AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON [1981 / 2019] [Blu-ray] [UK Release]
Keep Off The Moors . . . Stick To The Roads . . . Beware of The Moon!
One of the greatest directors of the 1980’s, John Landis (‘The Blues Brothers’ and ‘Trading Places’), expertly combines macabre horror with dark humour in the lycanthropic classic, ‘AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON.’
American tourists David Kessler [David Naughton] and Jack Goodman [Griffin Dunne] are savaged by an unidentified vicious animal whilst hiking on the Yorkshire Moors. David Kessler awakes in a London hospital to find his friend dead and his life in disarray. Retiring to the home of a beautiful Nurse Alex Price [Jenny Agutter] to recuperate; David Kessler soon experiences disturbing changes to his mind and body, undergoing a full-moon transformation that will unleash terror on the streets of the capital...
‘AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON’ had audiences howling with laughter and recoiling in terror upon its cinema release. John Landis film has gone on to become one of the most important horror films of its decade, rightly lauded for its masterful set-pieces, uniquely unsettling atmosphere and Rick Bakers ground-breaking, Oscar-winning special makeup effects. Now restored in 4K, and presented with an abundance of extra features, this big beast of horror can be devoured as never before...
FILM FACT: Director John Landis came up with the story while he worked in Yugoslavia as a production assistant on the film ‘Kelly's Heroes’ . John Landis and a Yugoslav member of the crew were driving in the back of a car on location when they came across a group of Romani people. The Romani people appeared to be performing rituals on a man being buried so that he would not “rise from the grave.” This made John Landis realize he would never be able to confront the undead and gave him the idea for a film in which a man would go through the same thing. John Landis wrote the first draft of An American Werewolf in London in 1969 and shelved it for over a decade. Two years later, Landis wrote, directed, and starred in his debut film, Schlock, which developed a cult following. Landis developed box-office status in Hollywood through the successful comedy films ‘The Kentucky Fried Movie,’ ‘Animal House’ and ‘The Blues Brothers’ before securing $10 million financing from PolyGram Pictures for his werewolf film. Financiers believed that Landis' script was too frightening to be a comedy and too funny to be a horror film. Universal Studios execs were pressuring the director to cast Dan Aykroyd and John Belushi as David Kessler and Jack Goodman, but John Landis went with unknown actors instead. Filming took place between February and March 1981 because director John Landis wanted the film to take place during poor weather. The moors were filmed around the Black Mountains in Wales, and East Proctor is in reality the tiny village of Crickadarn, about six miles (9.7 km) southeast of Builth Wells off the A470. The Angel of Death statue was a prop added for the film, but the red phone box is real, though the Welsh road signs were covered by a fake tree. The pub shown in the film known as the Slaughtered Lamb was actually a cottage located in Crickadarn, and the interior scenes were filmed in the Black Swan, Old Lane, Martyrs Green in Surrey. ‘AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON’ was the first film allowed to shoot in Piccadilly Circus in 15 years. John Landis accomplished this by inviting 300 members of London's Metropolitan Police Service to a screening of his new film The Blues Brothers. The police were so impressed by his work that they granted the production a two-night filming permit between the hours of 1:00 and 4:00 am. Traffic was stopped only three times for two-minute increments to film the automobile stunts involving the double-decker bus. Other filming locations included Putney General Hospital, Chiswick Maternity Hospital, Redcliffe Square in Earl's Court, the area around Tower Bridge, Tottenham Court Road Underground station, London Zoo, Putney High Street, Belgravia, Hampstead and Southwark. Filming also took place at Twickenham Film Studios in Richmond Upon Thames. The score was composed and conducted by Elmer Bernstein and recorded at Olympic Studios in London, engineered by Keith Grant. Bernstein's score can be heard during David's nightmares, when Dr. Hirsch drives through the moors to East Proctor, and when Alex confronts David in the alley. Though Elmer Bernstein wrote and recorded music to accompany the transformation scene, director John Landis chose not to use it. The three-minute passage was eventually released by Elmer Bernstein under the title “Metamorphosis.”
