumb idiots.
Amanda: Idiots. And of course, they get lost. 10 minutes into this walk, they realize what a bad choice they've made and go ahead to turn around. Of course they are lost and they cannot get back.
Julia: Yes. And the-
Amanda: The use of sound, though, is very good here, I thought. It was extremely scary. I had ... I was playing it on my TV, and I have a little soundbar, so it's not like surround sound, but I could at least hear the panning of the sound from left to right. And it was a really effective way, I thought, to build suspense. We've talked in the past about how so much of scariness is sound, and, I thought that was ... it was really wonderful here.
Julia: In true American fashion, the boys try to play it off as kind of funny and jokes. They're like, "What's those wolf noises that we hear in the background? Oh, it's the Hound of the Baskervilles." I'm just like, really? Really? At one point, one of them literally says, "Oops." Because-
Julia: They walked off the road. He literally said, "Oops."
Amanda: No, they do. And then, of course, Julia, Jack dies. He wanted to have sex, therefore he dies. This is the less extreme version of the women having sex and then dying in any horror movie.
Julia: That is true.
Amanda: And this is where ... You had told me one thing before watching this movie, which is that the special effects were really groundbreaking. And I definitely saw that here where there were some very realistic imagery as a wolf tears Jack's throat out, and sort of scratches David on the cheek before village men sort of appear and shoot the wolf dead.
Julia: Yes. And when David, who has been attacked and is about to pass out, turns to look at the body of the Wolf Man who attacked him-
Amanda: Oh, no, it's not a wolf-
Julia: All he sees-
Amanda: It's a man!
Julia: It's just a naked man with gunshots in his stomach. Fun fact-
Amanda: Oh, wow.
Julia: Because we've now discussed the special effects, and we'll talk about them a little bit more, the special effects for this film won an Academy Award for Best Makeup.
Julia: And two, they created the Academy Award for Best Makeup for this film.
Amanda: Oh, crap, really?
Julia: Yeah. It was the first time they ever offered it, and it was specifically designed because the movie's special effects are so incredible. And we'll talk a little bit more about it when it comes to the transformation scene later, which is fascinating. But-
Amanda: It is. It is fascinating. I learned, recently, that Men in Black also won for makeup because of all the alien prosthesis-
Julia: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Amanda: Which is really cool.
Julia: That is true. I still think that it doesn't hold a candle to this film, because this film is just so incredible in so many ways. I don't know how else to describe it. The only other film I can think of that really wows me from a makeup and special ... like physical special effects, practical special effects point of view, is John Carpenter's The Thing. Which I don't know if I've made you watch that yet, but-
Amanda: Not yet.
Julia: Ooh. There's no-
Amanda: Sounds like you might.
Julia: Mythology behind it. It will probably be just for funsies.
Amanda: Got it.
Julia: Okay. So, the next thing that we see from David is he wakes up in a hospital briefly, after two nurses are talking about his dick.
Amanda: Yep. Yes they do. They're doing that.
Julia: That is ... I'm like, this is a problem. This is probably not something professional that you two ladies should be talking about. Especially in the presence of the patient. And when a doctor is right behind you.
Amanda: This lady, Susan, was trying to like, claim that she could identify David as Jewish. And it's very bizarre and uncomfortable. Especially in 1970s London. It was just like ... it was not a good scene.
Julia: Yeah. And like, they make a point, they're like, "Oh, he's circumcised." And then the doctor walks in, he's like, "That's actually standard practice now." I'm like, that is an interesting cultural thing. I will admit that that is a change that from then to now, we definitely saw, but-
Amanda: I mean, I see ... Right. I see how she could think she had reason to ask, but, listen, Susan. Unless you're Elijah, you can't just ask people if they're circumcised, Susan.
Julia: You're not the penis sheriff, Susan.
Amanda: Susan, do you have a badge that says Penis Sheriff? I don't think you are.
Julia: So, David wakes up. David is told that Jack is dead. Also, they have the American Embassy Worker?
Amanda: Yeah, I was going to say. I looked down at my phone for one second, and then I looked up, and then Mr. Collins was there, who looked like someone's math teacher from high school.
Julia: Do you know who Mr. Collins is played by?
Julia: Frank Oz. Do you know who Frank Oz is?
Amanda: Really? No.
Julia: I like that you're like, "Really? Wow, that's fascinating." Frank Oz was the director for Little Shop of Horrors, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels. But you probably know his work more from being the person who performed characters like Miss Piggy, and Fozzie Bear, and Animal from The Muppets. And also, basically every character from Sesame Street, and also Yoda in Star Wars.
Amanda: I had no idea there was a common denominator there. That's amazing. And we also get to see the Muppets later on in the series. Or, we see Miss Piggy and Kermit.
Julia: Oh, yes we do! We do. I totally forgot about that. No, it's a-
Amanda: I'm not exactly clear on who the Muppets are. This is a safe space. Are they the same as Sesame Street? Are they different? Not quite sure. But, yeah. We see them later, which is a really funny story, now that I know that.
Julia: It is an episode of The Muppets, you are correct.
