What You Need To Know:
AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN PARIS will stuns audiences with occult imagery, pagan rituals, blood, gore, and a meandering storyline with loose ends. AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN PARIS is a horrible film which wallows in blood, gore and sex
(OOO, Ab, Pa, Fr, L, VVV, S, NN, A, D, M) Occult, anti-Christian worldview making light of devilish creatures; 2 obscenities; extensive & graphic violence, including man stabs man, werewolves maul & devour men & women, men shoot werewolves, bus hits ghost, & ghosts terrorize men & women; implied & depicted sex, including fornication in a graveyard; upper male & female nudity; alcohol; drugs; and, pagan rituals
AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN PARIS starts off with comic promise, mimicking John Landis’ 1981 horror film setup as three ingenuous American college students, Andy (Tom Everett Scott), Brad (Vince Vieluf) and Chris (Phil Buckman) ride a train to Paris. Tallying points for pranks, Brad and Chris defy Andy to do a daring stunt. Parodying polite society, the slapstick situations into which the boys get entangled in haute couture France are funny and make good comedy. The young men exasperate stuffy French waiters with bad language and bad manners, offend an ostensibly well-bred woman with sexual innuendo and climb the Eiffel Tower at night after the guards have locked the gates, so that Andy can bungie jump to the ground.
In the process, they meet Serafine (Julie Delpy), who attempts suicide by throwing herself off the tower (which is utterly implausible, since the upper levels of the Eiffel Tower are meticulously fenced to prevent such incidents). Andy jumps off in hot pursuit of Serafine, catches her and saves her, but bumps his head on the bottom of the second level on the rebound. In the hospital, Andy meets Serafine in the hall and entices her to join him for lunch in a café. Andy tries politely to explain the six condoms which tumble from his shirt pocket. He tells Serafine they are bubble gum, and she challenges him to blow a bubble. He does, but it bursts with comic results. If director Anthony Waller had confined himself to satirizing American boys’ bad manners in polite French society in a comedy of manners, he might have made a funny, credible movie.
Regrettably, the serious and gratuitous horror soon starts. Pursuing Serafine to her house, she tries to put them off, warning of grave and mysterious danger. Love-struck, Andy persists, and he and his companions become entangled with her demonic pack of werewolves, who maul one boy after the other for sport. They meet Claude, who introduces himself as Serafine’s “keeper”. Claude invites them to a grim rock and roll party underneath a church, where partygoers, including Andy’s friend, Chris, are killed by attacking lycanthropes. A werewolf bites Andy, too. Bandaged, he grieves for Chris as ineffectual French police carry away body parts of murder victims. Not understanding the demonic ramifications of lycanthropy and not having a French suspect, the police begin surveillance of Andy.
Meanwhile, Andy wakes up in bed next to Serafine, who informs him that, because he was bitten by a werewolf, he must become one, too. She exposes her chest gratuitously. Her undead mother appears, giving her unwanted advice. Andy tries to leave Serafine’s haunted house, but the evil Claude kidnaps him, taking him to his lair underneath a church. Claude demands that he join the werewolf pack, claiming that he and his other Nazi-werewolf cohorts have a mission to purify the world of weak, disease-prone human beings. Andy demurs. With haunting gothic choir music, the full moon appears and Andy turns into a werewolf, terrorizing and murdering an innocent, American young woman tourist after a disgusting tryst in a French graveyard. The French police arrest Andy, but he implausibly escapes into the catacombs under Paris to meet Serafine again.
Chris returns as a gashed ghost to tell Andy stupid nonsense about his being forced to walk the earth as an undead soul until someone kills his werewolf attacker and eats its heart. Serafine suddenly turns scientific and reveals another stupid story device: a secret potion which her injured stepfather supposedly brewed to “stop the lycanthropic cycle” but which increased it instead, turning her into a raving, maniac werewolf who bit off her stepfather’s feet. At the end, as Andy’s friend, Brad, looks on impotently, trussed to a wooden cross, black-hooded Claude stages another cannibal-fest, proclaiming his literal love for Americans.
Werewolves are spiritual monsters, and they create spiritual problems in the physical realm. Someone needs to tell the filmmakers that human solutions do not solve spiritual problems. Only calling on Jesus Christ, the living God, solves spiritual problems. Why doesn’t at least one of the characters enlist the abundant power of God to deal with the werewolves? Despite the obvious and continuous religious symbolism throughout the movie, no character has the presence of mind to invoke Jesus Christ’s intervention in the gruesome attacks of these evil monsters who bite and devour French and American victims with impunity until the predictable and unsatisfying conclusion finally arrives.
Paying incessant tribute to director John Landis, who wrote and directed the horror movie AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON IN 1981, AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN PARIS is a horrible movie.