Tuesday, October 1, 2019

Movie Review: "Silver Bullet" (1985)

Movie poster for Paramount Pictures's 1985 Stephen King film adaptation Silver Bullet, starring Corey Haim, Megan Follows, Everett McGill, Gary Busey, Robin Groves, and Terry O'Quinn
Image Source
Director: Daniel Attias
Year: 1985
Rating: R
Running Time: 1 hour, 35 minutes

A town becomes under assault by what it believes to be a madman. One kid knows the truth: the killer is actually a werewolf. Now, it is up to him, and whoever he can convince to help him, to stop this monster.
Gary Busey helps Corey Haim with his electric wheelchair in a movie still for the 1985 horror film Silver Bullet, 31 days of Halloween movie review
"You ought to realize there's more to Marty than him not being able to walk." (Image Source)
Gary Busey! Corey Haim! Endless amounts of bad '80s werewolf costumes! Yay! "Silver Bullet" is the only feature film to be directed by Daniel Attias, though he would go on to have a thriving career as a television director on some well-known shows, including "Beverly Hills 90210," "Alias," and "Homeland." The screenplay is written by Stephen King and is based on his own short novel titled "Cycle of the Werewolf." The story takes place in the small town of Tarker's Mill, Maine, which has suddenly been faced with a series of mutilations that the police attribute to a maniac. The real killer, however, is actually a werewolf. The only person who believes this theory is a young paraplegic boy named Marty (Corey Haim), who zooms around town in his gas-powered wheelchair called The Silver Bullet. When Marty sees the werewolf with his own eyes, he becomes its target. Marty seeks help from his older sister Jane (Megan Follows) and his skeptical Uncle Red (Gary Busey) to help find a way to kill it.
Movie still for "Silver Bullet" (1985) where Megan Follows pushes a full shopping cart as she looks on at Everett McGill, a priest who has an eyepatch on
"Psychotics are more active when the moon is full, and this guy's a psycho." (Image Source)
Typically when we watch movies featuring werewolves, we see them tear their victims apart with their sharp claws and gnarling teeth. We rarely see lycanthropes beat their prey to death with a baseball bat, and it is this unique spin that makes "Silver Bullet" stand on its own. Sure, it still has some claw-ripping and teeth-gnashing, but this goofy change sets it apart from the other titles in this (somewhat limited) sub-genre. Whether or not this is a negative thing or a positive one will depend solely on each individual viewer. For us, we like that Stephen King's tale offers a little bit of tongue-in-cheek fun to what has typically always been a formulaic story. Another defining feature of this horror flick is that its main protagonist/hero is disabled, which is not a frequent occurrence in cinema (of course, Corey Haim does not have a disability himself, but progress takes time, and it was the '80s). In fact, when it comes down to it, all three main characters in this story are somewhat unlikely candidates for the title of "hero." Marty is a paraplegic boy, Jane is his bitter, angsty teenaged sister, and Red is their alcoholic uncle who doesn't even want to believe that there is a werewolf, though he sure can build a badass motorized wheelchair for his nephew to chase down any unsavory animal/human hybrids! We wish we had an Uncle Red, you know, minus the drinking bit.
Silver Bullet 1985 horror movie still where Reverend Lowe turns into a werewolf and is ready to find its next victim
"As the moon gets fuller, the guy gets wolfier." (Image Source)
We will admit, "Silver Bullet" has a weak narrative and a lot of hammy acting, but we wound up having quite a lot of fun watching this flick. It's gory, goofy, and entertaining if you let it be. If you're into tongue-in-cheek '80s horror movies with dumb quotes, creepy priests, crazy Busey, brothers and sisters fighting, and wolf transformations, we say give this a chance.

My Rating: 6.5/10
BigJ's Rating: 7/10
IMDB's Rating: 6.4/10
RT Rating: 47%
Do we recommend this movie: Sure, why not?

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