Amanda: Nice, thank you. But yeah, Mr. Collins is just sort of ... He sees David writhing in pain, and he yells at him in a very American, fifties-raised man fashion. Like, not to get excited. And I just wrote like, "Classic seventies masculinity." That is what it is. And then the doctor, who's name I actually never caught, is amusingly British and like-
Julia: It's Dr. Hirsch.
Amanda: Oh, Dr. Hirsch. So, yeah. He's amusingly British. He's stiff upper lip. And he gives us a little bit more information that David's been unconscious for three weeks, before David passes out again in pain. And in here, too, we see a couple of scenes from a wolf point of view, like handheld camera, as David pictures, first, running through the forest, in first person, and then he sees himself running later. Sees himself eating a very realistic looking animal. So David clearly-
Julia: He's naked.
Amanda: Yeah, yeah. He clearly has a connection to some kind of experience that he either had, or some part of him has had.
Julia: I like that you point out that Dr. Hirsch is comedically British, because he does-
Julia: At one point, try to get out of a phone call with someone he doesn't want to talk to by telling his secretary, "Just tell them I'm dead."
Amanda: He's very dry in his humor, is maybe a better way to put it. But he ends up coming back, which I had hoped, because he was just really wonderful.
Julia: They also inform David that it's been three weeks since he's been attacked, which is good plot-pointing by John Landis, because what else would you have done if the full moon wasn't going to come back in a couple days?
Amanda: Yeah, that was very good. That was very good. And, I mean, at this point, I have to say, I really thought that the doctor was kind of in on the conspiracy. I assumed that there was some kind of conspiracy where some people knew about werewolves, or were werewolves, or there was some kind of infrastructure around it. And so, the doctor was just so, kind of blasé and dry, that I assumed he knew something. But, no, he just sort of was like, "This is a patient. He is having some-"
Julia: Having delusions
Amanda: "Paranoia, or delusions, right. And I will just try to assure him the way that I can."
Julia: Yeah, it's interesting, because, really, the only, quote unquote, conspiracy that we get later, the doctor kind of gets clued in on by doing his own investigation.
Amanda: Yeah, which is very unusual.
Julia: Yeah, which is unlikely in most films. I feel like, usually, the doctor just stays where he's at, but apparently this doctor drove all the way up to wherever they got David from, and then drove back, in the same day.
Amanda: You know what, Julia? I think that's a sort of borderline to positive example of a healthcare professional going above and beyond for a patient.
Julia: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Amanda: Do you know what's not? Is Nurse Alex Price, who sexually-
Julia: God damn it, Alex.
Amanda: Feeds David in his bed. She is like ... They show a lot of her interacting with other bratty kids in the ward.
Amanda: I guess to, sort of, establish why she would find this rugged 18 year old American super attractive. And she and David kind of bond. He's not hungry, probably because he hate a lot of rabbit, maybe, as a wolf. And, yeah, it's extremely funny. We see, too, that his ... has sort of like a wolf slash, like five fingernails, across his chest.
Julia: Yeah. And the doctor's like, "You were attacked by a psychotic man." I'm like, really? I don't-
Amanda: I don't think so, my friend.
Julia: I don't know.
Amanda: Well, we also know here that the men on the moors cleaned his wounds before they brought him to the hospital.
Amanda: Which I thought was really interesting, and very morally gray. We'll talk about this later, too, like sort of the stance of the village. But it was a really interesting data point.
Julia: Also, a really interesting point, too, because if we ... we talked a little bit about this in our werewolf roundup episode, but one of the signs that one is a werewolf is that if you were to get cut, fur would come out instead of blood.
Amanda: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Julia: So, like, it would-
Amanda: Because that's how animals are worked-
Julia: That's how that works.
Amanda: Full of fur.
Julia: Yeah, your skin is just to cover up your werewolf body. That's just how that works.
Amanda: Just like a stuffed animal, it's all fur in there.
Julia: So if that was the actual case, maybe they cleaned the wounds, or sewed him up or whatever, so that no one would be able to identify the fact that, oh, the blood is actually fur.
Amanda: Yeah, no, that's a good point.
Julia: It's just funny, when you say it.
Amanda: Yeah. And as the visions intensify, David, in his red coat and backpack, is walking through the forest and then sees, I wrote here, "Other David," but Jack in his ... Oh no, it was himself, right?
Julia: No, it was David. Yes.
Amanda: Okay, that's why. Well, he saw himself in a hospital bed in the woods, and then the self in the bed makes like a wolf grimacing face at the nurse.
Amanda: And, is this, Julia, where we see him in a sort of full wolf mask?
Amanda: Or is this just a snarl?
Julia: This is a ... He has contacts in, probably a little bit of facial prosthetic, and yellowed, sharpened teeth.
Julia: But it's not the full wolf that we see later on in the film.
Amanda: Got it.
We then see as Alex stretches sexily while reading to him, that David dreams he's at home in a very like Leave It to Beaver kind of house.
Julia: Yeah. This scene's wild.
