Director: Daniel Attias
Starring: Gary Busey, Everett McGill, Corey Haim, Megan Follows, Robin Groves
It started in May in a small town and every month after that whenever the moon is full… it came back
The peaceful small town of Tarker’s Mill is being haunted by a serial killer, whose bloodthirst is increasing with every night that goes by. The local townsfolk is getting uneasy with the lack of progress on the murder investigations by the local authorities and are close to taking justice into their own hands.
Marty Coslaw is a local boy who has to spend his life in a wheelchair since he is paralyzed from the waist down. His quirky uncle Red builds him a hybrid between a wheelchair and a motorcycle and while driving around on it, he gets attacked by a monster that he believes is a werewolf. Marty is convinced that it is this monster that is behind all the recent murders, but the only way he can do anything to stop it is if his uncle and his sister believes him and helps him out.
Silver Bullet is a werewolf movie based on a novella by Stephen King called Cycle of the Werewolf, which is a much better title and I don’t understand why they felt the need to change it for the movie. Don Coscarelli was supposed to direct the film, but resigned during pre-production. It is a film I saw once at a young age, but have forgotten mostly about before now giving it a second chance.
I have probably written it before, but I’m not a big fan of the werewolf creature. It rarely works as a frightening monster for me and that makes it hard for me to get into these movies. The werewolf in Silver Bullet looks pretty bad and more bearlike than anything else. It also didn’t help that some of the killing scenes, especially those in the foggy swamp, are more comedic than anything else.
So, looking past the horror element of the film there are other stuff that are interesting and does work with this film. It has some characters that are easy to invest yourself in. Corey Haim is great as little Marty and his relationship with the equally or even better Gary Busey as uncle Red are touching and the highlight of the film. Because of the narration at the beginning and end by Marty’s sister Jane, it makes it feel like the main focus would be the relationship between those instead and that does make the narration feel out of place and unnecessary although Megan Follows is also good in her part as the sister.
Daniel Attias became the replacement for Don Coscarelli in the directors chair and his work here is quite unspectacular. It just looks very simple and plain and there’s little emotions to bring out from the viewer from his work. He has went on to do create a nice career within television in the years after this though, so perhaps it was just down to inexperience that made him not able to create something with a more personal stamp on it.
Silver Bullet is not a great werewolf film, but it does have some fun characters that makes it an entertaining watch. Corey Haim and Gary Busey are both great in it and makes the film work. Fans of Stephen King adaptations will have encountered way worse films than this, but it is also not a movie you must see if you are a fan of films based on his work.