action, crime, drama, movie, movie review, western

June 22nd, 2018 Movie – Young Guns

young guns

So the Brat Pack decided to make a western movie. That was pretty much my opinion when I first heard about this movie. Anyways, I remember thinking that this would be an interesting movie to watch but never saw it while it was in theaters. I would end up catching bits and pieces of it on TV over the years before I finally decided to rent it one day so I could watch the whole thing. Westerns are not really my normal wheelhouse but I was entertained enough to end up getting both this and the sequel when the opportunity presented itself. So let’s sit back and enjoy today’s movie, Young Guns.

The plot: In Lincoln County, New Mexico, local ranch owner John Tunstall is in town with Doc Scurlock, one of the young men he has hired to help work the ranch, when they hear the sound of a gun shot and see a young man, Billy, running down the street, being chased by some men who work for Lawrence Murphy, a well connected Irishman who Tunstall is at odds with. Tunstall decides to help Billy get out of town and takes him back to his place, where Billy sees the other Regulators (Jose Chavez y Chavez, Richard M. “Dick” Brewer, Steve Stephens, and Charlie Bowdre) and Tunstall offers to let him stay there provided he earn his keep. The next day, Billy works at tending to the pigs as Charlie explains what it is they do around there and after supper, Tunstall works at teaching everyone how to read and write. The next day, Billy hides when he sees Murphy, ride up with the sheriff and some of his men. Tunstall and the Regulators go to meet them and when the sheriff says that Murphy is accusing Tunstall of stealing some of his land but Tunstall denies the claim, causing Tunstall and Murphy to argue over their place in town. The next day, a former worker for Murphy, J. McCloskey, shows up looking for work and Tunstall agrees to let him in. That night, they head into town for the New Year’s Eve dance and while he is there, Tunstall speaks to his lawyer, Alexander McSween, about trying to expose Murphy’s corruption to the governor only to be told that Murphy had given a large donation to the governor’s election campaign. During the course of the night, Billy meets a man named Pat Garrett and Doc dances with Yen Sun, a Chinese girl under Murphy’s care only to later be told that she is actually his house slave. As Tunstall and the Regulators head home in the morning, Murphy’s men kill Tunstall and chase after the Regulators but they manage to get away. Later, Alex goes to the Justice of the Peace and asks if he is going to serve warrants on the men responsible for Tunstall’s death and he says no but does deputize the Regulators so they can issue the warrants and arrest the men. When they go to arrest Henry Hill, they send Billy in to the shack he tends to hide out in but when Billy hears that Hill is going to the outhouse, he heads over there and ends up shooting Hill, causing a gun fight to erupt. The next day, Doc reads a newspaper article about the gunfight and Billy, who they nickname The Kid, to the others when he notices Yen Sun walking by and goes to talk to her, but when she refuses to take the flowers he offers her then he tells her to give Murphy a message that they are coming for him. The Regulators manage to capture two of Murphy’s men that they have warrants for but Billy wants to kill them. When McCloskey says that they should go a different route than the one Dick wants to go but Billy notices McCloskey and one of the men sharing a glance and realizes that McCloskey is a traitor and kills him, prompting the Regulators to kill the other men when they try to escape. As they try to figure out there next move, and Billy and Dick argue over who should be leading the group, they see Buckshot Roberts approaching them, as he wants to collect the bounty on Billy’s head. A shoot out occurs, with Chavez and Doc both being wounded as Roberts takes shelter in an outhouse. The Regulators fire into the outhouse and when they don’t hear anything, Dick goes to check it out only to be killed by Roberts. The Regulators agin fire into the outhouse, then leave before more of Murphy’s men can arrive. Later, Doc heads off to write to Dick’s family about his death and get some fresh wrappings for his and Chavez’s wounds. Though Billy warns him to stay out of Lincoln, he heads there anyways and sneaks in to see Yen Sun, trying to convince her to leave with him but she refuses and he is forced to leave when Murphy heads up to her room. When Doc returns, Billy convinces the group that they need to go after Sheriff Brady, as he helped Murphy get away with Tunstall’s murder, and they head into Lincoln and kill him and some of his men. When they go to see Alex, he is furious with them as the governor