Scream Factory Press Release: The Curse of the Werewolf (1961) (Blu-ray)

3 Stars

Screen Shot 2020-01-08 at 2.14.17 PM.

Our love for Hammer Films continues into the new year with an upgraded version of THE CURSE OF THE WEREWOLF! Details we have at this time are as follows:

• National street date for North America (Region A) is 4/21/2020.

• This is being presented as a Collector’s Edition release and will come guaranteed with a slipcover in its first three months of release.

• The newly commissioned artwork you see pictured comes to us from artist Mark Maddox (Dracula: Prince of Darkness, Frankenstein Created Woman). This art will be front-facing and the reverse side of the wrap will feature the original theatrical artwork.

• New extras are in progress and will be announced on a later date (March timing). We can confirm today though that we are proceeding with a new transfer of the film!

Pre-order now directly from us @ https://www.shoutfactory.com/…/the-curse-of-the-werewolf-co…
The first 500 orders from our site will receive an exclusive limited-edition 18” x 24” rolled poster of the exclusive new illustration.

Thank you for supporting HTF when you preorder using the link below. If you are using an adblocker you will not see link. As an Amazon Associate HTF earns from qualifying purchases

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40 Comments

  1. Yeah, fantastic cover (I'd say the colour of the werewolf on the cover is about right). A good movie & a handsome Hammer production, a new transfer if done right could be one of the best looking vintage Hammer Blu-rays.

  2. Shout's been releasing a ton of Universal horror over the last couple of years, so I'm betting the other 7 titles in the Uni "Hammer Horror 8-Film Collection" will get proper single releases before too long.

  3. Craig Beam

    Shout's been releasing a ton of Universal horror over the last couple of years, so I'm betting the other 7 titles in the Uni "Hammer Horror 8-Film Collection" will get proper single releases before too long.

    Brides of Dracula for sure. In 1.85:1 Upgraded version would be Great.

  4. RICK BOND

    Brides of Dracula for sure. In 1.85:1 Upgraded version would be Great.

    Craig Beam

    Shout's been releasing a ton of Universal horror over the last couple of years, so I'm betting the other 7 titles in the Uni "Hammer Horror 8-Film Collection" will get proper single releases before too long.

    Speaking of Universal, I wish Shout could consider a release of Frankenstein The True Story. Other Frankenstein films have been released repeatedly. But this classy, literate version has never even had a blu-ray release, much less a needed remaster.

  5. RJ992

    Speaking of Universal, I wish Shout could consider a release of Frankenstein The True Story. Other Frankenstein films have been released repeatedly. But this classy, literate version has never even had a blu-ray release, much less a needed remaster.

    They are releasing it in March.

  6. Nice announcement, how long before Shout tackles Brides of Dracula, Evil of Frankenstein, and Phantom of the Opera, would be nice if they could score a deal with Paramount to get Frankenstein and the Monster From Hell for a North American release.

  7. dana martin

    Nice announcement, how long before Shout tackles Brides of Dracula, Evil of Frankenstein, and Phantom of the Opera, would be nice if they could score a deal with Paramount to get Frankenstein and the Monster From Hell for a North American release.

    I think that Brides will be next. F&TMFH will be coming also. Capt. Kronos was released by Paramount here in the US and that's coming in April.

  8. RICK BOND

    Brides of Dracula for sure. In 1.85:1 Upgraded version would be Great.

    The old DVD with Brides of Dracula was 1.66 and looked really good. The 2.00 grainy Blu-ray was a real letdown.
    I will buy a new restoration of this classic in a heartbeat.
    As to the film's aspect ratio, I think 1.75 is likely the best framing.

  9. aPhil

    The old DVD with Brides of Dracula was 1.66 and looked really good. The 2.00 grainy Blu-ray was a real letdown.
    I will buy a new restoration of this classic in a heartbeat.
    As to the film's aspect ratio, I think 1.75 is likely the best framing.

    Concerning the aspect ratios of several of those Hammer titles in that 8 movie Blu Ray set, didn't Universal release those in different aspect ratios because of a fire that destroyed prints of those titles and they had to use ones that were released in the U.K.? How is Shout able to acquire those titles in the proper aspect ratio?

