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Category:    Home > Reviews > Horror > Monster > Creature > Supernatural > Comedy > Slasher > Science Fiction > Action > Politics > Dystop > An American Werewolf In London (1981*)/The Prey (1983/New World)/Robocop (1987/Orion/MGM/Limited Edition Set)/The Running Man (1963/Sony/Columbia)/Man Of A Thousand Faces (1957/*both Universal/all MVD

An American Werewolf In London (1981*)/The Prey (1983/New World)/Robocop (1987/Orion/MGM/Limited Edition Set)/The Running Man (1963/Sony/Columbia)/Man Of A Thousand Faces (1957/*both Universal/all MVD/Arrow Blu-rays)

Picture: B+/B+/B+/B/B+ Sound: B/B+/B/B/B+ Extras: B+/B/B+/B/B Films: A- (Uncut)/C+/A-/B/B+

Arrow Video continues to be one of the best specialty video labels right up there with Criterion and other small companies that really care about true cinema. Here's five more examples of releases meeting their high standards... and ours.

One of Director John Landis' (Animal House, The Blues Brothers) landmark films, An American Werewolf in London (1981), lands again on Blu-ray but this time in a definitive and exciting new edition from Arrow Video. There have been many releases of the film over the years on disc from Universal, but this one has loads of extras, a poster, booklet, lobby cards, and much much more! Much like our recent review of Arrow Video's Robocop edition (see below), this is a landmark film that's finally available the way genre film fans have always dreamed.

The film centers around two American college students David and Jack (David Naughton and Griffin Dunne) who go for a hike near London, and end up stalked by a vicious werewolf. While Jack is brutally killed, David is scratched and ends up slowly becoming a 'wolf man.' As he awakens in a London hospital, he meets a beautiful nurse (Jenny Agutter) and starts to hit it off with her. But soon, she is in danger, as David must control the monster inside him...

After the Universal classic The Wolfman starring Lon Chaney Jr., An American Werewolf in London is a high contender for the greatest werewolf movie of all time. Featuring then groundbreaking (and still startling today) Oscar-winning special effects by the genius Rick Baker, this eccentric masterpiece is equal parts horror and comedy, with a heart pounding score and a great cast. If you haven't seen this or haven't seen this in a while, I can't stress how awesome this edition is!

An American Werewolf in London is presented here in 1080p high definition and is the 2018 4K restoration from the original camera negative supervised by John Landis, seen a previous release from Universal. The films original 1.85:1 widescreen aspect ratio is preserved as well as new audio mixes in original uncompressed PCM 1.0 Mono and optional 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio lossless sound, though the film was originally theatrical mono. This is the same transfer as the 2018 edition, which has been recolored and cleaned up considerable from earlier releases and certainly the ones from the DVD days (even improving over previous Blu-ray editions and that old HD-DVD version we reviewed eons ago). Until a 4K UHD edition arrives, this is as good as fans are going to get.

Special Features include:

New audio commentary by Beware the Moon filmmaker Paul Davis

AND a second feature length audio commentary by actors David Naughton and Griffin Dunne

Mark of The Beast: The Legacy of the Universal Werewolf, newly produced, feature-length documentary by filmmaker Daniel Griffith, featuring interviews with John Landis, David Naughton, Joe Dante and more

An American Filmmaker in London, a newly filmed interview with John Landis in which he reflects on British cinema and his his time working in Britain

I Think He's a Jew: The Werewolf's Secret, new video essay by filmmaker Jon Spira (Elstree 1976, reviewed elsewhere on this site) about how Landis' film explores Jewish identity

The Werewolf's Call, Corin Hardy, director of The Nun, chats with writer Simon Ward about their formative experiences with Landis' film.

Wares of the Wolf, new featurette in which SFX artist Dan Martin and Tim Lawes of The Prop Store look at some of the original costumes and special effects artifacts from the film

Beware the Moon, Paul Davis' acclaimed, feature-length exploration of Landis' film which boasts extensive cast and crew interviews

Making An American Werewolf in London, a short archival featurette on the film's production

An Interview with John Landis, a lengthy archival interview with the director about the film

Makeup Artist Rick Baker on An American Werewolf in London, the legendary make-up artist discusses his work on the film

I Walked with a Werewolf, an archival interview with the make-up artist about Universal horror and its legacy of Wolfman films

Casting of the Hand, archival footage from Rick Baker's workshop as they cast David Naughton's hand

Outtakes, Original trailers, teasers and radio spots

Extensive image gallery featuring over 200 stills, posters and other ephemera 

and a reversible sleeve featuring original poster art and artwork by Graham Humphreys 

This edition of American Werewolf in London has us howling at the moon! Hopefully, it does for you too! Thanks, Arrow!

