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Silver Screen Shapeshifters: A Study of Werewolves in Cinema

This month, our fine teacher Ray DeLancey and his sidekicks Pete Wright and Tommy Metz III dive headfirst into the hairy world of werewolves in film. They’re howling over flicks like The Wolf Man, The Curse of the Werewolf, The Howling, Wolfen, An American Werewolf in London, Wolf, Ginger Snaps, and When Animals Dream. Here’s the List on Letterboxd. As Tommy confesses, “Werewolves were never kind of at the top of the horror monster chain for me.” Watch out, werewolves! It looks like you’re not the alpha in this pack.

With Ray at the helm and Pete and Tommy in tow, our intrepid trio scours the cinematic landscape for traces of werewolf evolution. From the first growl in Universal’s 1935 film “Werewolf of London,” to the full-fledged fur-fest of films to follow, they leave no stone unturned or underbrush un-sniffed.

The episode is brimming with burning questions – Why do audiences love werewolves? How have filmmakers been playing fast and loose with werewolf mythos? And is there a werewolf version of the Academy Awards for best transformation scene? Ray notes, “So many of these tropes don’t stay consistent,” highlighting that werewolves in film are as changeable as their lunar-dependent counterparts.

As they round out their full-moon adventure, it’s clear that this isn’t just about a bunch of shaggy dog stories. It’s about how stories evolve, how culture shapes our fears, and how monsters are sometimes just misunderstood creatures with a penchant for howling at the moon. Tommy sums it up perfectly, “I always have trouble getting used to the older movies, but when I meet them at their level, they’re a lot of fun.” This episode is an invitation to get down and dirty with the werewolves, to see them not just as the hairy beasts but as reflections of our own fears and fads.

This episode of “Sitting in the Dark” is a must-listen for movie buffs, horror fans, and anyone who’s ever wondered if silver really is a werewolf’s worst nightmare. It’s a full-throttle, fur-flying, fang-tastic ride through the world of werewolves in film. So, tune in and prepare for a howling good time!

A podcast exploring horror in film across classics and subgenres with Kyle Olson, Tommy Metz, Kynan Dias, Pete Wright, and more.
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