Silver Bullet (Umbrella Entertainment) Blu-ray Review + Screenshots



Studio: Umbrella Entertainment

Release Date: October 11th, 1985 (theatrical) / January 3rd, 2018 (blu-ray)

Run Time: 95 mins

Region Code: REGION FREE

Picture: 1080p (2.35:1 Aspect Ratio)

Sound: English DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0

Starring: Corey Haim, Gary Busey, Everett McGill

Written by Stephen King (novel and screenplay)

Directed by Daniel Attias

Rating: R (Strong Horror Violence and Gore and for Brief Strong Language)


THE FEATURES ⭐⭐⭐1/2

Audio Commentary with director Daniel Attias

Dino’s Angel Takes on Lycanthropy: Martha De Laurentiis Remembers Silver Bullet (25m 34s, HD) Umbrella Entertainment sits down with producer Martha De Laurentiis (under her maiden name of Schumaker) as she tells us about how she got into the film business, her first film as a producer (Firestarter), and a bunch of stories about the making of the film. De Laurentiis comes off as easy to talk to and has a wonderful memory when it comes to details.

Isolated Score Selections and Audio Interview with composer Jay Chattaway (1h 34m, HD) Michael Felsher from Red Shirt Pictures sits down with composer Jay Chattaway to talk about the composer’s career, his influences, and the score for the film. Both the interview and isolated score run over the film as a separate audio track with the interview running for the first 38 minutes. At 38:14 the interview ends and the isolated score begins and runs for the rest of the film.

The Wolf Within: An Interview with Everett McGill (16m 16s, HD) McGill runs through a brief career overview before he talks about Silver Bullet. He talks about how he was Dino De Laurentiis’ only choice for the role and speaks highly of everyone who worked on the film, especially the director. He also talks about the make-up used in the film and it’s difficulty.

Full Moon Fever: Interviews with special effects artists Michael McCrakken Jr and Matthew Mungle (21m 4s, HD) The two artists talk about how they got the film and break down many of the effects sequences.

Theatrical Trailer (1m 17s, HD)

TV Spot (31s, SD, 1.33:1)

Radio Spot (39s, HD)

Image Gallery (6m 20s, HD)

THE PACKAGING ⭐⭐⭐

Silver Bullet comes to us courtesy of Umbrella Entertainment.



The front cover features the film’s title in big letters at the top of the artwork. Below it is a nicely drawn werewolf (doesn’t look anything like the one in the film, but that is fine.) and below that are the hunters from the film. The look of this artwork is meant to resemble a paperback version of the book the film is based on. There are even creases and some damage down to the artwork to make it look worn.


There is some reverse artwork that contains the exact same artwork on the front (minus the Australian ratings bug at the bottom), but the back cover features one of the film’s theatrical posters with the brother and sister from the film stand fearfully in front of a mostly out of frame werewolf. We only see the werewolf’s hand as it holds a bloody baseball bat. I really like this artwork.


The disc art features much of the same artwork as the front cover just minus the title of the film.

The disc is REGION FREE.


THE PICTURE ⭐⭐⭐
THE SOUND ⭐⭐⭐1/2

Silver Bullet is presented in its original aspect ratio of 2.35:1 and looks nice. The transfer was taken from an older master, but it is apparent that this master was done very well. Colors and skin tones look good and there is no hint of any digital manipulation. The transfer has a film-like feel to it, but I have a feeling that a remaster would heighten this feeling. Blacks are fairly deep and there is a thin layer of grain that is mostly present in the nighttime scenes. Overall, I like this transfer.

The only sound option is an English DTS-HD Master Audio track and it is very nice. Dialogue is crisp and clear and meshes very well with the action and horror scenes. No distortions or imperfections to be found here.


THE FILM ⭐⭐⭐
When a series of unexplained murders occurs in the normally quiet town of Tarker's Mill, the residents decide to hunt down the killer. Many of these vigilantes end up dead, and those who don't are no closer to finding the assailant. But, when a young wheelchair-using boy named Marty (Corey Haim) encounters a werewolf one night, the pieces begin to come together. Along with his sister and Uncle Red (Gary Busey), Marty begins a mission to capture the werewolf once and for all.
In the pantheon of 80’s horror films, Silver Bullet is one of the most underrated of all the Stephen King films. The lead character, played by the late Corey Haim, is in a wheelchair for the entire film, but this isn’t any normal wheelchair. The wheelchair has a small motor in it and is gas-powered with motorcycle handles on each of arm of the wheelchair. Later in the film, Haim’s uncle, played by Gary Busey, gives him a full-on wheelchair/motorcycle hybrid dubbed “Silver Bullet”. This allows Haim to go anywhere in the town faster than he could in his normal gas-powered wheelchair. This also gets Haim into some tough spots later in the film. The fact that Haim is not old enough to drive a car, let alone a motorcycle is lost of the characters in the film. There are no scenes of Haim being pulled over by the cops for driving without a license or anything like that. The townspeople just take this as something that happens all the time.

The one disappointing aspect of this motorcycle/wheelchair hybrid is that it is not used to kill the werewolf. There should have been a scene where Haim rides, at full speed, towards the werewolf, jumps off the cycle at the last minute as the cycle plows into the werewolf, killing it because the cycle is called “Silver Bullet”. The filmmakers lead us to believe this to be true because the name the cycle “Silver Bullet” and there is a werewolf running around killing the townsfolk. The ending to the film writes itself and yet this is not how the film ends. Very disappointing.

As disappointed I am with the ending, I found Silver Bullet to be a fun horror film. It doesn’t take itself too seriously and has fun with the material. After Haim shoots the werewolf in the eye with a bottle rocket, the sister goes to the church to hand in some bottles she has collected for the church. At this point, we do not know who the werewolf is. As the sister walks past the priest, the camera pans over to the priest’s face and he has some gauze over his eye, signifying that he is the werewolf. The way that the reveal is done is so cheesy that we try to think of all the film’s that we have seen a reveal like this before.

There are many scenes in the film that are just as cheesy. The opening scene has the victim discovering a footprint that couldn’t belong to a human. He looks at the footprint and seemingly knows what it came from as he says “Oh shit” as if he knew. The werewolf then appears and knocks the victim’s head clean off. That is how you open a film.

There are things that I don’t like about the film as well. I found the climax of the film to be lackluster. This climax is so lackluster that the characters even fall asleep during it. The werewolf’s look is a bit off too. In the special features, the effects guys talk about how they thought that werewolf looked too much like a bear, especially in the face. This is exactly how it looks and this is something that has bothered since I first saw the film in the 80’s. There is also a lack of cursing in the film. This isn’t something that is ever a problem for me, but it is very apparent here as the characters call each other names that a kid would call another kid. The sister calls the brother a booger, for instance. It is just weird that a film that has some pretty graphic violence doesn’t really have much cursing in it. It feels like the filmmakers were going for a lower rating, but then they realized that the film has violence in it but never upped the swearing count.


OVERALL ⭐⭐⭐

Silver Bullet is a fun, cheesy horror film that will entertain just about anyone. The only thing that anyone would be offended by would be the violence, but that is really harmless as well. This is a nice little film that is accessible to most, even with its “R” rating.

The blu-ray, from Umbrella Entertainment, is nice. The picture quality is really nice considering it is from an older master and the sound is great. The special features are really good with some great interviews and a fun commentary track. I would recommend that any horror fan needs to add this blu-ray to their collection.

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