Every day Robert Saucedo shines a spotlight on a movie either so bad it’s good or just downright terrible. Today: Dennis the Menace vs. Wolf Man
Bad Moon is the latest in a series of films I’ve seen that seem to prove a theory I’ve long suspected: If you go to another country, you’re going to get attacked by a werewolf.
From England to Paris to Canada and now South America, werewolves have offices set up in tourist locations across the world — just waiting to chomp down on hapless Americans looking to fill their photo albums with snapshots of exotic locals.
In Bad Moon, Michael Pare plays Ted, a werewolf attack survivor who moves in with his sister Janet (played by Mariel Hemingway) and her son Brett (Mason “Dennis the Menace” Gamble), after returning from an exceptionally exciting trip to the Amazon.
As Ted struggles with his newfound lycanthropy, only Janet’s dog Thor suspects something may be wrong with dear Uncle Ted.
Using his super-canine powers, Thor is able to sniff out the wolf in the fold but, in yet another case of human-pet misunderstanding, is sent to the pound for being a “bad dog” when he decides to nibble on the shapeshifter’s arm.
There are just as many pets-sent-to-the-pound-because-their-attempts-to-save-their-owners-from-supernatural-attacks-are-misconstrued-as-roudy-conduct movies as there are American-tourists-get-attacked-by-international-werewolf movies —which, is to say, there are a handful.
Like Cat’s Eye before it, Bad Moon has reinforced my almost blind trust in my pet’s intuition. From trolls to werewolves, our pets are just trying to look out for our safety.
If my dog starts to bark at a person, be they a stranger or a beloved family member, I will instantly assume that I am dealing with a werewolf in disguise. Why waste time with logic and common sense? Movies have taught me that these crutches are just time-wasting plot devices set up to build tension before the eventual moonlit showdown between man and man-beast.
If I could just go through life assuming every one of life’s setbacks was a horror movie plot waiting to happen, I’d save a lot of time and grief in the end.
This is just one of the many life lessons I learned while watching Bad Moon.
The 1996 film also taught me that morphing technology, although useful in Michael Jackson music videos and in Ron Howard’s Willow, makes for a terrible werewolf transformation sequence.
Seriously, I never would have thought I’d yearn for the days of time-lapse and yak hair.
I also learned that if one needs to measure the circumference of a tree trunk, perhaps there are better times to do this then in the middle of the night — when werewolves might be waiting to pounce at you from on-top a tree.
Horror movies are a great teaching tool. Even the cheesiest, lowest budget schlockfest is a great source of wisdom when it comes to what choices not to make if you want to live a long, bloody-corpse-free life.
I guess what I’m trying to say is that kids don’t need to necessarily go to college as much as they need to watch bad horror movies.
I’m going to be a great parent.
Robert Saucedo majored in Horrorfilmology. He now cleans toilets — when he’s not living a long, bloody-corpse-free life. Follow him on Twitter @robsaucedo2500.
Robert Saucedo is an avid movie watcher with seriously poor sleeping habits. The Mikey from Life cereal of film fans, Robert will watch just about anything — good, bad or ugly. He has written about film for newspapers, radio and online for the last 10 years. This has taken a toll on his sanity — of that you can be sure. Follow him on Twitter at @robsaucedo2500.