Time To Backtrack Again: A movie’s anniversary and an obituary


John Landis’s horror/comedy film “An American Werewolf in London” was released on August 21, 1981.  It was a huge success at the time (US$62 million at the box office) and remains a cult classic.  It was equal parts funny, romantic, and tragic, and stands up forty years on.  And when you remember that the transformation scene was done solely with practical effects (on a US$6 million budget), it’s all the more impressive.  If you’ve never seen it, watch it.

The version “Blue Moon” playing during the transformation is utterly inappropriate for the scene, which is why it’s perfect.

On a sad note, country singer and songwriter Tom T. Hall died on Friday, age 85 (May 25, 1936 to August 20, 2021) though cause of death is not listed obituaries I’ve seen. From NPR’s item:

“In all my writing, I’ve never made judgments,” he said in 1986. “I think that’s my secret. I’m a witness. I just watch everything and don’t decide if it’s good or bad.”

The most famous and influential song that Hall wrote was recorded by Jeannie Riley: “Harper Valley P.T.A”, which reached #1 on both the country and pop music charts.  Even though it was recorded in 1968, its themes of conservative hypocrisy, sexism, and how society attacks women for the way they dress still resonates today.

Hall had many hits, both adult songs such as “I Like Beer“, “Faster Horses“, and children’s songs like “Sneaky Snake“.  I heard that one as a kid and have never forgotten it.

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