Lemonade in Your Pants

By 1985’s Silver Bullet, the monster movie broke from its shell. The Thing and American Werewolf updated the formula. A few years after, The Blob remake did too. Then Silver Bullet, still convinced it’s 1952 – at least on its surface.

Small town. Mauled bodies begin appearing. Kids know the threat, authorities/adults refuse to believe them. Silver Bullet isn’t interested in shedding that skin. The town though (fictional, if filmed in North Carolina) isn’t of the Cleavers or Donna Reed. Eugenics-believing dad lives down the street. A guy argues with and walks out on his pregnant girlfriend. She then attempts suicide. From a modern perspective, seeing a priest trap a young boy, both alone, takes on a different vibe too.

Silver Bullet struggles to hold itself to grim standards

Seedy as it is however, Silver Bullet struggles to hold itself to grim standards. Violence and gore reach for a definitive R rating. Yet, Corey Haim plays the lead, fighting with his sister as young siblings do, and watches this unfold from a child’s POV. He rides in an awesome, flame-streaked motorized wheelchair (its name sharing the title 50/50 with an actual bullet) any kid would want, yet the mean-spirited, adults-only streak keeps the younger set blocked out.

Tonally, it’s odd too. Stereotyping pokes at the American way, like the gunshop owner raising prices as fear begins to spread, and his aggressive posturing for vigilante justice feels more like marketing. At the end of their hunt, there’s a comical kill akin to Airplane rather than a straight horror movie.

Then there’s truthfulness, opening on train tracks in front of factories as a blue collar worker becomes the first victim. Alcohol flows freely here, at home and in the local bar. In Silver Bullet, no one ever seems happy. An economic downturn encroaches on these people, stress rising, and the werewolf causes them to finally act on the buried anger. Imagine, a ‘50s sci-fi outing that, instead of post-war celebration, dealt with WWII’s lingering emotional after-effects. Silver Bullet is that movie, sloppy as it too often is, and less post-war than Reagan-era, eroding small towns as money started drifting toward major cities.

Thankfully, Gary Busey and Corey Haim can save their town, all on their own, because almost every other character is dead.

Video

Scream/Shout Factory previously issued Silver Bullet to Blu-ray. Paramount reissues the film themselves inside a Stephen King box set. Each movie is given its own disc, even if it’s not necessary since Silver Bullet and others use BD-25s. Regardless, the master carries signs it’s older, a little worn, and lackluster overall. Dull resolution finds detail when in close, fading as the camera pulls back. Grain resolves well at least, naturally handled.

Other than slightly faded flesh tones, saturation doesn’t show age. Primaries leap forward, bright in appearance. A dense orange inside a bar hangs over the tense scenes, giving them heat.

Contrast makes nice too, pleasingly intense early, before Silver Bullet falls to night and stellar black levels come to work. Shadows sink to pure black, detail preserved where needed. Full moons cast a vivid glow over things where possible.

Audio

Smooth, deep lows do enough to add slight range. For DTS-HD mono, it’s impressive anyway.

Overall, clarity captures dialog and action minus any concerns. Time adds a little grit, if nothing unexpected given the ‘80s source. Consistent fidelity sustains these elements in prime condition.

Extras

Unlike Scream Factory’s disc, there’s nothing here. No trailers, or even an extras menu.

Full disclosure: This Blu-ray was provided to us for review. This has not affected the editorial process. For information on how we handle review material, please visit our about us page to learn more.

Silver Bullet
  • Video
  • Audio
  • Extras
3

Movie

Silver Bullet sticks to a formula, but approaches things with more honesty, if not a consistent tone.

Sending
User Review
0 (0 votes)

The 15 unaltered images below represent the Blu-ray. For an additional 36 Silver Bullet screenshots, early access to all screens (plus the 120,000+ already in our library), 100 exclusive 4K UHD reviews, and more, subscribe on Patreon.