has revoked their deputization and now the military will be after them. He says they were just supposed to serve the warrants and expose Murphy’s corruption but Billy argues that by killing Brady and bringing more attention to the situation, that President Hayes will have to take notice of what is going on out there. As they go to leave, Alex tells them that he is going to reopen Tunstall’s store and tells them to be careful. As they go to hide out, Charlie wants to spend the night with a woman so they head into a town and give him money for a prostitute. While they wait for him, Billy overhears a man at the bar looking for him and he taunts the man briefly, as he doesn’t know what Billy looks like, before revealing himself and killing him. Suddenly, Charlie bursts into the bar and tells them that John Kinney, an ex soldier turned bounty hunter, and his men are coming and they all quickly ride off, hiding in some thorn bushes to escape detection. As they rest for a while, Billy wants to head back to Lincoln to take out Murphy but the others all want to head to Mexico to get away and Billy, describing the risk it will entail to get to Mexico, decides to go with them. They reach a border town and rest up for the night only to be surprised when Charlie falls in love and decides to marry a local girl. As they celebrate the wedding, Pat Garrett shows up and approaches Billy, telling him that their mutual friend Alex is in danger, as Murphy is planning on killing him on his return to Lincoln. Billy calls out for the Regulators to get ready to ride out and both he and Doc tell Charlie that he should stay, as he has a wife now, but Charlie refuses to let his friends ride off without him. The Regulators head back to Lincoln and go to get Alex and his wife Susan out of town but they realize that it is trap as Murphy’s men begin setting up barricades in front of the house. Kinney and his men show up as well and the Regulators find themselves trapped in the house. As Murphy and Kinney’s men begin shooting at the house, Billy and the others take refuge on the second floor. Murphy arrives to oversee the events just as some soldiers arrive from the nearest army camp, and Murphy tries to get them to leave as he doesn’t want too much attention brought on them. While he argues with the colonel, Yen Sun leaves his wagon and races into the house, choosing to be with Doc. Murphy orders his men to set fire to the house in an attempt to smoke out Billy and the others and Alex yells down that he is sending his wife out so she can get away. Chavez sneaks out of the house and when Steve discovers he is missing, he starts ranting that he went and saved his own skin. Coming up with a plan to try and get away, they all start throwing items out of the windows to avoid having them catch fire, including a large trunk. Suddenly, Billy bursts out of the trunk and begins shooting at the men, while Doc and the others head out the side door. They see Chavez riding towards them with some horses he procured and they move to get on the horses but Billy is wounded. Charlie ends up getting into a shootout with Kinney and they end up killing each other. Doc is wounded but manages to get both him and Yen on a horse so they can ride off. Chavez is shot but Steve helps him back onto the horse, only to be killed as well. Billy is able to get on a horse and escape as well and Alex heads out and yells good luck after them only to be gunned down by a Gatling gun. Murphy starts ranting for everyone to go after them when Billy rides back and shoots Murphy in the head, then leaves town. In a voice over, Doc says that Chavez headed to California, changing his name in the process, and began working on a farm. Doc and Yen moved to New York and got married while Susan stayed in town and continued Alex and Tunstall’s work, resulting in the governor being forced to step down. Billy the kid continued to ride in the New Mexico area until he was eventually killed by Pat Garrett after he was made sheriff. He was buried next to Charlie in Fort Sumner and one night, someone inscribed the word “Pals” on his tombstone.

Young Guns met with mixed reviews from the critics, holding a 42% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. While there isn’t a critical consensus on the site, most of the critics felt that despite the star power it had, it fell flat as a whole. Much like almost every other movie about the Lincoln County War, John Tunstall is depicted as an older gentleman when he was actually 24 when he was killed. In fact, he was younger than most of the Regulators, with Billy the Kid being one of the only ones younger than him, as he was 20 at the time. Despite the mixed reviews, the movie was a box office success, earning $45.6 million off of an $11 million budget and would spawn a sequel two years later.

