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Silver Bullet (1985) Revisited

This Movie Review is the Brain Child of so many different personalities!!!

Somebody folded this onesheet. Don't think we didn't notice.

Somebody folded this onesheet. Don't think we didn't notice.

MPAA Rating

R

Running Time

95 minutes

Director

Daniel Attias

Writer

Stephen King

So the regurgitating of every Stephen King property from the 80s suffered a minor setback with Doctor Sleep bombing at the box-office. It’s an excellent film so it’s your fault you missed it while making that insipid Midway the number one movie in ‘Murica.

With It Chapter Two and Pet Sematary invading theaters in different parts of 2019, it’s safe to say that as long as people are still wallowing in 80s nostalgia (a trend I hope dies soon), there will be a Stephen King remake every other month.

Since King’s body of work is being rebooted, it’s just a matter of time before someone remakes Silver Bullet because why not? It’s a pretty simple story and I hear you can do wonders with special effects these days. And since the original Silver Bullet is an okay enough film but by no means a classic, it has a lot of room for improvement for the eventual remake.

I’ve seen it a handful of times in my life, but when I first thought about watching it I seem to always refer it as “the Corey Haim wheelchair movie”. I’m no expert on the late Corey Haim’s filmography, but I’m pretty sure his other characters weren’t in wheelchairs.

It’s been a while since I’ve seen that movie. I don’t remember him, Haim eating a ham handwich in a heelchair.

That’s right. I remember that part in The Lost Boys.

My favorite part is when Corey Haim in a wheelchair gets bitten by the vampire played by Kiefer Sutherland. Then the bite gives Corey Haim special vampire powers that no make him no longer require the use of a wheelchair. Corey Haim gets up from his wheelchair, lifts it over his head, bashes Kiefer Sutherland over the head with it and says –

Which, if you remember the movie, is referencing the earlier scene in which Kiefer Sutherland and his vampire d-bags park in handicapped spot even though they’re all able-bodied vampires. They murder the meter maid who runs over to write them a ticket. They tear the ticket over her bloody corpse and Alex Winter says, “If we’re not allowed to park here, you’re not allowed to bleed and die here.” The line itself is kind of cheesy, but Winter delivers it with the right kind of panache.

You remember.

Anyway, in the multiple film Corey-Haim-in-a-wheelchair genre, here’s a review of Silver Linings Bullet before the remake comes out in 20-twentysomething.

Fun Fact- Gary Busey still has no idea he’s in this movie.

He trying to hold the lamp like a lightsaber. Could he be as inebriated as his uncle?

He trying to hold the lamp like a lightsaber. Could he be as inebriated as his uncle?

Silver Synopsis

Silver Bullet opens in the doctor sleepy werewolf town of Tarker’s Mill. An older woman voice over states that it takes place sometime in the mid-70s, yet everything about it still feels like an 80s movie.

A drunkard working at the railroads is singing about a beer commercial while drinking beer. We’re not going to bother remembering his name because if the werewolf didn’t get him then his failing liver would have.

While he’s in the midst of singing another song about beer, Brett Kavanaugh gets murdered on the train tracks by what looks to be a very hairy, very large animal.

The inept Sherriff Haller (Terry O’Quinn) says that drunkard got drunk on the tracks and was run over by a train. Hence, his guts all over the railroad.

After that aside, we’re listening to a grown-up version of Jane Coslaw (Megan Follows) as she recounts the final halcyon days Tarker’s Mill had before that werewolf came over and ruined everything. It’s said with the kind of disdain older people have when they recount how much better things were before that black or brown family moved into the neighborhood.

Even before the werewolf started murdering people Jane wasn’t that happy with her life. She resents having to take care of her brother Marty (Corey Haim, wheelchair acting like you’ve never seen him before except in those other previously mentioned movies) because he’s a wheelchair and has to constantly watch him.

Sorry Jane. I’m sure Marty would also like to have the use of his legs.

It’s time for the Harker’s Mill hootenanny. I’m not sure why everyone is getting together, but it’s a chance for Harker’s Mill and its community of mostly white people (there’s one black person you’ll be able to spot easily) to do stuff and eat out of paper plates. Possibly coleslaw.

Marty and his awful best friend Brady (Joe Wright) play a prank on Jane which ruins her outfit.

Jane has yet another reason to hate her brother.

Those little flags seem unnecessary.

Those little flags seem unnecessary.

On the negative side, a girl whose only crime was getting pregnant by a married man is killed and torn apart by a large and furry animal. Seems kind of judgy

Over the next couple of days, a white trash guy and Marty’s douchey friend Brady are murdered.

To he honest, we really don’t miss them as they were both awful people. At least the werewolf is killing people we hate. So there’s that.

But the townsfolk are not having it. They want Sherriff Haller’s head on a spike and to hunt down who or whatever is killing Harker’s Mill’s most awful residents. They will literally get pitchforks and torches to hunt it down. Maybe some guns too. White people with pitchforks and guns? What could possibly go wrong?

I now feel bad for the town’s lone black resident. But at least with other people torn apart he won’t be the first to die. Who knows? Maybe he might even survive this ordeal—

Nope.

On the plus side, Marty’s favorite uncle Red (Gary Busey, with teeth as large as a werewolf’s) is coming over and staying for a couple of days. Red is a drunkard (what’s up with all these alcoholics?) and about to be divorced for a third time. He also soups up Marty’s wheelchair (called Silver Bullet) so that it can reach speeds that are no longer safe but just enough to outrun werewolves, you know, should that ever become necessary.

3 for the price of 1!

3 for the price of 1!

What Works With Silver Bullet

  • Released 4 years after both The Howling and An American Werewolf in London, Silver Bullet’s werewolf transformations are pretty well-rendered for the time. You wish there were more of it.
  • Silver Bullet vs. Car- a chase scene that’s as funny as it is exciting. It’s a bruised forearm sequence that works despite how ridiculous it is. Idiots who watched Back To The Future got hurt skateboarding on the back of cars. You wonder how many disabled people tried this at home.
  • Gary Busey, playing Gary Busey. Uncle Red is the Busey-est thing ever. In retrospect, Busey’s performance belongs in an entirely different movie, but you don’t care because you know Gary Busey has no idea where he is at the moment.

What Doesn’t Work With Silver Bullet

  • Any scene not involving the werewolf is actually kind of boring. When the wolf isn’t around, you think you’re watching some 80s afterschool special about appreciating your disabled brother.
  • Stephen King’s screenplay actually has the line, “Did you remember the deviled ham?”. Based on the placement of the dialogue, I thought deviled ham would play a bigger role in Bullet. (spoiler) It does not.
"Gary, you're needed on set like...NOW!"

"Gary, you're needed on set like...NOW!"

Overall

Silver Bullet is just as okay as you remember in in the 80s. Seeing it again will neither add nor subtract anything from that initial impression. If you remember anything about seeing it that first time, you remember more than Gary Busey.

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Buy Silver Bullet Here!