An American Werewolf in London
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Re-discover one of the most gripping horror films of all time with the cult classic An American Werewolf in London Restored Edition. Blending the macabre with a wicked sense of humor, director John Landis (National Lampoon's Animal House) delivers a contemporary take on the classic werewolf tale in this story of two American tourists who, while traveling in London, find their lives changed forever when a vicious wolf attacks them during a full moon. Starring David Naughton, Griffin Dunne and Jenny Agutter, An American Werewolf in London is newly restored and features groundbreaking, Academy Award winning make-up by Rick Baker (The Wolfman; Michael Jackson's "Thriller" Music Video).
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I saw a 30 minute special on TV that covered how they did that (man to werewolf) sequence. That special alone would be worth the price of admission.
I have watched this movie many times and it still is amazing to me. I don't know how Warren Zevon's 'Werewolves of London' (1978) was missed being in this movie. It would have fit like a glove in it.
This movie would be a hit still today.
One feels sorry for him as he has no control over his curse, just like real life -we all deal with pain and death sooner or later regardless of our position in this life.
Americans Jack (Gregory Dunne) and David (David Naughton) decide to do a cross country trek of England. They happen to stop at the Lamb's Head Inn (with--big surprise--a decapitated wolf's head) where they have some tea before deciding to head out again. Whoops big mistake as Jack is attacked and killed by a werewolf while David is bitten. Recovering in London, David falls for a nurse (Jenny Agutter amazing looking as usual) treating him unfortunately that wonderful time is spoiled by visits from the undead.
Universal has done a nice job of restoring "Werewolf" for Blu-ray. We get a nice looking transfer that has improved depth, detail and color look exceptionally good. There are some minor concerns I have about some over processing in some shots but, on the whole, this is an i provement over previous releases.
The audio sounds remarkably clear with nice 5.1 mix.
We get a variety of special features many from the DVD including the commentary track by Naughton an Dunne. We also get a documentary that tracks the history of the film from conception to decidedly mixed reviews and some down right nasty ones. Like a lot of films that broke the mold ("Blade Runner" for one) that many critics missed the boat on. Time has been kind to the film and it holds up remarkably well even the transformation scenes which were ground breaking at the time. While CGI can do some great stuff, it's always nice to see a film that uses practical effects so well and I'm glad CGI wasn't around at the time.
We also get a variety of featurettes from the previous releases including "I Walked with a Werewolf", "Making An American Werewolf in London", interviews with Rick Baker & John Landis, "Casting of the Hand", outtakes (without sound unfortunately), storyboards (John Landis hated doing storyboards by the way) and a photograph montage.
Landis' best film (well in my opinion of course) remains amusing, horrorific and downright fun. The restoration is very nicely done. Universal has upped their game with this and their other recent restorations.