Shout! Factory has two new horror Blu-ray collector’s editions releasing today, June 18, as part of their Scream Factory line. First up is the werewolf flick The Howling (1981), starring Dee Wallace and Patrick Macnee. Wallace plays a TV news anchor who’s sent away to recuperate after an encounter with a serial killer. Unfortunately, the vacation town is full of werewolves.
It’s directed by Joe Dante (Gremlins) and written by John Sayles based on a novel by Gary Brandner. There were eventually seven (!) sequels — maybe because it’s a terrific title for a monster movie. Along with An American Werewolf in London, it revitalized the genre with groundbreaking-for-the-time special effects. Here’s the original trailer:
Shout! Factory has added a new commentary with novel author Brandner; deleted scenes with an optional audio commentary by Dante; a featurette on the film’s location; an interview with stop-motion animator Dave Allen; and new interviews with screenwriter Terence Winkless, executive producer Steven A. Lane, and editor Mark Goldblatt. That’s in addition to the extras they’ve included from the prior DVD release: outtakes, trailers, a photo gallery, “Making of a Monster: Inside The Howling”, “Unleashing the Beast: The Making of The Howling”, and a commentary with Dante and Dee Wallace, Christopher Stone, and Robert Picardo.
Also available is Lifeforce (1985). Directed by Tobe Hooper (The Texas Chainsaw Massacre), this one’s about space vampires. Plus, Mathilda May walks around naked the whole time, and Patrick Stewart’s in it! It sounds ridiculous. The trailer doesn’t do much to dispel that impression:
However, in addition to the original “Making of Lifeforce” featurette, trailers, and gallery, you also get the both the original theatrical version as well as the longer international cut. There are two commentaries, one with director Hooper, and one with make-up effects designer Nick Maley, plus new interviews with Hooper, actor Steve Railsback, and Ms. May herself. Shout! does some great extras.