Written by: Michael Den Boer on February 28th, 2018
BluRay released: January 3rd, 2018
Approximate running times: 94 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1 Widescreen / 1080 Progressive / MPEG-4 AVC
Rating: R+18 (Australia)
Sound: DTS-HD Stereo English
Subtitles: English SDH
BluRay Release: Umbrella Entertainment
Region Coding: Region Free
Retail Price: $34.99
“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 encounters a werewolf one night, the pieces begin to come together.” – Synopsis provided by the Distributor
The screenplay for Silver Bullet was written by Stephen King, who adapted the screenplay from his short horror novel titled Cycle of the Werewolf. Key collaborators on Silver Bullet include, cinematographer Armando Nannuzzi (Story of a Cloistered Nun, Gran bollito) and composer Jay Chattaway (Maniac, Vigilante).
The werewolf has long been a staple of the horror film genre. The first Hollywood film to feature a werewolf was Stuart Walkers Werewolf of London (made in 1935). The character would reach an iconic status six years later, when Lon Chaney Jr. starred in George Waggner’s The Wolf Man. And though there would be additional werewolf films, since The Wolf Man. The majority of these films fall short, when compared to The Wolf Man. That was until, An American Werewolf in London, would reignite in the 1980’s, an interest in werewolf films. Other notable werewolf films from the 1980’s include, Wolfen and The Howling.
In 1985 author Stephen King would get a chance to give his taken on the werewolf with Silver Bullet. Content wise, though Silver Bullet stays within the parameters, that have been laid out in the werewolf films that came before it. The end result is something, that stands apart from other werewolf films. And nowhere is more evident, then when it comes to the tone of the film. Most notably, how the film puts a huge emphasis are the characters and issues that they are facing, that have nothing to do with the werewolf.
With that being said, this is a character driven film. And the cast are very good in their respective roles. With this film’s most memorable performance being Everett McGill (Iguana, Twin Peaks) in the role of Reverend Lowe. He delivers a sinister performance that perfectly contrast his characters background as a holy man. Other performances of note include, Corey Haim (The Lost Boys, Watchers) in the role of Marty Coslaw, a wheel chaired bound character who uncovers the identity of the werewolf and Gary Busey (The Buddy Holly Story, Point Break) in the role of Marty’s alcoholic uncle.
From a production standpoint, this film achieves all of its goals. The premise is well executed, pacing is never an issue, as key moments are given an ample amount of time to resonate and the visuals do a great job reinforcing the foreboding mood. There is sufficient amount of gore and though the majority of special effects are well executed. The werewolf’s makeup leaves a lot of room for improvement.
Silver Bullet comes on a 25 GB single layer (22.4 GB) BluRay. The film is presented in a 1080 progressive widescreen. Grain remain intact, colors and flesh tones look accurate, details look crisp and black levels remain strong throughout.
This release comes with one audio option, a DTS-HD stereo mix in English and included with this release are removable English SDH subtitles. There are no issues with distortion or background noise, dialog comes through clearly, everything sounds balanced and robust, when it needs too.
Extras for this release include, a reversible cover art, a radio spot (39 seconds), a T.V. spot (31 seconds), a trailer for the film (1 minute 16 seconds), an option to listen to isolated score selections with audio Interview with composer Jay Chattaway, an interview with special effects artists Michael McCracken, Jr. and Matthew Mungle titled Full Moon Fever (21 minutes 4 seconds), an interview with actor Everett McGill titled The Wolf Within (16 minutes 16 seconds), an interview with producer Martha De Laurentis titled Dino’s Angel Takes on Lycanthropy (25 minutes 34 seconds) and an audio commentary with director Daniel Attias.
Topics discussed in the interview with Michael McCracken, Jr. and Matthew Mungle include, their contributions to the film, Carlo Rambaldi’s contributions to the film, onset memories and background information about FX set pieces.
Topics discussed in the interview with Everett McGill include, Dino & Martha De Laurentis, his thoughts about his character and wearing the creature costume / makeup, shooting in North Carolina, the cast and Daniel Attias.
Topics discussed in the interview with Martha De Laurentis include, how she got into the film industry, Stephen King, The Cycle of the Werewolf, Silver Bullet, the screenplay, Carlo Rambaldi, Don Coscarelli and why he departed the film, werewolf films, Daniel Attias, the cast and her thoughts about the film.
Topics discussed in the audio commentary include, his cinema influences, his origins as a filmmaker, Silver Bullet, the cast, Stephen King, Dino De Laurentis, special effects and his thoughts about the film.
Overall Silver Bullet gets a solid release from Umbrella Entertainment.
Note: Umbrella Entertainment are also releasing this film on DVD.