GUEST PROGRAMMER FOR TURNER CLASSIC MOVIES’ BLOCK OF FILMS
“American Werewolf in London” is always identified as the grandfather of the horrorcomedy genre but you didn’t intend that as a comedy, correct? No, I don’t think of it as a comedy. I hope it’s funny. No, that’s a straight-ahead horror (film). Those boys, we meet our leads in a truckload of sheep and they go to the Slaughtered Lamb, so it’s not subtle (laughs). No, they’re dead from the first frame. And so it is funny. My intention was I felt the humor would make it more frightening and more real. The central issue of any fantasy film ... is suspension of disbelief . ... It’s very easy to scare somebody and it’s especially easy to horrify someone; you just show them something horrific and they’re horrified. But to get people emotionally involved in the characters and the people who are in the movie and concerned about their welfare, that’s the trick. And suspension of disbelief, I felt the humor helped that. And for me, I think the greatest fantasy film of all time is really still “The Wizard of Oz” because that’s a movie that’s completely stage-bound and you can see the painted walls of the set, and yet you totally suspend disbelief. You’re totally there with Dorothy. You’re there and you’re into it and that movie to me is magic. It’s an incredible accomplishment.