Page contents by Dannial Huang, English 338, November 2009.
Notes: Dino De Laurentiis Company, 95 minutes.
Uncle Red: Gary Busey
Reverend Lowe: Everett McGill
Marty Coslaw: Corey Haim
Jane Coslaw: Megan Follows
Sheriff Joe Haller: Terry O’Quinn
Based on the novel by Stephen King
Directed: Daniel Attias
Summary: Silver Bullet is set in a small town in the spring of 1976. Marty Coslaw is a paraplegic in a gas-powered wheelchair built by his Uncle Red, an alcoholic who visits Marty from time to time, even though Marty’s mother does not like him being around Marty while drunk. Soon killings begin to happen all around town. The people of the town all believe it is a serial killer. After the funeral of a little boy, Marty decides to ride home with Red, and he tells his Uncle that he thinks the killer isn’t a man, but a monster, more specifically a werewolf. Red assures Marty that there are no monsters, just “psychos who are more dangerous when the moon is full.”
The townspeople fear that Sheriff Joe Haller isn’t doing everything he can and decide to take matters in to their own hands. They gather up at the local pub to compose their plan. Sheriff Haller tries to stop them, saying, “You guys are one step away from being a lynching mob.” The father of a murdered boy comes from the back of the room and gives a speech about how he wants “personal justice” for his son’s death. On the way out the mob encounters Reverend Lowe who tries to stop them. After leaving the pub the mob regroups in the forest and then they all split up. Following a group of five into the woods, the thick fog begins to creep up on them. They begin to hear growling and wonder where the noise is coming from. One of the men whispers that the noise is coming from under them in the fog. Slowly one by one they are killed off. All that we see is a giant furry paw.
The next day a curfew is imposed. Marty and his family go to his Uncle’s house on the edge of town to try and get away from the killings. There Red builds Marty another gas-powered wheelchair. Red gives Marty the wheelchair and some fireworks, because he felt bad that the fair was closed due to the murders. Later that night Marty sneaks out for a ride on his new wheelchair. He ends up riding in to the forest, and decides to let off fireworks. The fireworks draw the attention of the werewolf. Just as the werewolf is charging at Marty he lights a bottle rocket, and fires it at the werewolf. Marty ends up hitting it directly in the left eye, giving Marty a chance to flee.
The next day Reverend Lowe is seen wearing an eye patch over his left eye. Jane finds a mangled bat that was used by one of the men who were killed during the mob hunt. Seeing the bat in Lowe’s shed, she believes that Reverend Lowe has something to do with the murders. Marty and Jane begin sending Lowe anonymous letters saying that he should kill himself for the things that he has done. A couple days after Marty and Jane have sent the letters, Lowe follows Marty and chases him into a condemned overpass. Lowe tells Marty the truth how he is the werewolf and the people he killed deserved what they got. Just when Lowe was about to attack Marty a farmer passing by scares Lowe off.
Marty tells his story to Red who doesn’t believe him at first, but then sees that the paint that was left on Marty’s wheelchair is the same from Lowe’s car. Red tells the Sheriff who doesn’t believe it either, but decides to investigate. Going to Lowe’s house, the Sheriff is attacked and killed by Lowe. Marty’s parents are going on a trip soon and Marty believes that the werewolf is going to attack then. He tells Red his theory and Red decides to stay over and protect Marty and Jane. Red goes to a gunsmith to get a sliver bullet. Later that night at Marty’s house the werewolf comes to attack them. While Red struggles with the werewolf Marty finds the bullet, loads it, and fires at the werewolf. He hits it in the other eye, which kills the werewolf and transforms it back to Reverend Lowe.
Commentary: This movie resembles classic werewolf movies, where there is usually just one werewolf. In more recent movies, werewolves have a more animal-like instinct and travel in packs. They all seem to be more bloodthirsty. In Silver Bullet Reverend Lowe is the werewolf and he tells Marty that he kills certain people for a reason. He says the people whom he kills were going to waste their bodies anyway, therefore he took them and sent their souls to heaven. Lowe’s calculated attacks seem more like a superpower, rather than a curse, which is usually used to explain why someone becomes a werewolf.