Amanda: It is. I had to look away. It was really disturbing because in the vision, his dad opens the door and a bunch of men in horror movie masks, is what I said. They didn't look real. They looked like they were masks. Came in, shot up the family, and then ultimately burned his house.
Julia: So, we come back from the flirting. So she's reading A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court which I think is really funny.
Amanda: I don't know what that is. That's adorable.
Julia: So, it's actually written by Mark Twain.
Julia: And it's about a Yankee engineer from Connecticut who winds up getting transported into time and space, into England during the reign of King Arthur.
Amanda: Oh. My. God. I'm going to have to read this book. That's amazing.
Julia: Yeah, but it also talks ... it kind of lends itself to the displacement of David and finding himself in a really weird situation in a place that he's not too familiar with. And there's magic, and random happenstance, and whatnot. So I think it's very ... it's a very cute option.
Amanda: Yeah. It's like an American in England. There's all kinds of medieval, kind of futile situations going on with honor and sacrifice and all the kind of language that we get into. That's awesome. Thanks for that little nug.
Julia: Yeah. And as you said before, he also is seen watching The Muppets. One of the lines in The Muppets show that is playing is, "I was going to bite you very badly." I'm like, ooh, no. Werewolf noises. There we go.
Amanda: And we have a classic kind of false wake up in this vision as well. Which just, I mean ... it gets me every time. As Alex is murdered in the-
Amanda: False wake up. And then when David wakes up for real, he's alone in his room and Jack shows up.
Amanda: Jack is like ... his face ... Again, this is like ... the prosthetics are super gory-
Amanda: And hard to look at, but, if you try to abstract them to the level of really good makeup, then I think it's really interesting to see. You can see kind of the bulk of Jack's cheek. It's a little bulkier and more bulbous than usual because he has, obviously, a lot of plaster on top of it.
Julia: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Amanda: But he just looks half devoured. Like this is, you know, about to take a bite out of him, just like torn up, bloody.
Julia: Yeah. His neck is completely shredded. You can kind of see the tendons moving around underneath the skin. It's very cool. From a like, artistic perspective. Not the, "I would want to see a person like this," you know?
Amanda: Oh, no, definitely. Definitely. And he sort of confirms for David what we think we know, which is that they were attacked on the moors by a werewolf.
Amanda: And Jack now says that he'll walk the earth in limbo until the wolf's last remaining bloodline, which now has a very sinister meaning with this new lens on it, is destroyed, AKA David.
Julia: Yes. And Jack also says that he has died an unnatural death which is why he is in limbo.
Amanda: Well, let's get into the real meat of this movie, and that's only partially a pun, after a refill.
Julia: Oh, Eric. I just got back from Cleveland, and today I'm starting back my work week, and I tried to go to sleep last night, and I was very, very tired, but also really stressed out just thinking about all the work that I need to do now that I'm home. And thank god for Calm. Calm is the number one app to help you reduce your anxiety and stress, and help you sleep better, and gosh, they did help me sleep better last night.
Eric: That would be especially great after this past week's episode of Game of Thrones.
Julia: For sure. So, they have stuff like guided meditations, which really helped me get to sleep. But they also, additionally, have sleep stories, which are basically bedtime stories for adults. One of my favorites, I've mentioned it on the podcast before, The Magical Lavender Fields of Southern France told by Stephen Fry.
Eric: Very good.
Julia: You just ... you can't get better than that. They also have music and stuff, like really calming, soothing music that you can play and just fall asleep to, gently. So right now, Spirits listeners can get 25% off a Calm premium subscription at calm.com/spirits. That is C-A-L-M .com/spirits. And you can get unlimited access to all of Calm's content, including their sleep stories, including their guided meditation. Anything you could possibly want. So, again, that is calm.com/spirits. You can get Calm, and stop stressing.
Eric: Thanks, Calm.
Julia, I want to tell you about Hover.
Julia: Ooh, please do.
Eric: Building your online brand has never been more important, and you should your online community who you are and what you're passionate about. And your online identity begins with your domain name. Our domain name is spiritspodcast.com, so it's very searchable, and it is an obvious place for people to go to check out all of our stuff.
Julia: It also tells you exactly what you need to know about the show.
Eric: Yeah. Web hosts and websites evolve as their brand, website, and hosting needs change. So sometimes you might change the name of your podcast, like some podcasts have done. I have also changed what my main URL is over the time as my online identity and how I refer to myself online has changed, as well. And, Hover lets you do that very easily by keeping domains separate from hosting, so you can always choose the right platform for your business.
Julia: Yeah, so if you're making a website, and you decide to change your domain name, you don't have to change and create an entirely different website with that new domain name.
Eric: Yeah. Hover doesn't upsell you and has a very clean, simple user interface. They have a best in class customer support team which will help you with any issues you have while setting up your domain name and website. And they have the Hover Connect feature that allows you to connect your domain name to a bunch of different websites with just a few simple clicks.
Julia: Yeah. Amanda's talked about how great their customer support team is. She's used them in the past, and they are excellent. If you have any problems, they are quick to respond, they're ready to help you out, and like, as someone who is not super, super technically savvy, that is the best possible way to go about building my website or making my domain.
