While director John Landis is primarily known for his classic comedies which include Animal House, The Blues Brothers, Trading Places and Coming To America, he also helmed An American Werewolf In London; a perfect fusion of horror/comedy which boasts one of the greatest werewolf tranformations ever commited to film, as well as Michael Jackson's Thriller, arguably the most famous zombie movie ever made. So it's no surprise to see him as a guest on Mick Garris' Post Mortem, especially considering the pair had collaborated together on the Showtime series Masters Of Horror for 2 episodes.
In Part 1 of this 5 parter, Landis talks about keeping up with the latest films and his appreciation for all genres of film, but also recounts a funny story of when he had an epiphany with fellow filmmaker Joe Dante one afternoon at the movies and how it changed him. As someone who has dabbled in both horror and comedy, Part 2 talks about the similarities and difficulties between producing both those genres and how exploitation has always lent itself to horror. Part 3 is where Landis discusses writing An American Werewolf In London at the age of 19 and how he once wanted to do a James Bond film.
In Part 4, Landis explains how he used Michael Jackson's celebrity to turn the Thriller video into a 2 reel short film rather than a traditional promotional music video. There's also a great story of him & Rick Baker seeing Michael perform the moonwalk for the first time on national television. In the 5th and final segment, the director elaborates on pushing the boundaries with his comedies, most of which are now considered to be extremely influential, but at the time of their releases did not receive any critical acclaim. He also talks a bit about his latest comedy Burke & Hare.
I'm telling you, this Post Mortem is yet again another entertaining romp full of fun stories and intriguing tidbits. Check out Post Mortem: John Landis!