Blu-ray Review: Stephen King’s Silver Bullet



In the world of horrific creatures, the werewolves are the most frustrating. They only attack under a full moon which means there’s only one day every month to worry or track them down. Silver Bullet (based on the Stephen King novella Cycle of the Werewolf) was about a town that dealt with a werewolf attack once a month for a year. Stephen King adapted the script himself so he decided to speed up the action a bit. One of the characters narrates the story looking back at the summer in Tarker’s Mills when Silver Bullet meant two things (neither of which will be disclosed in this review).

Coslaw family enjoy their life in the small town even though they have their issues. Their son Marty (The Lost Boys‘ Corey Haim) is a paraplegic who still enjoys getting into a bit of trouble with his pal Brady (Joe Wright). The cool thing Mary has is a motorized wheelchair made by his Uncle Red (Point Break‘s Gary Busey). His loved by Marty, but Marty’s mom isn’t too happy since Red drops by now and then and stays drunk in front of the kid. Red doesn’t seem to know it’s not good to drink liquor straight from a bottle in front of children. Things might appear almost normal except there’s been quite a few killings around town. A guy at the railyard gets his head ripped off. A woman in the process of killing herself is interrupted by a furry creature that rips her to shreds. A man gets chomped while chasing what he believes are vandals in his greenhouse. Yet the cops can’t quite admit they have a werewolf problem. And who in the neighborhood is secretly a werewolf? Will any death really make Sheriff Joe Haller (Lost‘s Terry O’Quinn) take true action before the next full moon?

Thanks to the adult looking back at their childhood narration in Silver Bullet, the movie feels like The Wonder Years if Winnie Cooper was a werewolf. The family element does make this a bit more than the normal hairy horror flick. Although Uncle Red isn’t the most reliable kind of adult with Marty and his sister Jane (Anne of Green Gables‘ Megan Follows). From what I’ve read, Gary was allowed to ad libs his lines after he performed the words Steven King wrote. The director and King decided to go with Gary’s contributions in most of the cases. He comes off as quite authentic and screwed up. You can believe him during the climax when he does something extremely stupid as the werewolf is about to attack.

Silver Bullet was shot around Wilmington, North Carolina in the mid-80s and reflects the times of this quiet little coast town before it became the Hollywood of the East with Dino building his studio near the airport. Those of us who lived in North Carolina, the film captures the sense of the area although we didn’t have many werewolf attacks. Silver Bullet is a enticing mix of wonderous nostalgia and hairy horror with a healthy dose of Gary Busey.

The video is 2.35:1 anamorphic. The transfer brings out the charm of the town before the werewolf rips it all apart. The audio is DTS-HD MA Mono. The mix is fine so that you can hear the attacks along with the sounds of the South in the summer. The movie is subtitled.

Audio Commentary With Producer Martha De Laurentiis has Dino’s widow recount how they started making movies in North Carolina. When I was at the North Carolina School of the Arts, Martha visited us and supported the program.

Cutting To The Bone (16:39) is an interview With Editor Daniel Loewenthal. He talks about going from adult films to cutting the horror of Mother’s Day. He talks of getting to work on Silver Bullet because the director tracked him down. He got to go on location in North Carolina for the shoot.

A Little Private Justice (11:51) is an interview With Actor Kent Broadhurst. He speaks of how he got in the emotional space of a father who has lost his son to a werewolf. He discloses the identity of the kid in the photograph he holds up in the bar.

The Wolf Within (16:15) interviews actor Everett McGill. He talks about expressing the pain his character would go through when dealing with a werewolf. He talks of unexpectedly doing a dual role in the film.

Full Moon Fever – The Effects Of Silver Bullet (21:03) sits down with Special Effects Artists Matthew Mungle And Michael McCracken. The duo first met on the set of Ice Pirates. They talk about the issues with the wolf costume made by Carlo Rambaldi.

Audio Commentary with Director Daniel Attias has him go into detail of taking over the film from Don Coscarelli (Phantasm). This appears to be the only feature film Attias made. His career as a director has been on TV for decades including many HBO dramatic shows.

Isolated Score Selections and Audio Interview With Composer Jay Chattaway let you listen to the music and get a bit of background during the quiet parts.

Theatrical Trailer (1:27) shows how a quiet nice town could be victimized by a werewolf.

TV Spot (0:31) has the hunters getting grabbed in the woods under the full moon. It starts Friday at a theater near you!

Radio Spot (0:39) will give you the creeps if you’re driving in the car after dark.

Still Gallery (6:20) includes behind the scenes photos, press photos, make up tests, lobby cards, posters and VHS covers.

Scream Factory presents Silver Bullet. Directed by: Daniel Attias. Screenplay by: Stephen King. Starring: Corey Haim, Gary Busey, Everett McGill and Megan Follows. Rated: R Rated. Running Time: 94 minutes. Released: December 17, 2019.

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