Eric: So right now, our listeners can go to hover.com/spirits and get 10% off your first purchase.
Julia: Yep. That is Hover, H-O-V-E-R .com/spirits, and you get 10% off your first purchase of a domain name.
Eric: So that's hover.com/spirits for 10% off your first purchase.
Julia: Awesome. Thank you, Hover. And now, I'm going to talk to you about how sometimes I'm just really, really hungry. All the time actually. Every time we talk about this podcast, I'm basically saying about how hungry I am. So, thank god I have DoorDash. Because DoorDash connects you to all of your favorite restaurants in your city. Ordering is easy. You just pull up your DoorDash app, you choose what you want to eat, and then someone brings it right to your door. The best part is it's not just a couple of selected restaurants. They have over 310,000 amazing restaurants that are available on their website, and, honestly, I know Eric always basis what a good delivery service is by whether or not they are in his area, so, Eric, you have DoorDash, right?
Eric: I do. We used it quite recently, and it was great. We got some Thai food, and we got some Chinese food.
Julia: I love a good Chinese food. I think the nice part is, too, that DoorDash not only has your local restaurants and stuff like that, but they work with your favorite chains, like Chipotle, Wendy's, The Cheesecake Factory. You can get cheesecake delivered to your door, Eric.
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Julia: Thanks, DoorDash. And now, let's get back to the show.
We should point out that Jack's solution to his problem and David's problem, because David is going to transform in the full moon, which is two or three days away at this point, is to kill himself, which ... All right.
Amanda: Yeah, and this is subject that is hard to see brought up. It's obviously something that touches a lot of people's lives.
Amanda: And is very present. But it feels quite taboo to see someone encourage this in this way-
Amanda: On screen. And like, again, I get that it serves as a plot. I think it would be a different discussion to say whether or not it's moral to put on screen, or if it's warranted.
Amanda: But, this is the movie we have, so, I think we should discuss kind of the role of this subplot.
Julia: Yeah. I will say-
Amanda: Or plot.
Julia: I saw this really interesting article about ... it was a series of essays about monsters in horror films. And they specifically chose An American Werewolf in London, but made the argument that, hey. The werewolf isn't the monster in An American Werewolf in London.
Julia: David is the monster in An American Werewolf in London.
Amanda: David or Jack?
Amanda: In that he acts in a sort of chaotic way that inflicts harm on others?
Julia: Yes. And in the idea that he knows that this is coming and does no action in order to try to prevent it. He could've gotten himself locked up. There's plenty of great films where he talks about like ... or, where you'll see like, "Oh, I know I'm going to transform. Please lock me in the dungeon so I can't escape and hurt anyone."
Amanda: Remus Lupin style. Right. But, I mean, I also, though, sympathize with him in that like, it's an unbelievable thing to learn, and-
Julia: Oh, absolutely.
Amanda: He doesn't necessarily trust that this is real. And denial is a powerful force, you know, indecision. And we see him later, in Alex's apartment, pacing, and sweating, and not sure what to do. I guess, inaction is also a form of violence, and that can also ... like, immorality can take the form of inaction. But, that feels like, man. David just got a really hard hand here.
Julia: It's very interesting that ... and we'll get to that a little bit more later, but it's interesting that you read that scene as like, unsure of what to do, and pacing, and nervous. I just read it as him being really bored with his situation. His only connection to the outside world left for the day, and he's just stuck in her apartment until she gets back.
Amanda: Yeah. I think that's true, too. Yeah. Well, this might be a good way to segue, though, into the fact that David is being discharged, has nowhere to stay. They kiss. He tells her that he's a werewolf, which I didn't see coming. And, we have the timeline here where he's being discharged, and then the full moon is the day after that.
Amanda: So, Alex brings him home. They have sex. Montage. In the bathroom, of course. He shuts the medicine cabinet, and obviously, the corpse, Jack, returns looking much worse, in that mirror. And again, urges David to kill himself. I was distracted here because Nurse Alex was wearing an NYU shirt, where I was like, that must be David's, and in fact, it was.
Julia: It is. You can tell by-
Amanda: It was.
Julia: Like, the length it is on her body, because it's one of those scenes where-
Amanda: Oh, yeah.
Julia: She's only wearing a tee shirt, and nothing else.
Amanda: Yeah, and that's not how tee shirts fit. I mean, I guess if you're like a very broad, athletic actor, that's how your body is, but-
Julia: Which I would argue David isn't.
Amanda: Yeah. I mean, he ... I don't ... He's ... Anyway, I see how he's a hunk.
Julia: He looks like a young Al Pacino.
Amanda: He really does look like a young Al Pacino. I was thinking the same thing.
Julia: I'm glad.
Amanda: Well, in any case, he, to his credit, does talk to Alex about what he's seeing, about his worries, and this, too, is where we see that the doctor starts to do some exploration.
Amanda: Drives up north, visits the Slaughtered Lamb. And of course, the patrons and the proprietor are not feeling, at all, any of his questions.