Cast: Joe Belcher, David Naughton, Griffin Dunne, David Schofield, Brian Glover, Lila Kaye, Rik Mayall, Sean Baker, Paddy Ryan, Jenny Agutter, Anne-Marie Davies, John Woodvine, Frank Oz, Don McKillop, Paul Kember, Colin Fernandes, Albert Moses, Jim Henson (archive footage), Michele Brisigotti, Mark Fisher, Gordon Sterne, Paula Jacobs, Claudine Bowyer, Johanna Crayden, Nina Carter, Geoffrey Burridge, Brenda Cavendish, Christopher Scoular, Mary Tempest, Cynthia Powell, Sydney Bromley, Frank Singuineau, Will Leighton, Michael Carter, Elizabeth Bradley, Rufus Deakin, Lesley Ward, George Hilsdon, Gerry Lewis, Dennis Fraser, Alan Ford, Peter Ellis, Denise Stephens, Christine Hargreaves, Linzi Drew, Lucien Morgan, Dave Cooper, Susan Spencer, Bob Babenia, Ken Sicklen, John Salthouse, John Altman, Keith Hodiak, John Owens, Roger Rowland, Lewis Alexander (uncredited), Jack Armstrong (uncredited), Vic Armstrong (uncredited), Alan Austen (uncredited), Roy Beck (uncredited), Kevin Brennan (uncredited), John Cannon (uncredited), Ina Clare (uncredited), Simon van Collem (uncredited), Harry Fielder (uncredited), Noel Flanagan (uncredited), Alan Flyng (uncredited), Ryan Folsey (uncredited), Laurie Goode (uncredited), Dave Griffiths (uncredited), Brendan Hughes (uncredited), John Ketteringham (uncredited), John Landis (uncredited), Dave Lanning (archive footage) (uncredited), Aileen Lewis (uncredited), Tommy Little (uncredited), Derek Lyons (uncredited), Lou Morgan (uncredited), Ralph G. Morse (uncredited), James Muir (uncredited), Terence Mustoo (uncredited), George Oliver (uncredited), James Payne (uncredited), Quentin Pierre (uncredited), Jack Ross (uncredited), Terry Sach (uncredited), Alecia St Leger (uncredited), David Stone (uncredited), John Timberlake (uncredited) and Terry Walsh (uncredited)
Director: John Landis
Producers: George Folsey Jr., Jon Peters and Peter Guber
Screenplay: John Landis
Composer: Elmer Bernstein
Costume Design: Deborah Nadoolman
Cinematography: Robert Paynter, B.S.C. (Director of Photography)
Special Effects: Garth Inns (uncredited), Ken Barley (mould maker) (uncredited), Martin Gutteridge (uncredited) and Neil Corbould (special effects assistant) (uncredited)
Visual Effects: David Smith (optical cameraman: Camera Effects Ltd) (uncredited) and Costas Charitou (titles and opticals: Camera Effects Ltd) (uncredited)
Image Resolution: 1080p (Color by Technicolor)
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
Audio: English: 1.0 DTS-HD Master Audio Mono
English: 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio
English: 2.0 Dolby Digital Stereo Audio
Running Time: 97 minutes
Region: Region B/2
Number of discs: 1
Studio: PolyGram Pictures / Lycanthrope Films Limited / Arrow Video
Andrew’s Blu-ray Review: ‘AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON’ was a 1981 film that blended horror and comedy and was written and directed by John Landis, best known for directing such other films of different genres.
The story here involves two American college students touring Britain in England by hitching rides in the back of trucks with sheep and essentially walking on foot. The two guys, David Kessler [David Naughton] and Jack Goodman [Griffin Dunne], are hungry and make the odd choice of trying a local bar called “The Slaughtered Lamb” where they’re greeted by the locals with a very suspicious complete lack of hospitality and fear. The guys notice a five-sided star pentagram on the wall of the bar between two burning candles, which they find rather strange and decide to ask about. Needless to say, they don’t get any reply to that inquiry but are essentially refused service and sent on their way being warned to “beware the moon” and to keep to the roads and avoid the nearby English moors.
David Kessler and Jack Goodman leave the pub completely dumbfounded but also laughing about the whole experience and continue on their way, walking at first along the road. They get to talking and manage to wander off of the main road. That’s about the time they hear a haunting howl and things just go all to hell. The two guys were then attacked by a wolf, more specifically a werewolf. The locals come out and manage to shoot and kill the werewolf after it has attacked the two friends.
After the werewolf attack, David Kessler is laying on the ground in complete and utter disbelief of what has happened. It’s later when David Kessler wakes up in a hospital bed in London and he is informed by Dr. J. S. Hirsch [John Woodvine] that he was attacked by some wild animal – so the townspeople claimed. David Kessler is informed by a man named Mr. Collins [Frank Oz] looming over him by his hospital bed that his friend Jack Goodman was killed by this wild animal attack.
As you would imagine, David Kessler is not too quick to want to accept this news but he later has no choice when his friend Jack Goodman shows up in his hospital room asking for some of his food – looking pretty mangled. I’ll just say that his friend is of course, in an undead form and trying to warn him of what happened to them both.
