Here at Scream, we love to shine a light on films that go slightly under-valued. And it seems there is no better time to illustrate this than with the 35th anniversary of perhaps one of the most underrated Stephen King adaptions out there.
Silver Bullet was released on October 11th 1985, at the peak of the world’s obsession with Stephen King, so one would assume it did quite well… Although, that’s not quite the case. In fact, Silver Bullet didn’t turn a profit, making $12 million on a budget of $7 million.
Despite baring Stephen King’s name above the title and being a very faithful adaption of his 1984 novella Cycle of the Werewolf, something about this one didn’t capture the public’s attention.
That continues to be perhaps one of the biggest shames in genre history, as Silver Bullet should stand alongside the likes of The Howling and An American Werewolf in London as the quintessential 80s werewolf outings.
Telling the story of a small town beset by horrific murders each full moon, it falls to Marty Coslaw, a young disabled boy, to put the pieces together. Convinced a werewolf is ravaging his community, Marty sets out to unmask which resident is a predator hiding in plain sight.
Combining the classic werewolf tropes of full moons and foggy moors with an intriguing and very entertaining mystery tale, Silver Bullet already stands out from the crowd.
Add to this the movie’s wonderful ensemble cast, and you easily have a movie that falls among the best King adaptions. Corey Haim carries the film, exhibiting that effortless charisma and talent that made him one of the eighties biggest teen stars. Next to Haim we have Gary Busey as his adoring Uncle Red, a role the actor was born to play. Here, Busey’s natural eccentricity is right at home, but wonderfully balanced out with his role as protector, exhibiting a care and depth we rarely see from the actor.
Alongside Haim and Busey we have the talents of Everett McGill, Megan Follows, Terry O’Quinn and Lawrence Tierney, making for one of the most rounded and capable casts of any eighties King adaption.
Although Silver Bullet has garnered more attention in recent years, thanks to some high-profile home media releases, it’s still not enough. More eyes must find King’s sole werewolf outing, both in print and on the big screen. It is the hope of many that articles such as this turn just one more person onto the tale.
Happy anniversary to Silver Bullet, may you continue to endure in your own quiet way.