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Director Joe Dante and screenwriter John Sayles, who worked together previously on the exuberant exploitationer Piranha, reteam for a crack at modern-day werewolves (1981). The film slides into its situation in a clever, fresh way, and the balance of wit and horror is well maintained throughout, though Sayles's decision to divide up the protagonist's chores among four main characters costs him something in the intensity of audience identification. Dante, a former cutter, gets some wonderful things going in the editing, though he tends to emphasize rhythm over sense. Visually, the film is very handsome, with a bold, expressionist use of color and sinuous camera movements. Hommage crazed, the film features walk-ons by Roger Corman, Dick Miller, Jonathan Kaplan, and Sayles himself, as well as good work from the official cast—Dee Wallace, Dennis Dugan, and Patrick Macnee. 91 min.

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