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on 5 January 2012
I always like to make up my own mind about items. I read reviews; but because everyone is different I take everything with a hefty dose of salt. That being said, I had already decided that I would like a copy of this film. It's one of my favourite 80s horrors and, in my opinion, one of the all-time-best werewolf films. I had intended to rent this on blu-ray before buying, but I was able to get it at a decent price and so I bought it.
I almost wish I hadn't.
The reviews on here saying how bad the picture quality is are not lying. Anyone who says different is deluding themselves - or they haven't seen enough examples of older films beautifully transferred onto blu-ray. I watched My Fair Lady (german release) directly before this and the picture on that release was stunning. There really is no excuse for a film to look at grainy and blurry as AWiL. I love the film and I was really looking forward to seeing a pristine version. Instead the quality veers from downright awful to barely acceptable.
The upside are the extras. The new documentary is very informative and interesting.
If you don't own this film then this blu-ray release is worth having; but if, like me, you're looking to upgrade your DVD, then this release is really not worth the money.
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on 18 December 2012
While backpacking across England, Jack (Griffin Dunne) and David (David Naughton) decide not to heed the warnings of the local people and "beware the moon". As the rains falls and the moon rises steadily into the night, they are viciously attacked by a werewolf. Jack is ripped to shreds and David survives with a bite wound. It seems that this bite comes with a pretty hefty price tag, you become a werewolf. Next thing Jack realizes is that he is in a hospital recovering from his wounds, he also meets a sexy nurse Alex Price played by Jenny Agutter. If things weren't bad enough for David, with all the nightmares and such, he also receives a visit from Jack.

It seems because of his unnatural death, Jack is forced to walk the earth in limbo and the dead are really boring him. He warns David to "beware the moon" and asks him to kill himself before he kills any more boring people. An American Werewolf in London is simply awesome. It is legitimately scary, and truly funny. The two genres blend together beautifully thanks to the brilliant direction of John Landis who made some of the best classic comedies like The Blues Brothers, Trading Places, Animal House ect. The horror genre definitely helms most of the film, but darkly and ironically funny moments pop in and out of the film seamlessly. It is the make up for exactly how this kind of film should work.

And speaking of make up, one of the coolest things about this film is legendary Rick Baker's make up design. It is horrendously spectacular. The acting here is also great, but if there is one thing that really got me into this movie, it was the make-up and the special effects. Rick Baker is really a master at what he does with make-up, especially with the fake blood. And while the special effects may not take up much of the movie, there is one specific scene which proves that this movie was still ahead of its time, special effects wise. You guessed it: it's the transformation scene, and this scene is filmed in full view. This film is what I consider to be the third greatest werewolf movie of all-time. As you can see this fine film ranks right behind The Howling and Dog Soldiers on my Lycanthrope scale.

The Howling and An American Werewolf in London are so similar, yet so different. They both set standards for the modern art of the transformation. But the similarities end with the werewolves. The Howling was dark and horrific, whereas (AWIL) was dark and comical. Both films deliver the goods on a grand scale. Of the two, "AWIL" was the first one I was exposed to and it ranks right up there with "Evil Dead 2" in being able to provide a perfect mixture between horror and comedy. Overall, a great classic. If you love monster movies, then this movie is for you. You'll only see the monster a few times, but trust me, this movie has a lot to offer. Like I said, the acting is great and it has more elements than just a regular 80's monster movie.
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on 28 June 2011
First, the DVD (2 disk) I received was technically very good; apparently re-issued since some of the other reviews.

However, the film itself doesn't hold up. The only really chilling part is the beginning, on the moors. The film doesn't quite seem to know whether its horror, comedy, or a rather crude mix of both. The acting can be trite, the scene transitions are jerky, and the characters are not filled out enough to be really interesting.

You have English actors using American English vocabulary, and the huge multi-car smashup that U.S. audiences seem to love (but has no real meaining to the plot of this film), and the end leaves you rather hanging, albeit probably thankful that it's finally over.
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on 29 September 2009
One of my all time fave films is finally available on Blu Ray.

I will cut the film review part, I am sure if you are reading this, you know the film and you just want to know the quality.

