'American Werewolf in London' (1981)
"American Werewolf" fascinated audiences in part because of the extensive close-ups that showed the protagonist's agonizing transmutation, as his body sprouted fur, his hands changed into paws, and his torso shifted excruciatingly from biped human to four-legged wolf. It's even more amazing to realize that this illusion was created in the movie without today's computer-generated special effects.
Instead, makeup virtuoso Rick Baker -- who once worked as an assistant to Dick Smith -- designed a series of transitional makeup jobs for star David Naughton. Thanks to a little film editing, they made it appear that the handsome actor was morphing into a hirsute man-beast. Baker ultimately won an Oscar for his work on the horror hit that inaugurated the yearly Academy Award for achievement in makeup and hairstyling [sources: Steiger, Hollywood.com].