Film / Silver Bullet

A 1985 film adaptation of Stephen King's Cycle of the Werewolf, directed by Daniel Attias and produced by Dino De Laurentiis.

A small town is ravaged by a series of brutal killings. Marty (Corey Haim), a young boy in a wheelchair, suspects that a werewolf is to blame and is proven right when it tries to attack him. He now has to find out its human identity and a way to deal with it with his older sister and a drunk uncle (Gary Busey).

Silver Bullet provides examples of:

  • Action Survivor: Marty. He's the only person that legitimately injures the Werewolf, and then kill him. Not bad for a twelve-year-old kid confined to a wheelchair.
  • Adult Fear: Brady's dad comes into the local bar and asks, "Has anybody in here seen my son, Brady?"
  • Always Chaotic Evil: The werewolf becomes more violent the closer the full moon draws near and is strongly implied to be unable to control the urge to kill. Lowe offers up a motive, but it comes across as a lie he tells himself to try and justify the fact he can't stop murdering people.
  • Bear Trap: When the posse searches the forest, one guy accidentally steps on to a bear trap.
  • Cassandra Truth: Averted. Once Marty has seen the creature with his own eyes, injuring it in the process, the people he trusts do in fact believe him.
    • Jane believes him for reasons she can't quite explain, despite how crazy it sounds, and begins helping him track down anyone with an eye injury matching the one inflicted on the werewolf with a firework. She discovers both a murder weapon and the injured Lowe.
    • Marty insists through his uncle that the sheriff should question Reverend Lowe after learning that he started wearing an eye patch after he hit the werewolf in the eye. After realizing that he doesn't have any other leads, he decides to take the advice. Of course, he's killed for his trouble anyway.
  • Comedic Sociopathy: Mr. Knopfler is attacked and dragged beneath the mist by the werewolf, and he makes a last-ditch effort to drive it off with his baseball bat. We see a human hand rising out the mist and hitting with the bat twice, there is a beat, and then we see the werewolf's hand holding the bat and striking its victim instead.
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Red demonstrates himself throughout the movie as an irresponsible drunk who is the laughing stock of the town. The first thing he does when he sees the Werewolf? Smash a chair over its head, and then take it on with a fire poker.
  • Death by Pragmatism: Once the sheriff has no more leads, he decides to take a look at the reverent's place due to Red's earlier insistence. Once he actually finds some damning evidence, he is of course discovered by Lowe. Who then promptly transforms and bludgeons him to death.
  • Driven to Suicide:
    • Stella is about to commit suicide by overdosing on sleeping pills when she is attacked and killed by the werewolf.
    • The werewolf is implied to have contemplated this, but due to his religious beliefs, he can't bring himself to do it.
  • Epic Fail: An angry mob goes into the woods in a bid to drive out the killer. They don't suspect he's among their number, which is a real possibility, and no-one knows the killer is also a werewolf. All it accomplishes is adding four more victims to bury.
  • Eye Scream: When the werewolf attacks Marty during his tryout of the fireworks that Red have him, he defends himself by shooting a rocket into the beast's eye. Later, Marty shoots the werewolf's other eye out with a silver bullet, killing it.
  • Fairplay Whodunnit: Before Reverend Lowe is revealed to be the werewolf, there is a scene where the character has an intense Nightmare Sequence showing several other townsfolk turning into werewolves during a sermon.
  • Improvised Weapon: When the werewolf grabs Jane, Red attacks it with a chair. After it breaks, he grabs a firepoker.
  • In Case You Forgot Who Wrote It: The opening credits present the film as Stephen King's Silver Bullet.
  • Infant Immortality: Averted. The werewolf mauls young Brady to death and kills a pregnant woman too. No-one is safe.
  • Kid Hero: Marty.
  • Lunacy: Discussed Trope. When Mary first start suspecting that a werewolf is behind the killings, Red just says its probably a psycho, since the "full moon drives them crazy". Once they know it's an actual werewolf, they believe the closer the full moon is, the more vicious it likely becomes.
  • Motive Rant: Reverend Lowe tries to justify his actions by saying to Marty that most of his victims were sinners.
  • The Narrator: Adult Jane narrates the film.
  • Off with His Head!: The very first victim gets his head knocked off by the werewolf.
  • Our Werewolves Are Different: When Red questions the culprit's supposed lycanthropy by pointing out that there wasn't full moon when Marty was attacked, Marty and Jane posit that while the stories say that the werewolves turn during the full moon, this werewolf may perhaps turn whenever he likes.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: Closeups on the werewolf's eyes have them lighted with red.
  • The Reveal: Rev. Lowe is the werewolf.
  • Torches and Pitchforks: After one death too many the town gathers an angry mob to go on a Witch Hunt into the woods to find the killer. The search is poorly organised and at one point a townsman steps on bear trap, badly injuring himself. Then the werewolf shows up to start killing people.
  • Silver Bullet: Marty and Jane give their silver necklaces to Red, so that he'll take them to a gun store and have them turned into a silver bullet.
  • Shaming the Mob: When the posse is organizing itself, Sheriff Haller tries talk them out of it. He is in turn shamed by Brady's dad, who's fresh off from his son's funeral.
  • Stupid Evil: Justified. Initially the wolf is smart enough to kill without drawing to much attention but, as the full moon draws near, he becomes more savage and his victims more numerous. A drunk dying by the railway doesn't draw suspicion. However mauling a woman and a child to death sparks a mass manhunt for the killer. An act which leads Lowe to wittingly murder four more people and brings himself even closer to being caught.
  • Super Wheelchair: Marty's uncle Red rigs up a silver-painted wheelchair/motorcycle combo for his nephew as a gift.
  • Terrifying Pet Store Rat: A rodent startles Jane into falling over and knocking down a stack of cans. Her reaction seems a bit extreme, considering it's a gerbil.
  • Title Drop: Marty's Super Wheelchair
  • This Was His True Form: The werewolf turns back into human after he is fatally hurt, but still rises for one more Jump Scare.
  • Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: Jane displays a strong fear of snakes and rodents.