  10. timk1041

    Concerning the aspect ratios of several of those Hammer titles in that 8 movie Blu Ray set, didn't Universal release those in different aspect ratios because of a fire that destroyed prints of those titles and they had to use ones that were released in the U.K.? How is Shout able to acquire those titles in the proper aspect ratio?

    I read (but cannot confirm) that the DVD video masters of some of those 8 Hammer Films may have been destroyed — I don’t think any film elements from those films were harmed.

    Night Creatures aka Captain Clegg is the one that needs the most restoration. Day-for-Night scenes are badly mistimed. The aspect ratio cuts too tight.

    The Phantom of the Opera in 2.00 may be wrong, but it still looks damn good on the Hammer 8 Film Blu-ray set. The aspect ratio for that film works just fine even if 2.00 is wrong. 1.75 might work well too. Just one of those films that tends to look good within 1.75 to 2.00 range — Not all movies are framed in such a way as to do that.

  11. aPhil

    I read (but cannot confirm) that the DVD video masters of some of those 8 Hammer Films may have been destroyed — I don’t think any film elements from those films were harmed.

    Night Creatures aka Captain Clegg is the one that needs the most restoration. Day-for-Night scenes are badly mistimed. The aspect ration cuts too tight.

    The Phantom of the Opera in 2.00 may be wrong, but it still looks damn good on the Hammer 8 Film Blu-ray set. The aspect ratio for that film works just fine even if 2.00 is wrong. 1.75 might work well too. Just one of those films that tends to look good within 1.75 to 2.00 range — Not all movies are framed in such a way as to do that.

    Thank you for the information.

  12. John Sparks

    I'll stick with my Hammer 8 Film Blu-ray Collection.

    Yeah, it's a great set & incredible value for money. I could have done without those little black lines top & bottom of some titles, but that didn't bother me that much. There's only three titles I'd update for a better transfer (in the UK), Curse Of The Werewolf, Phantom Of The Opera & Kiss Of The Vampire (the first Hammer horror that I actually saw in a cinema).

  13. Billy Batson

    Yeah, it's a great set & incredible value for money.

    I think it WAS a great set, since at the time we weren't getting much Hammer on Blu-ray. Now that Indicator and Shout Factory are cranking them out (with copious supplements!), that barebones set is now looking a bit long in the tooth.

  14. Craig Beam

    I think it WAS a great set, since at the time we weren't getting much Hammer on Blu-ray. Now that Indicator and Shout Factory are cranking them out (with copious supplements!), that barebones set is now looking a bit long in the tooth.

    This could be the Hammer year, Shout Factory, Indicator (esp. now they have access to some of the StudioCanal Hammer titles), & you never know, Warner with She & The Curse Of Frankenstein. Maybe MGM should start a bit of catch-up by revisiting the American International titles.

  15. View attachment 67095

    CURSE OF THE WEREWOLF (1961) was co-billed with SHADOW OF THE CAT (1961) marking (I believe) the first Hammer Films double feature which would be continued throughout the 1960s.

    Prior to this the Hammer horror films would (usually) be saddled with some stale black-and-white produced stateside release.

    In addition to being handsomely produced in colour CURSE certainly brought some refreshingly imaginative and innovative twists to the werewolf mythology.

    This is pretty much Oliver Reed's first significant screen role and firmly established the steely blue-eyed gentleman as a screen heart-throb with the ladies.

    Yvonne Romain portrayed Oliver Reed's "mother" in CURSE and would later be cast as his love interest in NIGHT CREATURES (1962). That's certainly displaying versatility in the recycling of Hammer Films' stock company of players to be sure!

    SCREAM may (further) branch-out and acquire the Hammer Films through the auspices of Columbia Pictures as well (ie. THE REVENGE OF FRANKENSTEIN, THE GORGON).

    I wish with these "advanced" announcements more definite specifics could be made known (ie. screen aspect ratios, bonus extras, etc.). But it appears that these "exciting" new film acquisitions are still in their formative stages of planning and implementationl

    I'll gladly support it though.

