H. Innovative Werewolf Transformation Special Effects (including Make Up) in Cinema

  1. Werewolf of London (1935) / Olivia O. (A1)
  2. Van Helsing (2004) / Tommy M. (A1)
  3. Underworld (2003) / Zach B. (A1)
  4. The Wolfman (2010) / Caitlyn B. (A1)
  5. An America Werewolf in London (1981) / Victoria T. (B1)
  6. The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian (2008) / Michaela H. (B1)
  7. The Wolfman (1941) / Yvonne D. (A3)
  8. The Howling (1981)
  9. Wolfen (1981)

Werewolf of London (1935) / Olivia Oliver (A1)


The werewolf horror film, Werewolf of London, actually became the first Hollywoodmainstream werewolf movie. It starts off when the main character, Wilfred Glendon, an English botanist travels to Tibetsearching for the mariphasa plant. While on the journey, he is bitten by a strange animal which he soon comes to find out was a werewolf. He returns home immediately and after seeing Dr.Yogami he is given terrible news, which he refuses to even believe. The bite will soon turn him into a werewolf as well, but the mariphasa plant he captured will somewhat help out more than he thinks. Soon enough, he is forced to believe Dr.Yogami after his hands are tremendously growing hair on them on the night of the first full moon. The special effects and the make up are done fairly well, his skin is blackened, ears sharply pointed, bottom canines, and wild hair.


Clarens, Carlos (1968). Horror Movies: Wikipedia. 29 October 2011 <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Werewolf_of_London>
1990-2011. Werewolf of London 1935. (IMDB) The Internet Movie Datebase. <http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0027194/>
Trailer Addicts. <http://www.traileraddict.com/clip/werewolf-of-london/transformation>
Van Helsing (2004)/Thomas McCormack
"Werewolves — Walking Taco." Walking Taco — Movie and TV Reviews. Web. 04 Dec. 2011. <http://www.walkingtaco.com/tag/werewolves/>.

A final fight between two of the most widely known monsters in all of folklore is about to reach its pinnacle. Dracula slowly advances towards Van Helsing thinking he is only human and taunts him. then the clock strikes twelve and he turns into a Black werewolf ready to even the playing field.” In terms of special effects it's pretty amazing -- this movie did, after all, have a ludicrous amount of money thrown at it ($160 million)[[%20http:/www.werewolf-movies.com/| http://www.werewolf-movies.com/]] . So with all of that money into the set there choice to make it a CGI transformation ( using a computer graphics instead of make up for the transformation) was a very poor choice. CHUD.com said that “It’s vogue to bitch about CGI effects in movies. This past week at the Troy press day Peter O’Toole talked about what a tremendously wonderful tool he sees CGI as, having experience working on logistical nightmare epics like Lawrence of Arabia. Its’ a good point, but one easily countered by movies like Van Helsing which use so much CGI as to blur the line between animated and live action movies.” http://www.chud.com/22554/retro-review-van-helsing/. As true as that is it is extremely apparent that they wanted the transformation to be memorable. They play around with sometimes having the werewolf suddenly take control of the human but also at times it seems that the afflicted person can change at will. The reason for this seemed to be because the director wanted the character to show the “beast within” http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0338526/trivia. That has to be the biggest risk that the director took because we call can relate to the “beast within” all of us.
Underworld (2003) / Zach B. (A1)
Unknown. <http://i2.listal.com/image/2252340/500full.jpg>

In the intriguing werewolf-vampire movie Underworld, the special effects were top notch, yet not overly complex. The creature designer, Patrick Tatopoulos (Underworld), made sure no CGI, which is the use of graphics to attain the desired look of the creature, was used in the creation of his werewolves; instead he used the combination of prosthetics, animatronics, and wire work to make the werewolves appear more intimidating and more real. (Clay) This was a big and somewhat surprising move, considering that the current era of movie making has progressed heavily toward CGI. Tatopoulos wanted to bring back the “guy in a suit” feature into his design of the werewolves, because he felt that this technique had a more realistic effect in the movie, and despite the current way most movies are made, he felt that the “guy in a suit” technique was not and should not be obsolete. (Underworld) In Underworld, the werewolves’ suits had wolf features, but appeared more “cat like.” (Underworld) Tatopoulos strived to improve creatures done previously with the werewolf costumes. The costumes were made from foam latex, next the heads were painted, followed by each individual hair being sewn into the costume, giving it a more realistic effect. (Underworld) “The Lycans here are noteable for having very little hair, and this was a conscious decision to enhance muscle tone” (Clay) The costumes appear so life-like and real in the movie due to the tedious processes performed by the costume design team. The Werewolf suits had animatronic vests to control eye, mouth, lip, and muzzle movement. They also had leg extensions to make the suit appear more life-like, as if the wolf was standing on its hind legs. (Underworld) The costumes also had a com link which allows the lead puppeteer to talk to the man in the suit, to que roars and certain motions with the camera. (Underworld) “…"Underworld" have designed and created among the best-looking werewolves to date.” (Clay) These costumes deserve the recognition that they were given, because they took a giant risk by keeping the “man in a suit” technique and it paid off due to the intricate planning and creation of these werewolf suits, and the realistic feel of the creatures in the movie.

