What's to love? The gore. Plain and simple. There is an abundance of juicy gore with blood and claw marks. The movie spares the audience nothing. Of course you get the theatrical cut and the director's cut, and I chose to enjoy the director's cut. Do yourself a favor and opt for that one. It's supervised by Eric Red, looks great and feels like it really was meant for fans of its gruesome goodness. The performances are generally fine although I must admit that Mariel Hemmingway felt a little out of place. Bad Moon has less than serious edge, that seems to really conflict with my perception of Hemmingway. She plays the role fine and even delivers a strong bit of exclamatory dialogue toward the end of the picture, but my mind was taken out of the picture by her presence.
The wolf has its good moments, and the wolf has its bad moments. It really depends on whether you're looking at a closeup of the wolf's face. Stay away from that and you're fine. Some of the proportions seems a bit off between eyes and snout and forehead when your in its face, but the actual moving facial expressions are quite good. The full sized, standing Howling style werewolf looks great and its movements feel natural. This is my favorite kind of werewolf. It almost felt as though it was lacking hair at times. Did someone run out of dollar store weave? This is me nitpicking really. The gore is equally good. Plenty of deep claw marks and the red stuff pours in buckets. While I won't always say that it is realistic, the effects are perfectly fun. I prefer fun gore over hyper-realistic gore. There are battles between the family dog and the werewolf that are completely gonzo entertaining. These aren't believable, but they definitely give you some high flying action to enjoy.
The transfer looks great and the extras are strong. You get a new commentary track, the aforementioned new, supervised director's cut and even a new making of featurette. The making of featurette is absolutely worth your time and goes into some of the reasons behind casting that may help to explain why I feel a disconnect with Hemmingway (good thing I connected with the wolf). The unrated opening scene is included though it is sourced from VHS. You have been warned.
I don't consider Bad Moon to be especially scary or suspenseful. It's a standard werewolf story with good effects and a relatively high production value. Is it as good as Dog Soldiers or The Howling? No. It's no American Werewolf in London, but the wolf itself beats out the wolves in Howling sequels and the wolf looks better than the wolf in The Boy Who Cried Werewolf or Silver Bullet (though Silver Bullet is overall a better movie). This is a mid-high grade wolf picture that entertains.
You can order your copy now via Scream Factory or DiabolikDVD:
From Scream Factory:
Full, crescent, quarter...each is a Bad Moon for Ted Harrison. By day, he's a photojournalist visiting family in the Pacific Northwest. By night, he transfigures into a horrific half-human – a werewolf. Dead men tell no tales, so Ted's sure he alone knows about his vile double life. The secret, however, may be out. The family dog Thor, devoted to defending the household, has his suspicions.
Writer/director Eric Red (Cohen and Tate, Body Parts) delivers a new infusion of thrills with this red blooded shocker. Michael Paré (Streets of Fire) portrays Ted, hiding his accursed condition from his sister (Mariel Hemmingway, Lipstick, Star 80) and nephew (Mason Gamble). What better way to hide it than to create suspicion that the local killings are the work of another – especially if that other is the family's all-too-wise German shepherd!
High-definition Theatrical Cut Of The Film Plus A NEW Director’s Version Supervised And Approved By Eric Red
NEW Nature of the Beast: Making Bad Moon Featuring Interviews With Writer/Director Eric Red, Actors Michael Paré And Mason Gamble, Special Effects Make-up Artist Steve Johnson And Stunt Coordinator Ken Kirzinger
NEW Audio Commentary With Writer/Director Eric Red (Director’s Version Only)
Audio Commentary With Writer/Director Eric Red And Actor Michael Paré (Theatrical Cut)
Unrated Opening Scene From The Director’s First Cut (Sourced from VHS)
3 Storyboard Sequences
Original Theatrical Trailer