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By Dom Walker
12th October 2020
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From the Vault: An American Werewolf in London


In our From the Vault series, we’ll be strolling down the dusty corridors of the Arrow archive to pick out some behind-the-scenes, making of and other unseen images from our titles.

For this first one, we’ve decided to take a look at one of the most popular films in our catalogue, the John Landis classic from 1981 – An American Werewolf in London.

So get your waterproofs on and come backpacking with us. But beware the moon and stick to the road…

 

David and Jack (David Naughton and Griffin Dunne) take in the Yorkshire Moors, or rather The Black Mountains in southeast Wales doubling as the Yorkshire Moors.

 

David Naughton, John Landis and Griffin Dunne suitably attired for the bracing January weather in the Welsh countryside.

 

"We’ve spirits and beers" - Enjoying the hospitality and glares from the locals at The Slaughtered Lamb.

 

A stunt-head of the werewolf. The type of thing you might encounter when a full moon is up on the Yorkshire Moors.

 

 

 

 

 

Capturing the change from man to werewolf.

 

Director John Landis in conversation on set with Jenny Agutter. Five years before shooting, Landis had mentioned his desire to shoot a werewolf movie to Agutter.

 

David (David Naughton) finds himself being looked after by nurse Alex (Jenny Agutter). After reading the script, Agutter was impressed by the combination of humour, well-drawn honest characters, and genuine horror.

 

Rick Baker sculpting the wolf design

 

The stuff of nightmares – a clay sculpture of one of the Nazi Demons.

 

Tom Hester of the special makeup effects crew sculpting the wolf claws. Hester also worked with Baker and Landis Michael Jackson’s Thriller video and later went on to be the lead Character Designer for the Shrek films.

 

 

 

Special make-up effects artist Rick Baker tends to the wounds of Griffin Dunne. Baker later won the inaugural Academy Award for Best Makeup for his work on the film.

 

 

 

 

There’s a disturbance in Piccadilly Circus involving some sort of mad dog” – Filming in the heart of London for one of the film’s famous set pieces, the crew were permitted to shoot over Saturday and Sunday night with strict instruction to be finished by 6am Monday.

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