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What Happened to John Landis?

There was a time when John Landis could be counted among the most exciting directors working in Hollywood.

Between 1978 and 1983 he made Animal House, the Blues Brothers, An American Werewolf in London and Trading Places. Four certified classics in five years. So it was inevitable that he would misstep eventually.

But while his mid career filmography – studded with films like the Three Amigos and Spies like Us is still notable if not quite as remarkable, his later films speak of a man who has lost touch with his muse. Beverly Hills Cop 3? Blues Brothers 2000? the Stupids?

It’s best to pretend this didn’t happen and instead concentrate on the creativity, energy and and just plain fun that pervades these early pictures – particularly American Werewolf, which blends a lightness of touch with incredibly dark Horror (the scene where monster Nazis gun down his family)  in a way that has rarely been replicated.

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