Amanda: Especially the one about the star. "There's no food here," she says again. Which could partly just be a funny, like, oh, the British aren't hospitable, blah, blah, blah. Whatever. But also, that led me to believe like, okay, well, maybe they don't keep food in the village because that way the wolves don't come so close? Maybe they don't keep food in the pub so that wolves aren't ... I mean, I guess wolves will go after humans, but ... Anyway, I wondered if there was significance to that line.
Julia: Yeah. I'm curious about that, too. I'm not ... I don't have an answer for you. But, that would be interesting. It's almost like, you're like, you know, if you're going to go camping, you've got to seal up all your food or else the bears-
Amanda: The bears and the ... yeah.
Julia: Show up.
Amanda: We learned this in an urban legends episode. Raccoons, man.
I will say there's a great guy who just leaves the bar. He's like, "I've got to go check on the dogs." And the one guy's like, "The dogs are fine." He's like-
Amanda: I know.
Julia: "I'm going to go check on the dogs." And it's-
Amanda: And clearly ... Yeah, clearly he's lurking in a churchyard, in the rain, saying that it was a mistake.
Julia: The best place to lurk.
Amanda: I mean, I, also, again, I wondered, as they stepped into the churchyard, like, oh, well, is this consecrated? Is there some reason that the wolf wouldn't go here? No, man, I think it's just like, it's a small village, and there's a pub and a church-
Julia: It's just very close.
Amanda: And that's about it.
Amanda: But yeah, and says to the doctor that it was a mistake to let Jack go. And the doctor sort of gets broken up by that other patron, and then ultimately heads back down to London.
Julia: There is a great, interesting line, too, when David is having the conversation with Alex, the nurse, where he says something about like, Bela Lugosi, Wolf Man, again, great. I love that that's his only point of reference for werewolves. But he says something to the effect that, "I think a werewolf can only be killed by someone who loves him." I'm like ...
Amanda: What is that?
Julia: David, what does that mean? That means nothing.
Amanda: I don't know.
Julia: The things you just said there, that means nothing. You met this girl three days ago.
Amanda: Wait, but what is ... why did he say that? Like, is that a thing in the movie?
Julia: I think it might be. I'm not entirely sure. I'm not super familiar with the original Wolf Man, other than Bela Lugosi's in it and it's got some harmful stereotypes about Romani people. But-
Amanda: Yeah. Sounds about right.
Julia: But, yeah, he specifically brings that up, and there is that like ... We'll talk about it at the end of the film, but if there is a scene in that which that might be true, who can say. But ... So ... Hold on, I've got to look at my notes.
Amanda: Well, that brings us to the next morning. The morning of the coming full moon. David says goodbye to Alex, and then gets locked out of the apartment. So on his way, kind of back to break into the apartment again ... I was like, why is this a plot point? And then I realized, because just like, he gets yelled at by some cats and dogs.
Amanda: And then he-
Julia: Like you do.
Amanda: Watches TV about darts and a lady called Naughty Nina.
Amanda: There might've been some lines in here that had significance, but I was extremely distracted by the fact that she was called Naughty Nina.
Julia: Honestly, I think it's like ... So this film is ... it's a horror, but it's also a comedy.
Julia: Like it's-
Amanda: It is.
Julia: It's definitely played as comedy. I think Naughty Nina's whole scene was just supposed to be a very long bit that didn't really play out into anything.
Amanda: I was like, is she going to show up later? We must be seeing her for a reason.
Julia: Was she maybe the woman who is in the porno theater later?
Amanda: No, I don't think so.
Julia: I don't know.
Amanda: I don't think so. Oh, on screen. Maybe. Yeah. Maybe.
Julia: Yeah, that's possible. Well-
Amanda: We'll have to go back and see.
Julia: Assuming Naughty Nina was also in the porno, that was a great pull that we just did.
Amanda: Well, I mean, odds are they only cast one blonde lady to do some stuff, so, maybe so.
Amanda: But, we then sort of segue into, you know, David's pacing around the apartment, like we were saying earlier. I was distracted by how it's so funny that dudes from the early seventies could be walking around at the bar downstairs, like tee shirt, jeans, and shaggy hair. I don't know. He just looks very timeless in a way that Alex did not.
Julia: Yes, I agree. After this either bored or nervous situation, depending on which of you see the scene as, we get the transformation. And the transformation is probably the most epic and practical werewolf transformation I've ever seen on screen.
Amanda: Yeah we do.
Julia: It is incredible. All of the effects are practical. The stretching out of limbs that you see is done with latex and robotics.
Julia: So it's just a matter of a face that looks like his over a latex machine that slowly protracted out, and the latex spreading into the snout and snarl and whatnot. They also, I will note, they placed everything perfectly so we didn't get to see his werewolf dick. Which is unfortunate. In my opinion.
Amanda: They did. I don't want anymore fetishizing of David here, but, yeah. We definitely get a montage that was extremely protracted. You could tell they really wanted to show how well they were doing this.
