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3.9 out of 5 stars36
3.9 out of 5 stars
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on May 25, 2004
Director: Eric Red
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.
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on February 1, 2004
Okay, there are a couple of things that stink about this movie, so let's get that out of the way first. (1) Mariel Hemingway's acting sucks, (2) the cute blond kid's acting sucks, (3) Michael Pare's acting sucks slightly less, (4) the big transformation scene REALLY sucks--CGI at its sloppiest, and (5) some inane leaps in logic, like: Is Uncle Ted really so stupid that he thinks "family love" will cure him?
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."
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on November 21, 2003
This movie right here is one of the overlooked gems of the often forgettable 1990's so called "horror" genre. A very quick film (under 80 minutes!) that doesn't bloat itself with too much back story and keeps the action pretty much centered on Ted (the werewolf) and Thor (the protective German Shepherd)focusing on their standoff (which is well shot, save for the obviously "stuffed" Thor for some over the shoulder thrashing). Really well acted (Michael Pare as Ted really stands out)and the idea of having a werewolf film that is about 70% based on a dog's point of view is quite original. Some terrific creature design and gore help with the intensity. The actual transformation scene seems a little dated but this movie wasn't exactly big budget fare and besides any horror fan should know that most of the really good flicks come from genuine heart in the production, not deep pockets. All in all this is one of my favorite werewolf movies, it's short, sweet, and to the point. It probably doesn't hurt that I've owned two German Shepherds in my lifetime either. If you like horror or werewolf movies check this one out.
"All of a sudden you've got a 200 lb. wolf at the door."
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on November 29, 2001
I have to say that this is my favorite Werewolf movie and probably one of the better. Some things, like the fact you could tell when they used a Mechanical Werewolf to when they used a man in a costume(That man was Stunt Coordinator Ken Kirzchinger)
Other than that, this was a great film. The DVD look of it is how it should of been viewed...In the theatres. Movies like these are why I hate Critics who only like big blockbuster hits.
This film had several firsts. 1)First time a Dog was the Werewolf's nemesis. 2)First time I can think of that little kid is involved and 3)First time in which Werewolf looks like an actual wolf and not a very hairy man. This film probably has the coolest looking Werewolf than any other Werewolf before it or after it. They should of released it in the theatres and the critics should really start paying attention to small films with great potential. Funniest moment was probably where little kid is trying to free Thor and the lights come on and he says "Oh you-know-what
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on October 29, 2001
Okay, this movie has had it's fair share knocks and bad reviews. I admit it's not the best werewolf movie in the world, but it's certainly not the worst (Just take a look at some of those HOWLING sequels). Director Eric Red has had a great genre career, what with screenwriting such 80s gems as THE HITCHER and NEAR DARK and directing the underrated BODY PARTS, he knows how to craft a decent horror movie. This movie however, suffers from what seems to be a low budget and quite surprisingly from Eric Red, an underwritten script. Lead actors Mariel Hemingway and Michael Pare equip themselves fine with the stilted dialogue and try to bring the movie out of the B movie realm. Jan Kiessers' cinematography is atmospheric and Steve Johnson's animatronic werewolf suit is great (it's just a pity the rushed CGI doesn't come up to scratch - the painful scene where Pare transforms into the creature using CGI is terrible and quite frankly, needed to be cut from the film, especially when the non-digital work in the movie is largely excellent).
Warner Bros. dumped this movie straight to tape in the UK, and we never got the chance to see the movie at the theatres. Now, with DVD I can view the movie as it was meant to be seen. It benefits greatly from the digital format, what with a bright sharp picture (highlighting that cool, autumnal look of the cinematography) and the chance to see Steve Johnson's great creature effects. Reviewers moaned about this movie when it came out, and to a point I can see why, but when other dull "horror" movies like AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN PARIS and the latest SCREAM rip-off are released at the cinema, this low-budget flick doesn't seem so bad after all. Granted, it's not a great film by any means, but it's not a bad one either . . . I look forward to whatever Eric Red puts out in the future, at least his horror heart is in the right place.
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on July 28, 2001
That wasn't a good film, but it's Oscar material compared to this.
I picked it up after reading all the rave reviews...
