Stephen King's 'Silver Bullet' (1985)

Genres - Drama, Horror  |   Sub-Genres - Creature Film  |   Release Date - Oct 11, 1985 (USA - Unknown)  |   Run Time - 95 min.  |   Countries - Canada , United States   |   MPAA Rating - R
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Review by Donald Guarisco

This eccentric adaptation of Stephen King's Cycle of the Werewolf doesn't exactly qualify as a good horror film but is odd enough to stick in the memory. Silver Bullet is likely to put off the casual viewer because of its schizoid story line: its tone veers from blood-spattered gothic horror to over-the-top parody to After-School-Special-styled teen drama. Stephen King's script adds to these problems with a preponderance of colorful dialogue that simply doesn't work when spoken aloud and a "mystery" werewolf that's all too easy to guess. Silver Bullet also suffers from surprisingly weak and rubbery-looking werewolf effects by E.T. creator Carlo Rambaldi. Despite these problems, Silver Bullet offers some plusses for the devoted horror fan: The direction by television veteran Daniel Attias is slick and offers a few memorable setpieces, including a scene where the townspeople attempt a werewolf hunt that goes horribly wrong and the clever, purely visual way in which the heroes discover the werewolf's identity. Silver Bullet also boasts several performances that are better than the slim material deserves: Corey Haim and Megan Follows make believable and likeable teen protagonists and Gary Busey brings plenty of Southern charm and warmth to his role as the roguish but good-hearted Uncle Red. Cult film fans will also notice some fine support work by Reservoir Dogs star Lawrence Tierney as a gruff bartender and horror vet Terry O'Quinn (aka The Stepfather) as the town's beleaguered sheriff. Ultimately, Silver Bullet is most likely a bit too stylistically confused for most audiences but horror fans with a sense of humor might enjoy its mixture of creepy atmosphere and bizarre black humor.