By now, its become almost common knowledge that the theatrical release of The Wolfman this past February was plagued by delays, mid-production reshoots, a directorial replacement and generally poor editing. Since that time, however, fans have been promised a more complete (unedited) view of what the film should have been which will fall into stores tomorrow.
One thing that the film did get right, in spite of its misguided use of CGI, was that it delivered one hell of a brilliantly choreographed transformation sequence thanks to special effects maestro Rick Baker. So it got me thinking of some of my favorite werewolf transformation scenes of all-time and I figured what better way to celebrate the upcoming DVD release than by counting down Strange Kids Club’s Top 10 Best Werewolf Transformations of All Time!
|#10 The Wolf Man (1941)
You can’t do any werewolf list without mentioning the original, you just can’t. This is where it all started (with exception to the oft-forgotten Werewolf of London).
|#9 Teen Wolf (1985)
This ode to the original Wolf Man, doesn’t offer much in terms of horrifying special effects, but does a commendable job nonetheless.
|#8 Monster Squad (1987)
Though short, this scene earns a spot on the list for some pretty over-the-top acting and the fact that I love how he starts foaming at the mouth.
|#7 Silver Bullet (1985)
Special effects supervisor Michael McCracken and his crew do a decent job with King’s source material in this scene, showing a pretty brutal transformation. Plus, it gets extra points for showing Reverend Lowe without his eyepatch.
|#6 An American Werewolf in London (1981)
American Werewolf in London gets points for pushing the limits of special effects technology of its time. Despite being the most well known transformation on this list, however, it takes more than movie hype to make the Top 5.
|#5 The Wolfman (2010)
This re-envisioning of 1941’s original cranks up the volume to 12 before the speakers explode. If only they had listened to Rick Baker a little more, this scene could have been EPIC, instead it loses points for relying on CGI.
|#4 The Howling (1981)
This transformation is simply creepy, no doubt. From the bubbling of the skin to the uneven features and even those sinister-looking contacts, Rob Bottin’s (The Thing) special effects are without question monstrously magnificent.
|#3 Company of Wolves (1984)
So what could possibly knock Rob Bottin out of the top spot? Well how about this scene from Company of Wolves in which the actor literally tears his skin off and turns into a meaty, hound from Hell. Sweet.
|#2 Trick ‘R Treat (2009)
So what could possibly make the sequence from Company of Wolves even better? How about throwing in a pack of hungry, half-naked werewolf chicks who also peel off their skin to turn into the Big Bad.
|#1 Howling IV: The Original Nightmare (1988)
But the all time best (and strangest) transformation has to be the overlooked direct-to-video classic Howling IV: The Original Nightmare. Complete with a Satanic cult, this scene is like a wicked mutant offspring of The Incredible Melting Man and Rosemary’s Baby. Major movie monster cred goes to Steve Johnson and the rest of the special effects crew for this phenomenal transformation!