This is yet another in a long line of film adaptations of Stephen King books. This one is based on the novella Cycle of the Werewolf and predictably enough it is set in a small town in Maine called Tarker's Mills. The action focuses on wheelchair bound Marty and his family as they tangle with the local werewolf.
There have been a number of suspicious murders in the town and the clueless cops are losing control as their failure to present a culprit or even a suspect leads to the townspeople being easily whipped into a vigilante frenzy by the local loudmouth. Gun toting rednecks scour the woods but the werewolf gets the better of them and the Sheriff still doesn't know who is responsible.
Meanwhile Marty has been built a new motorbike powered wheelchair by his alcoholic uncle and while he is out firing off fireworks he has a run in with the werewolf and manages to hit it in the eye with a rocket before escaping. The following day he persuades his sister to look for someone missing an eye and when they figure out who the werewolf is they try to blackmail him. The plan backfires and Marty and his sister have to enlist the support of his uncle who helps them to plan a final showdown with the werewolf.
This is one of those films that's so bad it's highly entertaining. Gary Busey is one of my favourite actors and he plays Uncle Red, the alcoholic uncle with a heart of gold. He loves Marty and wants to make up in some way for the fact he is stuck in a wheelchair however he isn't the most responsible guy in the world. Near the beginning of the film he sits swigging whisky from the bottle while he teaches Marty to play poker, he then builds him a motorbike hybrid wheelchair which goes at a terrific speed and tops it all off by giving Marty a big bag of fireworks and leaving him to play with them unsupervised. You wonder in today's safety conscious society if they'd get away with scenes featuring Marty overtaking cars in his wheelchair bike without wearing a helmet and then lighting fireworks by hand and sitting right next to them as they explode into the air.
The cast is generally good, Busey is always entertaining but we also have a decent performance from Corey Haim as Marty and Megan Follows as his older sister Jane. You may also recognise Terry O' Quinn as Sheriff Joe Haller as he went on to star in Lost as Locke and the creepy Everett McGill as Reverend Lowe is excellent.
The script is far from great and director Attias clearly didn't have a big budget at his disposal but the story has a good twist and the film is well made. For me werewolves in movies always look, for want of a better phrase, quite crap, and this is no exception just another guy in a hairy rubber suit. The gore is fairly minimal and there is a transformation scene but it all looks pretty cheap.
Silver Bullet is a really entertaining wee film, it's not deep or particularly clever but it is a lot of fun.Short Review
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