    The more "traditional" now classic horror films are most definitely my forte.

    View attachment 67096

    Jeff T.

    🙂

  16. JeffT.

    CURSE OF THE WEREWOLF (1961) was co-billed with SHADOW OF THE CAT (1961) marking (I believe) the first Hammer Films double feature which would be continued throughout the 1960s.

    Jeff T.

    I first saw Curse in 1964 at a local cinema that only showed old films (anything from the previous year back to the forties, there was a fair few cinemas like that in my part of London back then), around that time I was catching up with all the Hammer films that I'd been to young to see (you had to be 16 to see an X certificate film, I wasn't 16 until the end of 1966, but I looked old enough by 1964). It was a real treat seeing this film after looking at various pictures in Famous Monsters Of Filmland magazine, I can still remember those rich colours (& the current Blu-ray is not quite rich enough for me). It had the original supporting feature, Shadow Of The Cat, & I think that's the only time I've seen it, I know it was on a DVD, but in 4×3, probably from an old TV tape, I do wonder if the film elements are still around.

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  18. Stephen PI

    Kiss of the Vampire should be 1.66. The rest should be 1.75:1

    The US stopped using 1.66 in 1954. UK stopped using it in 1958. Bob Furmanek's site has documentation on this. Its been a myth that small DVD and Blu Ray labels keep alive by continuing to release 60's and 70's British films in 1.66. They used 1.75. Most US cinemas would have slightly over cropped them to 1.85 as that was the standard in the US. So 1.75 or 1.85 both work for the non scope films in the Universal set. None should be 1.66 and none should be 2.0. The myth is supported by the belief that every actors forehead and hairline should be 100% visible at all times. But there is no rule in film photography for this and it isn't correct. 100's of 1.33 films have the tops of heads briefly cut and 100's of scope films have the tops of heads briefly cut.

  19. In a way, 1:66 is the cowards way out, they scan the whole frame, & looking at the whole frame & then looking at a 1:85 cut out, things can look very tight at the top (headroom ect) & it's very tempting to play safe & zoom out a bit & have those black sidebars. Saying that, I'm quite happy with 1:66, a lot of the transfers used for DVDs of late fifties/early sixties British films are 4×3 (esp. b/w films) & at last more of these films are making an appearance on Blu-ray, & I don't mind 1:66 at all.

  20. Ah yes Leon (my name spelled backwards), born on Christmas Day, is finally here!!!! Oliver Reed’s first starring role, I saw this as a young lad- such great memories. Ordering now.

  21. I wish SHOUT FACTORY would give us their treatment of THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA (1962) in 1.66:1 along with a lot of bonus features.

    Highly unlikely that the 1962 Phantom was composed for 1.66.
    Much more likely 1.75.
    Even then, the 2.00 to 1 aspect ratio on the USA Hammer Films Blu-ray looks excellent, and the 2-to-1 framing harms nothing.
    I saw this film on the original release when it played the Carolina Theater in Asheboro NC. I have no recollection of the framing and likely I knew nothing about aspect ratios at that time.

    I’m a big stickler for getting things right, but the Hammer Phantom is one of those movies that looks great in 2-to-1 on up (or is it down) to 1.75-to-1.
    Don’t get me wrong, I would re-buy as I love the film,
    and I would love to see a mountain of Extras for what is my favorite telling of the Paris Opera House Ghost.

    The Curse of the Werewolf is too tight at 2.00-to-1, and 1.85 will improve the composition, although 1.75 might be even better. Yes, I’ll be buying it as I love the film. Saw it on the original release and a couple years later paired with The Mummy at the Sunset Theater in Asheboro NC. There was also a live magic show!

    Still,
    Brides of Dracula is the most deserving of a restoration — The present state of the film has more wrong than the aspect ratio. The image is really noisy and I don’t know who was messing with the dial!
    Also,
    Night Creatures could use something closer to 1.75,
    but more important is that it really needs a major re-timing as a lot of Day-for-Night is incredibly wrong. Whoever timed & graded the film must have not known anything about the story. Some of the Day-for-Night looks like bright daytime (which, of course, is often when you shoot day-for-night, but you don’t time it for day!).