So, I may be in the minority on this one but I find this movie pretty entertaining in a guilty pleasure type of way. The acting was good, with Emilio Estevez doing a good job as Billy the Kid. I also liked Keifer Sutherland (Doc), Casey Siemaszko (Charlie) and Lou Diamond Phillips (Chavez) but was kind of indifferent to the others. The story was based on the real events of the Lincoln County Wars, which helped make Billy the Kid famous and they had some fun with their version of it. I thought the scene where Chavez had them drink some mescaline to guide them on a spirit journey was pretty funny. Some of the gun fights seemed a little out there in the sense that nobody was getting hit, while they had an affinity with the slow motion shots when some of the guns were firing and people were actually shot. It’s not the greatest western ever but it is an entertaining movie.

Rating: 3 1/2 out of 5

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action, drama, movie, movie review, western

February 27th, 2018 Movie – Tombstone

tombstone

It’s been a while since I have watched a western. This is probably due to the fact that it is not a genre of movies that I particularly care for as a whole, but there are several standout movies that do catch my interest. I mean, there are a couple of John Wayne and Clint Eastwood movies that I have watched and enjoyed, while some more recent movies and remakes have also been entertaining. However, today’s movie is somewhat a first because it is the first western that I actually liked enough to buy on video/DVD, well maybe the second because I did buy Blazing Saddles first. Anyways, I remember going to see this movie in theaters and thinking it was a lot of fun and even though I own it on DVD, it has been a while since I have watched it. Now let’s see if the teenage memories do today’s movie justice as I watch Tombstone.

