“ Genre: Science Fiction & Fantasy - Fantasy / Theatrical Release: 1985 / Director: Daniel Attias / Actors: Gary Busey, Everett McGill ... / DVD released 28 May, 2002 at Paramount / Features of the DVD: Anamorphic, Closed-captioned, Colour, DVD-Video, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC „
* Prices may differ from that shown
RELEASED: 1985, Cert. R
RUNNING TIME: Approx. 95 mins
DIRECTOR: Daniel Attias
PRODUCERS: Dino De Laurentiis & Martha De Laurentiis
SCREENPLAY: Stephen King (based on his own mini novel entitled Cycle Of The Werewolf)
MUSIC: Jay Chattaway
Corey Haim as Marty
Megan Follows as Jane
Gary Busey as Uncle Red
Everett McGill as Reverend Lowe
FILM ONLY REVIEW
Young Marty is wheelchair bound. His sister Jane resents having to do lots of things for him, but deep down they have a close relationship.
When a series of grisly murders happens in the small town where Marty and Jane live, Marty is convinced there is a werewolf at large. However, when he tries to tell people of his fears, nobody believes him.
Marty then, with the occasional help from his sister Jane and their wayward Uncle Red, attempts to prove his werewolf theory and expose the culprit.
Halloween is imminent, and its date coincides with a full moon!
I haven't read Stephen King's mini novel, so am unable to make comparisons between the film and the book, but I can only assume it possibly sticks reasonably close, bearing in mind that King also wrote the screenplay.
At the very beginning of Silver Bullet, the opening scene is of a man (who apparently is the town drunk) repairing a railway line, when he is attacked by a werewolf. His head falls off and rolls down the track. The following day when his remains are discovered, it is assumed by the townspeople that the man, whilst drunk, must have fallen asleep on the track and been decapitated by a train.
That introductory scene in Silver Bullet is narrated (rather badly) by the character of Jane as an adult, presented in hindsight with her recounting the happenings of the film which is set in 1976. Occasionally she narrates little snippets throughout the proceedings, still badly, and I feel this really should have been omitted as it sounds borderline ridiculous.
The acting in Silver Bullet is passable by some of the cast members, but mostly forgettable by the others. The best in my opinion is Gary Busey as the boozy, rebel-rousing Uncle Red, who also is my favourite character. I loved his anarchical way of looking at the world, and how he related to his niece and nephew. However, one cast member is truly appalling in his role and that is Everett McGill as Reverend Lowe, the small town's vicar. I honestly am unable to understand why the creators of Silver Bullet obviously considered his input to be anywhere near acceptable. He is wooden....simply that, his acting about as convincing as an atrophied tree stump!
The music to Silver Bullet has some moderately pleasant stretches, although rather wishy-washy, these stretches being used for parts of the film where nothing grisly is happening. During the horror parts, the music is hiked up to very dramatic levels, and I found it irritatingly invasive.
Whilst watching Silver Bullet, I felt that it really was climbing up on the back of An American Werewolf In London, with some of the special effects being very similar but done nowhere near as well. The two films were released four years apart from one another, and for me, An American Werewolf In London is light years superior.
Although this is a horror film and there are a couple of borderline gory scenes, I had the sensation whilst watching that it was aimed at those in late childhood. Of course that wasn't the intent, but was just the feeling I got from it. There are also a few attempts at creating a low level amusement value, but they just don't work.
Silver Bullet appears to have been made on a tight budget and it does have a lot of faults - especially Everett McGill's astonishingly awful acting - but it is acceptably entertaining and watchable, although has a very low scare factor and is equally low on credibility. Despite the storyline being about a werewolf who is tearing members of the small community to pieces - some of which you actually see - there is what I can only describe as a light-heartedness about the way the film has been constructed and it is thus very difficult to take it seriously.
There are some excellent film adaptations of Stephen King stories out there and some pretty bad ones. I'd place Silver Bullet somewhere in the middle, in that it does have enough within to have held my attention from start to finish without making me yawn or feel like clicking the 'off' button, but it isn't something I'd choose to have a repeat viewing of. The pace of the film runs along easily, and isn't boring despite its glaring faults, plus the entertainment value is more than acceptable.
Would I recommend Silver Bullet? As a well-acted, serious horror/chiller, I'd definitely issue a huge "No!", but to while away part of an evening with a film that is reasonably entertaining and undemanding, within those parameters it is a moderately OK way of killing some time. I certainly didn't love it, but I didn't hate it either. If some of the acting and the special effects were sharpened up, such would result in a great improvement on how it stands, but although I wouldn't crawl over broken glass for a second helping, it is more than good enough to save it from being placed on my 'Worst Films Ever' list.
At the time of writing, Silver Bullet can be purchased from Amazon as follows:-
New: from £17.16 to £18.99
Used: from £14.97 to £25.00
Some DVDs on Amazon are available for free delivery within the UK, but where this doesn't apply, a £1.26 charge should be added to the above figures.
Thanks for reading!
