Damn. This was something I was really looking forward to. For those who remember when the FOX network first launched in the late 1980s, the show Werewolf is something of a cult classic. Horror fans in particular ate it up with relish--I can remember one of my parents' friends who taped every single episode. Well, right now, that guy is doing a lot better than 99% of the rest of the show's fans. Because as of a couple days ago, the much-anticipated box set DVD release of the TV show was officially canceled.
It only ran for a single season of 28 episodes. But in that time, it picked up a loyal fan following that still remembers it. Werewolf told the story of Eric Cord (John J. York), a reluctant wolfman on the hunt for the leader of his tribe, so he can kill him and lift the curse. Along the way, he also struggles to avoid hurting others and escape the clutches of those who seek to destroy him. It sort of followed the successful formula of The Fugitive and The Incredible Hulk.
Anyway, after the show went off the air in 1988, it completely vanished from sight, becoming the sort of Holy Grail sought out at convention dealer tables and such. And now, the box set, which had been planned, after a series of delays, for release on October 9, has officially been deep-sixed. And all thanks to a couple of greedy has-been holdouts.
You see, Werewolf fell under the category of TV shows which used a lot of songs by a lot of different artists, and so when a show like this comes to home video, all the clearances for the rights to each and every song have to be secured. The Shout Factory, which had secured the rights to the show from Sony (why wouldn't Fox own them?) tried in vain, but in the end there were two anonymous parties that refused to allow their songs to be used. In other words, the price Shout Factory was offering wasn't high enough.
The company could not simply replace the tracks, as is usually done in situations like this, because the individual music tracks were never preserved. To remove them would have meant removing all the audio in those sections, including dialogue, sound effects, etc. And so a couple of money-grubbing "artists", no doubt washed up '80s hack bands looking for one last payoff, have successfully prevented Werewolf fans the world over from reliving their beloved show.
This is something that has been more than 20 years in the making. Even if you limit it strictly to the DVD era, that's still roughly a dozen years that fans of this show, myself included, have been waiting for it to finally be released. I even included the pilot on my list of favorite horror TV movies of all time, that shows you how much I dug it. Nevertheless, like the other admirers of FOX's early foray into lycanthropy, I will have to make do with crummy bootlegs.
Folks, I'm nearly overcome with rage here. Uh oh, is that a full moon? I think I feel a change coming on...
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