  22. I just remember watching THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA (1962) on TV in the 70's with the beautiful top and bottom borders like they had on the laserdisc version. It does look nice in 2.0:1 though. I'd just like to have the other option. I still think this is one of the most terrifying films ever.

  23. Phantom Of The Opera is a classy looking Hammer Film, I really like it. I think the Universal Blu-ray looks pretty good, but I'd buy a new transfer just in case it looked better. One thing though, the first shot of the film after the titles (a night exterior outside the theatre), looks really ropey, & it's always looked bad, like a bad dupe.

  24. Randy Korstick

    The US stopped using 1.66 in 1954. UK stopped using it in 1958. Bob Furmanek's site has documentation on this. Its been a myth that small DVD and Blu Ray labels keep alive by continuing to release 60's and 70's British films in 1.66. They used 1.75. Most US cinemas would have slightly over cropped them to 1.85 as that was the standard in the US. So 1.75 or 1.85 both work for the non scope films in the Universal set. None should be 1.66 and none should be 2.0. The myth is supported by the belief that every actors forehead and hairline should be 100% visible at all times. But there is no rule in film photography for this and it isn't correct. 100's of 1.33 films have the tops of heads briefly cut and 100's of scope films have the tops of heads briefly cut.

    Fair enough. Information on the aspect ratio of "KISS OF THE VAMPIRE" came from a friend of mine who got this information from DP Alan Hume, who photographed the film. No doubt it was projected in the UK in 1.75:1. I was at a private screening of "KISS" at Universal and I think I requested it to be presented in 1.66:1 which they did.

  25. What Robert Furmanek 3-D FILM ARCHIVE site says about the British use of 1.66 in 1958 is

    "By 1958, less than 10% of British productions were intended for 1.66:1. The dominant aspect ratio at British Studios between 1955-1970 was 1.75:1."

    A chart on his site shows some 20 films composed for 1.66 from 1959 to 1962, and this chart could be updated in the future.

    Also on his site regarding British aspect ratios is the following:

    "On October 6, 1955, the Ideal Kinema reported:
    . . .
    . . . a matter in which the British industry, most commendably, has given a lead to the world, including the United States. The decision to standardise at a ratio of 1.75 to 1, tolerable for both 1.65 to 1 and 1.85 to 1 . . ."

    Personally, I think it safe to say that some films may look best at 1.66 and others best at 1.75 and others best at 1.85.

    Disney+ is showing excellent HD (non-anamorphic films) content of many Disney feature films from 1955 thru most of the 1960s composed on their streaming channel at 1.66-to-1 aspect ratio.
    I think Disney is wise in such composition on Disney+,
    as Disney likely (?) knew that many/most/all of their theatrical films would come to 4×3 television broadcast of the 20th Century, and that such an aspect ratio of 1.66 is, ultimately, a better fit as the preferred framing for their non-anamorphic feature film product of that era.

    My opinion.
    Others may differ.

  26. I suppose it depends on what the DOP was shooting for, what aspect ratio did he think was required, & did he have 1:66 marked in his ground glass? Cinemas will always project an aspect ratio that's convenient for them. Was Barry Lyndon always projected in 1:66? I'd rather see a tad more picture that the audience saw at the time, than a bit less.

  27. Back in the 1970's when I was working in the UK film industry, I had the opportunity to handle a handful of Hammer 35mm IB Tech prints. "CURSE OF THE WEREWOLF" had very thick frame lines. From memory it had to be a little more than 1.75 so there was a little room for vertical error on behalf of the operator. On the other hand, "THE MUMMY" was full frame so you could matte it at either 1.66 or 1,75. The UK blu ray had both full frame and 1.66.
    Regarding the 2.0 AR on "PHANTOM", "NIGHT CREATURES" etc the image is mainly cropped at the bottom which gives a slight 'top – heavy' effect to the composition which to me is just as bad.

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