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Cast: Mariel Hemingway, Michael Pare.
Running Time: 83 minutes.
Rated R for violence, gore, language, and sexual situations.
What begins as a fairly cheesy take on "The Howling" premise develops into a scary, enjoyable horror film that is quick, taut, and surprisingly atmospheric. Mariel Hemingway stars as a single-mom who realizes that something is happening to her distant brother (Michael Pare). Although he as always been a little different, Hemingway decides that the best thing she can do is support him--so she allows him to stay in his trailer park on her property--bad idea. Her brother is a flesh-eating werewolf.
Michael Pare is adequate as the mysterious man-turned-werewolf, showing that haunting despair of knowing that he is inflicting horror on those he loves. The special effects are adequate and the acting is solid; director Eric Red does a nice job of slimming the film down and taking out the useless material to reveal a good horror film with the bare essentials. "Bad Moon" received no critical acclaim or publicity, but it is a much better motion picture than expected. Not quite "The Howling", but not far off.
But I still gave it five stars. Why? Two main reasons: One, I love the idea of presenting the plot largely through the eyes of the dog, Thor. Thor acts circles around his human costars, and if, by the end of the movie, you aren't cheering him on as he races home to confront the werewolf, you must have a heart of stone. Two, the werewolf costume is fantastic. It is easily the best-looking, least-fakey werewolf I have ever seen. Despite the idiotic transformation scene, this werewolf looks ten times more impressive--and scary!--than any other. (Okay, the one in the big attack scene in the doctor's office in "The Howling" is a close second.)
Yes, you will groan at some of the dialogue. Yes, you will want the werewolf to rip off the cute blond kid's head. Yes, you will laugh heartily as you watch Ms. Hemingway struggle with the proverbial paper bag. Yes, there is an obligatory "final scare" which is totally stupid. But if you're in the mood for a fun little horror flick with some gore, an awesome monster, and a heroic dog, look no more! Need any more encouragement? This movie was written and directed by Eric Red, the genius who also gave us possibly the best vampire movie of all time, "Near Dark."
"All of a sudden you've got a 200 lb. wolf at the door."
It is also one of the most clever takes I have seen of the werewolf story put onto film. Something that occured to me was that this could have been a real disaster but through clever timing and editing <particularly the scenes with the Shepard and the cuts fast away from the monster, though extremly well done, lends more to the terror>, this is a mini-masterpiece.
Mariel is beautiful as always but you will quickly start to sweat about what is in that dark forest <Shushwap Lake, BC, frighteningly close to me, with true life mysteries of it's own> that will have you glued to the screen.
A wonderful, creepy and sometimes gory little piece, it is not gratuituous and is well balanced and timed with a marvelouse ending I cannot give away . Be sure to watch from beginning to end. This film is particualarly good compared to other contemporaries like "Gator" and "The Lake".
Turn off the lights and snuggle close because things get viscous. The interaction between the German Shepard and the brother/werewolf are very well thought out and well done, as well as the animal handling in the filmaking.
Great spooky, scary and sometimes gory fun with a very cohesive story !!!
Lots of popcorn and drink of your choice for this one <also note great soundtrack> but also recommend age 13+; also there are <simulated> scenes of animal brutality. If you can overlook this, I guarantee a chill and even a thought provoking ending.
Most recent customer reviews
How does this movie suck? Let me count the ways... No wait, I can't count that high. DEEP BLUE can't count that high! Read morePublished on Jan. 22 2004 by Donald Hawthorne
great werewold pic featuring the legendary Michael Pare(Eddie and The Cruisers, Streets Of Fire and The Virgina Suicides) as the werewolf who stalks the night. Read morePublished on Nov. 5 2003 by Michael Bolts
this is one of the best looking werewolfs i have seen since The Howling.Published on July 25 2003 by Frankie Nunley
BAD MOON has a heart and soul...along with great scares and a terrific premise. Very underated, this is a great rainy day flick! Read morePublished on Feb. 21 2003
Next to the classic "Wolfman," and "The Howling," Bad Moon is a favorite in our house! Read morePublished on Dec 12 2002 by E. Powell
I had read the novel that this movie was based on and found this adaptation to be somewhat lacking. The novel is "Thor" and was written by Wayne Smith. Read morePublished on Oct. 30 2002 by Ricardo A. Negron
Bad Moon has a very cheesy box cover. I also don't remember it ever going to the theaters. And that's a shame, because this is really quite a good werewolf movie. Read morePublished on July 3 2002 by Get What We Give
Certainly not "The Howling" of the 90s, but a stylish, entertaining little romp none-the-less. Mariel Hemingway (yes, daughter of good ol' Ernest) stars as a single mother who... Read morePublished on May 9 2002 by HoosierDaddy16