Bad Moon


Bad moon werewolf
After 1981’s one-two punch of AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON and THE HOWLING, it seemed like, thanks to advances in special effects that, the sky was the limit for werewolf movies. With the exception of a few kibbles here and there, (DOG SOLDIERS, GINGER SNAPS) we’re all still sort of waiting. The truth is it takes a bit more than special effects to make a werewolf tale work. Both of 1981’s big doggies sunk their teeth properly into the “curse” element of the lycanthrope mythos and presented us with likable characters who struggled morally with their afflictions. BAD MOON can’t hold a candle to those two aforementioned films in the characterization department but it does give it the old college try. Director ERIC RED, who wrote the vampire addiction tale NEAR DARK, has some first hand experience balancing action and pathos but, for the most part, every bone he throws here lands just shy of the mark. Based on the novel THOR by WAYNE SMITH, which is told entirely from the family dog’s point of view, BAD MOON as a movie naturally had to switch focus. Rather than spending our time in a German shepherd’s head (which actually is not such a bad idea) we are left with what amounts to a story about a sister (wooden as a cigar store Indian MARIEL HEMINGWAY) who opens her door to a sibling (STREETS OF FIRE survivor MICHAEL PARE) who is secretly battling urges he cannot control. Where do you draw the line when dealing with a destructive family member? What if said family member’s behavior is endangering your child? BAD MOON‘s 80 minute running time doesn’t allow for adequately getting into these matters, and werewolf fans may be checking their watches anyway waiting for the fangs to sprout. PARE is sympathetic as hell which may work against the drama here, but I think most of the blame can be placed in the lap of a now ridiculous (then just crappy) mid-nineties flavored CGI transformation scene that is almost impossible to recover from. Once fully turned, the beasty that wrecks havoc looks pretty damn good and his threatening attack on HEMINGWAY‘s tot MASON GAMBLE provides some much needed, late in the game thrills (Thankfully a traveling flimflam artist bounces in to be properly shredded too).  I think if you go into BAD MOON knowing that its intentions are modest, you can have an entertaining enough time. The scope is compact but it’s not without some genuinely intriguing (and in the case of the wooded surroundings, well-shot) scenes, just don’t expect too much fur to fly or to be left howling at the moon.
indelible scenes 

  • The sex disrupting original tent attack in Napal
  • Watching WEREWOLF OF LONDON on T.V
  • Heartbreakingly BENJI-like “dog being taken to the pound” scene
  • After the protective family pooch Thor is thrown in the kennel, Pare opens his fly and takes a territorial piss on his doghouse. If the movie had more scenes this darkly clever it could have won best in show!


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Corey Convex
15 years ago

Holy Cats…uh, er, I mean dogs! I gotta’ get my hot little hands on THOR right fucking now! And I guess I should watch BAD MOON….naw, I’ll just read THOR. Thanks for the heads up, Uncle L!

15 years ago

How doe you not talk about Silver Bullet in that one!? The bridge scene with the fireworks is brilliant!

15 years ago

Silver Bullet is my favorite werewolf movie, American Werewolf in london is my 2nd, then its Bad Moon, the werewolf in Bad Moon just looks so rad.

15 years ago

SILVER BULLET has Gary Busey…Don’t get much scarier than that!

Actually every year or so I watch SILVER BULLET and weep at how promising life looked for Corey Haim at that point in his life (I do the same thing with Corey feldman and STAND BY ME!)

12 years ago

I have a special place in my heart for Bad Moon. I actually prefer it to Silver Bullet. Silver Bullet is definitely a winner in my book – but something about that movie lacks…Maybe it’s because I’m such a fan of the original book/Graphic novel by Stephen King illustrated by Bernie Wright. I think it’s the werewolf makeup that threw me as odd. In retrospect I’ve seen ALOT worse werewolf makeup.
Speaking of which I just watched Wild Country. Good werewolf movie with Scottish teens. Horrible werewolf  effects. Movie was almost too dark to see what was going on at night. The plot was fun though.
Back to Bad Moon – this was one of my video store favorites back in Junior High. Thought it was so terrifying that the uncle was jeopardizing his family’s safety by chaining himself up at night close to the house. I thought the dynamic with the dog was amazing. Thor truly was a character in the movie. The werewolf makeup although a little dated was pretty darn scary in the early 90’s.
Did anyone notice the tent scene was ripped off in Dog Soldiers? Which was scarier? Hard call.