~~ Also published on Ciao under my CelticSoulSister user name ~~
Fans of Stephen King will remember this film as one of his best movie conversions. Stephen King books are excellent but sometimes the movies can be poor. Silver Bullet is based on Stephen King's novel "Cycle of the Werewolf". The film is set in a small peaceful American town called Tarker’s Mills. In this town everyone knows each other and not much happens from day to day. That is until a mutilated body is found. At first the town think it was a suicide but they soon realise that something more sinister is happening in the town. A pattern soon emerges as a member of the town is killed every month. The film concentrates on the Coslaw family. The main character is Marty (Corey Haim) who is a crippled young boy who travels everywhere on a motor driven wheelchair (The Silver Bullet). Marty has an older sister called Jane. The two tease each other but deep down they get one well. After the death of Marty’s friend the young lad decides to investigate who is behind the sudden flurry of murders. After a run in with the killer Marty realises that all is not what it seems. Marty realises that the killer is in fact a werewolf. The young boy decides to tell his Uncle Red (Gary Busey). Uncle Red is not your average uncle. He is an alcoholic womaniser but he cares greatly for Marty. Busey’s character is strange one to call as he can be out of control one minute but completely sensible the next. I suppose that’s what drinking does to you! Unfortunately for Marty is uncle doesn’t believe his revelations but he finds support in his sister. Jane agrees to help her brother search for the werewolf who is thought to live a normal life during the day and terrorise the locals during the night. Bearing in mind that Silver Bullet was actually made over fifteen years ago I quite enjoyed it. When watching this film you have to bear in mind that the films is old and the technology and costumes are not up to the standards o
f today. For example the first time I saw the werewolf I nearly burst out laughing. It basically looked like a guy dressed up in an apes suit. Thinking about it, it probably was! What makes Silver Bullet a reasonable film is the storyline. Fans of Stephen King will know that lots of his books are made into feature films. Not all of these are worth watching. Lots of Stephen King novels get turned into TV series and the over time get pieced together into a film. Well Silver Bullet looks like it was made as a straight out film. It is well paces so that it doesn’t get boring. In fact it probably could have been a little longer. I think in the first twenty minutes I counted about 4-5 murders, which is good going for any film! If I were going to criticise any aspect of this movie it would have to be the abrupt ending. The hero’s spend all their time worrying about the werewolf coming to get them and when it does happen the beast dies within a matter of minutes. I am a great fan of movies have spectacular last battles but in this case it was over before it started. Some of the scenes looked like they could be very intense and scary but seemed to end too soon. As for why this film has an 18 rating I will never know. I realise that the topic require a fairly high rating but there is nothing in this film, which should make it over a 15 rating. Overall a good nights entertainment.
Adapted from kings cycle of the wolf novelette. Small town america is once again under attack this time from a suspected werewolf. When a armed posse fail to bring the critter down it is left up to a wheelchair bound boy (who suspects the identity of the creature) and his sister to do the business.pretty good special effects from carlo (deep red +dune) rambaldi although not on the same page as the howling or american werewolr in london. Its helped by an interesting cast including genre favourites Corey (lost boys )Haim, Gary(predator 2) Busey and Terry (stepfather) Oquin
Silver Bullet is, as the title may giveaway a werewolf film. Not one of the best, but also not the worst. The story is set around a young wheelchair boy, who gets a motor wheelchair made especially by his uncle. He calls his chair "Silver Bullet," hence the title. Anyway, the boy begins to suspect the local vicar of been a werewolf, as you do. Of course nobody believes him, but when he and his sister have an encounter with the wolf, and only escape through firing a rocket in its eye. Its not surprising the next day when the vicars eye is patched. So now the vicar has to kill the boy and his sister to keep his secret, but he'll have to go through his uncle........ No surprises at the end, the werewolf is killed, and they all lived happily ever after.
Silver Bullet is a generic, by-the-numbers Stephen King film with a Stephen King screenplay adapted from an earlier novella. Back in the innocent days of 1976--the age of innocence gets later every year--the town of Tarker's Fall finds itself in the grip of mass hysteria when something starts tearing people apart. Only a crippled child Martie (Corey Haim) works out the truth, which is that the new pastor is a werewolf. Eventually he manages to convince his supercilious sister Janey and his unreliable drunk Uncle Red (Gary Busey) and there is the usual confrontation involving a silver bullet melted down from the children's religious jewellery; the title also refers to the boy's motorised wheelchair. The film neglects interesting possibilities--the lynch-mob mentality that takes over the town fizzles after the major vigilantes are killed, the pastor tries to justify the killings to himself--in favour of stock ultra-violent confrontations and extended metamorphoses; its major strength is a familiar King theme, the helplessness of being a child in a world full of people who will not listen to you. On the DVD: The DVD comes with a director's commentary by Daniel Attias and dubbed versions in German, French and Italian. The soundtrack has Dolby sound which brings out the stylised fairy-tale elements in the score and the widescreen picture is presented in 2.35:1 anamorphic ratio. The sometimes muddy-looking night-scenes are balanced by brisk pastoral daylight scenes that have their own innocence. --Roz Kaveney