Top 10 Best Werewolf Transformations of All Time (on Film)

By now, its become almost common knowledge that the theatrical release of The Wolfman this past February was plagued by delays, mid-production reshoots, a directorial replacement and generally poor editing. Since that time, however, fans have been promised a more complete (unedited) view of what the film should have been which will fall into stores tomorrow.

One thing that the film did get right, in spite of its misguided use of CGI, was that it delivered one hell of a brilliantly choreographed transformation sequence thanks to special effects maestro Rick Baker. So it got me thinking of some of my favorite werewolf transformation scenes of all-time and I figured what better way to celebrate the upcoming DVD release than by counting down Strange Kids Club's Top 10 Best Werewolf Transformations of All Time!
#10 The Wolf Man (1941)

You can't do any werewolf list without mentioning the original, you just can't. This is where it all started (with exception to the oft-forgotten Werewolf of London).
#9 Teen Wolf (1985)

This ode to the original Wolf Man, doesn't offer much in terms of horrifying special effects, but does a commendable job nonetheless.
#8 Monster Squad (1987)

Though short, this scene earns a spot on the list for some pretty over-the-top acting and the fact that I love how he starts foaming at the mouth.
#7 Silver Bullet (1985)

Special effects supervisor Michael McCracken and his crew do a decent job with King's source material in this scene, showing a pretty brutal transformation. Plus, it gets extra points for showing Reverend Lowe without his eyepatch.
#6 An American Werewolf in London (1981)

American Werewolf in London gets points for pushing the limits of special effects technology of its time. Despite being the most well known transformation on this list, however, it takes more than movie hype to make the Top 5.
#5 The Wolfman (2010)

This re-envisioning of 1941's original cranks up the volume to 12 before the speakers explode. If only they had listened to Rick Baker a little more, this scene could have been EPIC, instead it loses points for relying on CGI.
#4 The Howling (1981)

This transformation is simply creepy, no doubt. From the bubbling of the skin to the uneven features and even those sinister-looking contacts, Rob Bottin's (The Thing) special effects are without question monstrously magnificent.
#3 Company of Wolves (1984)

So what could possibly knock Rob Bottin out of the top spot? Well how about this scene from Company of Wolves in which the actor literally tears his skin off and turns into a meaty, hound from Hell. Sweet.
#2 Trick 'R Treat (2009)

So what could possibly make the sequence from Company of Wolves even better? How about throwing in a pack of hungry, half-naked werewolf chicks who also peel off their skin to turn into the Big Bad.
#1 Howling IV: The Original Nightmare (1988)

But the all time best (and strangest) transformation has to be the overlooked direct-to-video classic Howling IV: The Original Nightmare. Complete with a Satanic cult, this scene is like a wicked mutant offspring of The Incredible Melting Man and Rosemary's Baby. Major movie monster cred goes to Steve Johnson and the rest of the special effects crew for this phenomenal transformation!


  1. The kid in me says: I so wanted The Howling to be on the top of the list, if only because Eddie Quist's transformation is the one I remember from my youth most vividly.

    The man-child in me says: Take that, American Werewolf in London! (Great scene, sure, but technical aspects alone do not equate to the greatest transformation sequence ever.)

    The adult in me says: The scene from The Howling IV is awesomely ridiculous.

  1. That is, by far, the most insane transformation I have ever seen in my life. I always forget about it's existence, but now that you've put it at the top of your list I can't help but also agree with you that it is definitely one of the craziest transformations ever filmed. The Howling, however, is and will forever be the best kind sir, and I have two swords if you're willing to do a little jousting with me ha ha! Great post!

  1. Strange Kid said...:

    @Chicken Wire: Haha, well I'm glad that everyone i there is happy. The Howling was so damn close to be #1, but Company of Wolves and Trick 'R Treat were guilty pleasures and... well Howling IV just kick ass.

    @Awkward Posture: Thanks! Howling IV is like the Halloween III of that film series and though I would agree that The Howling is a better film... I mean come on, the dude melts into a puddle only to rise from his own putrification. Putrification! :)

  1. Anonymous said...:

    Wow, good stuff. I've never seen the Howling IV. Might have to remedy that.

  1. Dano said...:

    Excellent feature - loved it!

  1. Strange Kid said...:

    @Planet of Terror: Thanks Cortez, I really appreciate it. Howling IV is for sure a guilty, little horror treat.

    @Dano: Sweet! I'm digging 3D Monster as well, you seem to never run out of stuff to talk about... its great!

  1. um nº1 i actually think it's the WORST transformation i have ever seen... the rest i agree. My personal favourite as Nº1 is the transformation of the black guy in Underworld.

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