(USA • Eric Red • 1996)
Written and directed by Eric Red (‘The Hitcher’, ‘Near Dark’, ‘Body Parts’, ‘Cohen & Tate’), ‘Bad Moon’ is an American werewolf movie, from a novel by Wayne Smith (whose original book was called ‘Thor’, in which the story is told from a dog’s perspective).
Janet, a self-sufficient single mother (Mariel Hemingway), takes her young son and their faithfully anthropomorphic dog Thor to spend a day at her brother Ted’s trailer by the lake. Journalist Ted (Michael Paré) has recently returned from an eventful assignment in the jungles of Nepal, during which his girlfriend was killed. He is obviously disturbed by something, and Janet – a lawyer – tries to pry out whatever is obviously troubling her beloved brother. After the family returns to their suburban home, evasive Ted invites himself to move his trailer onto the property for a while. Soon after, Thor takes a dislike to Ted, and faces a lupine adversary in the woods behind the family’s house, as local news reports the bloody discovery of five bodies at the lake…
Even though ‘Bad Moon’ was a bit of failure at the Box Office, as well as bombing with the critics, it’s actually a fairly competent and fun little stab at the genre, taken for what it is. The acting is OK, the script is what it is, and the effects are passably/ laughably average for the period. Spotting the number of goofs left in adds to the entertainment too – these include the usual continuity errors as well as;
- Ropy dog syncing – Whenever the dog growls while we can see his face, there is no sign the dog is actually growling.
- Teleportation – During the live news broadcast, Ted’s trailer is seen parked at the lake, even though he has already parked up in Janet’s garden.
- The enduring moon – There is a full moon. Two nights later, another full moon. Two nights later, yet another.
- Safety first – When Thor attacks a salesman, the harness to prevent him from getting too close to the actor’s face is clearly visible. Similarly, when the dog bites Ted the safety padding under Ted’s clothing is obvious.
Get really stoned and watch this one with some munchies when you’re in the mood for some non-challenging and mindless nineties schlock. Then watch ‘Howling II – Stirba, Werewolf Bitch’ for some proper sleaze!