Monday, October 12, 2015

31 Days of Halloween 2015: Day 12

Bad Moon

Eric Red

A woman is killed and a man bitten by a wolf monster while camping in Nepal. That man, Ted (Michael ParĂ©), returns to the US, and moves into a trailer in the woods near his sister’s house.  His sister, Janet (Mariel Hemingway), tries to reach out to him, but Ted is secretive, hoping to find a cure for his lycanthropy. He chains himself to a tree at night to prevent anyone from getting killed. Janet’s German Shepard, Thor, knows something is up with Ted and tries to protect the family when Ted inevitably escapes.

An American Werewolf in London (1981) has cast a long shadow that most werewolf movies made afterwards struggle to escape. While Bad Moon is nowhere near the caliber of that film, it’s a well-made and exciting werewolf movie that deserves a little more recognition. The central conflict of werewolf vs. dog is an interesting match-up, there’s nothing intricate going on with the plot, but there doesn’t need to be, we have a rare nature vs. supernatural plot, something I certainly wouldn’t mind seeing more of. Werewolves are notoriously difficult to portray well on screen, but Bad Moon does an excellent job with a menacing full body suit. It’s a little rubbery in a few scenes, but for the most part, it’s a great practical effect in an era when studios were eager to throw CGI up on the screen. Almost twenty years later, the werewolf of Bad Moon still looks good, the same can’t be said of most CGI from the same era.

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