John Landis

John Landis

Highest Rated: 100% King Cohen: The Wild World of Filmmaker Larry Cohen (2018)

Lowest Rated: 0% The Silence of the Hams (1994)

Birthday: Aug 3, 1950

Birthplace: Not Available

With as much monkeying-around as his movies frequently display, it should come as no surprise to John Landis fans that one of his earliest inspirations as a filmmaker was the original 1933 version of King Kong. The man behind such carefree comedies as Animal House, Landis has also helped to blur the lines between comedy and horror with such efforts as An American Werewolf in London and Innocent Blood, in addition to crafting such fine-tined social satire as Trading Places. Born in Chicago in August of 1950, Landis originally worked in the mailroom at Fox and later as a stuntman before making a name for himself as a director. Landis was in his early twenties when he decided it was time to make a feature, and after a brief flirtation with the idea of crafting an underground porn film, the aspiring director raised the funding needed for his directorial debut from family and friends. The result of his tireless efforts was the relentlessly juvenile but infectiously silly Schlock (aka The Banana Monster [1973]). Featuring the director himself dressed in a cheap monkey costume (designed by frequent collaborator Rick Baker) and terrorizing a California town, the film opened a door for Landis when David Zucker spotted him discussing the film on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson. Mentioning to friend Robert Weiss that he was impressed with the young filmmaker's energy, Weiss remarked that he was friends with Landis, and the result was The Kentucky Fried Movie (1977). A dream collaboration in anarchic humor, the wildly irreverent, non sequitur humor of The Kentucky Fried Movie struck a chord with audiences fueled on Saturday Night Live, and natural progression lead to the breakthrough comedy Animal House the following year. Based on the writer's college exploits and shot in a mere 28 days, Animal House proved an unmitigated smash hit at the box office despite nearly unanimous critical denouncement. Though critical evisceration would become a trademark of Landis films, the following decade found the now-established director in his prime. Given free reign over his next film by Universal, rumors still persist that The Blues Brothers was the first film in cinematic history to begin production without a finalized budget. A loud and spectacular collage of driving blues music and eye-popping car crashes, the film not only made the world record for the number of cars crashed in a movie, but proved an even bigger hit than Animal House. For his next film, Landis utilized a script he had penned while in Yugoslavia working as a gofer on Kelly's Heroes in 1969. Though An American Werewolf in London may not have been the first horror film to utilize comedy, its truly terrifying scenes contrasted by an ample dose of dark humor proved the spark that would ignite the horror comedy genre later expanded on by the likes of Sam Raimi and Peter Jackson. Yet another runaway hit at the box office, An American Werewolf in London's shockingly frightful visuals earned makeup artist Baker the first ever Academy Award to be bestowed upon a special effects artist. As successful as Landis' career had been to date, trouble was on the way when filming of Twilight Zone: The Movie was ground to a halt following the accidental on-set death of star Vic Morrow and two juvenile actors. When special effects caused a helicopter to crash, killing all three passengers instantly, the director, as well as three other technicians who were working on the film, were charged with involuntary manslaughter. Though all would eventually be found not guilty in the case, the trial would drag on for a decade. Despite the tragedy that beset the production of Twilight Zone, Landis would score a massive hit that same year by wolfing it up with pop-superstar Michael Jackson as the director of Thriller. The remainder of the 1980s found Landis scoring mild box-office hits with such efforts as Spies Like Us (1985) and Three Amigios! (1986), though it wasn't until Coming to America (1988) that he w