Very grainy, think the recent Ghostbusters Blu Ray in terms of the grain. Intrusive at first but once your eyes adjust it feels quite clear. It is lot brighter than the grainy and dark VHS/DVD transfers. You can see a lot more. But you get a lot more grain.

A new English DTS-HD Lossless Master Audio 5.1 Surround track (48kHz/16-bit) has been produced for 'An American Werewolf in London.' The film has always possessed a rather effective mix for a 1981 horror picture, and it has been upgraded nicely here.

Surround deployment is impressive considering the film's age. The rears are active for the big scare moments, particularly the creepy wolf sound effects, and general atmosphere. Charles Bernstein's underrated score is also nicely balanced, which gives a decent heft to the soundfield. Dialogue is pretty crisp and intelligible, with only some of the hushed tones and British accents a bit muffled. Low bass isn't particularly impactful (the mix sounds a bit brittle, particularly high-end) but it's strong enough to give some kick to the wolf attack scenes. Again, considering the age of the material, I was happy with this mix.

This is where the film marks high for me. Paul Davis's "Beware The Moon" is a fanboy geekgasm of a documentary, and a feature length one at that. He gathers the thoughts of everyone worth hearing from involved with the film and visits the locations. I didnt want this to end. The rest of the special features bassically mirror the 2001 DVD (Outtakes without sound, casting the hand etc) but "Beware The Moon" makes this Blu Ray worth the purchase.
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on 18 February 2015
Michael Jackson's Thriller short film is the best music video ever made but it would not have been what it was had it not been for the superb An American Werewolf In London. This film is the best horror film ever and one of my all time favourite movies. I simply can't fault this film in anyway shape or form and I challenge anyone who does. I have been watching it since my uncle made me watch it on Betamax in the mid 80's and I have been hooked ever since. If I had kids I would make them watch it over and over no matter how much is scared them. And it should scared people because if it did not then what's the point of a graphic horror film like this. But I don't have kids and never will because I can't stand them and I want to enjoy my expensive holidays and not have to spend my time with drained parents who have nothing interesting to talk about. If you want to book your holidays at a hotel with a kids club and family friendly dining then go ahead because I will be many miles away in my 5 star resort watching Werewolf on my in room DVD player after a few single malt's.

The story of An American Werewolf will be known well by most people but if you are unfortunate enough not to have seen it yet, then please read on. Two Yanks take a walking holiday in the UK and find themselves on the Yorkshire Moores when they take refuge in The Slaughtered Lamb pub ( I wonder if they visited Whitby because its a loverly place). There they are warned by the locals to "Stick to the roads, stay clear the moore". The lads walk on but end up off "t" road and attacked by the beast. One survived and one in limbo, ripped to shreads and revisiting his mate in a state of rot and decay throughout the film until the curse is lifted. The survivor, David Kessler wakes up in hospital being taken cars of by a bang tidy nurse, Jenny Agutter. The corpse that is Jack turns up looking very I'll and warning David that he will change with the full moon. Oh, and look out for RIk Mayall in the pub scene (RIP).

After a series of horrific dreams involving Nazi zombies and a real s**t ya pants moment with David waking up on a hospital bed in the woods, the full moon eventually arrives. The change from man to beast is amazing and it still not to be beaten to this day. It's creepy as hell and will leave you thinking about forever afterwards. No dodgy CGI in this, just practical special effects by the master Rick Baker who also worked on MJ's Thriller.

Another scene which always makes me reach for the tissues and hand cream is the love scene with Jenny Agutter. I have w***ers whiplash from all the times I have watched that! The porn theatre scene is hilarious and the caotic Picadilly Circus attack is utter madness when the beast goes biserk. There are so many quotable lines in this film that even 30 odd years on I still use them at any opportunity with a very good mate of mine (SB). Yes I know I'm sad but at least I don't watch crap films like Transformers or Fast And Furious. Give me Jenny Agutter in the shower any day of the week. Ill have a good hard think about that again later, when I am alone of course!

