Werewolves are making a comeback, and it’s not just because of Jacob’s New Moon biceps. According to Bob Powers over at the Huffington Post, “the plight of the werewolf reflects the American economic mood at the current moment.” He goes on to imply that the saturation of all things vampire in the 00’s was the result of our supposedly thriving economy. Conversely, werewolves have to make do; they must “expend time and money to build a restraint system and fortify a safe room to keep from getting loose.”
Sound familiar? In response to Powers’s proclamation, after the jump we present five werewolves that exemplify the struggling Americans we have become.
Benecio Del Toro in The Wolf Man
In this upcoming horror remake, Benicio plays Lawrence Talbot, a nobleman who leaves Blackmoor, England after the premature and painful death of his mother. He’s lured back to his hometown when his brother goes missing; Talbot searches for him in some misty woods, and the werewolf curse is passed on. Blackmoor could easily double as a small automotive town in central Michigan, so Benecio’s anguished werewolf lands on our list.
David Naughton in An American Werewolf in London
David and Jack are backpacking across Europe when they stumble upon a small English hamlet presciently named the The Slaughtered Lamb. Warned by the locals to stay away from the moors at night, they decide to go into the moors at night. Jack is killed, and we’re sure you can guess what happens to David. This movie opened in 1981, at the height of Reaganomics and the last high point in American unemployment. Unfortunately it looks like the ’80s are back.
Michael Sheen in Underworld: Rise of the Lycans
Lucian is born into bondage and as a different breed of werewolf, he can transform at will. After being forced by his vampire masters to inflict his curse on others, he rallies his fellow werewolves to fight back against their captors. The film is a prequel to the previous Underworld movies that highlight the resulting war. Lucian’s Horatio Alger-esque rise from impoverished servitude to leader is the perfect fit for Power’s recession werewolves. Plus it’s nice to think of Lucian as an updated Ragged Dick.
Lon Chaney, Jr. in Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man
The tagline for this 1943 flick says it all: “A Death Fight… Between Two Beasts!” When Larry Talbot, the “Wolf Man,” is awakened from death by grave robbers, he goes to Dr. Ludwig Frankenstein’s castle in search of a cure for his curse. What he finds is Frankenstein’s Monster. By 1943, the US economy was seeing marked improvements thanks to the fact that we were in total war mode; the gross national product reached a record total of 185.8 billion dollars. While we’re always anti-war, you’ve got to love a Wolf Man who signifies a move toward better days.
Michael J. Fox in Teen Wolf
A high school student learns that with puberty comes a lot more hair than usual. And rather than acting as a curse, it opens up a whole new world: being popular. He gets the hot girl (Lori Griffin), dominates on the basketball court, and learns some killer dance moves. Teen Wolf only makes it on this list because in the end he learns to love who he is before and after his transformation — a characteristic everyone must learn in this recession.
Does our top five encompass all a recession werewolf should be? Are you on Team Jacob now?