John Landis hands the camera to Anthony Waller and just scripts the long awaited follow-up to his 1981 masterpiece, and the result is a cheap looking qausi-remake that has less gore, less sex, less nudity, and less imagination.
Tom Everett Scott is Andy, a US college student touring Europe with his pals. He meets a lovely young woman named Serafine(Delpy) and falls in love, only to run afoul of her "boyfriend" Claude, who is a leader of a gang of French skinhead types. After some initial tension, Claude invites the boys to a big private party in a condemned building. When the group arrives they notice that all of the guests are Amercians, and Andy seems to be the only one who finds this suspicious, while his friends get loaded. Soon, however, Andy's fears are validated when the hosts turn into werewolves and slaughter the guests. Andy gets bit, but escapes when another werewolf breaks up the attack. Andy's friend Brad (Vince Vieluf) isn't so lucky, and becomes the undead messenger to Andy, informing him that, he too, will become a werewolf unless he take his own life.
There are a few sub-plots about lycanthrope vaccines and Claude's gang's ambition to take over the world, which basically seem tacked on to help the film avoid totally recycling the plot of the original, but overall AWIP comes off as a low-budget retelling of the same tale. Ironically, this film cost $22 million, more than double the budget of AWIL, and yet it looks like a TV movie. Sets look plastic, the werewolves are total CGI and the gore effects and appliances look like off the shelf Halloween props. I realize that with inflation and all, AWIP is actually fairly low-budget fare, but given what films like Ginger Snaps have achieved with 1/10th of that budget one expects a little more, especially when it's branded an " American Werewolf" sequel.
Ultimately, this is one film I wish was never made, not because it's THAT bad, but because it basically has killed the franchise potential, and fans deserved more than this for over a decade of patiently wringing their hands for a sequel.
On it's own merits, AWIP is a decent late night watch if yer drunk or can't sleep, but for a film of it's excellent pedigree it is a complete dissapointment.
Extras on the disc are the obligatory trailer and cast and crew stuff, basically rounding out a poor package all together.