Flatpack Cinema presents An American Werewolf in London, Dudley Zoo and Castle- review with pictures

By Rebecca Stanley | Dudley entertainment | Published: | Last Updated:

With camping chairs and picnic blankets at the ready - thousands of eager patrons descended on Dudley Zoo after hours for an open-air film event like no other.

An American Werewolf in London. Picture by: Becci Stanley

Packed into the grounds of Dudley Castle, Flatpack Cinema returned once more after the success of their Bride of Frankenstein event to screen yet another classic horror film to a sold out crowd.

Visitors were treated to a viewing of fantasy horror film An American Werewolf in London - with an ominous full moon gracing the clear night sky.

Picture by: Katja Ogrin

To get the crowd warmed up and howling at the moon, a series of short films were shown. 2011 animation Howl told the tale of a small wolf child who longed for the freedom of the forest, and his struggling mother trying to come to terms with his needs.

Dark yet charming, this amazing graduation film animated by Natalie Bettelheim and Sharon Michaeli set the tone for the evening.

With evil lurking in the dark, the audience were set to see something that stopped their heart, as the uncut version of Michael Jackson’s epic Thriller burst onto the blow-up screen.

People rose from their seats imitating the iconic Thriller dance across the grounds, while others stared shocked at the thoroughly convincing prosthetics in the 1983 music video.

Without further ado, an ominous voice began to announce the start of the feature film. The setting for the showing had now become thoroughly eerie - as the castle was bathed in the night sky and occult projections had begun flying across the monuments.


The crowd gathered at the castle. Picture by: Becci Stanley

A simple addition to the night, but a very effective one that automatically gave me a chill.

One more treat was in store for viewers, as John Landis himself was introduced to the crowd in the form of a short introductory video he had made especially for the occasion

“I hope you all have fun surrounded by the animals! I hear you’re in the grounds of a zoo, and Dudley Zoo had wolves in the 1960’s!


“You’re in for a treat, and remember - stay on the road and steer clear of the moor” Landis laughed ominously, before the film began.

Picture by: Katja Ogrin

An American Werewolf in London tells the story of American backpackers David Kessler and Jack Goodman, who are attacked on British moors by a mysterious wolf-like creature. Jack is killed in the attack while David survives with minor injuries - though his life is about to turn upside down.

David is now a werewolf, plagued by the ghost of his departed friend and wrapped up in his new found love with nurse Alex Price. He must decide whether to carry on living and wreak havoc across London, or whether he must save humanity and sacrifice his life.

Every jump scare and horrifying transformation was made even more frightening by the chilling winds and foreboding location of the viewing.

Picture by: Katja Ogrin

There were gasps, there were screams and there was laughter throughout the film as the audience created an electric and engaging atmosphere alongside the film’s narrative.

Cheers rang out across the castle grounds and the credits began to roll - marking the end of an unforgettable cinema experience.

Rebecca Stanley

By Rebecca Stanley

Entertainment journalist for Express & Star and Shropshire Star. Contact me:


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