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Daniel Attias
Gary Busey, Corey Haim, Megan Follows
Writing Credits:
Stephen King

A werewolf terrorizes a small town.

Rated R

Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
English DTS-HD MA Monaural
French Dolby Monaural
Supplements Subtitles:

Runtime: 95 min.
Price: $36.99
Release Date: 9/15/2020
Available as Part of “Stephen King 5-Movie Collection”

• None


-LG OLED65C6P 65-Inch 4K Ultra HD Smart OLED TV
-Marantz SR7010 9.2 Channel Full 4K Ultra HD AV Surround Receiver
-Panasonic DMP-BD60K Blu-Ray Player
-Chane A2.4 Speakers
-SVS SB12-NSD 12" 400-watt Sealed Box Subwoofer


Silver Bullet [Blu-Ray] (1985)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (September 9, 2020)

Adapted from a novella by Stephen King, 1985’s Silver Bullet takes us to the small Maine town of Tarker’s Mills. Set in the spring of 1976, a series of brutal murders disrupts the quiet community.

While Sheriff Joe Haller (Terry O’Quinn) deals with an investigation, wheelchair-bound young Marty Coslaw (Corey Haim) goes through his own close encounter with the culprit. He manages to inflict harm on the attacker’s eye and he escapes.

Marty claims a werewolf assaulted him, and along with teen sister Jane (Megan Follows), he begins a search for a local with a damaged eye. Marty, Jane and their drunk Uncle Red (Gary Busey) go down a dangerous path as they attempt to stop the brutal violence.

King might’ve written the screenplay and based it on his own work, but Bullet feels like some weird half-assed attempt to make a Spielberg movie. Despite the horror motif, the emphasis on Marty throws off a serious ET the Extra-Terrestrial vibe, for instance.

In addition, expect Bullet to “borrow” massive globs of Jaws. A confrontation between a grieving parent and Sheriff Haller completely rips off the scene between Mrs. Kintner and Brody, and the score even offers hints of John Williams’ legendary theme at times.

Toss in ample reflections of prior werewolf movies and Bullet lacks even a hint of originality. It feels like a loose collection of influences without much real purpose of its own.

If Bullet managed decent entertainment value, I might not mind its derivative nature so much. Unfortunately, this becomes an awkward mix of scenes that feels too campy to scare but not quite campy enough for “so bad it’s good” material.

Though Bullet really does go down the silly side of the street a lot of the time. The choice to make Marty a paraplegic screams “plot device”, and then the decision to give him a turbo-charged wheelchair falls into the same path.

Basically King creates obstacles in the pursuit of tension, but then he finds “outs” for these as well. This feels like tacky storytelling, as those involved can’t be bothered to come up with logical rationales for much of anything.

With Busey in the lead, the adult castmembers overact a storm, whereas the kids underplay their parts too much. The differing styles emphasize the movie's theme that the kids know better than their elders, but the two sides feel too different for them to connect as needed.

There’s nothing wrong with the film’s underlying plot, as the werewolf theme always comes with potential. Too bad the final product offers a goofy, scare-free tale.

The Disc Grades: Picture B-/ Audio B-/ Bonus F

Silver Bullet appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.35:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. This was an inconsistent presentation.

Most of the concerns related to sharpness, which seemed awfully erratic. While some shots looked well-delineated, more than a few appeared soft – and oddly soft at that, as I couldn’t discern a logical reason for these iffy elements.

This meant wide shots could look vague and tentative one minute but then appear tight and precise the next. Much of the movie brought acceptable to good accuracy, but the exceptions caused distractions.

Otherwise, the image held up pretty well. No instances of jagged edges and shimmering occurred, and I saw no edge haloes. In terms of print flaws, the film came free from issues.

Colors appeared fine within production choices. The movie opted for a fairly autumnal feel to suit its setting. This meant the hues appeared more than acceptable but didn’t stand out as memorable.

Blacks felt fairly dark and dense, while shadows offered appropriate clarity. The softness made this a “B-“ image that just barely rose above “C+” level.

As for the movie’s DTS-HD MA monaural soundtrack, it seemed perfectly adequate. Speech was natural enough, with no obvious edginess on display.

Music showed decent range, and effects felt the same, as they showed reasonable impact and avoided obvious distortion. Given the movie’s age and sonic ambitions, this became an accurate representation of the source.

How did this 2020 Blu-ray compare to the Collector’s Edition BD from 2019? Both seemed virtually identical to me, as I didn’t discern any obvious differences between the two.

Whereas the 2019 Collector’s Edition packed a bunch of extras, the 2020 release offers zero.

One of Stephen King’s earliest screenplays, Silver Bullet lacks impact or polish. The film feels like a mix of styles and influences that never builds terror or tension. The Blu-ray offers inconsistent picture as well as adequate audio and no bonus materials. Fans of the movie will prefer the Collector’s Edition due to its plethora of supplements and similar visuals/sound.

Note that this Blu-ray of Silver Bullet can be purchased on its own or as part of a “Stephen King 5-Movie Collection”. The latter also includes The Dead Zone, The Stand, Pet Sematary (1989) and Pet Sematary (2019).

To rate this film, visit the DVD review of SILBER BULLET

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