The Wolfman(2010) / Caitlyn B. (A1)

Sienna, Hudson. "Most Anticipated Movies 2010." 20 Sep 2010. <http://www.imagegossips.com/2010/09/most-anticipated-movies-2010/>
Sienna, Hudson. "Most Anticipated Movies 2010." 20 Sep 2010. <http://www.imagegossips.com/2010/09/most-anticipated-movies-2010/>

"Even a man who is pure of heart
and says his prayers by night
may become a wolf when the wolfsbane blooms
and the autumn moon is bright."
(The Wolfman 2010 Film).

Produced by the notorious company of Universal Studios, this film was released on February 12, 2010 and grossed $61.9 million dollars from the box office (Walker). This remake of the 1941 classic has graphic werewolf transformations that will send chills down the spines of its viewers. As the special effects legend, Rick Baker, he allowed the movie to keep its gothic-like and horror feel through every single detail of the werewolf transformation created by computer graphics (The Wolfman Interview). Though the original version contained more makeup and costume, due to the lack of advanced computer graphics at the time, the modern version still portrays the horrifying aura of the transformation from man to beast (The Wolfman 2010 film). Some reviews even state that the 2010 film is scarier than the original (Unknown). This is most likely due to the more graphic scene of the werewolf transformation.
Barone, Matt. "The Assessment: The Wolfman (2010)." 11 Feb 2010. <http://theaterofmine.wordpress.com/2010/02/11/the-assessment-the-wolfman-2010/>
Barone, Matt. "The Assessment: The Wolfman (2010)." 11 Feb 2010. <http://theaterofmine.wordpress.com/2010/02/11/the-assessment-the-wolfman-2010/>

In one scene of the film, the beast, prior to its transformation, was strapped to a chair. (Wolfman Transformation). This allowed the surrounding people to witness the horrifying effects of the night. As the moon rose, his finger nails grew extremely long (Wolfman Transformation). Blood dripped from his fingers as they grew larger to sustain his new, beastly claws (Wolfman Transformation). Next, his body seemed to nearly double in size, forcing his clothes to rip and tear off of his enlarged figure. With dark hair engrossing his whole beastly body, new canine-like teeth emerged from his bloodthirsty mouth (Wolfman Transformation). The terrifying beast came to a completion of transformation as his fingers and neck contorted in unnatural ways as if it was a painful transformation (Wolfman Transformation). As demonstrated in this remake of a classic horror movie, computer graphics have allowed the film industry to intensify the details and special effects that were once only imagined by the audience.

Slow Motion Werewolf Transformation

An American Werewolf in London/ Victoria T (B1)

Baker, Rick. "Top Ten Best Werewolves in Movie & TV." Macmillan , 2011. Web. 24 Nov 2011. <http://www.tor.com/blogs/2011/03/top-10-best-werewolves-in-movies-a-tv.>

Everyone knows to beware the moors when venturing into England, but for Rick Baker it’s the home of his innovative creation. Baker brought to life the American Werewolf you see roaming around the streets of London. The 1980s original movie, An American Werewolf in London, costume was considered to be three parts, part costume, part puppet, and part wheelbarrow, a masterpiece well beyond its time (Spina). For his work, Rick Baker received the first ever Academy Award for Best Makeup. The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences is famous for the various prosthetics and robotic parts used in the transformation of scenes between human and werewolf as well as that used on the character Jack Goodman when he returns as a bloody, mangled mess (Wikipedia). During an interview with BAD Digest Rick Baker talks about the transformation process, “John Landis thought that transformation would be painful and he wanted to show the pain the character went through” (Salisbury). Baker also said, “John Landis gave me the script then and we made the movie that he wrote. I think that’s one of the few films I’ve done in my life where the script that I’d already read is what we ended up making” (Salisbury). The ferocious beast was known to scare many and Baker was far more advanced than any other Special Effects makeup crew had gone. We all know now to beware the moors, or you’ll soon be meeting face to face with a monster like this.

