In the 1980s, Corey Haim was my dream squeeze. Born in the same year as me, this vibrant, lispy, indelibly handsome star set the foundations of my (pre)teen American dream: picket fences, BMX bikes and slutty cheerleaders. Maybe it was his spikey hair? The way he spoke out of the side of his mouth? His perpetual sass? Whatever, his emergence as a genre star (LOST BOYS, WATCHERS etc) has left him lingering in my cinematic dreamscape long after his tragic demise. I still flock to Corey’s handful of horror movies, almost 40 years later, for a dose of nostalgic creature feature comfort.
Let’s be clear: SILVER BULLET isn’t a great werewolf movie. It’s not even a good one. Stephen King has written better, far less-familiar stories, tension never really builds and the werewolf effects have a well-cuddled Care Bear quality that makes you want to rub the creature’s belly for rainbow wishes. Things in its favour? Some cult-coddling one-liners (“… The guy gets wolfier”), Gary Busey turned up to 12 as alcoholic, womanising Uncle Red, Everett McGill’s demon preacher and THAT wheelchair (a suped-up mobility aid that defines “pimped”).
SILVER BULLET works well as an aperitif for better monster movies or in a double-dip sharing platter with Haim’s other less-than-stellar horror adaptation, WATCHERS (this time of a Dean Koontz novel). But you’ll never stop me re-watching it long after I’ve grown tired of the grand-daddy of 1980s werewolf pics (you know the one… although, having said that, there could well be two…).
IN BRIEF: The werewolf FX have a well-cuddled Care Bear quality that makes you want to rub the creature’s belly for rainbow wishes.
STRAPLINE: “Part human. Part wolf. Total terror.”
An earlier version of this review was posted at radiantcircus.com.