David Kessler is very much frantic at this point but he meets Nurse Price [Jenny Agutter] who is very helpful and the two really ironically hit it off. The nurse helps David Kessler stay as grounded to reality as he can be while he attempts to deal with what he’s now part of and the haunting reappearance of his deceased friend. The story here is very dramatic at times, but deep down it’s truly a horror film with some very dark sense of humour thrown in for good measure. However, I won’t go into full details so to avoid revealing any real spoilers for any folks who have never seen this modern horror classic of sorts.
If you’ve never seen this film and you like the certain horror genre, you owe it to yourself to give this special Blu-ray a watch and you couldn’t find a better time to do it – especially with this amazing 2019 Limited Edition Blu-ray release from Arrow Video.
At the end of the film it said that Lycanthrope Films Limited wishes to extend its heartfelt congratulations to Lady Diana Spencer and His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales on the occasion of their marriage on the 29th July, 1981.
AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON MUSIC TRACK LIST
BLUE MOON (Music by Richard Rodgers) (uncredited) (Lyrics by Lorenz Hart) (uncredited) [Performed by Bobby Vinton]
SANTA LUCIA (uncredited) (Traditional) (Transcribed and Arranged by Teodoro Cottrau) [Performed by Griffin Dunne and David Naughton]
BLUE MOON (Music by Richard Rodgers) (uncredited) (Lyrics by Lorenz Hart) (uncredited) [Performed by Sam Cooke]
HEAY METAL THUNDER (Written by Biff Byford) [Performed by Saxon]
MOONDANCE (Written by Van Morrison) (uncredited) [Performed by Van Morrison]
BAD MOON RISING (Written by John Fogerty) (uncredited) [Performed by Creedence Clearwater Revival]
BLUE MOON (Music by Richard Rodgers) (uncredited) (Lyrics by Lorenz Hart) (uncredited) [Performed by The Marcels]
REBEL (uncredited) (Music by Francis Monkman)
PASSPORT TO SOHO (uncredited) (Music by Trevor Duncan)
PAST PRESENT AND BEYOND (uncredited) (Music by Trevor Bastow)
COLD SWEAT (uncredited) (Music by Andrew Pryce Jackman)
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Blu-ray Image Quality – PolyGram Pictures, Lycanthrope Films Limited and Arrow Video presents us the amazing film ‘AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON’ with a New 2018 4K restoration from the original camera negative experience and shown in the 1.85:1 aspect ratio. This movie was shot on 35mm film using the Arriflex 35 Bl camera with spherical lenses. For this image upgraded release and ARROW VIDEO their own scan and left the smeary 2016 transfer in the dust. Grain is thankfully here and brings the picture back to a film look, because it was shot on film. This gives way to the fine detail lost in the 2016 transfer. Hairs, pores, stitching on coats all make a bigger appearance here. Colours look great as well with the red coat looking really red without bleeding out. Many will notice that both transfers look similar. This could be because Arrow was given the original transfer files, the ones with all the digital manipulation that the film was processed through in 2016, and left much of it alone. They kept the good and threw away the bad. This is a strong image transfer and proof that Universal Pictures should leave well enough alone when it comes to the DNR and the like. You’ll notice the colour has been ever-so-slightly adjusted to come across more realistic. Scenes also seem to slightly brighten slightly, but in a good way, showing off detail but still maintaining a solid black level. There are no signs here at all, of any compression problems. It looks very impressive how much better the film looks with this 2019 upgrade. Please Note: Playback Region B/2: This will not play on most Blu-ray players sold in North America, Central America, South America, Japan, North Korea, South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Southeast Asia. Learn more about Blu-ray region specifications.
Blu-ray Audio Quality – PolyGram Pictures, Lycanthrope Films Limited and Arrow Video brings us the film ‘AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON’ with a choice of sound in the form of the original 1.0 DTS-HD Master Audio Mono audio track which was used when I went to see the film for the first time and I believe that this is the first time the original track has been included on a modern Blu-ray release. But now we have the upgraded 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio track and the audio track sounds really great, and I went for the 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio to watch the film with this audio track as it fills the room with sound and the rear channels get used really nicely to give you the feeling of being in the middle of the wind walking along some English moors. The music sounds very nice as well and gets some rear channel use itself. There’s a very tiny bit of bass via the subwoofer especially when the werewolf is present and howling. This isn’t the most intense 5.1 audio mix I’ve ever heard but it’s pretty damn impressive, at times. The original score here, composed by the late Elmer Bernstein, as well as the songs on the soundtrack all sound impressive here throughout the film in both lossless mixes. Of course it is entirely up to other viewers to decide what audio experience they want to watch the film with, as some people like to stick with the original sound of the original 1.0 DTS-HD Master Audio Mono audio track and there is of course nothing wrong with it as such and of course aficionados people of this film will think all these years that Mono was originally audio created for this film when it was released and probably feels it manages to get the job done in terms of sound delivers with a solid presentation. But for me, the 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio is the one that I much preferred to watch the film.
