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It's a Bad, Bad, Bad, Bad Movie

Reader Review

An American Werewolf in Paris

Posted by: wintermute
Date Submitted: Sunday, May 18, 2003 at 07:15:41
Date Posted: Thursday, September 16, 2004 at 20:27:15

Three American teenagers are in Paris. They don't seem to have any real reason for being there that I can tell, but they're there anyway. They manage to sneak into the Eiffel Tower after it's closed. This means several things:

1) There were no guards or police on duty at the tower that night.

2) Every security door was left conveniently unlocked all the way to the top.

3) These three kids are ultra-fit. I know I couldn't climb 324 meters of stairs without being a little out of breath at the end, and I doubt that most people could.

Having made it to the top, American teen #1 (their names were all stuff like Chet or Brad, and I can't remember one from the other) plans to bungee jump from the top. No, the Eiffel tower (as was shown in an earlier shot) is wider at the bottom than at the top. I've never been bungee jumping myself, but I understand having massed steel girders directly underneath you means you ought to pick a new platform. American teen #1 (that's too long; from now on he's At1) ties the cord to his ankle, then hears someone else walking around. He and one of the others hides behind a bulkhead -- only there's a big length of bungee cord leading from the doorway to their hiding place. Really cunning.

Luckily for them, it isn't a security guard but a French girl named Serafina who's intent on suicide. Luckily for the plot, she's too stupid to choose somewhere simple to throw yourself off, like the Pont de Neuf. Anyway, she jumps, and At1 jumps after her. Somehow breaking all the laws of physics, he manages to catch her just before they hit the bottom. Then the other two notice that he never tied off the other end of the cord, and they grab it. Serafina is dropped about 3 feet from the ground and runs off, after dropping a bit of paper. The cord then snaps back, slamming At1 into the tower at high velocity.

At1 wakes up in the hospital. Now, I don't know what they told anyone, but the police don't seem to be involved, and no one seems to be asking difficult questions. Anyway, for all the violence of his accident, he seems to have only superficial damage -- not that this stops the doctors wrapping him up like a mummy, though.

He sees Serafina in the hospital and chases after her, only to get knocked over by a doctor. At2 and At3 say he's hallucinating when At1 tells them he saw her. He insists the At2 and At3 go looking for Serafina and tells them to start with the note she dropped, assuming it's a suicide note. They find that after rooting through dustbins. Although as they didn't know her name, I'm surprised they got the right piece of paper. After all, with that kind of security, the Eiffel Tower must be a really popular suicide location. But find it they do -- and the only information on it that is revealed to the viewer is her name and address. A very formal suicide note then, no doubt ending "Yours Sincerely."

They track her down, and she thanks them (in perfect English -- only about two people in the film even seem capable of speaking French) and immediately warns them to go away and never come back. At1 rings the bell to ask why her hand appears to be covered in blood. She explains that she's painting the basement (scarlet, apparently), and everyone looks sheepish, but still won't leave her alone. At1 manages to arrange a date with her the next afternoon.

They meet up and go to a café. A "men only want me for my body" skit ensues. I think it was meant to be funny. A big muscular guy hits on Serafina and throws At1 across the room when he tries to stop him. The Serafina throws the big guy through a wall. Ummmm...even if she is a werewolf, how is she this strong in her human form? She runs away, and At1 chases after her. She tells him to get lost, for his own safety. Now, without knowing French law that well, I imagine that she has more than she needs to get a restraining order against him by this stage. But, no, a few cryptic threats are more in keeping with the general lack of police interest in anything.

The At's return to Serafina's house, where they meet Claude. Upon opening the door, Claude exclaims that he loves Americans, and he invites them to a party that Serafina will be at that evening -- in a creepy basement called "Club de la Lune." They don't see her there, and At1 goes back to Serafina's house. Getting no answer at the door, he does what anyone with a modicum of common sense would do and kicks out the basement window. Inside, he sees Serafina inside a cage. It becomes obvious that she is there of her own free will. He explains where his friends have gone, and she insists that he unlock her. She knocks him unconscious, locks him in the cage, and goes off to rescue the others.

You see, Club de la Lune is (you guessed it) a werewolf club. Worse, an anti-American neo-Nazi werewolf club. There are about 20 werewolves there and a couple of hundred Americans. Then, they lock the door and wait for the full moon to rise. Serafina drags At2 out of there into a tunnel that no one else thinks about running down when the werewolves are revealed, and At3 follows slowly behind.