Julia: Yeah. I will put some like, Not Safe For Work things on there, but this is a great scene, and I will link it into the show notes.
Amanda: And in terms of what David does as the wolf, we see a sort of middle class couple getting out of the cab-
Julia: This is just so fucking funny.
Amanda: And the cab fare, Julia, is one pound 50, which-
Amanda: I want to just tell you, that when I was in ... moved to London, my ride from the airport, I was a naïve teen with a big suitcase and took a cab, it was like a hundred dollars, in current money. And so, I was just like, fuck you. My cab ride was like 45 pounds.
Julia: These people are probably so rich that they took a cab around the corner, and that's why it was so cheap.
Amanda: Yeah. They didn't seem particularly sympathetic. And they were sort of walking down the sidewalk before being promptly eaten by David, and-
Julia: Well, no. So they could've gone through the front door, but they decide-
Julia: "Oh, we're going to go around the back and give them a scare." I'm like, you dumb people. You idiots.
Amanda: I was distracted by the cab fare. I missed that line. Yeah, so they ... Clearly, never prank your friends. That's the real lesson here. But they ... the people that they're going to see, the husband goes downstairs to see what the ruckus is, because the wife, as always, is just like, "There's stuff down there!"
Julia: I have the line. It's, "There's hooligans in the park again!"
Amanda: Oh, boy. And ... Yeah.
Julia: But, he goes-
Amanda: No. Yep. We see some bodies, because both the husband and the couple are killed.
Julia: Yeah, he steps in his friend's hand. Like, just, hand ain't attached to the body anymore, and he steps in it.
Amanda: Yep. We see Alex and the doctor talking, being concerned as they kind of link up and then go together to try to find David. Because he-
Julia: My notes for that scene are, "The doctor does doctor monologue-ing."
Amanda: It's very true.
Julia: We then see a scene, I believe it's at the waterfront of the Thames, or something like that, with three homeless men. The dog ... One lets a dog loose after they hear growling, because that seems smart from what we've learned from reading The Tailypo. And so, both of those men are killed by the werewolf, offscreen, if I remember correctly?
Amanda: Yeah, I don't think we see the actual murder.
Julia: And then, Amanda, we cut to the Tube. I've never seen the Tube. Tell me about the Tube.
Amanda: Tube is great. And we saw an old style Tube train. I'd never seen the ones that weren't red and blue and plastic and nice, which they are, currently. So that was really sweet. Tottenham Court Road, which is where I used to live, which is neat. And we see a guy ... a very long and suspenseful ... like, he's just walking through the station being chased, slowly, and he gets ... Actually, the mechanics are quite nice. I don't need to rehash them here.
Julia: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Amanda: But he ... Obviously, the wolf eats the businessman. And that sort of vision of him being taken up the escalator while-
Amanda: Splayed out, is again, so unlike the order and rigidness of the morning commute at stations in the Tube, where you just line up the escalator, and very orderly, move up and out.
Julia: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Amanda: That it was ... There's just something about it, seeing someone splayed out when they're supposed to be standing, is just like, animal brain is saying like, "Oh, no. This is bad."
Julia: Yeah, that escalator shot is absolutely gorgeous. Also, at one point I turned to Jake, who I was watching this with, and I'm like, "Can you imagine being the only person in a subway station?" And he's like, "No. Never."
Amanda: Never. I would leave. No. No way.
Julia: That's just ... The Fey are going to come get you. Or, in this case, a werewolf.
So, the next morning, David wakes up inside the wolf enclosure at the London Zoo.
Amanda: This to me, was like the best part of the movie. This last sort of quarter of the movie is wonderful. I know we're running a little bit long on this episode, so I don't want to go scene by scene, but David waking up in a cage is hilarious. Those wolves are adorable. He stole balloons from a kid in the most hilarious fashion, and then a coat from a bench. It's just a very good montage of him getting home, where, hornily, he reunites with Alex, who, on the phone with the doctor, promises to bring him to the hospital.
Julia: Yeah. He's just manic and horny by the time he gets back to her. It is wild. I'm like, if I woke up in a zoo enclosure, this would not be my reaction.
Amanda: I mean, I'm assuming that his wolf side-
Amanda: Is still running a little bit hot.
Julia: Yeah, especially because, in werewolf lore, and just in general, the, quote unquote, full moon lasts for three days. So, we see this-
Amanda: I was wondering about that.
Julia: This is the first night. I think he has ... He should have two more after this, but he does die on the second night.
Amanda: Yeah, and on the way to the hospital where he's going to reunite with the doctor and presumably sort this shit out, the cabbie-
Julia: The cabbie.
Amanda: Is just like, "Ah. The six murders." And-
Julia: "Did you hear about the murders?" I'm like-
Amanda: I know. I know.
Julia: Please don't. No. If any New York cabbie tried to talk to me about murder, I would get out of that cab immediately.
Amanda: I would barrel roll out of it. And I've been in some uncomfortable cab rides, oh, god. Yeah. And of course, David freaks out and runs away. Very good. He tries to get arrested in Trafalgar Square. And sort of like, uses a lot of profanity, and then starts to insult the Queen, and the Crown, and England. My favorite one was, "Shakespeare's french."