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Blu-ray Special Features and Extras:
New 2018 4K restoration from the original camera negative supervised by John Landis
High Definition Blu-ray 1080p presentation
Special Feature: Audio Commentary by Paul Davis [Audio only]  [1080p] [1.85:1] [95:53] With this featurette, we get to hear a brand new audio commentary featuring Paul Davis, the filmmaker behind the making-of documentary “Beware the Moon.” Paul Davis’ audio commentary track ends up being summing up of everything he learned while making his documentary and pointing out the sequences we get to view of certain scenes in the film, and also talks about how the sequences were filmed, right down to the equipment used, or how certain effects were pulled off. He even talks about the scenes that became an issue for censors, shares stories around the porn-film-within-the-film, how everyone was concerned a 4K restoration of the film would the effects look horrible now, but to me personally, I honestly don’t think that is the case, in fact I feel it improves the images we see of the transformations, and Paul Davis even goes into detail about that planned sequel that eventually became ‘An American Werewolf in Paris,’ and Paul Davis snidely pointing out “no one is releasing a Blu-ray of that.” I’ll say that I’m not impressed at all the little details Paul Davis knows and his delivery still leaves a bit to be desired, because he is much better as a narrator/host in his documentary, and there are times where topics can feel totally dragged out a bit and totally boring. Still, if you were looking to learn new things around the film then this particular audio commentary may be what you seek, but to me I personally I am not at all keen on Paul Davis as he has a slightly annoying attitude. Due to the limited amount of space for this Blu-ray review, I have had to limit my review of this particular audio commentary.
Special Feature: Audio Commentary by David Naughton and Griffin Dunne [Audio only]  [1080p] [1.85:1] [94:44] With this featurette, we get to hear an audio commentary by actors David Naughton and Griffin Dunne that was an extra on the DVD release in 1997. This audio commentary is far more superior, but it first appeared first appeared on Universal Pictures’ collector’s edition DVD. This audio commentary track is more of a “hang-out” track as you listen to David Naughton and Griffin Dunne revisit the film and talk about whatever pops into their heads. Anyway, as the film begins, both of them introduce themselves and inform us they are watching the film ‘AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON’ and also inform us that they are both in Burbank in California. They inform us they each have children, Griffin Dunne will not allow his 11 year old daughter to watch this film. They say they started filming in the location of Wales in the first scene of the film and they felt it was a very barren landscape, and they say that the London British 'SWAT' team were training in the area at the same time. They talk about the pick-up truck you see them both with the sheep, and they had to pretend that they knew what everyone knew what they were doing, and they shot the start of the film in sequence, but they remember it was totally freezing cold, and they say they walked miles and miles, and they made up the “knock knock jokes” up. They comment about the incredible British cast in “The Slaughtered Lamb” pub and talk about some of the better known British actors. They complain about the critics slaughtering the film ‘AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON’ and commented that they could not make up what the movie was, either funny or either horror, and they felt it really hit below the belt. They talk about where they were walking after leaving the pub and it was not on the Moors, but the backyard owned by the late Queen Elizabeth II, the Windsor Great Park and is a Royal Park of 2,020 hectares, including a deer park, to the south of the town of Windsor on the border of Berkshire and Surrey in England, and of course they mention they had wandered off the road, which they were warned not to do so, but they mention that if they had kept to the road there would be no movie. Griffin Dunne mentions that David Naughton was accepted by British Equity which is formerly officially titled the British Actors’ Equity Association, is the trade union for the performing arts and entertainment industries. But Griffin Dunne was baulked by British Equity because they could not find an American actor living in the UK, and they say John Landis threatened to move the whole production to Paris in France and call the film ‘An American Werewolf in Paris.’ Of course they talk about the actress Jenny Agutter and comment how stunning she looked and was. We eventually get to the scene with David Naughton is about to eat his breakfast in the hospital after attacking people and the undead Griffin Dunne turns up by his bed and the actor talks about the make-up session he had to endure, and also talks about what John Landis said to Griffin Dunne and what he said was, “No matter what you do, don’t ever sound in anything else, but be in a really good mood, just stay in a good mood,” and it was ironic, as Griffin Dunne informs us that he felt quit melancholy wearing the ghastly make-up. They also both say what a wonderful job Make-up Artist Rick Baker did with his professional make-up technique. At chapter 6, they talk about the time of filming where Diana Spencer was going out and dating Prince Charles and of course was all in the papers, and Griffin Dunne was axed if he knew anyone in the UK, and jokingly said he had the telephone number of Diana Spencer and of course they gasped and said you cannot contact Diana Spencer as she was going out with Prince Charles and Griffin Dunne says, “Oh no, she is not available.” Then we see David Naughton and Jenny Augutter arrive at her flat, and David Naughton mentions it was a very nice flat for a nurse, and it was actually filmed in an actual flat in Knightsbridge in an area in London, but when you see David Naughton transform into a werewolf, that was actual filmed in a mock up room in the studio, and Griffin Dunne says, “You was the luckiest guy” and of course means the scene David Naughton is in bed with Jenny Augutter naked together. When we get to chapter 7 where see Doctor J. S. Hirsch turns up at “The Slaughtered Lamb” pub and David Naughton says that Rick Baker and himself were in Germany