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An American Werewolf in London (Limited Edition): Blu-Ray Review

The 1981 horror-comedy, “An American Werewolf in London” from writer/director John Landis happens to be my favorite werewolf movie to date, with Joe Dante’s “The Howling” coming in second. Interestingly, enough both films were released in the same year.  Arrow Video has pulled out all the stops for their Limited Edition Blu-ray and this could very well be my favorite release of 2019. Sure, it helps that I absolutely love the film, but this beautifully packaged set includes everything a fan could want.

The story centers on a couple of Americans, David and Jack (David Naughton and Griffin Dunne), backpacking through Europe. While out in the countryside, they are attacked by an animal. David was bitten but Jack was killed.  When Jack starts appearing to David as one of the undead and informing him that they were attacked by a werewolf, David begins to think he is losing his mind. Thankfully for David, his nurse (Jenny Algutter) has taken a liking to him and invited David to stay with her. However, Jack’s warnings come-to-pass and David does transform, taking a handful of lives with him.

There is so much to love in “An American Werewolf in London”, however it is the incredible creature effects and sense of humor that have always stood out to me the most.  This new release from Arrow Video included a beautiful 4K restoration and the film has never looked as good as it does here. Included with the abundance of bonus content are two feature-length documentaries, “Mark of the Beast” and “Beware the Moon”. A double-sided poster and postcards are included, but my favorite addition would be the booklet with writing from Travis Crawford and Simon Ward.  This is a must-own for anyone who loves this film as much as I do.

Bonus Material

  • 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
  • Outtakes
  • 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

By: Marc Ferman