When someone brings up the name of Mariel Hemingway, what movies come to mind for you? Star 80? Maybe Superman IV: The Quest for Peace? Me too. But for me, there’s another movie that comes to mind. One that most people familiar with Mariel Hemingway’s work have overlooked, either by choice or simply by not knowing of it’s existence.
That movie, a werewolf movie (yes, another one), is the focus of tonight’s review: Bad Moon.
Year Released: 1996
Written By: Eric Red (based on the novel Thor by Wayne Smith)
Directed By: Eric Red
Starring: Mariel Hemingway, Michael Paré
Ted and his girlfriend, both photo journalists on an expedition to Nepal, are attacked late one night by a horrible beast. Ted rushes the beast while it attacks his girlfriend and is bitten on the shoulder. The beast kills Ted’s girlfriend and turns to do the same to Ted, but Ted shoots the beast and kills it.
Months pass, and Ted finds himself back in the Pacific Northwest, living a life of tortured solitude in a streamline trailer in the woods. But when a man comes up murdered in the woods near his home, Ted starts to think that maybe being with family will help him work through his issues. He moves in with his sister and nephew, along with their dog Thor. He is reunited with family and all seems well.
But Thor sees something his family does not and makes every attempt to stop Ted from harming his master, from harming his family.
Good werewolf movies are so hard to come by, that every once in a while, when one does come along that has certain elements you enjoy, you end up accepting it as one to watch until something better is found.
This is one of those “until something better comes along” movies.
Written and directed by Eric Red, who wrote Near Dark, among others, this film is definitely not without flaws.
The writing is sometimes fairly flat, especially where dialogue is concerned, and the look of the film is pretty generic. That said, there are a couple of decent scares.
Mariel Hemingway and Michael Paré might not look back on this film as a high point in either of their careers, as both of their performances seem phoned in. Then again, it’s hard to tell what could have been if the dialogue they were performing was slightly better written.
The creature design is scary enough in quick and shadowy scenes, but once you get the full reveal of the werewolf in a lighted setting, it becomes rather laughable. The puppetry used for the head and facial expressions of the werewolf are especially hard to watch. Though I give credit to the filmmakers for using practical effects over CGI, there is a single on-screen transformation sequence in the film and a majority of it is very CGI heavy.
This movie is based on a novel, Thor by author Wayne Smith, and it is written from Thor’s perspective. I have not yet read it, but I hope to track down a reasonably priced copy in decent condition someday.
Should You See It:
Probably not, really.