The werewolves transform (with far less style than in the original) and kill everyone. They only eat people's hearts, so far as I can see, so I don't know what they do with the corpses. I mean, even if they're never found, hundreds of tourists going missing every full moon is going to be noticed by someone, even if it's only the American Embassy. Serafina also transforms in the tunnel. As she starts to change, she throws rocks at At2 to make him run away. He eventually does so. At3, meanwhile, is killed by a werewolf and dropped into an underground river, or maybe a sewer.

While all this fun is happening at the club, At1 contrives a ridiculous escape plan and gets out of his cell. Inverstigating the room, he finds a werewolf strapped to a table behind a curtain. He runs, and the werewolf chases him, dragging the table with it. They fight. At1 gets bitten and then manages to get it to leave by poking it with a sharp thing.

It was about this stage that I stopped paying attention, so my recollection becomes a little patchy from here in.

Serafina comes back to find At1 uncounsious (again) and takes him up to her room. She explains that she's a werewolf. And he's becoming a werewolf. And the hallucinations are perfectly normal at this stage. And that's my dead mother in the corner.

As you can imagine, all this rather kills the romantic mood, but At1 doesn't seem to believe a word of it. Serafina and her mother (killed by a werewolf, and thus an undead spirit visible to werewolves) explains that they were working on a serum to control the changes, but they've so far failed. Not only that, but they've failed in the most spectacular way possible: they've managed to develop a serum that will make a werewolf transform regardless of the time of month.

At1 leaves, frightened, picks up another girl, and takes her to Morrison's grave to make out. Again, basic security at tourist attractions seems to be rather lacking, as I recall not being allowed into the cemetery after dark. They make out on the grave, surrounded by candles, and At1 starts to change. Naturally, he kills the girl, and OH MY GOSH THERE'S A POLICE MAN! An actual real live policeman in Paris! I was beginning to think they were a myth. Unfortunately, his only duty seems to be to take the dog for a walk. And it's not some kind of useful police dog like a bloodhound, no. It's a little lapdog, about the size of a rat. The policeman also gets eaten, having done nothing useful. I forget whether the dog dies.

The ghosts of At3 and the girl then show up to annoy At1. The girl wants him to die so she can pass over, and At2 wants him to kill the werewolf who killed him. We discover that Claude (the neo-Nazi werewolf leader) has stolen the serum so he can take over the world. Because a bunch of mindless animals would do that. Somehow. And the first step is to kill even more American tourists, because now that they can wolf out every night, there's no point in not having Club de la Lune open every night, right? Only now they turn it into some kind of occult thing with dark robes and chanting and give everyone plenty of time to panic before they actually change.

So, after talking to his dead friends (Where did At2 go? Did I miss that? Did he reappear?) At1 goes back to the club with a rather large pistol. He gets into the club and starts shooting. He kills a couple of werewolves (I was quite surprised he manages not to hit any humans in the confusion), and At3 fades away. Lucky choice of target there.

Claude, naturally, escapes with a supply of the extra-strength Rogain. At1 chases him onto the Metro. They fight. People watch. The police -- oh, wait, he's dead. At1 recognizes a wound on Claude's shoulder as having been inflicted by the pointy thing in the basement, which means that Claude was being experimented on. And that makes no sense to me.

They struggle for the serum, and At1 manages to inject himself and kill Claude and eat his heart, thus turning him back into a werewolf, and it all makes sense because Claude was the one who infected him, so.... Ummm....

Fortunately, At1 manages not to kill everyone else on the train (meaning he leaves dozens of witnesses), and he takes Serafina back to America with him. Now, I think Claude also infected Serafina, so she's not a werewolf any more. But if that works, why didn't she just kill him while he was on the operating table? No more evil neo-Nazi werewolf leader, and no more having to lock yourself in a cell every full moon.

So, they get married on top of the Statue of Liberty and celebrate by bungee jumping off. I suppose it's a better choice than the Eiffel Tower, structurally, but, once again, how are they allowed to do this? Is there no security anywhere?

So, they're not werewolves any more, and this is a happy ending. No need for remorse about the people they killed or anything like that. And what about the dead girl? So far as I can work out, At1 is still alive, so she's still stuck as an undead, but he can't see her anymore. So she'll be nagging at any other werewolves she meets to kill him. I don't like his chances.

Rating: 1.5 turkeys. It's a tedious movie with little internal logic. I'd probabably rate it slightly higher if it didn't sully my memories of the original.

Scene to watch for: At1 escaping from the basement.

Best line: Doctor: "Have you seen that girl? She stole my heart!" At1: "I know just how you feel."

Things that make you go "Huh?": An awful lot. In particular, the bungee jump from the Eiffel Tower and the complete lack of police.

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