A. Quinton — Aug. 11th 2016
Whenever someone become a werewolf fan â€“ within seconds of that tiny little full moon rising in theirÂ heart â€“ someoneÂ in a suit knocks on theirÂ door andÂ gives them theirÂ officialÂ copy of “An American Werewolf in London”.
Sometimes these mysterious agents areÂ menÂ orÂ women, and sometimes they’re featurelessÂ shadows. They never speak, never make physical contact with anyone, andÂ cannot be followed for more than 30 feet before they vanishÂ down an alley or around a hedge. They just press a copy of John Landis’s seminal 1981 werewolf movie into your hands, nod, and are gone.Â It happens to all of us.
If it happened to you in the 80’s, as it did to me, they gave you a VHS copy. Most of you probably have a DVD version, and I’ve heard rumours that a few folks in the early 90’s got LaserDiscs. The format doesn’t matter, though â€“ it’s the experience. YouÂ say to yourself “hey, I really like werewolves”, and an otherworldly entity appears within seconds to give you a physical copy of a film that hasn’t been bested in 35 years. It’s uncanny, undeniable, universal, Universal.
That encounter on your doorstep is one of the threads that binds you and the rest of the world’sÂ werewolf fans together; that copy of “An American Werewolf in London” is a physicalÂ manifestation of yourÂ enthusiasm for werewolf movies, maybe even for werewolves in general.
You can probably see it from where you’re sitting right now, can’t you? That sacred copy of AWiL? Well, my friend, I want you to getÂ it down from that shelf, take another look at that classically understated coverÂ â€“ and then throw it in the fucking trash. It’s garbage now.
Universal is releasing a “restored”Â 35th anniversary Blu-ray version on September 27th 2016. Does this version have any new bonus content not already available on the 2009 “Full Moon Edition” Blu-ray? No. Does that matter?Â No. The besuited spectres on our doorsteps didn’t hand over blooper reels or production still galleries, they gave us the gold standard of lycanthropic cinema, andÂ that is the resource this new edition claims to enhance, with a “NEWÂ RESTORATION of the film”. No one in the public sphere seems to know anything aboutÂ how this edition was restored, but hopefully it’ll be an improvement on the “gaussian blur + sharpen filter every frame” transfer of the Full Moon edition.
In the end, it doesn’t matter. If you’re a werewolf fan, you have a copy of this film whether you like it or not. Doesn’t it behoove us to have the best-looking copy available? Don’t we want to keep those mysterious dark visitors on our porches happy? I say “yes, please God,Â yes.”
Also, the new cover art is dope.
Thanks to everyone who shared news of this upcoming release with me.