A campfire slasher in the vein of Friday the 13th, The Prey (1980), was released initially around the same time as Friday. The two films unsurprisingly share many of the same narrative and cinematic themes.

For example, here's the plot of The Prey: A group of horny teen campers get stalked by a monster the lurks in the woods. Sound familiar?

This doesn't stop the film from being fun on its own merits, with some funny one liners and plenty of low budget thrills to entertain slasher fans of yesteryear. This new version from Arrow features three versions of the feature and an eye popping new transfer that gives the indie new life.

The Prey stars Care Struycken, Debbie Thureson, Lori Lethin, and Jackson Bostiwick (the original live action Shazam! on TV in the 1970s) to name a few. The film is directed by Edwin Brown (who also made a film called Sexual Outlaws).

The Prey is presented in 1080p high definition with a 1.85:1 widescreen aspect ratio and an English: LPCM Mono (48kHz, 24-bit) that is clean and clear throughout the feature. This is a new 2K restoration of the filmmaker-approved US Theatrical Cut from the original camera negative. The colors are vibrant and pop and look great considering this is a very low budget film and the print is in fantastic shape. The score sounds like a rip-off of The Shining at parts with a screeching strings ensemble that works fine. One of the more effective things the film does is its use of POV photography to create a voyeuristic style to the film and a killer that likes to stalk from a distance.

Special Features include:

Exclusive slipcover featuring original UK home video artwork

Three versions of the feature: Original US Theatrical Cut, International Cut and Composite cut

Reversible sleeve featuring newly commissioned artwork by Justin Osbourn

Limited edition booklet featuring new writing on the film by Ewan Cant


Brand new audio commentary with producer Summer Brown

Brand new audio commentary with Amanda Reyes and Ewan Cant

Audio Interview with director Edwin Scott Brown

Brand new on-camera interview with actress Debbie Thureson

Brand new on-camera interview with actress Lori Lethin

Brand new on-camera interview with actor Carel Struycken

Brand new on-camera interview with actor Jackson Bostwick

In Search of The Prey - Ewan Cant and actress Debbie Thureson revisit the original shooting locations in Idyllwild, California

Q&A from Texas Frightmare Weekend 2019 with Lori Lethin, Carel Struycken and Jackson Bostwick

Texas Frightmare Weekend 2019 Audience Reaction Track

VHS Trailer and TV Spot

Original Script (BD-ROM Content)


Brand new 2K restoration of the International Cut featuring the infamous 'gypsy flashback' footage, added at a later date by the producers without the approval of the original filmmakers

Composite Cut combining footage from both the US Theatrical and International Cuts, for the ultimate Prey fan experience!

Extended Outtakes reel - 45 mins of never-before-seen outtakes

While The Prey isn't as memorable as Friday the 13th or The Burning, there's a lot of fun to be had with it. This new edition is impressively remastered and really modernizes the film.

Paul Verhoeven's Robocop (1987) is, simply put, one of the greatest science fiction films of all time. It has seen many releases over the years on various formats (even a Criterion version exists on DVD), but hoping to best them all is this new version from Arrow Video that's packed with new extras, a new transfer, and other goodies that are sure to appease fans. But aside from the shiny exterior and the new bonus material, what else is different about this new release? A lot as it turns out.

Robocop stars Peter Weller, Nancy Allen, Dan O'Herlihy, Ronny Cox, Kurtwood Smith, and Miguel Ferrer. The film is set in the distant future where a tough cop named Murphy (Weller) is killed by a gang of thugs during a heavy mission, and taken from his loving wife and son. Thanks to the corporation OCP, Murphy is brought back to life as a half man/half cop known as 'Robocop' - who upholds the law and seeks revenge on the gang that took his life.