BOY WAS I DISAPPOINTED!
Steve Johnston must have had a really tight budget as the werewolf was stiff and mechanical. The transformation scence (usually setpiece of any werewolf films) has some really tacky CG morphs that totally destroys the moment's pacing.
Equally stiff were the actors, delivering their line with all the emotion of a teleprompter. The best way to view this was to turn on the french soundtrack and read the subtitles, at least the dubbers delivers more believable emotion. But then again the script was so trite and bland, turning on the subtitles makes this into a surreal comedy.
Face it, 1981 was and is the year of the werewolf:-
An American Werewolf in London, The Howling and Wolfen.
I have yet to see a contemporary werewolf film that can captivate an audience like they could.
After 20 years, Rick Baker's work in AAWIL is still stands above the rest (Sorry Howling fans, never liked Bottin's rabbit eared lycanthropes). If you want solid acting you might as well go for Wolf which at least had Jack Nicholson, Pieffer and Spader (plus Rick Baker's rather good but more "wolfman-esque" work).
Trying to do a "straight" werewolf film these days are almost impossible, that also the German Shepard's acting is what the 2 stars are for.
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on July 28, 2001
That wasn't a good film, but it's Oscar material compared to this.
I was about to order it but found it at a local store's discount for 9 dollars, picked it up after reading all the rave reviews...
BOY WAS I DISAPPOINTED!
Steve Johnston must have had a really tight budget as the werewolf was stiff and mechanical. The transformation scence (usually setpiece of any werewolf films) has some really tacky CG morphs that totally destroys the moment's pacing.
Equally stiff were the actors, delivering their line with all the emotion of a teleprompter. The best way to view this was to turn on the french soundtrack and read the subtitles, at least the dubbers delivers more believable emotion. But then again the script was so trite and bland, turning on the subtitles makes this into a surreal comedy.
Face it, 1981 was and is the year of the werewolf:-
An American Werewolf in London, The Howling and Wolfen.
I have yet to see a contemporary werewolf film that can captivate an audience like they could.
After 20 years, Rick Baker's work in AAWIL is still stands above the rest (Sorry Howling fans, never liked Bottin's rabbit eared lycanthropes). If you want solid acting you might as well go for Wolf which at least had Jack Nicholson, Pieffer and Spader (plus Rick Baker's rather good but more "wolfman-esque" work).
Trying to do a "straight" werewolf film these days are almost impossible, that also the German Shepard's acting is what the 2 stars are for.
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on October 30, 2002
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. It is told almost entirely from Thor's point of view and is actually quite charming. I realize that many things work better in print than they would in film and that sacrifices have to be made in any screenplay adaptation, but the majority of the novel is told from Thor's point of view and is about his reaction to this bizarre situation that only he is aware of but cannot understand. The makers of this movie tried to capture some of the point of view but I ultimately they failed. Try and track down the book (I think it's no longer in print) and compare it to the movie. You'll see what I mean.
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on December 3, 2001
I am a werewolf movie lover. If you put a werewolf in a movie, I already like it. That doesn't mean I can't judge the film though. Bad Moon is definitely one of the classics, or should be. It is on the level of The Wolf Man, The Howling, American Werewolf in London, and Silver Bullet. The actaul werewolf creature in Bad Moon is the best on-screen representation of the beast that I have ever seen. Every werewolf movie should make their wolf in the mold of this one. Big, slobbery, hairy, and best of all...violent. AND, it actually looks like a wolf man. Other movies they completely transform the guy into a wolf or just make the guy hairy. This version is the ultimate. If you like werewolves, BUY THIS MOVIE!
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on July 16, 2000
In my opinion, this is one of the great horror movies that critics blasted off the charts. Yes, it's predictable. Yes, it's gory and full of jump-of-your-seat scenes. But I've always liked werewolf movies and this is one is at the top of my list. The critics treated this movie so badly that when my partner and I went to see it at the theatre, it was empty except for us and we were treated to a private viewing of it. We both enjoyed the great special effects, both visual and sound, plus the beautiful cinematography of the Pacific Northwest woods. We have added Bad Moon to the list of movies we watch on Halloween. This movie is a must-see for all the werewolf movie fans in the world.
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