Get a copy of Werewolf if you don't own it already and sit your kids down no matter what age and get them into something classic. They will appreciate it when they are older and won't have to be warped by mindless rubbish like Teenage Mutant Ninja Turds! I have the 21st anniversary edition DVD and ltd edition steel book Bluray of Werewolf, both of which have fantastic special feature doc's. So get snug on the sofa with a "small Guiness" and enjoy this brilliant horror film.
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on 23 September 2012
This was the very first 18 certificate movie I ever went to see, when I was 15. It has everything, great story, performances (especially the delightful and gorgeous Jenny Agutter in arguably her best adult role), humour, horror, sex and proper (at the time ground breaking and cgi free) special effects. It's just a great movie all round. Timeless.

Other reviewers are correct that the video is a little grainy but I'm sure this is how the movie was 30 years ago and I like it true to the original. I feel other reviewers are missing the point, or just discovering this movie for the first time at a young age and already spoiled by todays digitally perfect HD offings. Rather than detracting from my viewing pleasure, having turned out the lights I found the small amount of grain helped transport me back to the flea pit of a cinema in East Dereham all those years ago and reliving the excitement and anticipation of it all. Like hearing your first vinyl album again, somehow it just isn't the same digitally remastered without the plops and crackles. All I was missing was the uncomfortable flip up cinema seat with chewing gum stuck to the bottom and cigarette smoke lighting up the projector beam.

The very much still alive and great John Landis at his very best. If you like your horror more light hearted and with a good helping of humour, this movie is not to be missed. Simply a classic, grain and all!
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on 17 January 2011
Howling mad. Sorry for the gag. The picture quality is very poor by moments. It presumably derives from a bad source/transfer. During the early sequences there are visible swirls and grain in the skies over the Yorkshire Moors. This maybe from original negative grain but they look more like Video interference perhaps from the telecine transfer. It looks like VHS quality occasionally, certainly sub-DVD rather than Blu Ray. Must do better.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 11 February 2017
This is a fantastic comedy-horror film, and one of the finest werewolf movies ever made. It offers a dark comedic approach, blended with an amazing soundtrack, while presenting an original lycanthrope narrative. It's a big-budget production, well directed, with great acting, and awesome special effects. This film is genre defining, and is typically considered a 'classic' - and, even though it's now well over 30 years old, and is in certain respects dated - especially in terms of fashion, and the portrayal of London - it nonetheless retains a freshness that remains appealing. Aspects of the movie are genuinely scary (such as the attack on moors), others are macabre (for instance, the talking corpses), and overall it provides for a chilling experience. But it's never terrifying, nor particularly gory. The objective of the film is to entertain - and it succeeds brilliantly.

The story is about two young American men who go on a vacation around Europe. It's while travelling in England that things go amiss ... And, finding themselves in a remote and desolate part of the Yorkshire moors, these young men are brutally attacked by a werewolf. Only the authorities claim otherwise, saying it was a violent madman. While one of the Americans is killed, the other awakens to discover he's been hospitalised. And this survivor starts to experience traumatic dreams - involving a descent into savagery. Fortunately his convalescence is aided by an attractive English nurse, who - astonishingly - invites the American back to her flat. And then, as the next full moon blossoms, the American transforms into a werewolf - and attacks an unsuspecting London.

The characterisations are performed brilliantly - from the secretive yokels of Yorkshire to the bumbling police of London. It's David Naughton and Griffin Dunne, as the two American backpackers, together with Jenny Agutter, as the charming nurse, who steal the show. And, of course, the werewolf transformation sequence is unforgettable. Of course, the music - a collection of rock and roll songs - contributes a great deal. The overall effect is to create a timeless horror movie of epic proportions.

That's not to say this is a perfect film ... We see very little of the werewolf, once it's transformed. And the ending is a bit too abrupt, almost rushed. Yet it's everything else - the tiny, almost incidental features - about the film that make it great. Such as a werewolf transformation in a porn theatre, while an adult film is being shown. And a naked American man running around London. The ensemble of these details result in a movie that's brimming with quality.

If you've not seen this 1981 classic, I highly recommend that you do. The DVD version is very good, and presents a host of bonus features. While the Blu-ray version is slightly superior, it adds very little (and offers no more extras than the DVD).
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on 7 June 2015
AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON [1981 / 2014] [Full Moon Limited Edition Iconic Art SteelBook] [Blu-ray] [US Release] From the Director of Animal House . . . Comes a Different Kind of Animal! A Full-Blooded Horror Film That Happens to have a Sharp Sense of Humour!

