Loosely based on Cycle of the Werewolf by Stephen King, it still holds a lot in common with his 'small town horror' genre. This particular proves effective enough with only a few small problems holding it back.
This is another Dino De Laurentiis production and if you know much about him, you'd remember that his productions generally had a lot of problems for a variety of reasons. This was no different. The original director (Don Cocascarelli, who made Phantasm and Bubba Hotep) resigned over disagreements with the werewolf suit.
Silver Bullet does a lot of things right. There's a sense of dread in the town as people start turning up dead. They build a sense of the community quickly, showing it to be a place where people are generally friendly and get along. Once the killings escalate, it's interesting how fast they turn isolated, shying away from their neighbors.
The lead characters are mostly good but make some silly decisions (without which, it would be hard to have a horror movie I guess). Corey Haim was solid. Gary Busey steals the scenes he's in and good ol' Everett McGill is always absolutely fabulous.
The music is dated but not so bad as something like Ladyhawke that sounds like flat out disco. I think it's because this mixes in plenty of traditional instruments, mingling the synths together. Whenever I watch this movie, I don't feel like it's a time capsule, especially since modern stuff are getting retro and using those instruments again.
The werewolf...well, he kinda looks like a man bear. Stephen King and the director wanted it to be hard to see him and have him be easily mistaken for a black bear. It looks pretty cheesy in the film but it is the 'rubber suit werewolf' that actually has a following.
Storywise, there are inconsistencies with the werewolf's 'philosophy'. On one hand, he talks about doing things because he's trying to help them (murders the woman who was going to commit suicide because she was going to commit suicide) but then he kills a child. Some of the victims 'deserve it' on a twisted sociopathic level. Others absolutely do not.
One has to assume the werewolf murders people because he has to but when he can guide himself, he does people who he thinks are bad. Ultimately, he's probably just insane from being Reverend Werewolf but...whatever.
Anyway, Silver Bullet is a fun horror movie. The critics savaged this one too. In defiance of that, I say I really enjoyed it and watch it every so often. The people are great and maybe if Dino could've kept his paws off, things would've worked out even better.
Rating: 3.5 out of 5
Author of several books, composer of several CDs. Please check out the rest of the site for some of my work.