Paramount // 1985 // 94 Minutes // Rated R
Reviewed by Judge Patrick Naugle // June 7th, 2002
Whenever the moon is full...it comes back!
Tarker's Mills is just like any other homespun, American small town...except this one has a werewolf running around it! When a string of murders haunts the citizens of this quaint village, people start to wonder who's responsible...and who's making those strange howling noises when the moon in full! Of course, the only ones suspecting a werewolf is the young, crippled Marty Coslaw (Corey Haim, The Lost Boys) and his skeptical sister Jane (Megan Follows). Enlisting the help of their boozing, obnoxious uncle (Gary Busey, Lethal Weapon), the children begin a descent into darkness, Stephen King style. Let the manhunt...I mean wolfhunt begin!
Based on the novelette "Cycle of the Werewolf" by King, Silver Bullet is a goofy, unintentionally bad movie that transcends itself to become surprisingly entertaining. Where else can you see a werewolf monster that looks more like Fozzy Bear than a terrifying mutation of nature? The script is peppered with oddball dialogue and strange characters which could only come from the master of suspense (and sometimes crappy horror movies), Mr. King. The movie adds nothing new to the werewolf/monster genre, though to its credit it's a hoot. Stupid people wearing stupid clothing (this was the '80s, mind you) wander out into fog shrouded marshes in search of unholy terror. Obviously these people never saw Halloween or they would have known that you never, ever go hunting in the woods...at night...in search of evil. Stupid is as stupid does. Fans will delight in watching and hearing Gary Busey spout dialogue like "Holy jumped-up baldheaded Jesus Palomino!," and for extra added fun there's über-creepy Evertt McGill as a town preacher whom you know you wouldn't want knowing your darkest confessions. For extra added 1980s fun there's one of two Coreys here (Haim, not Feldman) acting cute as a button as a young wheelchair bound tyke who finds himself caught up in a nightmare of bad prosthetics, acting, and music (Jay Chattaway's music score is more often than not inappropriate to the material). As for the beast himself, he's a bit of a let down -- maybe we could have been fooled back in 1985, but in 2002, I think most of us can spot a stuntman in a yak fur suit when we see one. No matter, as Silver Bullet is still a lot of fun if you're willing to turn your brain off and enjoy the sputtering ride.
Silver Bullet is presented in a better-than-expected 2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer. Sporting evenly saturated black levels and vivid colors, this is a nice looking print save for a bit of softness in the image. The audio is presented in Dolby Digital Mono and is what we've come to expect from a mono track -- flat and fairly lifeless. However, the soundtrack is free and clear of any hiss or distortion. Also included on this disc are English subtitles. Those hoping for insight into the production of Silver Bullet will be apt to search elsewhere -- Paramount has decided that we don't even deserve a single solitary theatrical trailer on this disc. My suggestion: when the moon is full, we hunt 'em down and blame it on Dracula.
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Scales of Justice
* 2.35:1 Anamorphic
* Dolby Digital 1.0 Mono (English)
* Dolby Digital 1.0 Mono (French)
Running Time: 94 Minutes
Release Year: 1985
MPAA Rating: Rated R