The plot: In 1879, a group of outlaws known as the Cochise County Cowboys ride into a Mexican town and interrupt a police officer’s wedding. Holding up two red sashes, which the Cowboys are known for wearing, their leader, William “Curly Bill” Brocius, tells the assembled officers that they killed two of his men, then he and his men proceed to kill all of the police officers there, including the newly married groom and his wife. When the priest starts saying that their acts will be avenged, quoting Revelations and it’s passage of Death riding on a pale horse, he is shot as well. Meanwhile, retired sheriff Wyatt Earp arrives in Tucson Arizona and is approached by two U.S. Marshals but he turns down their offer to work for them. He is then met by his brothers Morgan and Virgil and their wives Allie and Louisa. Wyatt introduces them to Mattie Blaylock, his common–law wife, and then starts putting his suitcases in the wagon for their trip, while Allie gives Mattie a bottle laudanum, which she says is for her headaches. Wyatt and his family eventually reach Tombstone, Arizona and are greeted by Johnny Behan, the town sheriff, who speaks with Wyatt and offers him the use of three cabins that just came up for rent. Later, Wyatt, Morgan, and Virgil are talking with Marshall Fred White, who points out some Cowboys nearby and says they are really the “law” around there. He then talks about the various casinos in town and mentions one, the Oriental, that has fallen on hard times. Wyatt heads over to the Oriental and speaks with the bar tender, commenting on how nice it is and wondering why it is so dead. The bartender explains that a dealer had shown up and taken over one of the tables and essentially run everyone out so Wyatt confronts the man and gets rid of him, then offers his own services for 25% of the house. Wyatt rejoins his brothers to tell them about his good fortunes, not noticing the dealer coming up behind them with a shotgun. Suddenly, Doc Holliday appears, calling out the dealer, who he knows, then shakes hands with his friend Wyatt and the others. After chasing off the dealer, Wyatt introduces Doc to Behan just as a gunshot is heard at a nearby saloon and they see two associates, Texas Jack Vermillion and Turkey Creek Jack Johnson, involved. The two Jack’s say hello to their friends but Fred tells them they have to turn over their guns. When a theater troupe arrives in town, Wyatt finds himself attracted to Josephine Marcus, an actress in the troupe and attends the show that night with the rest of his family as well as Doc and his companion. After the show, Wyatt heads off to work and has an encounter with Curly Bill and his lieutenant Johnny Ringo. Ringo’s attention is focused on Doc, wanting to test his skill against Doc’s but Doc refuses to take the bait and things end up settling down as Curly Bill, Ringo, and the other Cowboys leave. The next day, Wyatt is on his way home when he runs into Josephine and the two end up riding together and talking, where Josephine asks him if he is happy with his life. The next night, Curly Bill gets drunk and ends up shooting his gun around town and when Behan refuses to do anything about it, Fred heads out and tells Curly Bill to turn in his guns but ends up getting shot. Wyatt knocks Curly Bill out and starts taking him to the jail but Ike and Billy Canton, and some of the other Cowboys tell him to let Curly Bill go. Wyatt refuses, saying Curly Bill will stand trial, then holds a gun to Ike’s head while Doc, Morgan, and Virgil back him up. The next day, Curly Bill is let go due to a lack of witnesses to the shooting and the U.S. Marshalls ask Wyatt and his brothers to become the new marshalls but they turn them down at first but later, after rescuing a boy from getting trampled by the Cowboys as they leave town, Virgil becomes the new marshall, and Morgan joins him. Virgil’s first act is to forbid guns from being carried in town, forcing people to check them when they enter. That night, a drunken Ike loses to Doc in a poker game and as he cusses him out, Doc collapses to the ground and Wyatt and Morgan carry him to the hotel. Ike gets his guns from the bartender and drunkenly declares he will kill Wyatt and Doc the next time he sees them but Virgil knocks him out and locks him in a cell. When some Cowboys show up to pick up Ike and get his weapons, they threaten retaliation and Wyatt has Virgil swear him in as a Marshall. Later, 6 Cowboys, including Billy and Ike, ride into town and head over to the O.K. Corral. Doc joins up with the Earps and Wyatt wants to just let them simmer down but Virgil wants to arrest them for carrying weapons as a show that they can’t break the law so Wyatt relents. The four men head over to the corral and are met by Behan, who says that he disarmed the Cowboys but when they continue, he quickly hides inside a nearby building. When they get to the corral, they discover that Behan lied and a gunfight ensues, with Morgan and Virgil getting wounded, Billy and most of the Cowboys getting killed while Ike manages to escape. The next day, a drunken Ringo tries calling out Wyatt and his brothers to fight but they refuse and Curly Bill pulls him away before he starts a fight with Doc, saying that the time isn’t right. A few nights later, Behan tells Josephine, whom he has been seeing, that he knows of the attraction between her and Wyatt but after tonight, he will be the only law in town. Josephine heads over to Virgil’s house to warn Mattie, Allie, and Louisa, then saves them when a Cowboy attempts to kill them. Meanwhile, Wyatt, Morgan, and Virgil are eating dinner and Virgil leaves to go home but is ambushed by the Cowboys and stumbles back into the bar. Wyatt and Morgan carry him to his home and the doctor says he will lose his arm, prompting Morgan to storm off while Allie blames Wyatt for what happened. As Wyatt leaves, he runs into Sherman McMaster, who says he had no part in what happened and is no longer with the Cowboys, throwing his sash on the ground. Sherman is accompanied by the two Jacks, who tell Wyatt that if he needs them to let them know, then the three ride off. Morgan had gone to shoot pool but is shot in the back and ends up dying from the wound. The next day, Wyatt and Doc place Morgan’s coffin in a wagon and ride out of town, with Virgil and the wives following behind them. Wyatt stops to tell Curly Bill that it is over between them but after they leave, Curly Bill sends Ike and Stillwell to follow after them to kill Wyatt. Wyatt has Virgil and the women get on the train but when Stillwell and Ike show up to kill them, Wyatt kills Stillwell, then sends Ike with a message to the other Cowboys, saying that he is coming for anyone wearing a red sash and will kill them. Swearing in Doc, Sherman, and the two Jacks, Wyatt and his posse begin riding out and killing every Cowboy they find. When they come to a river, they get in an ambush set up by Curly Bill but Wyatt walks out into the river, untouched by any of the bullets, and kills Curly Bill, but afterwards Sherman says that Ringo will be coming out for blood. Some time later, Behan has deputized Ringo and the other cowboys to arrest Wyatt and his posse and they come across a stage coach containing Josephine and Mr. Fabian, who was shot by one of the Cowboys while preventing them from robbing them. Josephine chastises Behan for his actions and Behan’s deputy leaves, saying that there has to be some sort of law around there. When Doc’s condition worsens, Wyatt’s posse takes refuge at a farmhouse but a Cowboy appears, dragging Sherman’s body behind him, and tells Wyatt that Ringo is calling him out for a duel. Wyatt agrees and he and the two Jacks ride off, leaving Doc in the care of the rancher. When they get to the meeting place, Wyatt is told where Ringo is and before he leaves, he tells the two Jacks to take off for Mexico if things go south. At the oak tree, Ringo sees a figure approaching but is surprised to find that it is Doc, who had ridden there ahead of Wyatt. Ringo agrees to fight Doc but Doc quickly shoots him in the head then turns as Wyatt approaches and Wyatt says they should finish it. Wyatt and his posse head off to finish killing the Cowboys, with Ike being spared when he removes his sash and leaves the group. Some time later, Doc is placed in the Glenwood Sanatorium where he tells Wyatt to start a new life with Josephine before he ends up dying of his tuberculosis. Wyatt heads to the town that Josephine has moved to and speaks with her after her performance, asking her to go with him and she kisses him and they dance outside in the snow.

