Here's a re-post of something that I wrote for the forum in 2007: http://www.dvdverdict.com/juryroom/viewtopic.php?f=50&t=720&p=10721&hilit=I+met+John+Landis#p10721
.Saw a special theatrical screening of An American Werewolf in London Friday night at the Two Boots Pioneer Theater in New York City with John Landis (courtesy of Blue Underground's Bill Lustig) in person to introduce the movie. The 35mm copy looked as washed-out as the DVD but the crowd (a third of which raised their hands when asked by Landis is they hadn't seen the movie) went wild and clapped during David's nightmare-within-a-nightmare scene and the Piccadilli Circus climax. The highlight of the evening was Landis' introduction though. For 20 minutes he rambled on about the film's origins while he was a PA in Yugoslavia working on "Kelly's Heroes," how much better the movie looks on "Blu-ray" high definition (I didn't have to heart to interrupt and correct him that "Werewolf" is from HD-DVD exclusive studio Universal), how the technicians that make high-definition versions of his movies hate him for making them degrade the PQ of the HD versions to match what he wants the movie to look ("Animal House" was made too pretty-looking on HD-DVD so he made them redo it), how he was in town for the world premiere of his new Don Rickles documentary ("...which you cheap f--- can watch for free on HBO in December"). At one point his cellphone rang in the middle of a story and, without missing a beat, he looked at it and said 'It's Mrs. Giulliani' (afterwards he said it was an Italian writer of a book about Landis' movies she's finishing in time for a January '08 release).
Landis asked the crowd for questions and I was first. I told him his group commentary track for "Kentucky Fried Movie" was my favorite and wondered why he didn't do DVD commentary tracks for his other movies. He said the Zuckers brought the funny out of him in the "KFC" commentary track and that, on his own, he just doesn't like doing or listening to them because they're boring. I told him that the stories he had just been telling for 20+ minutes would have been great to hear on a "Werewolf" commentary track and he sniped back in a pretend-exasperated voice 'I just told you these stories. Why would you want to hear them again?' (huge roar of laughter from the crowd). A couple of ass-kissing questions later Landis left to thunderous applause. I was sitting on an aisle seat and, without me looking at him or asking for it, Landis tapped my shoulder as he walked by me on his way out the theater. As pleased as I was that I met in person the director of "AAWIL" I shuddered a bit at the thought that the killer of Vic Morrow had just tapped my shoulder.
Surprised that "Werewolf" didn't end up as either a good/bad/ugly from any of the canuck panel. Also surprised that the whole "Twilight Zone"/Vic Morrow thing wasn't touched-up more in the podcast. I recently saw Albert Brooks' "Modern Family" for the first time and, to my surprise, James L. Brooks' cameo as a director (when he himself hadn't yet directed a feature) seems to have been fashioned after both Landis and Leonard Maltin; these men are all pretty much brothers from different mothers that kind-of look and talk alike.
My personal Landis' G-B-U from what I've seen on his:Good: An American Werewolf in London
(sudden ending aside this is the "Last Boy Scout" and "48 Hours" of the horror genre; the offsprings of this comedy/horror hybrid are legion, and Landis is considered a horror auteur even though he's only done two horror movies and one of them is "Innocent Blood," further proof of "Werewolf's" legacy. Did I mention I freaking love it?)Bad: The Kentucky Fried Movie
(personal bias here since this was the very first DVD I ever bought when I got my PS2, but when this "movie" shows a skit that connects like "United Appeal of the Dead" or "Zynch Oxide" it's a scream; even the super-long and meandering kung-fu mini-movie at the center has moments of charm. The bad skits and length drag it down, but there's inspired anarchy in some of the better ZAZ-scripted bits; also the commentary track is that rare breed that's funnier or as funny as the movie itself)Ugly: Beverly Hills Cop III
(Eddie Murphy is bad and not funny here, but Landis' direction and staging of the action is also the pits: flat and lifeless, like a made-for-TV movie on a slightly-higher budget; it didn't quite kill the franchise but it left it comatose for 19 years until now, when CBS and Eddie Murphy are trying to bring it back with the new generation card: http://screenrant.com/beverly-hills-cop-tv-show-brandon-t-jackson/