Even though some of the special effects are a bit dated, Robocop will always remain a timeless science fiction film with stunning special effects by Rob Bottin (Carpenter's The Thing, he designed the Robocop outfit among other make-up here). The film's screenplay is simply brilliant with its spry social satire mixed with imagination and non-stop action. The film has been imitated time and time again with several lackluster sequels and a terrible remake, but nothing beats the original director's cut seen here.

Robocop is presented in 1080p high definition with its original widescreen aspect ratio of 1.85:1 and English audio mixes in DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, DTS-HD Master Audio 4.0, and DTS-HD (Master Audio) MA 2.0 lossless mixes respectively. This is a nice presentation of the film that looks and sounds pretty great for Blu-ray disc and is a new 4K restoration of the film from the original camera negative by MGM, transferred in 2013 and approved by director Paul Verhoeven.

Unfortunately, though this does look and sound better than the newly scanned materials from that 2013 release, there is an issue with the 5.1 mix. Many may remember that the Criterion Robocop (a 2.0 Stereo 12-inch LaserDisc and DVD release) lacked surrounds and was issued before 5.1 debuted on LaserDisc during the end of its run. We can understand if the 2.0 Stereo here is limited and even if the 4.0 (70mm blow-up prints had 4.1 sound in 1987) might lack bass or strong surrounds, but they are weak, even if what little information we get is clear.

For instance, in the scene that introduces up to the people behind the OPC company and the deadly ED-209 policing robot, his presence here is clear, but a little on the lite side, so he is not very menacing and it makes the sound mix sound older than it actually is. Note this was the first film to ever feature Dolby's then new SR (Spectral Recording) sound system that replaced A-type for theaters and easily outdid B and C type for the home.

We have to go back to the 2010 uncut Blu-ray (reviewed from the Robocop Trilogy Blu-ray set reviewed elsewhere on this site) to hear what the sound designers really delivered. When ED-209 shows up, he is loud, menacing, clear, bass-rich and a real threat, blowing away the sonics here. Sadly, that will remain the audiophile version of the soundtrack and more likely resembles the 70mm blow-up sound, but the film has never looked better than it does here outside of the best film prints.

Original lossless stereo and four-channel mixes plus DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 lossless surround sound option on both cuts is also a nice extra and gives fans a variety over the previous incarnations released on disc. Otherwise, as far as 'ultimate editions' go, this edition of Robocop takes the cake.

Special Features spanning two discs include Disc One:

Director's Cut


Archival Commentary by Paul Verhoeven, executive producer Jon Davison and co-writer Ed Neumeier (originally recorded for the Theatrical Cut and re-edited in 2014 for the Director's Cut)

New Commentary by film historian Paul M. Sammon

New Commentary by fans Christopher Griffiths, Gary Smart and Eastwood Allen

The Future of Law Enforcement Featurette

RoboTalk Featurette

Truth of Character - New interview with Nancy Allen.

Casting Old Detroit - Interview with casting director Julie Selzer.

Connecting the Shots Featurette

Analog Featurette

More Man Than Machine: Composing RoboCop

RoboProps Featurette

2012 Q & A with the Filmmakers features Paul Verhoeven, Jon Davison, Ed Neumeier, Michael Miner, Nancy Allen, Peter Weller and Phil Tippett.

RoboCop: Creating a Legend

Villains of Old Detroit Featurette

Special Effects: Then & Now

Paul Verhoeven Easter Egg

Deleted Scenes

The Boardroom: Storyboard with Commentary by Phil Tippett

Director's Cut Production Footage

Trailers - Theatrical Trailer 1 / Theatrical Trailer 2 / TV Spots

Image Galleries

Production Stills

Behind the Scenes

and Poster & Video Art

Disc Two

Theatrical Cut of the film

Archival Commentary by Paul Verhoeven, executive producer Jon Davison and co-writer Ed Neumeier (originally recorded for the Theatrical version of the film)

Two Isolated Score Tracks offer the original score by Paledouris and his final theatrical mix, both presented in DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 lossless Stereo.

