Silver Bullet (1985)
IFC Center here in NYC had been doing a Stephen King adaptations series, for their midnight movies recently. I have never been much of a fan of the movies made from Stephen King books, at least not most of the ones I have seen. Of course I loved Carrie, The Shining, and Dead Zone, and Salem's Lot was fun, but otherwise I thought most were pretty poorly done. I never liked Cujo, Christine or others from that era, so I just stopped watching them. This recent series has allowed me to catch up on some I have missed, or rewatch some that I was not a fan of.
Silver Bullet was one I had never seen, so I was interested in catching this one. I already knew it was a werewolf movie, and that kept me on my guard, as I generally do not like almost any werewolf movies. I was never a fan of the classic An American Werewolf In London, nor The Howling or Wolfen. Other than some older ones and Underworld, I would say I don't really enjoy werewolf movies in general. So this was had a double battle, it is a werewolf movie AND a Stephen King horror adaptation!
The movie starts off with someone narrating the film, which felt a bit weird and out of place. I could have done without it, and thankfully it was not used in much of the movie. The main character is played by Corey Haim, one of the two Coreys. He plays a kid in a wheelchair, in a small town. He has a sister who seems to mostly resent him, and two parents who are a bit oblivious. He also has an uncle he really loves, who happens to be an alcoholic. But his uncle builds him motorized wheelchairs, so of course he's great!
Gary Busey plays the alcoholic uncle, and does a good job with the character. Corey Haim is actually decent too, which was a surprise. The sister is pretty typical, and nothing special, but she fills her role well enough.
We find out from the narration that the evil in the town is killing people, and they don't know who it is. At first they think it's a maniac, then they try and find the maniac only to be killed while on a vigilante hunt for him. Eventually we are let in on who it is, and the boy in the wheelchair is the one that helps us with that. He somehow convinces his sister who helps him, and eventually they enlist the alcoholic uncle who joins in. The three of them try and help the town out and fix the problem.
Is this a great film? No, it is definitely not a great film. But it is a likeable film, does its job for the 90 or so minutes you spend with it, and is good enough. In fact, it is way better than most of the Stephen King horror adaptations I have seen. It's fun to see Gary Busey before he fell apart, and Corey Haim before he was an insufferable teen.
7 out of 10 stars.