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Film / An American Werewolf in Paris

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"It took me four years on a stairmaster to get a package like this. You ripped through it like a lamb chop!"
Amy Fitch, newly risen as a zombie

An American Werewolf in Paris is a spin-off of An American Werewolf in London that was released to lukewarm reviews (at best) in 1997. It includes some of the elements of its predecessor, such as attempts at lighthearted humor and having a werewolf's victims appear as mutilated ghosts. What it lacks, and what caused many reviewers to complain, are the brutal yet enthralling make-up effects of the first movie, which have been replaced with a heavy dose of CGI.

The story is centered on Andy McDermott (Tom Everett Scott), an American student who is traveling in Europe with his two friends when he falls in love with a French girl named Serafine (Julie Delpy), after saving her life during her suicide attempt. He tracks her down in an attempt to woo her, and eventually winds up getting invited to a club by one of her friends, who promises that she'll be there too. The club turns out to be a trap, where the owners lock the doors, transform into werewolves and feast on the unwitting patrons. One of his friends is killed, but Andy escapes... with just a bite. He is surprised to wake up in Serafine's bedroom, who is kind enough to take off her shirt for him, offer him a glass of freshly-pureed hearts and tell him he's a werewolf now... and she would know, because she's one too.

He refuses to accept this and flees her house, but is forced to accept that it's true after he kills a fellow American tourist named Amy, who also rises as a member of the undead to torment him. He goes back to Serafine, who tells him that the club owners are after a serum her stepfather created that will cause them to transform into werewolves instantly, even when it's not a full moon. Sure enough, they succeed in stealing it, so Andy and Serafine team up to stop their fellow werewolves' reign of terror, avenge their friends' deaths, and maybe even put and end to their own curse....

An American Werewolf in Paris provides examples of:

  • Action Girl: Serafine's condition means that she can throw a guy halfway across a café in human form. And when she transforms, well....
  • Actionized Sequel: Let's just say the original didn't have anybody making a daring last-minute rescue by bungee jumping off a national monument, a massacre at a nightclub, or a climactic fight between a werewolf cult, two civilian werewolves, and the police.
  • Big Bad: Claude, being the leader of a pack of genuinely malicious werewolves threatening France. This is in contrast to the first film, where the main threat was the lycanthropy the protagonist was afflicted with.
  • Contrived Coincidence: That Brad and Chris are able to find Serafine's suicide note at all, based on the very little information they have on her and the assumption that it was thrown away and still must be in a public trash can after last being seen abandoned on the ground.
  • Fanservice: You can catch a glimpse of Serafine's breasts during her first transformation scene. The filmmakers decided that was too subtle though, so she rips her shirt off shortly thereafter to make sure everyone got a damn good look at her goods.
  • Impending Doom P.O.V.: The werewolf vision, which is in infrared.
  • Lighter and Softer: While this is still a very violent and gory movie, it's a lot less dark than its predecessor. It's more of an action film than a horror one and features more comedy that borders on slapstick. It also has a happy ending, where the evil werewolves are killed, all ghosts are put to rest, and the protagonists are cured of their lycanthropy and get to live happily ever after.
  • Our Werewolves Are Different: American werewolves in Europe are literally haunted by the people they kill, as well as by anyone close to them who was killed by a werewolf. They are essentially ghosts, whose bodies look identical to the mutilated state of their physical forms, and likewise tend to decay over time. They cannot rest until the werewolf that killed them is slain. Apparently, it is possible for an afflicted werewolf to cure his or herself— all they need to do is eat the heart of the werewolf that bit them. This also cures anyone else who was infected by that werewolf.
  • Out with a Bang: Andy hooks up with Amy, and the two are having sex— in a cemetery, no less— when Andy transforms into a werewolf for the first time and kills her.
  • Psycho Serum: The serum that Serafine's stepfather created was his attempt to synthesize a medication that would prevent her from turning into a werewolf. Instead, it caused her to transform instantly, and rip his legs off.
  • The Reveal: Serafine didn't bite Andy. Claude did.
  • The Social Darwinist: Claude gives a speech saying he hates institutions like hospitals and charities because their only purpose is to extend the lives of the weak, in turn weakening the human race as a whole. Combined with Fantastic Racism, he also considers werewolves like himself to be superior than ordinary humans. It helps that he and his pals were already Neo-Nazi skinheads.
  • Transformation Sequence: Has plenty of them, but the Painful Transformation found in most other werewolf movies (started by this movie's predecessor, no less!) is averted.
  • Unconventional Smoothie: Using human hearts.
  • Werewolves Own Night Clubs: Claude's pack sets up exclusive parties in abandoned buildings under the name "Club De La Lune" with the express purpose of slaughtering the guests when the full moon rises.
  • We Can Rule Together: When the werewolves running the nightclub scheme learn that Andy is one of them, they offer him the chance to join them.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: We never find out what became of Amy and Detective Ben Bou. The last we see of Ben Bou, he falls through a trap door and into a canal, escaping the werewolf chasing him and that's the end of it. In Amy's case however, we can assume that since Andy killed and ate Claude's (the werewolf that infected him) heart she is free to pass into the afterlife. Still kind of weird though that we never see her get any closure while Brad did. We also never see the detective tailing Andy into the graveyard with Amy rise from the dead as a ghost to torment him. He too is killed along with Amy by Andy in his werewolf form but only Amy comes back.