Fans of IT in particular should check out this werewolf tale, now available from Scream Factory
When grisly murders start to plague the town of Tarker’s Mills, the locals organize vigilante-style to find the killer — despite the protests of prominent community leaders Sheriff Haller (Terry O’Quinn) and Reverend Lowe (Everett McGill). But a wheelchair-bound kid named Marty (Corey Haim) learns the truth for himself when he has a late night run-in… with a werewolf.
For Stephen King fans, Silver Bullet — based on his Cycle of the Werewolf — bears a number of familiar attributes: child protagonists, small town setting, religious mania, and the fantastic playing out in the real world. And despite its R rating, it feels to me like one of the most approachable gateway horror movies for kids. Incidentally Silver Bullet, along with It (another King adaptation with similar themes), were the first horror movies I remember hearing discussed by friends at elementary school.
That kid would’ve been very surprised to learn that the film was poorly reviewed and considered a critical and commercial failure, and I when I finally did view the film, I loved it — even if, as the reviews pointed out, it wasn’t particularly scary for a horror movie.
What Silver Bullet does have is a whole lot of heart. Family is at the core of the story, with the handicapped Marty, his teenage sister Jane (Megan Follows, Anne of Green Gables), and their uncle Red (Gary Busey), who builds his nephew a hot rod-style motorized wheelchair — the Silver Bullet.
Busey delivers a standout performance as their doting but personally troubled Uncle, who seems to his disapproving sister a perennial loser whose one redeeming quality is that he genuinely pours all of his love and attention into her two children.
Marty and Jane have a tempestuous relationship, as many siblings do, but their love and connection are clear — and the key to their fight as they stand up to the werewolf together, eventually bringing their disbelieving uncle into the fold as well for a final confrontation with the beast.
Silver Bullet may not be one of the scariest horror films of the 80s, but it’s certainly one of the most charming. All those familiar elements combine into a very lovable, very watchable, family-driven horror fable.
Silver Bullet has been long overdue for a Blu-ray, and Scream Factory’s Collector’s Edition finally brings home one of the long-outstanding titles on my want list.
As Scream Factory often does, they’ve included a reversible dual cover option with incredible new painting by Devon Whitehead and a classic poster design. The initial run, at least, features a slipcover with the newer art.
Several new special features, created by Red Shirt Pictures, depict interviews with cast and crew, painting a picture of a sometimes difficult production and initially poor reception, which have given way to a beloved fan favorite film.
Special Features and Extras
- NEW Audio Commentary With Producer Martha De Laurentiis
Red Shirt Pictures’ Michael Felsher interviews/hosts a lively chat with Martha De Laurentiis covering many aspects of production. The interview is fairly self-contained, occasionally tying back to onscreen happenings but ambling around conversationally for the most part.
- NEW Cutting To The Bone (16:39)
— with Editor Daniel Loewenthal, who shared about his experience on the film, not only editing but also stepping in to direct a key werewolf transformation scene when director Daniel Attias had to step away.
- NEW A Little Private Justice (11:51)
— with Actor Kent Broadhurst. Kent shares some anecdotes from the making, most interestingly a couple times the production that went sideways due to effects issues.
- The Wolf Within (16:15)
— with actor Everett McGill, who describes the playing both the reverend and the werewolf creature, his great appreciation for director Dan Attias, and thoughts on his costars.
- Full Moon Fever — The Effects Of Silver Bullet (21:03)
— Special effects makeup artists Matthew Mungle And Michael McCracken, who met while working together on The Ice Pirates, discuss their work on the film, challenges met along the way, and the wild reason one of their actors didn’t remove his makeup when leaving the set.
- Audio Commentary With Director Daniel Attias
- Isolated Score Selections And Audio Interview With Composer Jay Chattaway
- Theatrical Trailer (1:27)
- TV Spot (:31)
- Radio Spot (:39)
- Still Gallery (6:20)
Get it at Amazon: Silver Bullet Scream Factory Collector’s Edition Blu-ray
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Except where noted, all 16:9 screen images in this review are direct captures from the disc(s) in question with no editing applied, but may have compression or resizing inherent to file formats and Medium’s image system. All package photography was taken by the reviewer.