A small town is under sieged by a callous killer, ripping victims to bloody pieces and shreds without an ounce of mercy. As the town goes into a lockdown curfew, a paraplegic young boy named Marty decides to enact his own version of rebellious fun with a stroll in his gas-engine powered wheelchair for some nighttime fireworks, despite a killer on the loose and lurking in the moonlight. Marty’s fun turns into a terrifying nightmare when the killer stalks the boy and when Marty comes face to face with the killer and lives to tell the tale, he discovers that the town maniac is no ordinary deranged person but, in fact, a nasty, snarling werewolf whose also living in plain sight amongst them in the small town community. The only two to believe Marty’s harrowing tale is his older sister, Jane, and his drunk Uncle Red, whose still on the fence about Marty’s werewolf encounter. When the moon is high and full, the three devise a plan to lure out the monster to definitively put it down with a single shot from their one and only silver bullet.
A true piece of Americana horror, “Silver Bullet” remains a staple werewolf flick for those who grew up watching genre films in the 1980s. Daniel Attias, his first and only ever feature film, had embraced a larger-than-life monster movie from a script written by the legendary macabre novelist Stephen King, based off his novella “Cycle of the Werewolf.” Attias and King were practically novices when in regards to directing and screenplays; yet, “Silver Bullet” offers much in the way of comedy, drama, and the frightening scares with a practical effects wolf and snippets of gruesome, violent death at the hands of the beast. “Silver Bullet” goes beyond just being a thrilling story of good versus evil by also blurring the lines of the conventional establishment that spark up the old idiom, a wolf in sheep’s clothing, and dives into a satirical outlook of certain religious faiths and their viewpoints.
What makes “Silver Bullet” as one of the most recognizable and rememberable films, regardless of some microscopic sloppy screenwriting and first time directing woes, is the cast. Before his life altering motorcycle accident, Gary Busey (“Predator 2”) as Uncle Red brings flesh and bone, and booze, to akin King’s Uncle Al character from the novella. Busey fabricates a wonderful, heartwarming performance dynamic with Marty, whose played by the late Corey Haim (“Lost Boys”). Haim is fresh to the scene with his chubby cheeks and doughy soft eyes that would eventually make him a heartthrob idol later into his career and at the young age of thirteen, Haim’s paraplegic performance is respectable and empowering. Uncle Red and Marty are pitted against a sleeper antagonist in Revered Lester Lowe, a role who I could see no one else being in aside from Everett McGill (“People Under the Stairs”). McGill has a face for television, or the big screen in this case, as his chiseled, dark features make him a formidable foe that’s hidden behind a clerical collar. Longtime television and TV movie star Megan Follows plays big sister Jane whom factors in as Marty’s only ally despite their dysfunctional relationship which Follows portrays well with verbal jabs of adolescent wickedness toward her disabled little brother. Rounding out the cast is Terry O’Quinn (“The Stepfather”), Bill Smitrovich (“Manhunter”), and “Reservior Dogs” Lawrence Tierney.
Television cooking show host, Giada De Laurentiis’ grandfather, Dino De Laurentiis, produced the film who was no stranger to the horror genre, such as “Orca” and “Amityville II,” nor to films adapted from Stephen King’s work like the “Dead Zone.” Under Luarentiis’ wing, “Silver Bullet” delivered brutal, traumatizing werewolf kills spun from the werewolf suit creating hands of another Italian, Carlo Rambaldi (“The Hand That Feeds the Dead”), and together, the two Italian filmmakers, along with an apt cast and crew, saw their installment flourish amongst an overcrowded werewolf subgenre in the early 1980’s with competition from films such as John Landis’ “An American Werewolf in London,” “The Howling,” and, yes, even “Teen Wolf.” “Silver Bullet” didn’t just arrive on the scene without some challenges to the storyline. For instance, a killing spree has already established with more than five townsfolk dead and a strict curefew has been set in place, but Marty, ignoring his Uncle Red’s solicited advice about staying near the house to set off fireworks, sneaks out in the middle of the night to shoot off fireworks away from the house. Marty’s fairly bright through the entire story and a nice kid, but the initial encounter between him and the werewolf is by far one of the most unintelligent and dim-witted action any character to make in the history of horror films. What makes the scenario even worse is that Marty is handicapped.