promoting the film and they were invited to appear in a TV talk show programme and asked Rick Baker to do a make-up and told them he had no make-up equipment with him, so they said would you mind if we went out to purchase items so you can do a make-up session of David Naughton on our talk show tonight, and eventually Rick Baker was able to do only half the face of David Naughton and eventually as the dhow started, David Naughton walked out into the studio in front of the audience with his normal half of his face showing to be interviewed, and the actor was asked do you experience any side effects with the make-up on, and David Naughton informs the audience that he get a slight toothache and turns towards the audience with the side of the face with the make-up with the fangs and the whole of the audience gasps with horror and shock and Rick Baker and David Naughton had great laugh about the incident in the studio. Griffin Dunne informs us that when he was in his ghastly make-up with the crew and said why we don’t go to a pub in London with your make-up on and let’s scare the shit out of them. Griffin Dunne says when he had the first test make-up he felt very depressed when he viewed himself in the mirror and felt like he had just been killed, that is how realistic the make-up looked, and was really unsettling, and director John Landis telephoned Griffin Dunne and asked him how was he with the make-up and also asked if he is feeling depressed, and Griffin Dunne asked how the hell did know how he was feeling, and John Landis asked Griffin Dunne “Do you still want to be in the movie,” and of course he still wanted to be in the movie, despite how he felt talking to John Landis. David Naughton informs us that he went to see the finished film all on his own in a cinema in California and found it very unsettling and when he spoke to his parents had to warn them about the film as they wanted to see the film, so when the parents finally went to see the film in a cinema in California, they were completely shocked and when the press asked his parents what they thought of the film and they told them they were totally traumatized and could not speak to the press. But eventually when the public went to see the film and when the horrific scene appeared the audience flipped out and jumped out of their seats. Griffin Dunne says when his mother went to see the film, she was also totally traumatized and hated seeing her son undead in the film, and especially when Griffin Dunne kept appearing in the film in varies states of decomposition and especially as it was the first film that Griffin Dunne had appeared in, and felt it was a very exciting time for the actor and especially a leading part in the movie. Both David Naughton and Griffin Dunne were very upset with the critic’s reviews, and especially the critic in the New York Times, and gave it a very luke warm reception and a majority of the critics were very confused about the movie. But of course when the film was released on video tape, that is when the fans really got into the movie and that is when it became a cult movie. When you see David Naughton trying to get back into Jenny Agutter’s flat because he had locked himself out, you see a ginger cat hissing profusely at David Naughton and Griffin Dunne asked how they got the cat to do that and David Naughton says that one of the crew had another cat and started lowering down towards the ginger cat that really hated the other cat. At chapter 9 they both start talking about the night time scene where the commuter has tripped up on the escalator in the London Underground and we now actually see the vicious werewolf coming towards that trapped commuter who is traumatized and they felt that whole sequence looked really good scary stuff. When you see the naked David Naughton in the cage with the two wolves at the zoo, and Griffin Dunne says he was there with the crew filming that scene and also says to David Naughton, “You was very brave” because you see the wolves sniffing David Naughton’s naked body, and says it was a “one take shot” and under no circumstances do it again. Next we see David Naughton running around naked in the zoo’s area, and you get that moment when the naked David Naughton comes face to face with an elderly woman, and they did not warn the elderly lady the actor would be naked and it was reported that the women said “I did not look down.” David Naughton was really shocked, as they did not close down the zoo park area when doing the filming, and I personally think director John Landis did it on purpose, as I suspect he has a wicked sense of humour, especially towards the actor David Naughton. When David Naughton goes into the Porn Cinema in Piccadilly Circus, you see him talking to a really decomposed undead Griffin Dunne, well in fact it was a puppets head and it was actually controlled by Griffin Dunne behind a black curtain and was viewing the scene on a small TV monitor and as the Griffin Dunne spoke he worked the puppets head. Griffin Dunne says that this is the only movie that got permission from the police to close down the whole of Piccadilly Circus and of course they only had a specific amount of time to do the filming, and it was filmed around 6:00am to 7:00am, and in no time after the massive car crashes, they were able to clear up all the mess, especially of all the glass from the crashed cars and after the massive clear up you would not believe there had ever been this massive car crashes incident and at one point with the massive car crashes you get a quick glimpse of John Landis doing his quick stunt where falls through a glass window with a female stunt woman when a car hits them, blink and you will miss it and luckily the two of them did not get hurt. At chapter 12 we see Jenny Augutter fighting the police cordon to get to the werewolf and David Naughton says that this was the last filmed sequence for the film. As the credits roll up the screen, Griffin Dunne says, “And then the hero, never caused any trouble, just died and the end of the movie.” At this point the David Naughton and Griffin Dunne audio commentary and for me personally I really enjoyed hearing the comments from David Naughton and Griffin Dunne about the film and also commenting on working in the film, and I personally recommend you have a listen to their audio commentary despite some long gaps of silence. Again, due to the limited amount of space for this Blu-ray review, I have had to limit my review of this particular audio commentary.
