An American Werewolf In London gets a new Collector’s Edition Blu-ray to champion its 4K restoration. Those familiar with previous DVD and Blu-ray releases will recognise many of the additional features but there is a newly recorded commentary from Beware the Moon filmmaker Paul Davis as well as feature documentary Mark of The Beast: The Legacy.
While fans will already own copies of An American Werewolf In London in various “collector’s edition” formats, John Landis’ brilliant horror-comedy will hit shelves again in October sporting a new 4K restoration supervised by the director himself.
Those familiar with previous DVD and Blu-ray releases will recognise many of the additional features but there is a newly recorded commentary from Beware the Moon filmmaker Paul Davis as well as feature documentary Mark of The Beast: The Legacy. This new documentary boasts new interviews with John Landis, David Naughton, Joe Dante and more.
Beware the Moon, Paul Davis’ acclaimed, feature-length exploration of Landis’ film, is also presented in full. An American Filmmaker in London sees John Landis reflect on his time working in Britain and British cinema, while I Think He’s a Jew: The Werewolf’s Secret, a new video essay by filmmaker Jon Spira (Elstree 1976), looks at the film’s exploration of Jewish identity.
Other additional features on the new Blu-ray include featurettes and commentaries already found on previous DVDs and Blu-rays including an excellent audio commentary by actors David Naughton and Griffin Dunne, and archival interviews with Landis and Rick Baker.
The fact fans are being asked to buy the film again will irk many but there appears to be enough new material to make it a worthy purchase. The presentation is also stellar: a reversible sleeve featuring original poster art and artwork by Graham Humphreys is joined by six double-sided, postcard-sized lobby card reproductions, and a limited 60-page booklet featuring new writing by Travis Crawford and Simon Ward, archival articles and original reviews.
A rare if unheard of combination when the film was released originally in 1981, the film provoked a reaction from young and upcoming filmmakers to marry comedy with horror for cinematic effect. This ultimately saw a host of films become bona fide classics such as Evil Dead, Evil Dead 2, A Nightmare on Elm Street’s increasing comedic sequels, Scream, The Return of The Living Dead, Tremors and Gremlins.
Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein might be considered the first commercially successful film to combine horror and comedy but John Landis perceived the genre as one that should be genuinely frightening. When you think of Mel Brooks bringing elements of horror and comedy together in 1974’s Young Frankenstein, it’s the comedy that takes centre stage. In An American Werewolf in London, not only do we get a horror film that is genuinely unsettling but the seamless use of humour that complements the darker elements of the story. In fact, Landis harmonises fear and laughter to deliver a unique experience.
Full details for the new limited edition release:
• New 2018 4K restoration from the original camera negative supervised by John Landis
• High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) presentation
• Original uncompressed 1.0 mono and optional 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio
• Optional subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
• New audio commentary by Beware the Moon filmmaker Paul Davis
• Audio Commentary by actors David Naughton and Griffin Dunne
• Mark of The Beast: The Legacy of the Universal Werewolf, newly produced, feature-length documentary by filmmaker Daniel Griffith, featuring interviews with John Landis, David Naughton, Joe Dante and more
• An American Filmmaker in London, a newly filmed interview with John Landis in which he reflects on his time working in Britain and British cinema
• I Think He’s a Jew: The Werewolf’s Secret, new video essay by filmmaker Jon Spira (Elstree 1976) about how Landis’ film explores Jewish identity
• The Werewolf’s Call, Corin Hardy, director of The Nun, chats with writer Simon Ward about their formative experiences with Landis’ film.
• Wares of the Wolf, new featurette in which SFX artist Dan Martin and Tim Lawes of The Prop Store look at some of the original costumes and special effects artefacts from the film
• Beware the Moon, Paul Davis’ acclaimed, feature-length exploration of Landis’ film which boasts extensive cast and crew interviews
• Making An American Werewolf in London, a short archival featurette on the film’s production
• An Interview with John Landis, a lengthy archival interview with the director about the film
• Makeup Artist Rick Baker on An American Werewolf in London, the legendary make-up artist discusses his work on the film
• I Walked with a Werewolf, an archival interview with the make-up artist about Universal horror and its legacy of Wolfman films
• Casting of the Hand, archival footage from Rick Baker’s workshop as they cast David Naughton’s hand
• Original trailers, teasers and radio spots
• Extensive image gallery featuring over 200 stills, posters and other ephemera
• Reversible sleeve featuring original poster art and artwork by Graham Humphreys
• Double-sided fold-out poster
• Six double-sided, postcard-sized lobby card reproductions
• Limited 60-page booklet featuring new writing by Travis Crawford and Simon Ward, archival articles and original reviews
An American Werewolf in London in 4K is released on limited edition Blu-ray on October 28, 2019.