As the season premiere of "True Blood" approaches, we're thinking not only of bloodsuckers but also of their lupine counterparts.
Once, vampires and werewolves were cultural ships passing in the night — they would meet only occasionally in those free-for-all-type movies (Dracula vs. Wolfman vs. Abbott & Costello vs. a Brooklyn Gorilla vs. Gamera). But now, the two are nearly inseparable — no vampire show is complete without a werewolf foil. Here, we rank the physical transformations of all the lycanthropes currently on the air in order of grossness.
8. "True Blood"
The least disgusting of the werewolves out there now. It's basically the same technique that turned Michael Jackson into a panther back in the '90s — only with more naked butts.
Also pretty tame. The "blutbad" shift back and forth without much effort (usually masked by quick camera cuts). The transformation seems to be even less of a hassle than it would be to have a name like "blutbad."
6. "Teen Wolf"
The core of the werewolf transformation in this MTV show appears to be sideburns and long nails. So picture Elvis Presley with the world's worst manicure, and you've pretty much got it.
5. "The Vampire Diaries"
Though mostly in shadows, you can tell this transformation is rough from the screams and the sounds of bones popping out and reforming. Kind of like a nightmare fusion of puberty and a chiropractic adjustment.
4. "Being Human" — U.S.
Tons of gratuitous CGI? Must be a Syfy show!
3. "Doctor Who"
There's been only one werewolf since the show rebooted in 2005, but it tried to kill Queen Victoria. A show about a werewolf assassin sounds like it'd be amazing, and in an alternate universe, would rule Thursday nights on The CW (which is exactly like The CW here, only everybody has goatees).
2. "Being Human" — U.K.
Rick Baker's effects work in "An American Werewolf in London" — 2 minutes and 35 seconds designed to make you feel uncomfortable — is keenly felt here. The U.K. "Being Human" is to the U.S. "Being Human" as the British "Office" is to the American "Office."
1. "Hemlock Grove"
You think the grossest part is going to be when the teeth fall out one by one. Then the wolf comes busting out of the human skin. THEN THE WOLF EATS THE HUMAN SKIN. Exactly the sort of thing you'd expect from Eli Roth. Or Hannibal Lecter.
"True Blood" returns Sunday, 6/16 on HBO.