An American Werewolf In Paris

on December 25, 1997 by Melissa Morrison
"Werewolf" is the kind of horror movie that makes a rule -- say, that the schmuck who eats the heart out of the werewolf who bit him can return to full-time schmuckdom -- then blithely ignores it. As a result, the plot of "An American Werewolf In Paris" is as full of puncture holes as the chew-toy corpses that harangue Andy ("That Thing You Do!'s" Tom Everett Scott), the main schmuck.
A logical plot, of course, is not the main point of horror movies, but a skein of it is nice to hold together the elements that do matter: in this case, gore, fatal attraction, and scares. Andy and his buds are Americans taking that ritual summer backpacking trip across Europe. The movie's funniest jokes -- and we're speaking relatively -- come from lampooning these Ugly Americans, with their obnoxious T-shirts, freshman French, and terrible table manners. (You know Claude, played by Pierre Cosso, is a bad guy when he greets them with "Americans? I love Americans.") Andy meets Serafine (Julie Delpy, whose morbid-angel demeanor is completely flattened here), and before long he's wondering if he needs a rabies shot.
The movie does have two or three beautiful-nightmare moments, in which Paris' Gothic menace, alternative rock, and the simian werewolves' transformation (thanks to art director Peter Lloyd) combine effectively. Like the John Landis original on which it's based, "An American Werewolf in London," the Paris version combines humor (of the frat-boy condom jokes variety) and prosthetics (of the severed limb variety). But where the original had the singular shock of a decomposing Griffin Dunne delivering dry wit, this one is distinguished by the eyeball of a bimbo corpse (Julie Bowen) popping out and getting a close-up of her cleavage. Starring Tom Everett Scott and Julie Delpy. Directed by Anthony Waller. Written by Tim Burns, Tom Stern and Anthony Waller. Produced by Richard Claus. A Buena Vista release. Comedy/Horror. Rated R for werewolf violence and gore, and for some sexuality/nudity. Running time: 92 min
Tags: Tom Everett Scott, Julie Delpy, Anthony Waller, Tim Burns, Tom Stern, Richard Claus, Buena Vista, Comedy, Horror

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