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An American Werewolf In London: Limited Edition Blu-ray Review


Arrow Video’s new limited edition version of “An American Werewolf In London” is the best release of the cult horror-comedy yet.

Written and directed by John Landis, “An American Werewolf In London” is a horror-comedy about two American men (Jack and David) traveling through Northern England. Near the beginning of the movie, the two are attacked by a werewolf. Jack is brutally killed while David manages to survive. Unfortunately, an undead Jack visits David and informs him that he will turn into a werewolf on the next full moon. Furthermore, all of the victims of the werewolves (including his pal Jack) cannot rest until the werewolf line is severed and the curse lifted. Meanwhile, David begins to fall for the Nurse (Alex) taking care of him while his Doctor investigates what actually happened to David in the secretive community of East Procter.

“An American Werewolf In London” is often regarded as one of the great horror-comedies and werewolf movies and, while that holds true, I’ve never been quite as over the moon (pun intended) for it as others. When the movie leans more on straight horror aspects and the werewolf mythology, it soars. The atmospheric, dark, and vicious werewolf centric sequences are truly effective thanks to Rick Baker’s (the real MVP of this film) makeup special effects. The effects still hold up to this day and the transformation scene is still arguably the best ever made. Where the movie falters for me is with those non horror and werewolf scenes. The comedy (while solid) isn’t as engaging as the horror and is comprised of some rather dated bits, the romance between Alex and David is entirely forced and underdeveloped, and the middle portion of the movie meanders about until David finally turns into a werewolf.

Cast wise, the four leads all turn in quality performances. David Naughton is a likable and ultimately tragic lead as David. The underrated Griffin Dunne shines as Jack (who is mostly undead in this movie). Jenny Agutter is utterly charming as Alex while actor John Woodvine impresses as Dr. Hirsch.


Presentation: 1.85:1 1080p. How does it look? Expect a great transfer that maintains the grit and grain of the original print.

Audio Track: Original Uncompressed 1.0 Mono and a 5.1 DTS-HD MA. How do they sound? You can’t go wrong with either track honestly. Both sound crisp.

* A double-sided poster
* A thick booklet containing credits, photos, essays by film scholar Craig Ian Mann, author Simon Ward, a piece from Cinefantastique by Jordan R Fox, and original reviews
* 6 lobby cards
* A trailer, a teaser and a TV spot
* Production stills, behind the scenes, posters, lobby cards, storyboards and shooting schedule still galleries.
* A storyboard to final film comparison for a sequence.
* 3 minutes of outtakes (no sound)
* “Casting Of The Hand”- Footage from Rick Baker’s workshop on the casting of David Naughton’s hand
* “I Walked With A Werewolf”- An archival interview with Rick Baker about Universal monsters (and “The Wolfman”)
* “Make-Up Artist Rick Baker On An American Werewolf In London”- Another archival interview with Baker.
* An 18 minute archival interview with John Landis.
* “Making An American Werewolf In London”- A short vintage making of featurette with set footage and interviews.
* “Beware The Moon”- Perhaps the most in-depth extra on this set is this 97 minute documentary hosted by Paul Davis that examines “An American Werewolf In London.”
* “The Werewolf’s Call”- A conversation between director Corin Hardy and Simon Ward about the film.
* “I Think He’s A Jew: The Werewolf’s Secret”- A video essay by director Jon Spira about the Jewish characters and culture in the film.
* “Wares Of The Wolf”- A new featurette with Dan Martin and Tim Lawes showcasing costumes and props from the film.
* “An American Filmmaker In London”- A new 12 minute interview with John Landis about filming England and British cinema.
* “Mark Of The Beast: The Legacy Of The Universal Werewolf”- A brand new 77 minute documentary with tons of interviews about The Wolfman, werewolves, Universal horror and more.
* 2 commentary tracks. One informative track by “Beware The Moon” director Paul Davis and the other by actors David Naughton and Griffin Dunne who essentially reminisce about their on set experiences.

October 30, 2019 - Posted by | Blu-Ray review | , , , , ,

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