The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian (2008) / Michaela H.

Billington, Alex. "The Many Characters of The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian." 2008. 28 November 2011. <http://www.firstshowing.net/2008/the-many-characters-of-the-chronicles-of-narnia-prince-caspian/>

There were two different kinds of werewolves featured in Narnia: Prince Caspian. First, and mostly, there were digital werewolves (Berger). Weta Digital, of Weta Workshop, was behind these unbelievable effects. Of all the previous Narnia films, Prince Caspian was the first that Weta Digital participated in. Weta Workshop, on the other hand, also worked on the first Narnia film (The Dominion Post). The second type of werewolf used was purely a human in a full-body suit, topped with a mechanical head (AJAkien). Both of these were used in the making of Narnia: Prince Caspian. They came together to produce a fairly realistic looking animal!

Works Cited

Aiken, AJ. "Total Film Magazine Interviews Howard Berger ." NarniaWEB.com. N.p., 04 16 2008. Web. 18 Dec 2011. <http://www.narniaweb.com/2008/04/total-film-magazine-interviews-howard-berger/>.

Clay, Noel. Werewolf-Movies.com. 2007. December 15, 2011.<http://www.werewolf-movies.com/movie.php?MovieID=216>.

·, Devin Faraci. "RETRO REVIEW: VAN HELSING." CHUD.com. Web. 17 Dec. 2011. <http://www.chud.com/22554/retro-review-van-helsing/>.

The Dominion Post, . "Weta creates ." stuff.co.nz. N.p., 12 06 2008. Web. 18 Dec 2011. <http://www.stuff.co.nz/entertainment/film/485982>.

Salisbury, Brian. "The Badass Interview: Rick Baker Talks AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON." Badass Digest. Alamo Drafthouse, 27 Sept. 2011. Web. 14 Dec. 2011. <http://badassdigest.com/2011/09/27/the-badass-interview-rick-baker-talks-an-american-werewolf-in-london/ >

Spina, Tom. "Restoring The Original American Werewolf." 2008. Web. 13 Dec. 2011. <http://www.tomspinadesigns.com/american-werewolf-movie-props-restoration.html>

"The Wolfman (2010 film)." Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. 2004. 18 December 2011. Web. 18 Dec. 2011. <http://www.enotes.com/topic/The_Wolfman_(2010_film)>.

"THE WOLFMAN Interview: Makeup and Special Effects Director Rick Baker - JoBlo Video." Movie News | Movie Reviews | Movie Trailers | Blu Ray Reviews | JoBlo.com. Joblo, 9 Feb. 2010. Web. 18 Dec. 2011. <http://www.joblo.com/video/player.php?video=WolfmanBaker>.

Underworld “Creature Effects Featurette”. Len Wiseman. Screen Gems and Lakeshore Entertainment, 2003. DVD.

Unknown. "The Wolfman (2010) Movie Review and Wolfman Trailer." Home Page for the Movies of Anthony Hopkins. Web. 18 Dec. 2011. <http://www.anthonyhopkinsmovies.com/movies/wolfman/>.

"Van Helsing (2004) - Trivia - IMDb." The Internet Movie Database (IMDb). Web. 17 Dec. 2011. <http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0338526/trivia>.

Walker, Andrew, and David Self. "The Wolfman - Rotten Tomatoes." Movies | Movie Trailers | Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes. Flixster. Web. 18 Dec. 2011. <http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/1194949-wolfman/>.

Werewolf-Movies.com. Web. 14 Dec. 2011. <http://www.werewolf-movies.com/movie.php?MovieID=223>.

Wikipedia. "An American Werewolf in London." Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia. Wikipedia, 28 Nov. 2011. Web. 18 Dec. 2011. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/An_American_Werewolf_in_London>.

Wolfman Transformation Slow Motion HQ - YouTube. Dir. Joe Johnston. Perf. Benicio Del Toro. YouTube - Broadcast Yourself. Weremaster1989, 23 June 2010.
Web. 18 Dec. 2011. <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AMU5HQe1ixk>.