Tombstone met with positive results from the critics, holding a certified fresh rating of 73% on Rotten Tomatoes. While there isn’t a critical consensus on the site, many critics felt it was one of the best Westerns to come out in years but others felt that there were too many characters to try and focus on  plot was unfocused while the plot was unfocused. The gunfight scene in the river is supposedly true, with Wyatt Earp actually walking out into the water unscathed and shooting Curly Bill point blank with a shotgun, then shooting a second person in the stomach. Unlike the movie, Johnny Barnes (the man that was gut shot) did not die right away but managed to escape and make it to a farmhouse, where he reported what happened and how Earp walked up to Curly Bill unscathed before killing him. The movie was a hit at the box office, earning $56.5 million off of a $25 million budget.

This is still a great Western and a highly enjoyable movie, but I will say that it does have it’s faults. The acting was really good, with Kurt Russel doing a really good job as Wyatt Earp, but I think Val Kilmer stole the show as Doc Holiday (in fact it might be his best performance in my opinion). Powers Boothe (Curly Bill), Michael Biehn (Ringo), Sam Eliott (Virgil), and Dana Delany (Josephine) were also very good in their roles as well. The story was pretty good and I liked how they tried to keep it fairly accurate to the events. However, one of my favorite, somewhat underrated scenes, was after Doc killed Ringo and placed his badge on top of him, telling Wyatt that his hypocricy can only go so far. This is because he knew what they were doing had nothing to do with the law or justice, but was simply revenge for the Cowboys killing Morgan, but was going along with it to help out his only friend, Wyatt. The one thing I didn’t like was that they had soo many characters that they introduced, that they couldn’t really do half of them any justice. There were several times a character would show up briefly, then you wouldn’t see him again till the very end but he is given a poignant moment in the movie (like the deputy). The special effects regarding the gun fights were pretty good, though a little flashy at times. A great movie and definitely something that is worth watching.

Rating: 4 out of 5

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September 8th, 2017 Movie – Silver Bullet

silver bullet

If I can be completely honest for a moment, I have to admit that I don’t think I ever saw today’s movie in it’s entirety until I bought it on DVD. Don’t get me wrong, I have seen the movie, but in buts and pieces. Most times, I would come in about half way through the movie and watch it to the end but there were a couple of times where I would watch the beginning of it, but then have to stop and do something else or go somewhere, preventing me from a complete viewing. In spite of this, I had some fond memories of the the times I watched this movie, and laughing at it, so when I saw a DVD on sale for cheap, I quickly picked it up. Now let’s see if that was a mistake as I watch today’s movie, Silver Bullet.

