The films of director John Landis are particularly suited to repetition—in both rewatchability for comedies like “Trading Places” or “The Blues Brothers” or horror like “An American Werewolf in London,” but also in double-dip DVDs and Blu-rays from Universal every few years as well. Luckily, Landis is one of those filmmakers who reveals a new, fascinating behind-the-scenes tale with each new release, and that is certainly the case surrounding the Blu-ray of “Animal House” a few years back.
In that spirit, here’s a wide-ranging, three hour discussion with Landis on the Kevin Pollak Talk Show on YouTube. Granted, it’s from 2011, but hat tip to Larry Wright to putting in on our radar, because it’s great stuff. It’s the type of conversation that includes the director’s memory of lunching with Alfred Hitchcock and hearing his reaction to Brian De Palma’s “Dressed To Kill”, and ends with another about being in the same room as the Marx Brothers, George Burns, and Jack Benny while they riffed. Landis kicks things off by sharing his feelings about J.J. Abrams‘ “Super 8” which had just come out at the time.
Along the way Landis speaks candidly and enthusiastically as always about his career to date, and it makes one pine after another feature effort from the director, especially to erase “Burke and Hare” from the immediate record. In all, it’s a compelling watch or listen (the interview is also a podcast), so skip forward to the 20-minute mark to reach the start of this lengthy chat.