6.4/10
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132 user 82 critic

Silver Bullet (1985)

R | | Horror | 11 October 1985 (USA)
A werewolf terrorizes a small city where lives the paralytic Marty Coslaw, his uncle, and his sister, the story's narrator.

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Writers:

(novel), (screenplay)
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1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
Robin Groves ...
Nan Coslaw
...
Bob Coslaw
...
...
...
Brady Kincaid
Kent Broadhurst ...
Herb Kincaid
Heather Simmons ...
Tammy Sturmfuller
James A. Baffico ...
Milt Sturmfuller
Rebecca Fleming ...
Mrs. Sturmfuller
...
Owen Knopfler
William Newman ...
Virgil Cuts
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Storyline

The small town of Tarker's Mills was a place that was very peaceful, where nothing extraordinary ever happened until one night when murders began. The townspeople believe it's some maniacal killer on the loose whom they intend to hunt down. Marty, a young handicapped boy, believes the killer is no man at all, but a werewolf. After a run-in with the werewolf, Marty and his sister Jane hunt all over town for the man who is the werewolf. Written by <webmistress@shiversofhorror.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Part human. Part wolf. Total terror. See more »

Genres:

Horror

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

|

Language:

Release Date:

11 October 1985 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Cycle of the Werewolf  »

Box Office

Budget:

$7,000,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Complete construction of the werewolf costume took three months. After finalization of the shape and design, using three-dimensional clay heads, the entire costume was made of foam and polyurethane and was covered with actual bear hair. The head of the costume was mechanically operated by six people from a distance of up to thirty feet away. See more »

Goofs

The light from the fireplace in the film's ending. When the power goes out the room is dark, despite a fireplace having been lit. After the werewolf makes his entry- the room is fully lit again with the fireplace. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Older Jane: [Older Jane narrating] The last full moon of that Spring came a little more than a month before school let out for Summer vacation. Our town's long nightmare began that night.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Cinemania: Stephen King: O vasilias tou tromou (2009) See more »

Soundtracks

Joyride
Music by Jay Chattaway
Lyrics Written and Performed by Rob. B. Mathes
Recorded at the Carriage House
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

An example of a master's touch
18 July 2004 | by (San Diego) – See all my reviews

I was about to turn off the TV as opening titles rolled for Silver Bullet and I saw the "Cycle of the Werewolf" reference, as I really don't care much for fantasy monsters at all. This being a Stephen King, though, I thought I'd give it a look. I'm glad I did.

The difference between this and the standard, cookie-cutter, grade-B monster/werewolf/e-mail-spammer horror flick could be a tutorial for playwrights, screenwriters and cinematographers. Instead of the tired horror-flick plot - monster terrorizes small town after killing some folks (usually with heavy-handed special-effects gore, repeated frequently throughout); populace panics and does a lot of stupid things; standard-issue hero arrives; standard-issue sexy young heroine falls in love with him and the movie ends with the standard-issue hero dispatching the monster moments before monster is about to make standard-issue heroine his/her/its next victim - this one deftly draws on strong theatrical principles and creativity to make the viewing real entertainment.

The young protagonist, who could be a paraplegic edition of ELL-LEE-YUHHT from E.T., his mid-teenage sister, which character, as an adult, opens the story with off-camera narrative (by Tovah Feldshuh), and an equally-charming third kid, who happens to be the boy's uncle and is chronologically but in no other respect an adult, endearingly played by Gary Busey, are developed skilfully as characters in their own right, entirely apart from the werewolf theme. By making us know and care about them, as well as the lesser characters, King creates a warm and personal relationship between them and the audience, something rarely achieved in standard horror/suspense fare. Busey is just right as the uncle who finds responsibility to be rather an impediment to enjoying life.

Injecting just the right touch of comedy where you'd least expect it and making it work - to avoid spoiling, I'll just say something about the woods at night and a bunch of people who don't belong there - a few red herrings to keep you guessing, and one broad clue to the identity of the werewolf that the sharp-eyed and -eared might catch but is otherwise not at all tipping a hand, all combine to hold the interest and attention of the viewer. The knitting-together of various threads - the significance of the monster's attack on the suicidal woman, for one - creates a certain intricacy that typical monster-flick shows rarely have.

Some blood and gore is unavoidable in a story like this; but again, it's handled with skill and delicacy instead of blunt force. The attack scenes are crafted to use the viewer's imagination much more than the special-effects department to create the impression. Watch carefully and you'll notice that the illusion is created by alternating very brief flashes of action streaking by the lens, almost too fast to discern, with establishing shots of the victim's accumulating injuries, with the audio gluing it all together. A few frames of the monster's snout or eyes moving past, a claw (or later on, a club or baseball bat) streaking by, but not not visibly headed for any particular target, horrified looks and increasing amounts of blood from the victim who may get tossed across the room or otherwise propelled violently but you never see the propelling directly, and your imagination does the rest.

It's not the masterpiece of the ages; but it's a film to enjoy once, and then, if you're into the theatrical arts at all, see again - for study.


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