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When asked to review this movie I was pretty sure that I had seen it before but wasn't quite sure. I am a fan of Stephen King books but most of the time the films don't live up to the standards of the books. Read on to find out if Silver Bullet is any different...

Silver Bullet
Movie
Silver Bullet is based on Stephen King's novel "Cycle of the Werewolf". The film is set in a small peaceful American town called Tarker’s Mills. In this town everyone knows each other and not much happens from day to day. That is until a mutilated body is found. At first the town think it was a suicide but they soon realise that something more sinister is happening in the town. A pattern soon emerges as a member of the town is killed every month.

The film concentrates on the Coslaw family. The main character is Marty (Corey Haim) who is a crippled young boy who travels everywhere on a motor driven wheelchair (The Silver Bullet).  Marty has an older sister called Jane. The two tease each other but deep down they get on well. After the death of Marty’s friend the young lad decides to investigate who is behind the sudden flurry of murders. After a run in with the killer Marty realises that all is not what it seems. Marty realises that the killer is in fact a werewolf. The young boy decides to tell his Uncle Red (Gary Busey). Uncle Red is not your average uncle. He is an alcoholic womaniser but he cares greatly for Marty. Busey’s character is a strange one to call as he can be out of control one minute but completely sensible the next. I suppose that’s what drinking does to you! Unfortunately for Marty his uncle doesn’t believe his revelations, but he instead finds support in his sister. Jane agrees to help her brother search for the werewolf who is thought to live a normal life during the day and terrorise the locals during the night.

Bearing in mind that Silver Bullet was actually made over fifteen years ago I quite enjoyed it. When watching this film you have to bear in mind that the film is old and therefore the technology and costumes are not up to the standards of today. For example the first time I saw the werewolf I nearly burst out laughing. It basically looked like a guy dressed up in an apes suit. Thinking about it, it probably was! What makes Silver Bullet a reasonable film is the storyline. Fans of Stephen King will know that lots of his books are made into feature films. Not all of these are worth watching. Lots of Stephen King novels get turned into TV series and then over time get pieced together into a film. Well Silver Bullet looks like it was made as a straight out film. It is well paced so that it doesn’t get boring. In fact it probably could have been a little longer. I think in the first twenty minutes I counted about 4-5 murders, which is good going for any film!

If I were going to criticise any aspect of this movie it would have to be the abrupt ending. The hero’s spend all their time worrying about the werewolf coming to get them and when it does happen the beast dies within a matter of minutes. I am a great fan of movies that have spectacular last battles but in this case it was over before it started. Some of the scenes looked like they could be very intense and scary but seemed to end too soon.  As for why this film has an 18 rating I will never know. I realise that the subject matter requires a fairly high rating but there is nothing in this film which should make it over a 15 rating.

Silver Bullet
Video
I wasn’t really expecting much from this aspect of the disc but I was pleasantly surprised. The film is presented in Widescreen 2.35:1 Anamorphic. It is not reference quality but surpasses any expectations I had. The picture is clear and there does not seem to be any damage to the film, which is surprising considering the age of the movie. The only thing that lets down the transfer is the colour. There doesn’t seem to be the full range of colours that you would expect from a film which is set mostly out doors. The colours seem to be washed up, drained and not as vibrant as they should be. It’s hard to criticise a film, which is 15 years old so overall this transfer is very good.

Audio
Sadly the audio side of the disc does not live up to the visual aspect. Four language soundtracks are included. English, German, Italian and Spanish but they are all at Dolby Digital (2.0) so not that impressive really. However to be honest this film does not have many moments where a better soundtrack would have been beneficial. There is a lot of dialog and not many action scenes so the soundtrack provided is adequate.

Extras
This has to be the easiest review I have had to write in terms of extras. The simple reason for this is that there is very few included on the disc. There is an audio commentary by director Daniel Attias, which is actually pretty good. The director talks about various aspects of the movie and explains how certain scenes were shot. The commentary is very open and truthful.

Silver Bullet
The only other extra included on the disc is a trailer. There is something about old trailers, which amuse me. No matter what trailer you watch from the 80’s there always seems to be the same guy narrating. He speaks in a deep voice, which adds to creepy element of the trailer. The trailer is worth looking at for the novelty factor.

As you can see the extras on this disc are very poor. I would probably go as far as to say that they are the worst that I have seen in recent months. Recent DVD release have been packed with extras but for some reason the makers of this release decided to go with the minimum that they could get away with.

Overall
Silver Bullet is one of Stephen King’s better movie adaptations. It is a good night's entertainment and it allows you to relive the years when movies were not just about special effects. The transfer is excellent for such an old movie. Sadly the audio and extras don’t live up to the high standards set for widescreen presentation. For fans of this movie I would recommend buying this release as it doesn’t seem to be available in any other region and the transfer is excellent.


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