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Guillermo del Toro Once Played a Werewolf in an Alka-Seltzer Commercial

Guillermo del Toro Once Played a Werewolf in an Alka-Seltzer Commercial

Over the weekend, filmmaker Guillermo del Toro won a much-deserved Best Director Oscar for his romantic fantasy film, The Shape of Water, which also won Best Picture. This was a long time coming for del Toro, and proved that a “monster movie” could take home the top honors. It’s the culmination of del Toro’s whole life to this point, as someone who has always felt–to quote his touring museum showcase–“at home with monsters,” dating way back to before he made his first feature. Even when he was tasked with making a commercial for Mexican TV, he couldn’t help but play with monsters…werewolves specifically.

The above 1991 commercial (shared via Remezcla.com) for Alka-Seltzer finds del Toro himself as a businessman with indigestion that threatens to turn him into a monster. Using imagery and effects straight out of John Landis’ An American Werewolf in London, del Toro looks in the mirror and slowly begins to wolf-out, even employing the rubbery change-o effect from American Werewolf to show his own snout getting bigger. The spot’s receptionist says “First he eats as a beast and then we have to alleviate his discomfort,” which is the Alka-Seltzer way, though we’re pretty sure Alka-Seltzer will not cure real werewolves.

Del Toro is obviously one of the industry’s best filmmakers, and his work has across the board been inspired by horror. If you haven’t seen either of his short films, you really ought to. One of the, Geometria which he made in 1987, is a real delight. It’s included on the Criterion release for his feature debut Cronos, but you can watch it below! It doesn’t have subtitles, but it’s about a boy who’s tired of failing geometry so he summons a demon.

Image: Alka-Seltzer/Carlos Mezamar

Kyle Anderson is the Associate Editor for Nerdist. He is the writer of 200 reviews of weird or obscure films in Schlock & Awe. Follow him on Twitter!

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