31 Days of Halloween 2016 – #27 Bad Moon (1996) Gets Dogged
No dogs were hurt in making of this movie. That’s good, because a dog is the main character, and he can’t talk and he doesn’t show much emotion. This is really not a good choice for a movie, because there’s not a lot of things going on in this movie besides watching the dog. There’s only a handful of characters, and most of them are one-dimensional or sacrifices to the werewolf.
Oh did I mention this is a werewolf movie? It makes up its own werewolf lore, and throws all past movie references out the window. Silver bullets kill a werewolf? Nope, any gun will do. The werewolf comes out at the full moon? Nope, any moon will do the trick. Things like that are kinda strange, so the movie becomes more of just a hairy monster movie instead of a werewolf epic.
Thor the Dog forgets his mighty hammer, but thinks he can take on a seven-foot tall werewolf anyway. Spoiler, because it’s funny, the dog really wins. This movie is based on a book, where the writing goes into great detail about the dog’s instinctive decisions about where to protect its family or not. There’s nothing like that in the movie, but focusing on the dog so much gives the same impression basically. Thor tears off into the woods at one point and finds the werewolf. He doesn’t call the police. He keeps acting all weird and trying to warn his family. Pretty standard.
The sparse character lineup consists of the Mom, the Kid, the Brother, and the Dog. That’s it. Mariel Hemingway plays the Mom and every time I see her, I think “Lifetime Movie”. It’s not that she’s a bad actor, she actually does well in this movie, it’s just she’s got this television stigma around her. Her character is decent, but she doesn’t grow much over the course of the movie, and neither does her brother, who is the cursed one. She eventually finds his diary, so that dolls out the exposition in a lazy way, explaining everything we need to know about how her brother has tried in vain to find a cure.
So now, I’m confused. The werewolf brother is made-out to be a sympathetic killer thanks to the diary, but that didn’t change the dog’s attitude. He’s still protective and barks and chases after the Brother. Eventually the Brother asks the dog to kill him and it’s happy to oblige. Pretty sad.
Overall, this movie has a strange mixture of genres, from violent horror to PG family drama. That makes it hard to decide what the audience is for Bad Moon, although this makes it a unique take on the same material. Although I have a lot of criticisms of this movie, I think it works for the most part. The only thing that really breaks it for me are how limited the characters are, like I said before. Bad Moon isn’t terrible but since I’m a stickler for detail, most of the flaws stick out.
31 Days of Halloween 2016
31. Young Frankenstein (1974)
30. Jason X (2001)
29. Cloverfield (2008)
28. The Monster Squad (1987)
27. Bad Moon (1996) – This post
26. The Haunting (1963)
25. Splinter (2008)
24. Frenzy (1972)
23. Aggression Scale (2012)
22. The Exorcist III
21. At Midnight I’ll Take Your Soul (1963)
20. Silver Bullet (1985)
19. Joy Ride (2001)
18. Bubba Ho-Tep (2002)
17. The Funhouse (1981) by Tobe Hooper
16. Videodrome (1983)
15. Re-Animator (1985)
14. Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter (1984)
13. Cube (1997)
12. Evil Dead
11. Day of the Dead (1985)
10. Tales of Halloween (2015)
9. They Live (1988)
8. The Innocents (1961)
7. Jacob’s Ladder (1990)
6. Dracula: Prince of Darkness (1966)
5. I Bought a Vampire Motorcycle (1990)
4. Hatchet (2006)
3. The Little Shop of Horrors (1960)
2. Halloween II
1. Silence of the Lambs