Umbrella Entertainment presents Daniel Attias’ “Silver Bullet” on region B Blu-ray home video in a widescreen 2.35.1 aspect ratio. Image quality of the full high-definition 1080p picture has an agreeable color palette, sharpness, and pinpoint details that especially come to light during the memorable church of wolves scene. A very few scenes have transfer instability where, in a blink of an eye, a revert to a faded frame comes into the fold. The English 2.0 DTE-HD master audio poises and harmonizes the elements and the dialogue into a vat of consistency that isn’t flawed by track damage. Jay Chattaway rallying, chilling score is a candor testament to the quality of the soundtrack that follows suit right behind the beyond par quality of the dialogue and ambient levels. Special features include audio commentary with director Daniel Attias, interviews with special effects artists Michael McCracken, Jr (“Deep Blue Sea”) & Matthew Mingle (“A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors”), an interview with actor Everett McGill, an Umbrella exclusive interview with producer Martha De Laurentii’s remembering “Silver Bullet,” isolated score selections and audio interviews with composer James Chattaway, theatrical trailer, TV Spots, radio spot, and still gallery. A complete and definitive set from Umbrella Entertainment! “Silver Bullet” is a howling success story of classic American horror that has timeless practical effects, a riveting narrative, and cast enriched characters that invest into the lycanthropy film paralleling David versus Goliath.
“Werewolf Rising” revolves around Emma (Melissa Carnell), a big city girl moving back to her secluded childhood home in the country after a long stint of battling alcoholism. But working on keeping her sobriety is a piece of cake compared to the full moon nights as werewolves roam the forest. Her relaxing vacation has turned into a nightmare when the wolves start to hunt her and her secluded getaway home has her trapped.
When I was a young lad, I remember watching old movies where actors dressed up in really bad Ape or Werewolf costumes and they would chase after the damsel in distress as she screams her head off. “Werewolf Rising” welcomed me back to my childhood with a big embracing hug made up of offbeat werewolf makeup and costumes. Nothing wrong with a man (or woman) in a fur coat with a immobile headpiece, but there is something campy in nature about the whole scenario.
In cahoots with the “classic” costuming, the story and acting are made up of the best b-movie attributes. From Matt Compko’s character Johnny Lee and his goofy-serious posture and speech to Bill Oberst Jr.’s overzealous portrayal of an escaped werewolf convict, B-movie madness is back in full swing. Speaking of Bill Oberst Jr., the veteran B-movie actor is a man on a movie role mission. The guy has way too many upcoming roles on his plate, but with a mug like his, I can see why he can be very versatile to filmmakers. In “Werewolf Rising”, Oberst is one creepy dude covered in blood and mucus – lets just leave it at that.
After 24 hours of having watched “Werewolf Rising”, I’m still trying to puzzle together to plot. I get that our heroine Emma retreats to her childhood home after a long and hard battle with alcoholism, but what does alcoholism really have to do with werewolves? What’s the parallel there? There seemed to be some underlying message that states drinking an colossal amount of hard alcohol, werewolves (or your demons) will come back into your life or am I reading too much into this B-movie? We see the same kind of alcoholism with the character Wayne played by Brian Berry so I could be correct. A blind squirrel finds a nut every once and awhile.
For the werewolves, how and why do they come into play? These creatures just happened to appear in the woods at this very particular moment with no explanation. Beatrix, played by Irena Murphy, seems to have some sense of what is going on as she waits in the woods for the beast. Emma involvement has more lycanthrope lineage, but again, the detail is limited and complex that nothing makes any real sense. I can tell you this. These werewolves love to go for the throat, they love to take long runs in the woods, and their red-tinted, nearly blind night vision sucks.
