I was fourteen the first time I saw Bad Moon
and I've always remembered it fondly. When I decided to track down a copy to feature it here on The Flesh Farm, I hadn't seen it in about eight years and was curious to see if it would still hold up. I can tell you this... it has.
We follow a photojournalist
named Ted (Michael Paré) after he's been bitten by a werewolf in the middle of the Amazon. (Why there are werewolfs in the deep jungle, I'll never know.) He travels back to his hometown where he lives in a beat-up Air-Stream trailer while trying to find a cure. Every night before the sun sets, Ted chains himself to a large tree in the woods where his "other side" can't attack and kill any innocent people. Unfortunately, it doesn't go according to plan.
His sister and nephew (Janet, played by Mariel Hemingway, and Brett, played by Mason Gamble) live nearby and invite him to park his Air-Stream in their backyard after they discover police are investigating a vicious attack by a large animal near his place. After arriving, the family dog, Thor, begins to suspect something isn't right with the new guest and begins guarding the family from him. As could be predicted, Ted's "other side" gets loose multiple times and kills nearby residents. These attacks are blamed on Thor and he's taken to be euthanized. Chaos ensues as young Brett attempts a bold escape plan for Thor, his mother Janet discovers the awful truth about her brother and Ted's werewolf succumbs to the Bad Moon.
First of all, the werewolf scenes in this film are stellar. (The werewolf is played by Ken Kirzinger who played Jason Voorhees in Freddy Vs. Jason
and did stunts for Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan
, Stephen King's: IT
and The 13th Warrior
.) Only in The Howling
have I seen such a badass werewolf. It's not just the awesome special effects or the phenomenal sound effects... it's the pure brutality this werewolf inflicts on-screen. Most werewolf films will show gruesome deaths, but won't show
them. They'll use shadows or fancy cuts to please the rating boards but Ted's werewolf scenes in Bad Moon
are shown fully, with all the brutality of a real animal attack. A couple examples:
In the first 5 minutes of the film we see Ted and his fiancee get attacked. (They were gettin' their fuck on when the attack began so that adds a little spark of fun.) Ted's fiancee is dragged out of the tent, chewed to holy-hell and slashed repeatedly before being held high in the air and devastated with a right hook which buckles her in two.
A local asshole is sneaking around in the backyard when he's attacked by Ted. The claws rip from his crotch right up to his neck spilling his innards. Awesome.
This film was actually made from a book called Thor
by Wayne Smith. The adaption from the book was done pretty well. It's not the best werewolf script ever conjured but that doesn't make it a bad film by any means. As you probably remember, Thor is the family dog and it's right that the book was named after him and not the film. He has a huge role in both the book and the film as the protector of the family, but a film titled "Thor
" would probably confuse movie-goers with the comic book hero.
I recommend Bad Moon
to all horror fans, especially those with a taste for werewolf films. The acting is great, the special effects are amazing and the werewolf could kick Arnold's ass.
Pick up a copy!