Special Feature: Mark of The Beast: The Legacy of the Universal Werewolf  [1080p] [1.37:1 / 1.78:1 / 2.35:1] [77:18] With this featurette, we get to view a newly produced, feature-length BALLYHOO Motion Pictures and Arrow Video documentary by filmmaker Daniel Griffith, featuring interviews with John Landis, David Naughton, Joe Dante and many more. This is a documentary has been thoroughly researched and expertly edited and providing an insight into a wealth of contributors featuring directors, writers, makeup artists and historians, the only negative aspect of this documentary, is that I felt it went on far too long. Despite this, the documentary does covers every werewolf film that Universal Pictures made from ‘The Werewolf’ in 1913 all the way to ‘The Wolfman’ in 2010. As an added bonus we get to view lots of different film clips of the following: ‘The Wolf Man’ , ‘AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON’ , ‘Werewolf in London’ , ‘Frankenstein’ , ‘Dracula’ , ‘Werewolf of London’ , ‘Son of Frankenstein’ , ‘The Wolf Man’ , ‘Ghost of Frankenstein’ , ‘Frankenstein Meets The Wolf Man’ , ‘House of Frankenstein’ , ‘House of Dracula’ , ‘Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein’ , ‘The Werewolf’ , ‘The Curse of Frankenstein’ , ‘The Curse of The Werewolf’ , ‘The Boy Who Cried Wolf’ , ‘SCHLOCK’  and ‘The Wolfman’ .
Contributors: John Landis [Writer/Director], Peter Atkins [Author/Screenwriter], Steve Haberman [Writer/Filmmaker], Mike Hill [Sculptor/Make-up Effects], C. Courtney Joyner [Author/Film Historian], John Goodwin [Make-up Effects Artist], Justin Humphreys [Film Historian], Eric Hoffman [Film Historian], Craig Reardon [Special Make-up Effects], Preston Neal Jones [Author/Film Historian], Mick Garris [Writer/Director], Joe Dante [Director], Richard Heft [Author/Film Historian], Phoef Sutton [Author/Screenwriter], Craig Reardon [Special Make-up Effects], Steve Johnson [Special Make-up Effects Artist] and David Naughton [Actor/David Kessler].
Director: Daniel Griffith
Producers: C. Courtney Joyner and Daniel Griffith
Composer: Penka Kouneva
Music Department: Miguel Bezanilla (additional arrangements)
Cinematography: Daniel Griffith (Director of Photography)
Special Feature: An American Filmmaker in London: An Interview with John Landis  [1080p] [1.78:1] [11:41] With this featurette, we get to view a newly filmed interview with director John Landis in which he reflects on the British cinema and his time working in Britain, and also informs us that at the time of the interview it as the 10th July, 2019 and was being filmed next to the River Thames and it was to do with a new video introduction for the film ‘AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON.’ What we also get to view is two sub headings and they read as:
“What is your relationship to British cinema?”
“How do you work with actors?”
