Bad Moon

Bad Moon (1996)
Warner Home Video
Cast: Mariel Hemingway, Michael Pare, Mason Gamble
Extras: Theatrical Trailer, Bonus Trailers, Cast & Crew Biographies

While many critics dismissed ’Bad Moon’ as a bad moovie, this werewolf picture definitely deserves another look. While it certainly won’t change your life, it’s an above-average horror film. ’Bad Moon’ focuses on single-mom Janet (Mariel Hemingway) and her son Brett, who live with their dog, Thor (played by Primo), a German Shepherd. Things are fine for this small family, until Uncle Ted (Michael Pare) moves in. You see, Ted is a werewolf, and only he and Thor know this. As the bodies begin to pile up, Thor becomes more and more desperate to warn Janet and protect Brett. The finale of the film is unforgettable as Thor and the werewolf have their long-awaited showdown. Many well-received horror films featuring way too many scenes of people talking and no action. If you are like me and love horror films that feature wall-to-wall horror, then ’Bad Moon’ is for you. Writer/director Eric Red (’Body Parts’) obviously realized that he had a great werewolf (created by Steve Johnson) and decided to give it as much screen-time as possible. So, Red eschews the old standby of concealing the monster until the ending, and shows the werewolf throughout the film. On top of this, we get to see the werewolf in action, as he stalks and kills his victims. While the source novel (’Thor’ by Wayne Smith) was better (almost the entire story is told through Thor’s eyes), ’Bad Moon’ offers us a unique hero in Thor and a great deal of werewolf action that should satisfy your craving for a good movie to watch this Halloween.

The DVD version of ’Bad Moon’ brings us an anamorphic transfer of the film, which has been letterboxed at 2.35:1. The image is very crisp and clear, showing practically no grain or any faults in the source print. Actually, this transfer is a nearly pristine copy of the film. The nighttime scenes show good contrast between light and dark, and never appear overlit. Also, the DVD image gives us a nice color palette, with no saturation or bleeding.

The audio on the DVD is a Dolby Digital 5.1 mix. This soundtrack offers nice use of the surround sound speakers, especially during the scenes where the werewolf is stalking his prey. Making good use of the low ends, the werewolf’s growl is nicely amplified by the subwoofer.

The original theatrical trailer for ’Bad Moon’ is featured on the DVD and is letterboxed at 1.85:1. In addition, there are six bonus trailers for other Morgan Creek productions. They are: ’Diabolique’ (1996), ’Exorcist III’, ’Pacific Heights’, ’Silent Fall’, ’True Romance’, and ’White Sands’. Finally, we have cast and crew bios and filmographies. Just think, a fantastic transfer plus other special features and this is one of Warner’s ’budget’ titles! Trust me, picking up ’Bad Moon’ won’t be a bad move.