Some films cement themselves as Hollywood icons, and remain popular long past their original release window. Now, one of the most popular horror-comedy films ever released is getting a 4K restoration, allowing fans and newcomers alike to learn just why this film has cemented itself in the annals of cinematic history.
Directed by John Landis and released in 1981, An American Werewolf in London tells the story of David Kessler and Jack Goodman, two New Yorkers hiking through the harsh Yorkshire moors. However, while wandering, they get attacked by what they believe is a werewolf. This throws the men into a strange situation where they must work out what happened before it’s too late.
The film was highly praised for its werewolf transformation scenes. In fact, the film features a lot of excellent body horror, playing heavily on the inherent horror of your body changing against your will. These transformation effects were created by legendary makeup artist Rick Baker, who won an Oscar for his work.
The film has had several re-releases over the years. It first came out on VHS and Betamax, but was later released on DVD and later Blu-ray, including a special version that celebrated the movie’s 35th anniversary. And now, boutique film label Arrow Video are releasing a new and even better version of the cult classic.
This restoration is in 4K resolution, letting you appreciate every detail of Rick Baker’s work. The set also includes a documentary about the film and its history, featuring interviews with John Landis and David Naughton. There is also an interview with Rick Baker where he discusses the effects. Finally, there’s a video essay by filmmaker Jon Spira, discussing how An American Werewolf in London explores Jewish identity.
The set also includes some excellent physical extras. This includes a massive 60-page book that has information on the film and essays by Craig Ian Mann and Simon Ward. There is also a double-sided poster and six postcards that recreate the original lobby cards. And all of this comes in a beautifully illustrated hardshell case, making this the ultimate gift for the An American Werewolf in London fan in your life.
The set hits stores on March 15, 2022, and will retail at around $45. Hopefully, this release will allow more people to see, fall in love with and appreciate this legendary piece of horror cinema.