Saturday, October 12, 2019

Movie Review: "Bad Moon" (1996)

Movie poster for Morgan Creek Entertainment and Warner Bros. 1996 horror film Bad Moon, starring Mariel Hemingway, Mason Gamble, Michael Paré, Ken Pogue, and Hrothgar Mathews
Image Source
Movie"Bad Moon"
Director: Eric Red
Year: 1996
Rating: R
Running Time: 1 hour, 20 minutes

A researcher named Ted was recently attacked by a werewolf and has been infected. Shortly after, he visits his family, hoping that the loving environment will help him combat his affliction. The family dog, however, knows better and is on constant watch to protect his family from uncle Ted.

Mason Gamble, Michael Paré, and Mariel Hemingway in a movie still for the 1996 Halloween film Bad Moon
"Family is everything, sis." (Image Source)
There were a plethora of low-budget creature features that came out of the '90s that either saw a limited release at the box office or went direct-to-video. "Bad Moon" is one such feature. It is written and directed by Eric Red, who has helmed other little known/forgotten films like "Cohen and Tate," "Body Parts," and "100 Feet." It is adapted from the novel "Thor" by Wayne Smith. Ted (Michael Paré) is some sort of scientist who, while on a research expedition to the jungle, is attacked by a werewolf and suffers a nasty injury. His girlfriend was also torn to shreds before he was able to kill it. When he returns home, similar attacks occur in the area surrounding the trailer where he lives. It turns out, Ted is a werewolf now! Whoa, how unexpected!! When Ted's sister Janet (Mariel Hemingway) offers to let him come and stay with her and her son Brett (Mason Gamble) in the suburbs, Thor, their German Shepherd, is wary of Ted from the moment he arrives. Thor can sense that there is danger coming and will do whatever it takes to protect his family from the bizarre, fuzzy, weirdly affectionate uncle Ted.
Ted (Michael Pare) turns into a werewolf in a movie still for Bad Moon, a cheesy 1996 horror movie
"Once a dog becomes a biter, gets a taste for human blood, he becomes dangerous." (Image Source)
From a traditional film school perspective, "Bad Moon" certainly lives up to its title in that it is, well, bad. The narrative is vague and lacks depth and direction. The characters are one-dimensional and have limited personalities. The acting is dry and bland as hell, and the lines are delivered with all of the emotion of an in-store display mannequin. Mariel Hemingway is an Oscar-nominated actress, and this is the worst performance we've seen her give. You know things are rough when the best actor in a movie is the dog. It's that dog, whose real name is Primo, that adds a lot of fun to this flick. Well, that, and the outrageous amount of gore that occurs during each werewolf attacks. We actually got invested in Thor, unlike we did with any of the other characters. He has the most personality out of anyone, as strange as it sounds. We rooted for him the entire film. We want him to protect his family at all costs, and we loved his eventual showdown with W.U.T. (Werewolf Uncle Ted). Speaking of W.U.T., the makeup work isn't great, but we do like the costume he wears. Hell, we even liked the laughably terrible (read: extremely '90s) CGI transformation scene thrown in towards the end. It's moments like these that kept "Bad Moon" just barely afloat. The goofiness makes it an enjoyable, worthwhile creature feature, provided you don't take it too seriously.
"Bad Moon" werewolf movie transformation scene
"What did you do, spit in his Alpo?" (Image Source)
If you are a fan of low-budget, cheesy monster-movie-shlock, "Bad Moon" might be worth checking out. It's available to stream on Shudder right now.

My Rating: 6/10
BigJ's Rating: 6/10
IMDB's Rating: 5.8/10
RT Rating: 38%
Do we recommend this movie: Sure, why not?

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