Re-discover one of the most gripping horror films of all-time with the cult classic ‘AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON.’ Blending the macabre with a wicked sense of humour, 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. Featuring ground-breaking, Academy Award® winning make-up by Rick Baker [The Wolfman], this digitally re-mastered Full Moon Edition also includes the new feature-length documentary Beware the Moon.

FILM FACT: The film won the 1981 Saturn Award for Best Horror Film and an Academy Award® for Outstanding Achievement in Make-up. In the Piccadilly Circus sequence, the man hit by a car and thrown through a store window is John Landis himself. The end credits, which congratulate Prince Charles and Diana Spencer on their marriage, end with a promo card for Universal Studios urging viewers to "Ask for Babs," a reference to National Lampoon's Animal House. Before David Naughton transformed into a beast, he served as the jovial pitchman for the Dr. Pepper adverts and director John Landis wife loved those spots, and she recommended her husband consider him for the werewolf role because of them.

Cast: David Naughton, Griffin Dunne, Joe Belcher, 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, Cynthia Powell, Frank Singuineau, Will Leighton, Michael Carter, Elizabeth Bradley, Rufus Deakin, Lesley Ward, Alan Ford, Peter Ellis, Denise Stephens, Christine Hargreaves, Linzi Drew, Lucien Morgan, Gypsy Dave Cooper, Susan Spencer, Bob Babenia, Ken Sicklen, John Salthouse, Vic Armstrong (uncredited), Ryan Folsey (uncredited), John Landis (uncredited), James Payne (uncredited) and Terry Walsh (uncredited)

Director: John Landis

Producers: George Folsey, Jr., Jon Peters and Peter Guber

Screenplay: John Landis

Composer: Elmer Bernstein

Cinematography: Robert Paynter

Video Resolution: 1080p

Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1

Audio: English: 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio, English: 2.0 Dolby Digital Stereo, French European: 2.0 DTS Digital Surround, German: 2.0 DTS Digital Surround, Italian: 2.0 DTS Digital Surround and Castilian Spanish: 5.1 DTS Digital Surround

Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish [Latino American], French Canadian, Japanese, French European, German, Italian, Castilian Spanish, Dutch, Portuguese, Danish, Norwegian, Finish, Swedish, Greek, Korean and Traditional Mandarin Chinese

Running Time: 98 minutes

Region: All Regions

Number of discs: 1

Studio: Universal Studios Home Entertainment

Andrew’s Blu-ray Review: Few films had blended horror and comedy as masterfully as ‘AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON’ did back in 1981. London revolutionised special effects for that era. But the film works best as a study of a tortured soul. Our hero is forced to make an agonising choice, one made all the more difficult as the dead bodies pile up around him.

American pals David Kessler [David Naughton] and Jack Goodman [Griffin Dunne] are traveling through England when their vacation is cut short by a hungry wolf. The beast kills Jack Goodman and takes a bite out of David Kessler, who thinks he survived the assault with only a few scratches and one less friend. Unfortunately, nobody else does either. They think werewolves are old folk legends, and that you are merely suffering from post-traumatic stress, and they're probably right... right? For a while you think so. The doctors are probably right. There are no such things as werewolves. You're probably just going crazy. No such luck. But Jack Goodman comes back from the grave to tell him otherwise, especially as David Kessler will become a werewolf when the next full moon comes around, unless he kills himself before then. But David doesn’t like that option, particularly since falling for the Nurse Alex Price [Jenny Agutter] who treated his injuries following the attack.

While relaxing in the new girlfriend Alex Price s apartment reading a book, you start convulsing in horrendous pain and starts morphing into a positively horrifying monster, created by make-up artist Rick Baker and others. And we see David Kessler go on a man eating rampage, terrorising the main city streets of London, and have no control over your horrendous outbursts.

‘AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON’ was a beneficiary of the growing trend to film in locations that might add to the experience of watching them. The chosen locale for John Landis' 1981 horror comedy was London Zoo which heralds the start of one of the film's few genuine comedy sequences as luckless student David Kessler [David Naughton] wakes up in the wolf pen and realises he needs to make it halfway across London without a thread of clothing to his name. The scene is very funny, especially seeing the character with his clothes off and especially seeing him reacting with the public, especially in the park and his journey back to Nurse Alex Price s [Jenny Agutter] flat via public transport.

