I admittedly have a long relationship with “Silver Bullet” as it’s a bonafide childhood favorite horror movie that I’ve seen at least a thousand times. Years later, it’s managed to hold up very well, and that’s thanks to the fact that it embodies what often can break or make a Stephen King tale. There’s a strong sense of folklore and urban legend mythology behind the tale of “Silver Bullet” and King manages to combine so much from a murder mystery, a whodunit, a family movie, and a creepy werewolf picture in to a horror gem that earns its place in the pantheon of great King adaptations.
In the small, quiet town of Tarker’s Mill, the residents are horrified when locals are mysteriously mutilated by an unknown killer. Deciding to hunt the assailant down after the death of a local boy incites a lynch mob, the body count rises as the identity of the killer is still a mystery. Fate intervenes when a young wheelchair bound boy named Marty (Corey Haim) encounters a werewolf one night, and the pieces begin to come together when he narrowly escapes an attack. Along with his older sister Jane and Uncle Red (Gary Busey), Marty begins a mission to capture the werewolf once and for all and stop its terror.
“Silver Bullet” is still a wonderful horror picture that digs deep in to the idea of a small town thrown in to chaos when an unknown predator lurks about. King works with his strengths, relying on rich characters and excellent dialogue to help enhance what could have been a boring werewolf movie. Instead there’s a lot of heart with some echoes of “Stand By Me” as our hero Marty is still confronted with what he perceives as limitations, as he’s permanently in need of a wheelchair. This conflict inspires him to kind of seek inner strength when pitted against an immense foe that manages to destroy anyone in its path.
Much of the film’s monster inflicts has actual trauma behind it, and King examines the trauma, while also delivering on the promise of some supernatural being stalking a small town and inevitably making itself seen. There’s a lot of clever foreshadowing and slight of hand, as King inspires the audience to become engaged in film’s overarching mystery. Once he pulls the sheet off the whole kit and caboodle, the movie becomes ever more sinister and creepy, leading to a rather brilliant stand down between good and evil. Daniel Attias’ direction is sharp, injecting great mood and tension, and it’s a worthwhile eighties horror gem that doesn’t get nearly as much attention as it should.
The new release from Scream Factory some with a pair of audio commentaries. There’s one with producer Martha De Laurentiis, and one with director Daniel Attias. There’s the eleven minutes Isolated Score Selections and audio interview with composer Jay Chattaway A Little Private Justice, which interviews actor Kent Broadhurst who discusses his importance in the movie as a grieving father. Cutting to the Bone is a sixteen minute chat with editor Daniel Loewenthal who discusses his start and what led him to doing Silver Bullet, wherein he cut porn, worked on Mother’s Day and in an awesome connection, got hooked up with Joseph Zito and wound up editing Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter. He also talks about how a real zoologist was brought on set to supervise the werewolf transformation.
The Wolf Within is a sixteen minutes interview with actor Everett McGill, a great, informative interview carried over from the Red Shirt Pictures interview that appeared on the 2018 Umbrella Entertainment Australian Blu-ray release. Full Moon Fever: The Effects of Silver Bullet is a twenty one minutes interview with special effects artists Matthew Mungle and Michael McCracken. This is another port over from the Australian Blu-ray, which looks back at the making of the movie through the special effects corner, and they even poke some fun at the movie. Finally, included are classic bells and whistles including the original theatrical trailer, the TV Spot, the Radio Spot, and a Still Gallery.