John Landis also informs us that he really loves British films and use to watch them on television in America when he was a youngster and regards himself as a “British films geek” and mentions the films he loved to watch and they were: ‘Carry On Teacher’ , ‘Carry On Regardless’ , ‘Doctor In The House’ , ‘Doctor At Sea’ , ‘Billy Budd’ , ‘Room At The Top’ , ‘This Sporting Life’ , ‘A Kind Of Loving’ , ‘The Loneliness Of The Long Distance Runner’ , ‘Saturday Night and Sunday Morning’ , ‘Kind Hearts and Coronets’ , ‘The Lavender Hill Mob’ , ‘The Ladykillers’ , ‘Dead of Night’ , ‘A Hard Day’s Night’ , ‘The Bed Sitting Room’ , ‘The Revenge Of Frankenstein’ , ‘The Brides of Dracula’ , ‘The Curse of The Werewolf’  and ‘The Gorgon’ . Despite this interview with John Landis being quite short, it was totally brilliant and totally fascinating in hearing the director talking about his love of British films, working with British Directors, British Crew and of course British Actors, so all in all, this is a very interesting, informative and brilliant John Landis interview and definitely gets a five star rating from me.
Special Feature: Wares of the Wolf: Artefacts from ‘AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON’  [1080p] [1.78:1] [7:58] With this featurette, we get to view a new featurette in which SFX artist Dan Martin and Tim Lawes of The Prop Store where we have a look at some of the original costumes and special effects artefacts from the film ‘AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON.’ As Dan Martin and Tim Lawes talks about the icon items they talk about, we get to view several clips from the film ‘AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON.’ This was a Pop Store Ultimate Movie Collectables Production.
Special Feature: I Think He's a Jew: The Werewolf's Secret  [1080p] [1.78:1] [11:26] With this featurette, we get to view a new video essay by filmmaker Jon Spira discussing how the film explores its Jewish identity and goes into the whole history with the Nazism using the wolf and werewolf names, as well as the history and mythology of Werewolves. Also comments of the two main characters in the film were both Jewish, and that was different for its time in a horror film. On top of all that, Jon Spira does an in-depth analogy of the film ‘AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON’ in pointing out the Jewish connection and at the same time we get a few clips from the 1981 film. I personally think this featurette is just a pointless exercise, as most people watching the film will certainly not connect its Jewish connection and will of course probably could not care less about the films Jewish hidden agenda.
Special Feature: The Werewolf’s Call: Corin Hardy and Simon Ward on ‘AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON’  [1080p] [1.78:1] [11:26] With this featurette, we get to view Corin Hardy, who is the director of ‘The Hollow’ and ‘The Nun,’ and chats with writer Simon Ward about their formative experiences with the John Landis film. The two first start off reminiscing when they first saw the film and at the same time we get a few clips from the 1981 film. For me personally, I felt Corin Hardy and Simon Ward were a right pair of pointless jerks and it is definitely a totally rubbish featurette.
Special Feature: Beware the Moon: Remembering ‘AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON’  [1080i / 480i] [1.78:1] [97:39] With this featurette, we get to view an in-depth feature-length documentary directed by Paul Davis about the making of the film ‘AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON’ and specifically an exploration of the John Landis film which boasts extensive cast and crew interviews. It’s also really fun to see Paul Davis the documentary filmmaker return to the locations used in the film. As an added bonus, we of course get to view clips from the film ‘AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON’ and also clips from the films ‘The Wolf Man’ , ‘SCHLOCK’ , plus we get to view David Naughton and Griffin Dunne in behind-the-scene filming and other outdoor location filming. This special feature-length featurette is dedicated to the memory of Joseph Ross [Character Make-up and Special Effects]. This was a Universal Studio Home Entertainment and Kesslerboy Productions / Bueno Productions Presentation. Contributors include: Jenny Agutter [Nurse Alex Price], David Schofield [Darts Player], Robert Paynter, B.S.C. [Cinematography], Rick Baker [Special Make-up effects Designer and Creator], John Woodvine [Doctor J. S. Hirsch], David Naughton [David Kessler], John Landis [Writer/Director], George Folsey Jr. [Producer], Griffin Dunne [Jack Goodman], David Tringham [First Assistant Director], Deborah Nandoolman Landis [Costume Designer], Leslie Dilley [Art Director], Malcolm Campbell [Film Editor], Robin Grantham [Chief Make-up Artist], Beryl Lerman [Make-up Artist], Joseph Ross [Special Effects Assistant], Ray Andrew [Steadicam Operator], Tom Hester [Special Effects Assistant], Brenda Cavendish [Judith Browns], Michael Carter [Gerald Bringsley], Dennis Fraser, MBE [Key Grip / 2nd Man in Bus Queue], Linzi Drew [Brenda Bristols], Joyce Herlihy [Production Manager], Vic Armstrong [Stunt Man] and Bill Sturgeon [Special Effects Assistant].
Special Feature: Making ‘AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON’  [480i] [1.37:1] [4:54] With this featurette, we get to view a short archival in-depth look that offers up clips from Behind-the-Scenes of the production for the film ‘AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON’ and included and put together with John Landis [Writer/Director] being interviewed and discussing the film. It also offers up some great on-set film production footage and interviews.
