John Lan­dis

GUEST PRO­GRAM­MER FOR TURNER CLAS­SIC MOVIES’ BLOCK OF FILMS

Santa Fe New Mexican - - CELEBRITY Q & A -

“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.

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