The plot: In the town of Tarker’s Mills, Maine during the Spring of 1976, a railroad worker named Arnie Westrum is working on clearing some debris from the tracks when he notices some tracks in the dirt just before he is decapitated. The townsfolk consider it an accidental death, as Arnie was the town drunk and they believe that he just passed out on the tracks and was decapitated by a train. The next day, there is a town picnic and Jane Coslaw goes to check on her brother Marty, who is a parapalegic, but she falls victim to a prank by Marty’s friend Brady, who scares her with a snake and causes her to fall in the mud. After yelling at them, Jane goes off and hides in some bushes to cry when she overhears an argument between Stella Randolph and another man about Stella being pregnant but the man refuses to believe the baby is his. That night, Marty goes into Jane’s room and gives her some money to replace her pantyhose that were ruined and apologizes for Brady’s prank. Jane accepts the apology and the two then talk about their Uncle Red, who had just gotten a divorce. Meanwhile, Stella is about to commit suicide by overdosing on pills but a werewolf crashes through her window and kills her, leaving her mother to find the body. The next day, Marty is riding his gas powered wheelchair and accompanies his girlfriend Tammy to her house. On the way, they pass by Stella’s house and see all of the police there and Tammy thanks Marty for accompanying her as she was scared to go by there herself. When they get to her house, Tammy mentions that she is afraid of the shed by their house, as she has been hearing noises coming from it but before they can talk anymore, Tammy’s father Milt yells at her to help her mother with the laundry. That night, Red stops by the house and is playing cards with Marty but after Marty’s mom, Nan, sends Marty to bed, she argues with Red about his drinking in front of Marty and the effect he has on him. Meanwhile, Milt is watching wrestling when he hears a noise coming from his shed so he goes to investigate it. Seeing nothing in the shed, he heads into the greenhouse connected to it and ends up being killed by the werewolf. The townsfolk are starting to get worried about the killings, as the police are unable to find any clues about the killings. Marty is flying kites with Brady when Jane comes to get him, as he is late for dinner, and Marty asks if Brady is coming but Brady chooses to stay and keep flying his kite for a while. That night, as tensions flare at the local bar, Brady’s father Herb comes in and asks if anyone there had seen Brady. Sheriff Joe Haller discovers the body and tries to keep Herb from seeing it but Herb shoves him aside, then screams out in anguish at seeing Brady’s body. After Brady’s funeral, Red takes Marty home and they talk about the killer, with Marty thinking that it isn’t a man but it could be a monster like a werewolf. Meanwhile, Andy Fairton, who owns the local hunting store, is organizing the townsfolk into a vigilante mob to find the killer. Sheriff Haller tries to talk them out of it but Herb speaks out and says that he is going to get some private justice and Andy and the others head out after him. As they are leaving, Reverend Lowe tries to stop them but they ignore him, and head out into the woods. As the fog rolls in, Andy and his group hear the monster crying out and realize it is in the fog with them, just as several of the group are killed by the werewolf, while Andy and some of the others escape. Reverend Lowe is woken up from a nightmare, in which he is giving a funeral for the dead townsfolk but the attendees all turn into werewolves and attack him. The next day, Marty is upset that the town has cancelled the fair and fireworks and complains to Red about it. Red cheers him up by showing him The Silver Bullet, the custom wheelchair he built for him. Marty takes the Silver Bullet out for a test drive and is shocked by how fast it goes and Red warns him not to let his mother know how fast it goes. After dinner with the family, Red gives Marty some fireworks as he knows how upset he was that the fireworks display was cancelled and tells him not to leave the house that night but Marty sneaks out anyways. Marty heads to an old bridge and starts setting off the fireworks when he hears something and sees the werewolf at the end of the bridge. As the werewolf approaches him, Marty lights a bottle rocket and shoots the werewolf in the eye, then races back home and climbs into bed, where he huddles up into the corner. Marty tries calling Red and telling him what happened but Red doesn’t believe him. The next day, Marty tells Jane and she believes him and as she goes out collecting bottles and cans for recycling, she looks to see if anyone has a missing eye. After going about town and not seeing anyone missing an eye, she finds herself upset at believing Marty’s story. She heads to the church to turn in her recycling and doesn’t notice that Reverend Lowe is missing his eye. When she places her recycling in the garage, she is scared by a mouse and falls into a stack of cans, where she finds the remains of the barkeeper’s bat “Peacemaker”. When Lowe goes to check on her, she notices his damaged eye and quickly makes an excuse to leave, then tells Marty what she saw. Marty decides to send Lowe an anonymous note, saying he knows who and what he is and that he should commit suicide in order to prevent more killings. After a few days, Marty and Jane tell Red what they had been doing and he is upset about their actions and still doesn’t believe that Lowe is a werewolf. One day, as Marty is riding the Silver Bullet home, Lowe tries to run him off the road but Marty manages to escape. As Lowe continues to chase him, Marty attempts to cross over an old covered bridge but the Silver Bullet runs out of gas. Lowe gets out of his car and approaches Marty, rationalizing his actions as being the work of God and his saving people from committing further sins. Lowe plans on killing Marty but when they see a farmer on his tractor, Marty yells out for help and Lowe is forced to leave the scene. Back at Marty’s house, Marty is telling Jane and Red his story and Red still doesn’t believe him about Lowe being a werewolf but when he sees the damage done to the Silver Bullet and Jane confirms that the paint from the damage matches Lowe’s car, Red believes Marty about Lowe trying to kill him. Red goes to speak with Haller, who thinks it is far fetched but decides to check out Lowe that night. He checks out Lowe’s car and sees the impact damage on it where he hit Marty’s wheelchair, then finds Lowe but as Haller tries to arrest him, Lowe transforms into a werewolf and kills him. The next day, Marty and Jane are telling Red that Haller had disappeared after saying he would check out Lowe, then give him their medallion and crucifix respectively and ask him to make a silver bullet out of them. Red agrees to do it and goes to an old gunsmith to have the bullet fashioned. On the next full moon, Marty’s parents go out of town and Red agrees to watch the kids. He stays up waiting for the werewolf to come but when it doesn’t show up, he starts to feel like an idiot. Jane sees the werewolf in the window, and tries to convince Red what she saw when the lights go out, due to Lowe pulling out the cable to the house. The werewolf breaks through the wall and begins to attack Red, causing him to drop the gun and the silver bullet falls down the air duct. Marty goes after the bullet and has Jane hand him the gun and he shoots the werewolf in the other eye. Marty, Jane, and Red watch as the werewolf transforms back into Lowe and the all sit on the floor next to Marty as the shock of what happened wears off.