Special Feature: An Interview with John Landis  [1080i] [1.37:1] [18:19] With this featurette, we get to view a lengthy archival in-depth interview with the writer/director John Landis about the making of the film ‘AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON.’ As usual we get to view clips from the film ‘AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON.’ This was a Universal Home Video presentation.
Special Feature: Make-up Artist Rick Baker on ‘AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON’  [480i] [1.37:1] [11:13] With this featurette, we get to meet the legendary Make-up Artist Rick Baker who discusses in detail about his work on the film ‘AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON.’ We also get to view unused footage, but also clips from the film ‘AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON.’ Rick Baker is mostly known for his creature designs and effects. Rick Baker has won the Academy Award® for “Best Make-up” a record seven times from a record eleven nominations, beginning when he won the inaugural award for the 1981 horror comedy film ‘AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON.’ It is a very interesting featurette and well worth the watching. By the way, we are informed that the interview was recorded in the year 2001 at Rick Baker’s Cinovation Studios, Glendale, California, USA.
Special Feature: I Walked with A Werewolf  [1080p] [1.37:1 / 1.78:1] [7:30] With this featurette, we get to view an archival interview with Make-up artist Rick Baker discussing the Universal Pictures horror and other original monster movies like ‘The Wolfman’ . Make-up legend Rick Baker who discusses why he wanted to get into the movie business and starts off talking about seeing all the old Universal monster movies as a kid and then discovering that it was an actual person who made the monsters. From here Rick Baker talks about John Landis telling him about this werewolf picture and what he wanted to see on the screen. Rick Baker talks about some of the effects that were done and says his greatest friend was simply time and money. Rick Baker also talks about the 2010 version of ‘The Wolfman’ and why he wanted to be a part of it.
Special Feature: Casting of the Hand  [480i] [1.37:1] [10:50] With this featurette, comprises of some old archival footage that was shot at Rick Baker’s Make-up special effects workshop in California when they put a cast mould on actor David Naughton’s hand and includes Rick Baker and Crew, and that John Landis was there also watching. This footage was shot on the 11th October, 1980 during pre-production on ‘AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON.’
Special Feature: Outtakes  [1080i] [1.37:1] [3:07] With this featurette, we get to view Outtakes footage from the film ‘AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON.’ Unfortunately, the soundtrack is missing. We also get to view “Mysterious Footage” and again the soundtrack is missing.
Special Feature: Storyboard featurette  [480i] [1.37:1] [2:27] With this featurette, we basically get at the top left hand of the screen the storyboard images and the worded description, but in the bottom right hand of the screen we get to view the actual scenes in the film ‘AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON’ that is related to the Porno Cinema in Piccadilly Circus and of course the utter chaos happening outside the Porno Cinema.
Special Feature: Original Trailers: With this featurette, we get to view three types of trailers for the film ‘AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON’ and they are as follows:
Trailer  [480i] [1.78:1] [2:53]
Teaser  [480i] [1.37:1] [1:01]
TV Spot  [480i] [1.37:1] [0:31]
Special Feature: Image Galleries: With this featurette, we get to view an extensive image gallery featuring well over 200 stills for the film ‘AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON’ and they are: Production Stills [115 images]; Behind the Scenes [90 images]; Posters [23 images]; Lobby Cards [17 images]; Storyboards [35 images] and Shooting Schedule [12 images]
BONUS: Reversible sleeve featuring original poster art and artwork by Graham Humphreys.
Finally, Arrow Video continues going above and beyond for these Blu-ray releases and especially of beloved films and their ‘AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON’ Blu-ray release is no slouch. The special effects are still quite spectacular. They have aged slightly and are obviously puppets and make-up, but they always still look great, and they are some of the best werewolf transformation scenes ever scene in a film. I imagine someone only familiar with Lon Chaney Jr.’s werewolf change would have had their mind blown by Rick Baker’s detailed sculpting and puppetry. Overall, ‘AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON’ has three excellent lead performances, some of the best effects you’ll ever see and a wonderful script in contention and is one of the best movies released on celluloid, and a sure-fire contender for “Greatest Horror Movie Ever” status. Beguiling, disgusting and inspiring in equal measure; and ‘AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON’ should be included in anyone’s movie canon because it is also a wonderful movie experience, especially if you love this type of horror movie genre. ‘AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON’ is also a stunning piece of cinema which should be regarded by all movie enthusiasts as essential. Very Highly Recommended!
Andrew C. Miller – Your Ultimate No.1 Film Aficionado
Le Cinema Paradiso