London delivered state of the art (circa 1981) make-up effects from gore maestro Rick Baker, including the iconic transformation scene that s lost little of its visceral punch. And the film s saucy soundtrack, every great song with the word ‘moon’ in the title gets a showcase, heightens the mood. But it’s Jack’s occasional reappearances where the film s black humour truly pops. Griffin Dunne’s wiseacre role makes the horror go down easier while illustrating David’s sad predicament. Writer and director John Landis, fresh from directing ‘Animal House’ and ‘The Blues Brothers,’ found just the right balance between horror and humour. ‘AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON’ deserves its cult status, not only for its shock sequences, but also for the tiny moments, like David Naughton calling his family back home via the public phone box for what might be the very last time. Those touches make this werewolf story so very, very human.

In the end, ‘AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON’ successfully attempts to update the werewolf genre; there is no such thing as silver bullets or other silly plot points from previous werewolf films. This horror cult classic attempt’s to simplify the fact that it is very funny, but does not hinder the scary elements or the impact of the creature. Because what does the werewolf represent? It represents the idea of stripping someone of their humanity and leaving them at their most primal state: something that seemingly happens in everyday society. And that is why the darker tones of ‘AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON’ mix perfectly with comedy and horror, that at the time the critics hated it, but luckily it has now become a cult classic, which I endorse 100%.

So grab the popcorn, turn down the lights, grab some silver bullets, especially for protection, and get ready to watch the best horror flick of the 1980's has to offer! You'll never look at a full moon the same way again! A must see for the horror buffs and lovers of scary films and werewolves. Watch this film on this stunning new Full Moon Limited Edition Iconic Art SteelBook Blu-ray disc and scare yourself silly!

Blu-ray Video Quality – This "Full Moon Edition" has been digitally re-mastered with a good 1080p encoded image, that hasn’t gone overboard with the DNR [Digital Noise Reduction] and has an impressive 1.85:1 aspect ratio. However, it does sort of show a lot of signs of age, as there is some graining throughout. Much of the film features hazy skies, which are a lot thicker thanks to all of the grain. Grainy images are throughout the film, but that sort of adds to its creepy factor. Overall, colours are dim and dark, but there is some nice detail in spots, most notably inside the Slaughtered Lamb pub. David's nightmares are a bit more vivid, as are the images. The colours get a bit more of a boost here, if you can actually see in between the hands covering your eyes. Makeup master Rick Baker's handwork is also pretty detailed, including the pieces of flesh hanging off Dunne's corpse. The colours and contrast are excellent, probably of the standard that you'd have seen in cinemas in 1981 and the blood effects are bright, as well as the night time scenes are clear with good definition.

Blu-ray Audio Quality – The sound on this Blu-ray disc comes off so much better, than previous releases, thanks to this release's 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio track. With England most of the time, especially in this film, can be very rainy, so you can expect a host of weather-related sounds, including rain, thunder, and whipping winds aplenty. The best part, of course, is the howls, growls, and feasting of the werewolf, which seem to come at you from every angle. Some of those scary moments are loud; this I suspect is just to make sure you jump. But again the audio soundtrack is beautifully balanced with clear dialogue and excellent use of the surrounds making the werewolf attacks as terrifying as they can be; especially the scene in which Jack is killed really retains its power to shock with the blood, quick cutting and Griffin Dunne's superb performance pleading for his life. The soundtrack music by Elmer Bernstein is used sparingly but effectively with Bad Moon Rising by Credence Clearwater Revival and three different versions of Blue Moon really well placed.