Silver Bullet met with mixed results from the critics, holding a 47% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. While there isn’t a critical consensus on the site, most of the critics felt that it was a decent werewolf movie, though some felt that it was on the tame side for a horror movie. Gary Busey did all of his own stunts in the movie, particularly the ones in the final fight at the end of the movie, which involved him jumping on to an (off camera) air-compressed catapult, which would send him flying across the room. The movie was a mild hit at the box office, earning $12.3 million off of a $7 million budget.

This still has some entertaining parts to it, but on the whole I think this movie is best remembered as a fond childhood memory. The acting was ok, with Corey Haim (Marty), Gary Busey (Red) and Megan Follows (Jane) did good job in their roles, but Everett McGill (Lowe) just seemed too stiff and stilted in his performance. The story was good, if toned down from the original book, but there were times it felt like they tried to make the movie too much of a family friendly horror movie. There were a couple of funny moments during the movie, my favorite occurring during the scene where the mob is hunting for the killer. As the bartender is being dragged into the fog by the werewolf, you see him striking out at the werewolf with his bat, then you see the werewolf’s hand holding the bat and hitting him back with it. The special effects regarding the werewolf were actually a little weak and looked a lot cheaper than what I expected out of a big budget picture, even if it was from the 80’s. I mean, the werewolves in The Howling looked better than this and that movie came out 4 years earlier. Not a bad movie, and could be useful as a bridge from PG-13 to R rated horror movies, but the more hardcore horror fans will be left wanting more.

Rating: 2 1/2 out of 5

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