Silver Bullet (Universal) (1985)
Main Menu Introduction
Main Menu Audio & Animation
Scene Selection Anim & Audio
|Year Of Production||1985|
|RSDL / Flipper||No/No||Cast & Crew|
|Region Coding||4||Directed By||Daniel Attias|
Universal Pictures Home Video
James A. Baffico
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||None||English Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)|
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||2.30:1|
|Video Format||576i (PAL)|
|Original Aspect Ratio||2.35:1||Miscellaneous|
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
The year 1985 seems to have been a big year for adapting the more obscure works of Stephen King. Whereas Cat’s Eye was based on three short stories from the Night Shift collection, Silver Bullet is based on a novella published in 1983 in a limited hardcover edition complete with illustrations, entitled Cycle Of The Werewolf.
Sadly, the adaptation bears very little resemblance to the novella I recall. This adaptation revolves around a kid in a hotted up wheelchair who thinks that the strange deaths around town have been caused by a werewolf. After shooting the werewolf’s eye out on 4th of July, he believes he is being stalked by it. He convinces his sister that something is up and finally his drunken Uncle Al buys in on it too.
The end result? Garbage. Seriously, there is next to nothing redeeming about this movie. By the thirty minute mark I was begging for the werewolf to kill the kid (you know a film is good when you totally fail to empathise with the main character) so the film would end and my suffering would end with it. But no. It drags on through some truly atrocious acting that isn’t even lame enough to get a good laugh like those trashy Friday The 13th sequels. Actually, no, I was reduced to tears by the hilarity of the scene where the lynch mob gets massacred, which was so atrociously bad it was funny.
Comedy? Horror? Farce? I have no idea. In his semi-autobiographical dissertation On Writing, Mr. King confesses to a high level of substance abuse around the time when he was writing Cujo, which is probably around the time this film was being adapted. I guess that explains a couple of things, but the director also wears much of the responsibility for the faults.
Do yourselves a favour and read a book instead.
Presented in 2.30:1, 16x9 enhanced, this is very close to the original aspect ratio of 2.35:1.
The picture quality is very smooth and very clean if a touch soft overall. Colour is natural and well balanced.
The transfer was devoid of any real MPEG artefacts, but there was quite a bit of background moire effect and aliasing. There is some minor dirt and a few hairs here and there on the print, but nothing distracting.
There are no subtitles on this single sided disc.
Audio is available in English 2.0 Dolby Surround only.
The audio track has clear dialogue and no obvious audio sync issues.
The range is a touch flat - the growling of the werewolf sounds like it was done in a tin can, and there is not all that much in the way of directional cues. In fact, the whole thing feels fairly monaural.
The overly sentimental, often synthesised music from the 1980s does little to help this film’s appeal. Jay Chattoway must have been desperate for a couple of bucks.
There is no subwoofer use.
|Surround Channel Use|
All menus are in an aspect ratio of 1.78:1 and are 16x9 enhanced. The main menu has a 2.0 Dolby Stereo soundtrack. The scene selections menu has a small moving clip from each scene.
As far as I can tell, the R1 version is largely identical barring the NTSC/PAL format difference and the region coding.
Silver Bullet just does not work. There are many reasons for its failure, but a lot of it seems to stem from an inability to decide whom the audience was. As a result, it’s just a confused, poorly acted, poorly scripted mess.
The video is better than this film deserves.
Audio is satisfactory.
There are no extras.
|DVD||Panasonic DVD-RV31A-S, using S-Video output|
|Display||Beko 28" (16x9). This display device is 16x9 capable.|
|Audio Decoder||Built in to amplifier/receiver.|
|Speakers||Energy - Front, Rear, Centre & Subwoofer|