Bad Moon – USA, 1996 – reviews

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‘Half man. Half wolf. Total terror.’

Bad Moon is a 1996 American supernatural horror feature film written and directed by Eric Red (Body Parts) and produced by James G. Robinson. It is based on the novel Thor by Wayne Smith, which mainly tells the story from the dog’s viewpoint.

The movie stars Mariel Hemingway (Rise of the Zombies; Tales from the Crypt ‘Loved to Death’), Michael Paré (Abbatoir; Bone Tomahawk; Sicilian Vampire), and Mason Gamble.

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A few seconds were cut from the opening scene in order to avoid an NC-17. The film was a box office flop – grossing just over $1 million domestically on a $7 million budget – although it has since built up a decent cult following.

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Bad Moon was released on Blu-ray by Scream Factory on July 19th 2016 with the following special features:

  • The high-definition theatrical cut of the film, plus a new director’s version supervised and approved by Eric Red (30 seconds difference – there’s slightly more gore and nudity in the prologue, while the digital transformation at the climax is trimmed down)
  • “Nature of the Beast: Making Bad Moon” featuring interviews with writer/director Eric Red, actors Michael Pare and Mason Gamble, Special Effects Make-up artist Steve Johnson, and stunt coordinator Ken Kirzinger
  • Audio Commentary with writer/director Eric Red (Director’s version only)
  • Audio Commentary with writer/director Eric Red and actor Michael Pare (Theatrical Cut)
  • The unrated opening scene from the Director’s first cut (Sourced from VHS)
  • Three Storyboard sequences
  • Original Theatrical Trailer

 
Plot:

While on assignment in the jungles of Nepal, photojournalist Ted Harrison (Michael Pare) and his girlfriend are savagely attacked by a hideous beast which tears the woman to shreds and leaves Ted badly mauled.

He later returns to the States to live near his sister Janet (Mariel Hemingway), nephew Brett (Mason Gamble) and their German shepherd Thor, hoping the presence of family will dispel the horrific memories… until the inevitable effects of a werewolf curse begin to surface.

As Ted’s humanity begins slipping away, only the family dog begins to suspect something is wrong — but poor Thor ends up being the chief suspect in a string of recent murders…

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Reviews

Bad Moon doesn’t have what one would call a complicated story. The wayward brother becomes a werewolf and moves in with his sister. That’s it. But the werewolf makeup was great and the kills were fantastic. The hot babe who gets it at the beginning was appropriately bloody and, of course, the big climax scene with Thor was great.” Dr Gore’s Movie Reviews

“This movie was so unbearable that I would have preferred a literal translation of the title. Two hours of looking up at Marlon Brando’s butt cheeks squashed flat against a glass tabletop would have been a preferable to this werewolf masterpiece — and probably more hairy.” Mr Cranky

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“While it is constantly dragged down by the complete lack of logic and shoddy performances, there are two distinct features that make this a hit amongst fans: Christopher Allen Nelson’s gory effects and one of the most convincing costume designs ever conceived” I Like Horror Movies

“Michael Pare does a damn good job as villainous Ted, working hard to convey a sense of rotted humanity within him, doing the work until Red reveals the werewolf in the light, and then the bang up special effects complete the transformation. Considering the budget and period, the special effects and monster of “Bad Moon” still looks incredible in motion and Red’s strong direction matched with the excellent editing offer up a wonderful climax…” Cinema Crazed

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Bad Moon isn’t a great film, but it is a competent one with enough inspiration and individuality to impress. It is easy to see why it has built up an affectionate little following over the last few decades.” The Blu File

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“It’s impossible to hate any movie in which the hero is a magnificent German Shepherd, but that angle is about all that Bad Moon has going for it … extremely thin on the narrative side, and Paré’s character fails to make consistent sense, but the effects aren’t bad.” Creative Loafing

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Cast and characters:

  • Michael Paré — Uncle Ted
  • Mason Gamble — Brett
  • Mariel Hemingway — Janet
  • Ken Pogue — Sheriff Jenson
  • Hrothgar Mathews — Flopsy
  • Johanna Lebovitz — Marjorie
  • Gavin Buhr — Forest Ranger
  • Julia Montgomery Brown — Reporter
  • Primo — Thor

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