Amanda: It was very good.
Julia: Whoa, buddy. We can't take back some of these things that we say.
Amanda: But, he doesn't succeed, and then, in a phone booth, comes close to cutting his wrists, and doesn't.
Julia: He does call home, though.
Julia: And did you notice what the area code was, Amanda, for the home-
Amanda: I don't know. Was it two-one-two?
Julia: It was five-one-six.
Amanda: Five-one-six, baby!
Julia: Baby, that is the-
Amanda: That's ours.
Julia: The Long Island ... the area code for Long Island, and I got very excited.
Amanda: Hey, hey. I didn't notice that. That's amazing.
Julia: Yeah, but he basically tells his little sister ... It's almost like his suicide note, basically, he tells his little sister-
Amanda: The final phone call, yeah.
Julia: To be like, "Hey, tell mom and dad that I love him. To take care of your brother. Don't tease him," whatnot, that kind of thing. So-
Amanda: Yeah. Oof. Really tough to watch knowing what happens.
Julia: He then, from the phone booth, sees the very, very fucked up corpse of Jack, gesturing for him to come into a adult cinema.
Amanda: We see Jack, again, as very decomposed. Inside of the porn theater, they talk-
Julia: The porn is very bad and very funny, though.
Amanda: It is extremely funny. Very much-
Julia: There is one point ... it interrupts the scene, but there's one point where these two people are having sex in what looks like a hotel room, probably, and this gentleman walks in, and he's like, "What are you doing? I told you never to do this again."
Julia: The man responds, he's like, "No you didn't." And he's like, "You!" And turns to the woman. She's like, "I've never met you before in my life." He's like, "Really?" She's like, "Yes." He's like, "Sorry." And then walks out the door. I'm like, what the fuck is happening?
Amanda: It's extremely funny. I really thought that they were going to make eye contact with the camera or with David and talk to him-
Julia: Oh my god.
Amanda: In that scene.
Amanda: But it was very much felt like a hallucination. But it wasn't. And David and Jack ... I don't even honestly know what they were talking about because I was so taken in by the atmosphere of like other men, and like, as David starts to kind of writhe in pain and cry out, no one really bats an eyelash until way too late, because, I don't know what went on in that theater. The idea of watching porn around other people-
Amanda: Is mystifying to me.
Julia: Yeah. Basically, the conversation that Jack and David have is Jack introduces David to all the people he killed last night.
Amanda: Yes. Yeah.
Julia: Which, everyone's pretty pissed, except for that one couple. They seem very cheery, despite being dead.
Amanda: Maybe it's because they're together.
Julia: I mean, yeah, that's probably it. And again, the conversation of David needs to end this in order to end their suffering comes up again, and they discuss various ways in which he can do it. At one point, David suggests a silver bullet, and they're like, "Don't be ridiculous. You don't need to do that." I'm just like, wow. Just throwing a bunch of pop culture werewolf lore out the window, there, huh?
Amanda: Yeah. And then, in a hugely big budget final sequence, David eats the patrons, the manager, causes a giant and extremely expensive, I'm sure, car crash, in freaking Trafalgar Square.
Amanda: Alex finds him and says that she loves him as she sort of stands over him in an alley, and, Julia, what was your read on this? Did you see a kind of flash of recognition in the wolf David's eyes?
Julia: Yeah. So, I think that there's like a moment in which he is calmed, and then he growls. He is shot by ... What's the SWAT version of the London police? Because they had black berets and I know nothing else about the situation.
Amanda: I don't know. I mean, MI5 is intelligence. I don't know if that's the same as the like, special forces in the police.
Amanda: But, they were standing very far back in that alley, and to shoot him and not her?
Julia: And shot past her. Yes.
Amanda: Past her legs?
Amanda: Was staggering. I really thought that she was going to be kind of caught in the crossfire.
Amanda: And so, if this relates maybe to your earlier observation of David thinking that a wolf could only be killed by someone who loves them-
Julia: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Amanda: Then, maybe, in that moment, he was like, felt endangered-
Amanda: Because he realizes that, "Oh, wait. Here is a threat to me, which is someone I love who loves me."
Julia: Yes. I mean, that's true, but also, at the same time, this movie is all about subverting werewolf tropes in a lot of ways, so, it's not Alex that kills him. It's the police that kill him.
Julia: And the film literally just ends with Alex seeing David's naked body, not a werewolf anymore, just a naked grown man, dead in this alleyway.
Amanda: With bullet wounds.
Julia: And then we go to very loud, upbeat music as the credits roll. I think it's actually Blue Moon again.
Amanda: I'm a fan of dissonant music with the emotion of a scene. Like I think that can be really powerful. But in this moment, I texted Julia like, "Is that fucking it?"
Julia: That was it.
Amanda: Because I was so, again, like thrown by that image of just a naked man in the fetal position, covered in bullet ... It's fucking ... It's so disturbing. And then, that's it, and there's no resolution. There is no sense of like, why this happened, if it happens to others, how we solve the problem. That is just the story.