Highest Rated Movies



No Score Yet Making Apes: The Artists Who Changed Film Actor 2020
22% I Hate Kids Executive Producer Psychic #4 2019
100% King Cohen: The Wild World of Filmmaker Larry Cohen Actor 2018
80% Out of Print Actor 2016
No Score Yet Blast Vegas Actor 2013
No Score Yet Trespassing Bergman Actor 2013
No Score Yet Action Pack: Clue Quote-along Screenwriter 2013
No Score Yet Attack of the 50ft Cheerleader Actor 2012
No Score Yet King Of Clip Director 2012
92% Ray Harryhausen: Special Effects Titan Actor 2011
33% Burke and Hare Director $947 2011
80% Some Guy Who Kills People Executive Producer 2011
86% American Grindhouse Actor 2010
88% Machete Maidens Unleashed! Actor 2010
No Score Yet Beware the Moon: Remembering 'An American Werewolf in London' Actor 2009
No Score Yet Starz Inside Actor 2009
No Score Yet Ladies or Gentlemen Actor Executive Producer 2009
80% Mr. Warmth: The Don Rickles Project Producer Director 2008
No Score Yet Fantastic Flesh Actor 2008
60% Look Himself 2007
100% Spine Tingler: The William Castle Story Actor 2007
No Score Yet Starz Inside: Bloodsucking Cinema Actor 2007
No Score Yet The Sci-Fi Boys Participants 2006
No Score Yet Masters of Horror Director 2006
67% Edgar G. Ulmer: The Man Off-Screen Actor 2005
No Score Yet Masters of Horror Director Screenwriter 2005
15% Surviving Eden Dr. Levine 2004
93% Spider-Man 2 Doctor $373.4M 2004
67% Slasher Director 2004
No Score Yet Where Are They Now?: A Delta Alumni Update Actor 2003
No Score Yet Masters of Horror Actor 2002
67% The American Nightmare Actor 2001
No Score Yet Susan's Plan Producer Director 2000
No Score Yet Monster by Moonlight! The Immortal Saga of 'The Wolf Man' Actor 1999
26% Diamonds Gambler 1999
30% Freeway 2: Confessions of a Trickbaby (Freeway II: Confessions of a Trickbaby) Judge 1999
No Score Yet The Yearbook: An 'Animal House' Reunion Actor 1998
No Score Yet Laws of Deception The Judge 1998
36% Mad City Doctor 1997
46% Blues Brothers 2000 Screenwriter Producer Director 1997
No Score Yet Quicksilver Highway Surgical Assistant 1997
No Score Yet The Munsters' Scary Little Christmas Executive Producer 1996
20% The Stupids Director 1996
No Score Yet Vampirella Astronaut 1996
No Score Yet Here Come the Munsters Producer 1995
86% Who Is Henry Jaglom? Actor 1995
0% The Silence of the Hams FBI Agent 1994
10% Beverly Hills Cop III Screenwriter Director 1994
No Score Yet Venice/Venice Himself 1992
39% Innocent Blood Director 1992
25% Stephen King's 'Sleepwalkers' Lab Technician 1992
No Score Yet Body Chemistry II: Voice of a Stranger Dr. Edwards 1991
No Score Yet Psycho IV: The Beginning Actor 1991
12% Oscar Director 1991
No Score Yet Spontaneous Combustion Radio Technician 1990
84% Darkman Physician 1990
67% Coming to America Director 1988
59% Amazon Women on the Moon Director Screenwriter Executive Producer $0.6M 1987
45% Three Amigos! Director Screenwriter 1986
No Score Yet Fuzzbucket Executive Producer 1986
No Score Yet Stephen King's World of Horror Actor 1986
62% Clue Screenwriter Executive Producer Producer 1985
32% Spies Like Us Director Screenwriter 1985
38% Into the Night Savak Agent Screenwriter Director 1985
No Score Yet Thriller Director 1983
56% Twilight Zone: The Movie Screenwriter Director Producer 1983
87% Trading Places Screenwriter Director 1983
No Score Yet Coming Soon Director 1983
87% An American Werewolf in London Director Screenwriter 1981
84% The Blues Brothers Screenwriter Director 1980
42% 1941 Mizerany 1979
90% National Lampoon's Animal House Director Actor 1978
81% The Kentucky Fried Movie Director Actor 1977
71% Schlock The Schlockthropus Schlock Director Screenwriter 1973
36% Battle For The Planet Of The Apes Jake's friend 1973


No Score Yet Eli Roth's History of Horror
Appearing 2018
No Score Yet Face Off
Judge 2017
61% Franklin & Bash
Director 2012
54% The Boondocks
Voice 2010
89% Psych
Director 2008
63% Masters of Horror
Screenwriter Director 2006
No Score Yet Campus Cops
Executive Producer 1996
No Score Yet Dream On
Executive Producer Director 1996
No Score Yet Weird Science
Executive Producer


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