Top 10 Screen Werewolves

Why does everything have to be about vampires? Werewolves have feelings too, says Sarah Collins

With the new season of Being Human starting soon, Wolfblood on CBBC , and the upcoming release of Twilight: Breaking Dawn Part 2 , werewolves have definitely been on our minds here at SFX . Hey, you can even take part in a werewolf experience thanks to The furry fiends have been a staple of horror films since Werewolf Of London was released in 1935 (featuring the first werewolf to stand on two legs), so we thought it was high time we put together a list of top on-screen lycanthropes.

We toyed with the idea of including Dog Soldiers and Silver Bullet , but this is a list of werewolves – not our favourite werewolf films . So here's your countdown of some of our favourite furry friends (and foes)...

Number 10
Name: Jacob Black
In: Twilight
Played by: Taylor Lautner
Born or bitten: Born

Jacob is a shape-shifter who transforms into a wolf (as opposed to the Children of the Moon, who change during the full moon, losing their rationality). Even though Twilight doesn't classify him as a werewolf, for all intents and purposes he fits the bill.

He seems to have a better time of it than others, having most of the positives (being strong and fast, having the ability to change species) without possessing any of the negative qualities (painful transformations, tied to the full moon, loss of control). He was only supposed to be a small character, which is we see so little of him in the first film, but Stephanie Meyer liked him so much that she made him more prominent in the later titles.

Number 9
Name: Eddie Wolfgang Munster
In: The Munsters
Played by: Butch Patrick
Born or bitten: Born

It was always a bit confusing that Herman (Frankenstein's monster) and Lily (a vampire) could have a son that's a werewolf. That being said, Lily's brother is a werewolf and Grandpa can change into a wolf at will, so maybe the gene is recessive.

We never actually see Eddie Munster transform into a wolf, it's merely implied that he does. In one episode, Lily's brother says that he hasn't seen him since he was "this high" (and puts his hand well above Eddie's head), but whether that's because he transforms into a giant beast or some other explanation such as his father throwing him up into the air is even more ambiguous.

Eddie carries around a toy called Woof-woof (which resembles Lon Chaney's Wolf Man). He also has a pretty strange talent for opening tin cans with his ears (perfect for all those times you go camping and forget the tin opener).

Number 8
Name: Daniel "Oz" Osbourne
In: Buffy The Vampire Slayer
Played by: Seth Green
Born or bitten: Bitten

Oz becomes a werewolf after being bitten on his finger by his baby cousin. But other than turning into a howling wolf three nights a month, he's mostly just a taciturn teenager who fights vampires. When he transforms he's locked in a cage to protect others, and guarded by Willow, Buffy or the others to protect him and ensure he's not hunted for his pelt (meaning Buffy 's werewolves don't seem to revert to their human form when they die).

Number 7
Name: Little Red Riding Hood
In: Once Upon A Time
Played by: Meghan Ory
Born or bitten: Born

Who would have thought that innocent Little Red Riding Hood would turn out to be the Big Bad Wolf? After believing that her lover, Peter, is the wolf that's been terrorising the town every full moon, she ties him up and spends the night with him, thinking she's helping everyone. Instead she eats him. Turns out the red riding hood stopped her from transforming – maybe she should have listened when she was told to wear it.

Number 6
Name: Alcide Herveaux
In: True Blood
Played by: Jon Manganiello
Born or bitten: Born (in True Blood , werewolves can only be born – if someone is bitten by a werewolf, they become a wolfman, with less control and more aggression)

Alcide is a werewolf and werewolves in True Blood are permanently angry. This is probably because they live in the same fantasy universe where shapeshifters can change into any animal, which makes werewolves pretty second rate supernaturals. We bet shapeshifters turn into wolves in front of werewolves all the time, just to take the piss.

Alcide is also topless a lot. Which makes him very popular, for some reason.

He has a close relationship with Sookie, and if it wasn't for the fact that she shot his ex-girlfriend dead, they would probably be together. It's a shame they're not, because he's much less whiny than Bill or Eric.

Number 5
Name: David Kessler
In: An American Werewolf In London
Played by: David Naughton
Born or bitten: Bitten

Even 31 years after it was released, An American Werewolf In London still has one of the best werewolf transformation scenes ever made (winning Rick Baker his first Oscar out of seven for best make up).

David and his friend Jack are on hiking holiday in Yorkshire when they're attacked by a werewolf. Jack dies, and David is bitten. He has a pretty bad time of it – not only does he have to deal with the difficulties of becoming a wolf and the guilt of killing lots of people, but his victims' souls are trapped in this world, constantly telling him he needs to kill himself so they can be free. Amazing he keeps any sanity at all.

Number 4
Name: George Sands
In: Being Human
Played by: Russell Tovey
Born or bitten: Bitten

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Setting himself apart from many modern werewolves, George hated transforming into his lupine self. Not only was it physically painful, but he hated the thought of killing or hurting anyone while transformed. He remained in complete denial, separating himself from "the wolf" and shying away from taking responsibility for his actions, until he bit Nina.

Though his best friend, Mitchell, embraced his supernatural side, George tried to stay as human as possible. It's his desperate grasps for humanity and attempts to maintain some kind of normality that make him such a great (if not proud) werewolf.

Number 3
Name: Remus Lupin
In: Harry Potter And The Prisoner Of Azkaban
Played by: David Thewlis
Born or bitten: Bitten

In Harry Potter , werewolves are cruelly shunned by society. Lupin was allowed to enter Hogwarts as a student thanks to Dumbledore, who gave Lupin somewhere to transform without harming the other students – although he did nearly kill Snape that one time...

He was easily Hogwarts' best Defence Against the Dark Arts professor: he wasn't a Death Eater; didn't have Voldemort attached to the back of his head; and didn't torture any students with a cursed quill as a punishment. His only downfall was that once a month he'd turn into a murderous creature that was a danger to anyone in its path. But thanks to the advancements of modern wizardry, he's able to keep his human mind (if not body) by drinking Wolfsbane Potion, then curling up on the floor of his office and sleeping it off.

Number 2
Name: Ginger Fitzgerald
In: Ginger Snaps
Played by: Katharine Isabelle
Born or bitten: Bitten

Puberty is a pretty traumatising time for everyone. So getting bitten by a werewolf on the day of your first period has got to be one of the worst welcomes to adulthood there is. Ginger and Brigitte are two gothic sisters with a morbid fascination with all things dead. As the month progresses she becomes angrier and hairier – which her mum (clearly paying loads of attention) puts down to hormones. Brigitte is the first one to notice that her sister's strange behaviour might be down to something a bit more supernatural and tries desperately to stop it, unsuccessfully.

Number 1
Name: Larry Talbot
In: The Wolf Man (1941)
Played by: Lon Chaney Jr
Born or bitten: Bitten

After Hollywood spent so much time focusing on vampires, ( Nosferatu was released back in 1922, and that wasn't even the first vampire film made) it seemed only fair that werewolves finally got a look in. The Wolf Man was the second werewolf film made by Hollywood, after 1935's Werewolf Of London .

Larry Talbot is bitten when he tries to help a friend attacked by a wolf, which he manages to kill. Larry later finds out that the "wolf" was actually gypsy werewolf Bela (Bela Lugosi) and that he will now start transforming into an anthropomorphic wolf every full moon. Larry Talbot might not have been the first werewolf to terrorise the big screen, but his animalistic tendencies influenced future generations of lycanthropes everywhere.

Our horror columnist Penny Dreadful takes a look at werewolves in the next edition of SFX too, so look out for issue 228 on sale later in the month .

Sarah Collins