Fright Fest Review #25: Silver Bullet (1985)

“Thanks Uncle Gary!  Now I’m gonna go cap some Bloods!”

Subgenre:  Werewolf

Summary:  When series of murders plagues his hometown, a young boy suspects a werewolf is responsible.

Review:  In 1970s Maine, Jane and her wheelchair-bound younger brother Marty lead an uneventful life.  Their relationship is strained by Jane’s (not-unfounded) belief that their parents give Marty preferential treatment because of his disability.  When local townsfolk start dropping like flies, Marty sees the werewolf responsible firsthand, but naturally, no one believes him.  Eventually he’s able to convince his sister, as well as his visiting uncle, of the beast’s existence, and the three of them band together to put a stop to it.

Silver Bullet’s tone is purposefully light, and for the most part this serves the movie well.  Making a completely serious werewolf movie is no easy task, and one beyond the scope of this movie’s ambition.  Silver Bullet is content with creating a breezy, undemanding werewolf story that’s more fun than scary.  The actors are all game, especially Gary Busey as the fun, alcoholic uncle you never had.  There’s also a fun whodunit aspect in the mystery of the werewolf’s human identity, and the movie is smart enough not to reveal it at the very last minute.

The Verdict:  Silver Bullet may lack in staying power, but it’s a pleasant, entertaining diversion while it lasts.  I give it six-and-a-half waxing werewolves out of ten.

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