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Silver Bullet (1985) - Blu-ray Review

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Silver Bullet (1985) - Blu-ray Review

4 beersFinally.  With this release from Australian home video company Umbrella Entertainment, a long requested top 10 horror film arrives on blu-ray.

Stephen King’s Silver Bullet, starring Gary Busey, Everett McGill, Corey Haim, Anne of Green Gables’ Megan Follows, and LOST’s Terry O’Quinn is still a howling good time of canine carnage.  It is the movie in which Dino De Laurentiis takes on lycanthropy with the help of a bevy of strong character actors, including Bill Smitrovich from Life goes On.   It begins, as most things do when featuring werewolves and such nighttime creatures, with a full moon.  It is, in fact, the last full moon of the spring, arriving right before school lets out for summer vacation and, just like that, the killing begins.

Poor Arnie (James Gammon).  The sad drunk gets his head lopped off by one of these creatures just after the opening credits finish.  It is a suspenseful moment that is capped off with the slow motion toss of a blood-soaked head through the night air.  And then we settle into the “booger” antics of the wheelchair bound Marty (Haim) and his best friend Brady Kincaid (Joe Wright) as they aim to torment Marty’s sister, Jane (Follows) with a snake.

Welcome back to small rural town of Tarker's Mills, Maine.  A place where people care a bit too much about themselves as the shotguns, especially when the murders start happening with no suspect in sight, fly off the shelves.  Even Marty’s Uncle Red (Busey), who is sort of a mentor to Marty as he starts dealing with some pretty hairy and supernatural events, winds up getting involved in this sort of mob mentality, rendering the local sheriff and his crew pretty damn ineffective. 

Werewolves in Maine.  Who’d believe it?

Now, for you hardcore horror fans out there, Silver Bullet might not be up to snuff.  I still stand by it as the film manages to provide a solid introduction into the werewolf genre.  With decent practical effects (even if there was some major disagreement on the look and lighting of the werewolf which caused the original director, Phantasm’s Don Coscarelli, to drop out), Silver Bullet provides some seriously strong bites in its transformation. 

Who can forget the eye peering through the plants in the greenhouse of Milt Sturmfuller (James A. Baffico)?  Or the brutality inflicted upon Stella Randolph (Wendy Walker) after her man dumps her when he discovers that she is pregnant.  This is rough stuff and the mob that gathers in the local bar to track down the killer– none of which have been deputized – aren’t helping matters at all.  Not even Reverend Lowe (McGill) can talk sense into the armed group of vigilantes.  Trouble is bound to happen and it is brutal in its rollout.

So, yeah, werewolves, firecrackers, a drunken Busey, lynch mobs and Stephen King.  It’s all here in one neat Silver Bullet.  It’s an asskicker, idn't it?

Silver Bullet (1985) - Blu-ray Review

MPAA Rating: R.
Runtime:
95 mins
Director
: Daniel Attias
Writer:
Stephen King
Cast:
Corey Haim; Gary Busey; Megan Follows
Genre
: Horror
Tagline:
When darkness falls, terror rises.
Memorable Movie Quote: "Ow! That's it. Oh, that hurts my parts."
Theatrical Distributor:
Paramount Pictures
Official Site:
Release Date:
November 16, 1976
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
January 12, 2018
Synopsis: When a series of unexplained murders occurs in the normally quiet town of Tarker's Mill, the residents decide to hunt down the killer. Many of these vigilantes end up dead, and those who don't are no closer to finding the assailant. But, when a young wheelchair-using boy named Marty (Corey Haim) encounters a werewolf one night, the pieces begin to come together. Along with his sister and Uncle Red (Gary Busey), Marty begins a mission to capture the werewolf once and for all.

Silver Bullet (1985) - Blu-ray Review

Blu-ray

Blu-ray Details:

Home Video Distributor: Umbrella Entertainment
Available on Blu-ray
- January 12, 2018
Screen Formats: 16:9
Subtitles
: English
Audio:
English: Audio 2.0
Discs: Blu-ray Disc; single disc
Region Encoding: Locked to Region A

Australian home video company Umbrella Entertainment presents Silver Bullet on 1080p with mixed results.  The picture – with solid colors and a good grain – is hurt by a consistent lag in its presentation.  There’s a digital hiccup that plagues the almost every scene and I don’t think it is a problem with the disc I was sent.  The digital blip is extended and looks as if the transfer is somehow sped up in certain shots.  Very strange.  Outside of those moments (usually happening in long shots), the 2.35:1 aspect ratio and 2.0 DTS soundtrack are both solid and the effects – with lots of groovy practical effects – are nice and gooey.  Blood effects are natural looking, too.  Overall, a decent release but I hope the disc issues are resolved in future editions.

Supplements:

In addition to the commentary with Director Daniel Attias, fans get new interviews with Everett McGill, special effects artists Michael McCracken, Jr, Matthew Mungle, and Martha De Laurentis.  There are also isolated score selections and an audio interview with Composer Jay Chattaway.  Simon Sherry’s new artwork, though, is killer and worthy of the buy alone!

  • The Wolf Within
  • Full Moon Fever
  • Dino’s Angel Takes on Lycanthropy: Martha De Laurentis Remembers Silver Bullet
  • Isolated Score Selections and Audio Interview with Composer Jay Chattaway
  • Theatrical Trailer
  • TV Spot
  • Radio Spot

Silver Bullet (1985) - Blu-ray Review

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