Blu-ray Special Features and Extras:

Audio Commentary: Commentary with Cast Members David Naughton and Griffin Dunne: Here we get the introduction from David Naughton and Griffin Dunne, where they inform us that they are in a recording studio in Burbank, California, and you hear Griffin Dunne ask David Naughton when was the last time he viewed this film, but tells us he couldn’t remember when it was. They also tell us about their children and not at the time when they were younger in allowing them to see the film. They also inform us at the start of the film, that it was filmed in Wales, to represent the North of England and the Moors. An interesting fact comes to light, is that Griffin Dunne tells us that he never was asked to audition for the film, and had at the time, never done any actual film before, but when he met John Landis and spoke to him for about 10 minutes, John Landis immediately said, “okay” and got the part in the film. We also hear David Naughton inform us that reason he got the film because John Landis via his wife saw David in the Dr. Pepper adverts and liked what they saw. They also tell us that a lot of the time they improvised things up as they went along, as most of the time they did not stick to the script, which John Landis liked very much, plus it was a 10 week shoot. When John Woodvine appears as the doctor, we find out that originally it was going to be James Fox or Robert Stevens as the doctor. Because Griffin Dunne did not do much filming, most of the time decided to visit as many London Theatres plays as possible. But what Griffin Dunne was not so keen on was the horrible special effects make-up mask he had to wear, he said after 12 hours it felt like ants were eating his skin on his face and eventually had to rip the mask off, which did not very please Rick Baker. Both Parents of David Naughton and Griffin Dunne saw the film and were totally horrified what they viewed and were truly upset. When you see David Naughton turned into a werewolf, it took 6 days to shoot. Now even thought I have given you a lot of insight into David Naughton and Griffin Dunne audio commentary, there is a lot more fascinating information you get to hear from this dynamic duo, as there is a lot more naughty funny information to be heard I have not revealed and if you want to find out what that is, then I highly recommend you make an effort, as it is a well worth listen.

Special Feature: My Scene: The My Scene feature is available while the film is playing. For more information, please consult the instructions in the menu.

Special Feature Documentary: Beware the Moon: This is a really informative and fascinating insight on the making of ‘AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON’ and what you get is 13 separate titled categories, which you can either play all of them in one go or play them separately and they are as follows: The Beginning [2009] [1080i/p] [1.78:1] [14:10]; The Cast [2009] [1080i/p] [1.78:1] [7:16]; Shooting in Wales [2009] [1080i/p] [1.78:1] [5:38]; Murders on the Moors [2009] [1080i/p] [1.78:1] [7:34]; What Bad Dreams Are Made Of [2009] [1080i/p] [1.78:1] [5:28]; Bringing Jack Back [2009] [1080i/p] [1.78:1] [4:24]; The Transformation of David [2009] [1080i/p] [1.78:1] [12:08]; The Music of American Werewolf [2009] [1080i/p] [1.78:1] [2:30]; Underground Filming [2009] [1080i/p] [1.78:1] [5:26]; Porno & Puppets [2009] [1080i/p] [1.78:1] [9:16]; A Four-Legged Hound from Hell [2009] [1080i/p] [1.78:1] [4:28]; Causing Disturbance in Piccadilly [2009] [1080i/p] [1.78:1] [7:19]; The Beast Unleashed [2009] [1080i/p] [1.78:1] [12:32].

Special Feature: I Walked With A Werewolf [2014] [1080p] [1.78:1] [7:30] Here we get a really personal view by Rick Baker [Monster Maker], especially on his journey to becoming a top notch professional Make-up Artist and tells how he was influenced by the old Classic Horror films from Universal Pictures, and their famous monsters, that were for him, well cool. When Rick Baker worked on the John Landis 1981 classic funny horror film, he wanted to see David Naughton transfer into a werewolf in a proper professional way, instead of the old fashioned dissolves that you use to see in the black-and-white Universal Pictures old gothic horror films. Rick Baker also informs us that he really loves his job, especially making things look realistic and would also do his job just for the love of it, even if he was not employed in the films. This is a really nice little feature and well worth viewing.

Special Original Feature: Behind the scenes: ‘AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON’ [2009] [480i] [1.33:1] [5:15] This looks to me like an American Television “A Made For TV” type documentary and gives an in-depth look behind-the-scenes of the making of the 1981 film and we get a personal contribution from John Landis [Director] himself. But we also get lots of clips from the old black-and-white Universal Pictures horror films. Sadly, the film with John Landis was shot on 16mm film and most of the time it looked slightly out of focus. At the very end it mentions that a new film entitled ‘The Werewolf’ is coming out and obviously a film Rick Baker has worked on.

Special Feature: Universal Studios Home Video presents John Landis on: An American Werewolf in London [2001] [480i/1080i] [1.33:1] [18:20] This again looks like another American Television “A Made For TV” type special and is a very nice intimate personal view from John Landis on the making of his 1981 film, and again we get lots of clips from old black-and-white Universal Pictures gothic horror films. This is a really nice presentation and well worth a view.

