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Old 02-10-2018, 11:46 PM   #115
The Great Owl The Great Owl is offline
Blu-ray Prince
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Dec 2012

Marty, a young paraplegic played by the late Corey Haim (The Lost Boys), has a rocky relationship with his older sister, Jane, played by Megan Follows (Anne of Green Gables), who is burdened with helping him due to his handicapped condition, but he also enjoys a close friendship with his alcoholic uncle, played by Gary Busey (Point Break). Meanwhile, the residents of Tarker's Mill are terrified by grisly murders that are occurring around the small town. The father of Marty's girlfriend is killed, and, shortly after, Marty's best friend becomes another one of the victims. After a near fatal encounter, Marty realizes that a werewolf is responsible for the deaths. As the bodies continue to pile up, he and his sister must enlist in the reluctant help of their disbelieving uncle, because the werewolf is someone close to them.

The 1985 horror movie, Silver Bullet, which was directed by Daniel Attias (Alias, The Wire), is a screen adaptation of Stephen King's novella, Cycle of the Werewolf, but it benefits from a few minor alterations. Instead of going on a bloody rampage once a month during the full moon, the creature strikes frequently during a multi-day stretch. Most importantly, however, the troubled interactions of Marty and his family command the bulk of the narrative, to great result. Haim and Follows are fantastic in their roles, and an early scene, where Marty gives money to Jane to pay for her pantyhose as an apology after a practical joke goes awry, outlines the tenderness behind their constant quarreling. It's a tragedy that Haim's life became a spectacle during his final years, because, in this film, his instinctive acting talents are on full display. Busey comes close to stealing the show whenever he is on the screen, though, and the depth of his character is revealed through small gestures, including a scene where he starts to take a swig from a bottle during a funeral, but ultimately puts the bottle away. The strength of the cast of main characters is made clear during the film's one storytelling flaw, an underwhelmingly executed scene where the werewolf attacks townspeople who are hunting it down in a foggy swamp, because the sequence comes across as an intrusion that takes our attention away from Marty and his loved ones for too long.

Everett McGill (Twin Peaks) is outstanding as the lycanthropic antagonist, and, although his character is portrayed as a scheming villain who will go to any length to conceal his identity, he still elicits a semblance of sympathy. Terry O'Quinn (Lost), who plays the local sheriff, lends toughness to an earlier role in his career. Lawrence Tierney (Reservoir Dogs) makes a fun appearance as a bartender with a “Peacemaker” baseball bat.

Silver Bullet is a strangely conflicted movie, because its good-natured kids movie aesthetic, which would have normally merited a PG-13 rating, is intercut with some intensely gory moments that place it squarely in R-rated territory. Somehow, though, it all comes together in a wonderful way. This is one of the better Stephen King adaptations.

I will admit that nostalgia compels me to give Silver Bullet a much better rating than it actually deserves. When I was a freshman in high school, a friend of mine who had HBO at his house would occasionally record movies for me when I gave blank videotapes to him and requested certain titles. One of these VHS tapes, which contained Creepshow, Stand By Me, and Silver Bullet, was one of my prized possessions for years, and I ultimately wore it out due to repeat viewings. When I revisited this film today for first time in a couple of decades, by way of the new Blu-ray, several happy memories of my high school days came flooding back.

This region-free Umbrella Blu-ray is a dream come true. The video presentation will never be mistaken for demo quality, but it nonetheless delivers impressive detail as a faithful representation of the source material. Dialogue comes across quite well, and the werewolf's roar is conveyed in a fearsome way. The extras, including an excellent new director commentary track and an amazing Everett McGill interview, elevate this edition to the stratosphere.

Last edited by The Great Owl; 02-11-2018 at 12:04 AM.
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