236 Great Directors: John Landis

“I’ve done every job there is to do on a movie set except makeup. Wait a minute, I’ve done makeup. I’ve done every job there is to do on a movie set except hairdressing.”


What Got This Director Here?
: Lots of well-liked 80s comedies.

My Favorite Past Experience Was…: Trading Places.

What Did I Watch: American Werewolf in London.

Where Does He Fit: An American Werewolf in London’s makeup is some all time great stuff, a transformation for the ages that rivals Pinocchio in sheer animal body horror. Landis seems to be running through the production because he’s having so much fun, and everything else feels a little quickly dashed off, but not in a bad way. It’s like a stoner comedy with effort in it, especially since it was shot in sequence and thus finds its way as it goes along. It’s a thriller night, and watching the mauling and weirdly toned jokes is what keeps you alive through the night of the full moon.

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Most Valuable Asset: Just a good old stupid sense of humor.
Most Excited For: Blues Brothers is the only big one left to see.
Did They Deserve a Spot?: Sure! He’s not a brilliant auteur but his best stuff is lots of fun.

Coming Up Next: Jacques Becker, lesser known French director.

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