Special Feature: Make-up Artist Rick Baker on ‘AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON’ [2001] [480i] [1.33:1] [11:14] This is again another personal view from Rick Baker on his work with the 1981 John Landis film and a lot of his views are basically repeated on what he said in the special ‘I Walked with a Werewolf.’ We also again get lots of repeated clips from ‘AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON,’ as well as unused outtake footage. We are also informed at the very end, that Rick Baker received the first Academy Award® in the category of “Best Make-up” for his work on ‘AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON.’

Special Feature Archival Footage: Casting of the Hand with Rick Baker and Crew, David Naughton, and John Landis in October 11th, 1980 [480i] [1.33:1] [10:59] What you basically get to see is the long intimate insight into the process of building up the arm and hand, for false arm and hand for the special effect when David Naughton turns into a werewolf.

Special Feature: ‘AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON’ Outtakes [Soundtrack Missing] [2009] [480i] [1.33:1] [3:08] What you get to see in total 7 standard outtakes, but we get one extra out of the blue entitled “Mystery Footage” [soundtrack missing], which is a repeat from a previous extra, where you get to see John Landis sitting front of some scenery talking to the camera and then suddenly the scenery falls over him to reveal four naked couples romping on a bed. Although it says no soundtrack, what you do get is the sound of film going through a projector.

Special Feature: Storyboards [2009] [480i] [1.33:1] [2:26] Here we get to view at the top of the screen the storyboard drawings with wording underneath explaining what the scene is and below it you get to view the actual part of the film relating to the storyboard, which eventually opens up showing you the actual part of the film, but you also get lots other clips from the film.

Special Feature: Photograph Montage [2009] [480i/1080i] [1.33:1] [3:45] Here you get to see lots of still photographs from the 1981 film. Some of them are in colour, but we also get to see lots of black-and-white still photographs. As you view this montage of photographs, in the background, you get the soundtrack music from the film.

Special Feature: D-BOX Motion Code: If you are equipped with a D-BOX integrated motion system, you will be able to experience a whole new dimension while watching the film.

Finally, I never get tired of watching ‘AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON’ and though there are some superb lycanthropic films around, this is by far my favourite comedy horror cult classic. This Full Moon Limited Edition SteelBook Blu-ray release has some really excellent Audio and Video quality presentations and a really fine and amazing array of brilliant extra features that will keep you busy for several hours. If you own the 25th Anniversary Edition, it's still worth upgrading for this improved Audio and Video package and with definitely more extras, especially the excellent Beware the Moon documentary, but if you don't already own this, it's as close to a 'must buy' as you can get and I doubt if there will be anymore Blu-ray releases in the near future, so grab this Blu-ray Edition, as once they have gone, that is it. Highly Recommended!

Andrew C. Miller – Your Ultimate No.1 Film Aficionado
Le Cinema Paradiso
United Kingdom
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on 14 October 2011
Because of the admittedly justified attention paid to the amazing werewolf transformation effects, I think this film has earned a place in cinema history despite being as cheesy as hell.

John Landis' script and direction can't seem to strike the right balance between nervous laughter and savage gore. There are a pair of nightmares near the beginning of the film that are among the most canny and effective shock sequences of the '80s. But then you have extremely cliché characters such as the bar patrons in Yorkshire and the doctor in London, who wouldn't look out of place, replacing Leslie Nielsen in "Airplane!" Plot points, such as the reason why the main character got attacked in Yorkshire but was took to a hospital 200 miles south, in London go completely unexplored. The timing is all off in this film and I find myself wondering where the hell it is meant to be going. The entire film seems to be littered with pointless lingering shots that would look a lot better on the cutting room floor. Then we have car crashes and mayhem in the film's disappointing conclusion.

The confusing thing is though, I didn't actually hate this film, I should of, its full of cliché and bad editing. This is probably down to the acting which, although could be a little tongue in cheek, was on the whole very endearing .Though definitely not for the squeamish "American Werewolf in London" is reasonably entertaining and worth a look just to see where the idea for the "Thriller" music video spawned from.
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