You have to hand it to writer/director BC Furtney because he was able to bare all with Irena Murphy’s character! But in all seriousness, Furtney tries his hand at direct-to-DVD horror and doesn’t come away exactly breaking even, but there is still some pride to be taken away from this piece of work. “Werewolf Rising’s” cast also includes Taylor Horneman as the man in the werewolf suit and Danielle Lozeau who you might remember completely buff from my review of “Black Water Vampire.” Werewolf Rising will be available to own September 8, 2014 in the uK from Image and RLJ Entertainment.
The mail man finally brought me my packages. As I tracked the package, I saw that the package shipped from Pittsburgh, went to Ohio for processing, traveled to Southeastern PA, then to Downingtown, PA which is two minutes from where I reside. However, when I thought the package would arrive the next day, my blood started to boil when I found that it was just processed in Jersey City, NJ. Gah! Five days later (after a weekend), my package finally arrived and I was relieved and now I can share with you what might the content be for future articles.
For the first time on It’s Bloggin’ Evil, I made a video post about what was received. This gives you a clear idea on the content that one might come across. Now not every film in this video will be reviewed here because their genres just aren’t evil enough, but I still think it’s interested to see what people can hunt down in flea markets, yard sales, Movie Stop’s used section, Walmart’s $5 dollar bin and so on. Also, don’t expect just movies on future video posts!
Hopefully you enjoy the video. I can be a dry talker at times, but I’m a bit camera shy and can get nervous. There is some bloopers and humorous remarks in this little over 8 minute video. Thanks again for watching and make sure you return from the grave and check out the evil to come.
My mindset on vintage horror flicks goes a little something like this – they’re without a shadow of a doubt all classics. There will be always be films that are more popular and stand out more than other black and white labeled pioneers of earlier film-hood, but the question begs, have you’ve ever seen a horrible horror movie from the Lon Chaney Jr. or Boris Karloff days? Before tonight, I can honestly say no. Then, I had to go and watch Cheezy Flicks version of Face of the Screaming Werewolf starring Lon Chaney Jr. and was directed by three directors. Remember what I’ve always said about having multiple directors – the shit never works!
Dr. Redding and his team use hypnosis on a Cali girl named Ann Taylor in discovering ancient forms of life in the Yucatan pyramids. When him and his team go exploring through the deep dark tunnels of the ruins, a living-ish breathing-ish mummy attacks them, but falls when the team fights back. They also discover a more modern individual also mummified for unknown reasons. Dr. Redding takes both mummified subjects back to America, but is soon killed and the modern mummy is stolen when Redding attempts to showcase his finds. When the modern man is revived by a bolt of lightning (Frankenstein reference anyone?), his uncanny secret of being a werewolf is revealed when the full moon just happens to be out at the same time as his revival. The werewolf and the mummy are both reanimated and walk the city, stalking and killing innocent folk. Who will stop them? Hell if I know.
As seductively epic does the title Death Hunter: Werewolves vs Vampires sounds, the funds for such a grand title don’t support it. Werewolves and vampires have been the subject of folklore for more than century and to have the two be in the same production needs the backing of the money. The Underworld trilogy gained much of it’s success and popularity through dollar signs and it’s stardom in the beautifully femme fatale of Kate Beckinsale. Death Hunter has none of the above, leaving most of it’s special effects to the wolves and creativity helpless to the imagination of it’s audiences.
While lost deep with in the desert, John Croix and his wife Maria stumble upon a den of blood thirsty vampires; the master vampire takes his wife but leaves John to die in the desert and that’s not all. Werewolves roam the night when the full moon is out; John becomes the victim of a werewolf bite, but he is rescued by a fellow survivor Van Ness who helps John beat his canine physical transformation yet keep all the lycanthrope abilities. A few months training with Van Ness has John ready for his exact revenge on the vampire clan that stole his wife from him.