Friday, August 31, 2012
Friday Flashback: Silver Bullet (1985) : Full Moons and Private Justice
Not exactly frightening, it's still a fun ride and does have several recognizable actors in it. Starring The Lost Boys alum Corey Haim (back in the day, before he was part of the dynamic duo of Corey (Haim) & Corey (Feldman), Megan Follows (Anne of Green Gables), Everett McGill (Twin Peaks, The People Under the Stairs), Terry O'Quinn (LOST, The Stepfather), and the ever-popular Gary Busey (does he really need an introduction?).
Haim stars as Marty, a pre-teen paraplegic who has a souped-up wheelchair and a penchant for pulling pranks on his older sister. Said sister is Jane, who narrates the film (as an adult thinking back) and is expected by her parents to help Marty at every turn.
They live in the small community of Tarker's Mills, where something strange is afoot (literally). A series of grisly murders has put a pall over the town, causing a curfew to be set in place and folks to hide in their homes after dark. Local authorities, headed up by O'Quinn as Sheriff Haller, are at a loss, unable to explain why it appears like a monster is picking through the town for its evening meals.
When Marty's friend Brady is killed, a group of townsfolk decide to go all vigilante and take off into the woods to look for whomever or whatever is gruesomely murdering people left and right.
As the audience, we are well aware that the culprit is a werewolf. If we couldn't have figured it out, the ominous music that plays every time the wolf is circling its prey gives it away.
When several of the justice league are taken down by the wolf, Reverend Lowe (McGill) takes it upon himself to try to get the town to stop taking matters into their own hands. He begins to have disturbing dreams about the savage deaths of community members.
Marty's Uncle Red shows up at the height of the murders, pissing off his sister by acting like the drunken fool he apparently is. But Marty adores Red, and the feeling is obviously mutual, with Red presenting Marty with a brand new set of wheels. A cross between a wheelchair and motorcycle, the two dub the gift 'Silver Bullet', and though Marty is told to be careful and not go anywhere alone due to the gravity of the town situation, Marty doesn't listen too well and goes off on his own with the Silver Bullet.
Silver Bullet is no Dog Soldiers. Nor is it An American Werewolf in London. It's not Ginger Snaps or The Lost Boys - and it's not even The Howling. But it is a fairly decent film with above average acting and some supremely cheesy moments that many fans of the 80's have a sentimental love for.
At this point in time, it seems fairly campy, but that's part of the fun of it. While I used to think the werewolf special effects were really good, I realize now that they are relatively mediocre. But they are actually not too bad for practical effects for the time, and the plot has a bit of mystery that keeps it interesting till the end. (But I have to say, for a really cool werewolf, you need to look to The Howling, four years Silver Bullet's junior)