Edited for Television Version

RoboCop: Edited for Television Featurette

Split Screen Comparisons

Director's Cut vs. Theatrical Cut

Theatrical Cut vs. TV Cut

Six collector's postcards (Limited Edition exclusive)

Double-sided, fold-out poster (Limited Edition exclusive)

Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork (Limited Edition exclusive)

and an 80-page Limited Edition collector's booklet featuring new writing on the film by Omar Ahmed, Christopher Griffiths and Henry Blyth, a 1987 Fangoria Magazine interview with Rob Bottin, and archive publicity material

Until the eventual 4K UHD release, this is as ultimate of an edition as one could ask for on Robocop. Be sure to grab up the limited edition as all of the extra goodies in this package make this set super fun. Your move, Creep!

This is not the Arnold Schwarzenegger/Stephen King film of the same name, but rather the original Running Man from 1963 which stars Laurence Harvey, Lee Remick, Alan Bates, and Felix Aylmer to name a few. With sharp direction by Sir Carol Reed (The Third Man, Oliver!), this thriller centers around a pilot named Rex Black (Harvey) who crashes his plane a day after the insurance policy is valid. Eager for revenge, he changes his identity, steals some money, and goes to Spain with his wife. He soon realizes that there are many people that are 'on to him' and soon finds himself on the run.

The Running Man is presented in 1080p high definition with a new 2K restoration from Sony Pictures and an original uncompressed mono audio mix to match. Both of which restore the film to stunning new glory with new details evident in the picture that weren't in previous releases as this is the first time the film has been available in an HD format. The cinematography by Robert Krasker was awarded a BAFTA for his work in this film, so it's no surprise that the photography has held up over the years.

Special Features include:

Isolated music and effects track

Audio commentary by Peter William Evans, author of British Film-Makers: Carol Reed

On The Trail Of The Running Man, all-new featurette with crew members such as script supervisor Angela Allen and assistant director Kits Browning

Lee Remick at the National Film Theatre, an audio-only recording of the actor's appearance at the NFT in 1970

Image gallery

Reversible sleeve featuring original artwork

and FIRST PRESSING ONLY: Illustrated collector's booklet featuring new writing on the film by Barry Forshaw

A classic crime caper that's certainly worth checking out on Blu-ray courtesy of Arrow Academy!

And finally, Lon Chaney Sr. was one of the pioneers of Hollywood special effects and one of the most renowned figures in horror movie history. This incredible bio-pic on his life, Man of a Thousand Faces (1957) stars the infamous James Cagney as Chaney, and has been expertly restored in HD by Arrow Academy. This film finally gets a proper release after years and years of waiting. (At least I have been waiting!)

When I think of bio-pics that could be re-made in this day and age, this one is certainly on the top of list as Lon Chaney was such an interesting person, who not only brought several memorable characters to life. For example, his infamous Quasimodo In The Hunchback of Notre Dame and the Phantom in Phantom of the Opera, his life was equally tragic and not without many struggles.

Married to a woman who was ashamed of his deaf parents, and who feared their soon to be born child could become deaf as well. Once this answer is overcome and it's clear the child (who would grow up to be Lon Chaney Jr. aka The Wolfman) isn't getting proper care. Separated from his child, the only way to get him back from an orphanage is to go to Hollywood and make money exploiting his talent of character acting. This rags to riches story not only shows what the Hollywood studio system was like in the silent film era, but how one man became an icon.

The film also stars Dorothy Malone, Jane Greer, Marjorie Rambeau, Jim Backus, and Robert Evans. The film is directed by Joseph Pevney, who also directed some a few classic Star Trek episodes and original Munsters episodes.

Man of a Thousand Faces is presented in 1080p high definition with a widescreen aspect ratio of 2.35:1 and an uncompressed Mono 1.0 PCM audio soundtrack. This is a brand new restoration from the original black and white negative by Arrow Films and looks fantastic. I haven't seen previous versions to compare, but this is a fine presentation and shows off the production value of the film at the time and no glaring issues.

Special Features include:

New audio commentary by film scholar Tim Lucas

The Man Behind a Thousand Faces, a newly filmed look at Lon Chaney and his legacy by the critic Kim Newman

Image gallery

Original trailer

Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Graham Humphreys

and First pressing only: Fully Illustrated booklet with a newly commissioned essay by Vic Pratt of the BFI

I'm sure a few liberties were taken with the story of Chaney's life to make for a more cinematic narrative, but this is a great film that anyone with an interest in horror movie history or special effects makeup should certainly check out.

- James Lockhart



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