Silver Bullet (Daniel Attias, 1985, USA)

One of Stephen King's initial collaborations with producer Dino De Laurentiis, following 1983's The Dead Zone and 1984's FirestarterSilver Bullet was one of many werewolf movies released in the early to mid-1980s. Following the success of An American Werewolf in London, the classic monster had something of a renaissance with such films as The Howling and WolfenSilver Bullet, written by King, is based on the novella Cycle of the Werewolf - published on a limited basis in 1983 and originally intended as a calendar. Cycle of the Werewolf is the shortest of King's standalone works, and the script for Silver Bullet fleshes out many of the ideas present in the story.

Specifically, King arcs the narrative of the werewolf around the family of Marty Coslaw, a wheelchair-bound boy (Corey Haim). Along with his drunk uncle (Gary Busey) and older sister (Megan Follows), Marty uncovers the truth behind the series of murders plaguing the town of Tarker's Mills. Silver Bullet is by no means a great film, but in contrast to King's later efforts with Dino De Laurentiis, it is one of the better films from King's cinematic slump during the mid-80s. Haim does a decent job in the lead (this was before he became a mega-star), but the real highlight is Gary Busey - who seems to have ad-libbed many of his lines. Everett McGill of Twin Peaks fame is suitably menacing as the town preacher turned werewolf. While the creature effects of the great Carlo Rambaldi are lacking here, there are some fun set pieces to be had - particularly those involving Marty's hyper-motorized wheelchair. Silver Bullet was originally supposed to be directed by Don Coscarelli of Phantasm, but ended up being directed by Dan Attias, who never made another feature film and ended up working in TV.



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