Julia: Well, I mean, the argument would be that David was the last of that particular bloodline of werewolves, so the solution is already found. David dying is the solution to the story, so there's really nowhere else for the story to go with his death.
Julia: You know what I mean?
Julia: So even from a plot perspective, or from a mythological perspective ... If this was a myth or if this was a fairytale that I was telling, you would be like, "And the werewolf was killed and it never bothered the village again," you know? It would be that kind of situation.
Amanda: Yeah. Or if it was a very like, I don't know, rude to its viewers type of film, it would open on like, another wolf in another country, like maybe in Long Island.
Amanda: You know, killing someone new.
Amanda: Which would be like the ... I guess, the very 21st century franchising of the idea, but, like-
Julia: There is a sequel to this film. It's very bad.
Amanda: Oh, no. I'm going to choose to ignore it.
Julia: It's An American Werewolf in Paris.
Amanda: Well, I was just going to compliment the movie for being a tight 91 minutes. A tight 90. Very much appreciate that. And just ending there. And, you know, listen, this was a very ... I almost said enjoyable, but, it was a interesting film for me to watch. I appreciated the sort of, like, the filmmaking of it. And the cinematography, the use of music, the use of humor, the use of motifs. There's just a lot to think about, and for a movie that is ostensibly just horror, there's a lot in there. It really leaves you with kind of big questions, you know, the film in general, of like, what are you responsible for? What do you do with circumstances that you didn't ask for? How your perception interacts with your self perception.
Amanda: And, there's just a lot.
Julia: Yeah. I mean, there's a lot we didn't talk about, too, about like the concepts of sanity and mental health that the film talks about, which I think are interesting, but I don't have really formed opinions on, when it comes to this film. But I think that like, one of the key things that I kind of took away from it is your reality is your perceived reality. So, even if-
Julia: Even if David ... Even if no one thought-
Amanda: All living is perception.
Julia: Yeah, I mean like-
Julia: No one thought David was actually a werewolf. Even the doctor, after going to that village and coming back, he was like, "Well, there's this mass delusion that everyone is involved in-"
Julia: "And David is, too." But like, you're as dangerous as you think you are, sometimes. And your reality is the reality for you, and no one can really take that away from you. Especially when you're in that kind of fragile mental health space. And I've been there before, and it's a really scary place to be in, and when people don't believe you or don't take your complaints seriously, it can be really scary and really isolating.
Amanda: Yeah, and I've talked before about disassociation, which is something that I experience, too. And it really is a really vulnerable thing to experience. Much less to like, ask someone else, like, hey, can you confirm or deny, can you validate, can you ...
Amanda: Hear this really scary thing that I'm perceiving and help me understand what is and isn't real. So it's ... There's a whole lot, and I'm sure it's imperfect, and, if anything, I hope that it helps, or sort of invites us to ask more questions about who supports us in these times. Where can we go? What is important to us, and to affirm that like, at the end of the day, we are the only ones who have a say over what we do. And we have to sort of stand up for ourselves in saying that our lives are important and worth living.
Julia: Yeah. Absolutely. Wow, you hit the nail on the head there, I think.
Amanda: I don't know. I also want to have another plug for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.
Amanda: You can text them. You can chat with them on the internet, no matter what country you're in. And certainly, you can call. I have used it, and I found it really helpful, and if you are in a space where you don't know what to do, what's real, what's good, what's bad, and you can use a grounding force, that's what they're there for.
Amanda: If you wonder whether or not you qualify, you qualify. Go for it.
Julia: Yeah. And we'll link that in the show notes as well. In the episode notes.
Amanda, I guess on a scale of one to 10, what did you think of this mythology film?
Amanda: I give it a eighth of a Guinness glass.
Amanda: Like ... Or ... That's the wrong way to say it.
Julia: The small Guinness glasses that they ordered at the bar, or like a real Guinness glass?
Amanda: I give it a pint of Guinness that you've taken three long drags out of. So like 80-
Julia: Oh, so like the doctor.
Amanda: 82%. Yeah-
Julia: Got you.
Amanda: Exactly. And I thought it was really fascinating. Gore is not for me, but I thought this was like an academic study of gore.
Julia: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Amanda: And it left me with a lot to think about, which, ultimately, is what I am looking for in my movies.
Julia: Oh, good. I'm glad you enjoyed it, if not for the ridiculousness, for the meaning behind it.
Amanda: Totally. I also want to point out that Julia has done this whole episode wearing a crop top covered in eyes.
Julia: I am an angel. Fear me.
Amanda: Much like the moon, always watching. Always waiting.
Well, listeners, please let us know what your reactions to the movie were, and what interests you about it, what stays with you. And, remember ...
Julia: Much like the moon, stay creepy.
Amanda: Stay cool. Don't go off the road!
Julia: Don't go off the road! And don't go to the moon.
Amanda: Don't go to the moors! Not even one moor.
Julia: Oh, god.
Amanda: Not even on time.