If you recall Dino De Laurentiis and his production company made a fair few Stephen King films over the years. Dino even bankrolled King’s only directorial effort Maximum Overdrive which I found then and even now ridiculously fun to watch. Silver Bullet was put together around that time and was adapted by King himself based on his novella Cycle of the Werewolf which remains fairly faithful to the source material.
Tarker’s Mill is your typical American small town but on one fateful night the town drunk gets brutally murdered. The local Sheriff thinks it was an accident but then more brutal slayings occur and the local rednecks aren’t happy that people are being killed with not even a suspect on the police’s radar. However our main characters are two siblings with one of them being played by Corey Haim just before The Lost Boys and Licence to Drive made him the other Corey rather famous. Haim’s character Marty is disabled and he lives for the visits from his piss-head Uncle Red (the great Gary Busey). Marty knows something is strange about the killings and he soon discovers that it’s a werewolf howling and prowling around his home town.
Silver Bullet was a film I saw on video back in the mid 80’s on the then newly launched Cannon Screen Entertainment. It made an impression on me back then as I literally lapped up any werewolf movies due to the double whammy of The Howling and An American Werewolf in London a couple of years earlier. As with a lot of Stephen King’s works there are the teenage characters and small town vibe amongst the horror and Silver Bullet is no exception. Carlo (ET) Rambaldi’s werewolf suit is pretty smart (in a man in a suit way) and the Jay Chattaway score which pipes up every time when werewolf shenanigans are afoot is very effective. The supporting cast are impressive with The Stepfather himself Terry O’Quinn in an early role, Everett (Twin Peaks) McGill and Lawrence Tierney from Reservoir Dogs as the local bar owner.
Umbrella’s Blu-ray looks nice and comes with a selection of extras including a commentary and an interview with Dino’s widow Martha (who was the film’s producer). I particularly like the artwork used as it has shares a bit of a vibe with King’s novella which was heavily illustrated.
Silver Bullet is great 80’s entertainment, somewhat dated but still a bit of a blast especially if you have fond memories of watching it the first time around.
- Starring Corey Haim Gary Busey Everett McGill Megan Follows
- Directed by Daniel Attias
- Distributor Umbrella Entertainment.