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> Bad Moon
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06-19-2004, 04:40 PM
Review Date: September 27, 2000
Released by: Warner
Release date: 10/3/2000
Region 1, NTSC
Widescreen 2.35:1 | 16x9: Yes
Warner Home Video has just released a standard DVD of Bad Moon. Werewolf films are pretty rare in the horror genre and good ones are even more of a rarity, so I was more than skeptic when I popped in the DVD of Bad Moon. Thankfully I was fairly impressed with this film that was made in the dreaded 90s, a decade that hasn't been well known for quality horror films.
http://www.horrordvds.com/reviews/a-m/bm/bm_shot1s.jpg (http://www.horrordvds.com/reviews/a-m/bm/bm_shot1l.jpg) Ted (Michael Pare), a photojournalist, is on an expedition deep in the jungles of the Amazon with his girlfriend Marjorie (Johanna Lebovitz). They are staying at an encampment and the two decide to get cozy together and head for the nearest tent. Suddenly a werewolf besieges the camp and kills off all the other members of the expedition while Ted and Marjorie are having sex in their tent, completely unaware. Once the camp is emptied the werewolf rips apart the tent and violently kills Marjorie and injures Ted. While the werewolf is finishing off Marjorie, Ted manages to reach for a shotgun and blasts the werewolf's head off. Sadly the werewolf's curse has not ended; since Ted was bitten by a werewolf he is doomed to become one himself. Ted returns home and contacts his sister Janet (Mariel Hemingway) who is happy to hear from him after such a long time. Janet, her son Brett (Mason Gamble) and their dog Thor (Primo) decide to pay him a visit and they drive up to the lake where Ted is staying in his mobile home.
http://www.horrordvds.com/reviews/a-m/bm/bm_shot2s.jpg (http://www.horrordvds.com/reviews/a-m/bm/bm_shot2l.jpg) Ted explains that things haven't been going so well for him since he's been back from the amazon. He also mentions Marjorie is no longer with him, however his details are vague. That night before Janet leaves she makes Ted promise to come and see her soon. Ted takes up Janet's offer sooner than he thinks when police discover the mangled bodies of his victims in the forest and begin an investigation. Ted drives up to Janet's home and parks his Airstream behind her house. Ted, who's well aware of his little problem, has devised a way to keep his secret safe and at the same time protect his sister. At night before the moon rises Ted runs into the forest and handcuffs himself to a tree so that once he changes into the werewolf he will be trapped. This works well for a while but soon Thor becomes suspicious of Ted and finally discovers his little secret out in the woods.
http://www.horrordvds.com/reviews/a-m/bm/bm_shot3s.jpg (http://www.horrordvds.com/reviews/a-m/bm/bm_shot3l.jpg) Sensing his family is in danger, Thor's attitude towards Ted becomes increasingly hostile, much to the surprise of Janet. Now Thor must find a way of warning Janet and Brett about the impending danger of Ted's darker side before it's too late.
http://www.horrordvds.com/reviews/a-m/bm/bm_shot4s.jpg (http://www.horrordvds.com/reviews/a-m/bm/bm_shot4l.jpg) Werewolf films along with zombie films are some of my favorite examples of the horror genre, but sadly there are so few really good werewolf films out there. I had never seen this film before so I didn't know what to expect, but after watching it I found Bad Moon to be a fairly enjoyable werewolf film and much better than most. One of the things I like most about Bad Moon are the werewolf effects. The werewolves in Bad Moon are very reminiscent of Rob Bottin's work in The Howling. While I love the werewolf transformations in American Werewolf in London, the werewolves in The Howling are my personal favorite. Any werewolf film that uses them as a template is cool by me. Sadly, Bad Moon relies on CGI for the werewolf transformations and the results are less than spectacular and look far phonier than any prosthetic transformations I've ever seen. The werewolves in Bad Moon are also a nasty bunch and there is quite a bit of gore, which I found (pleasantly) surprising from a studio film.
http://www.horrordvds.com/reviews/a-m/bm/bm_shot5s.jpg (http://www.horrordvds.com/reviews/a-m/bm/bm_shot5l.jpg) If Bad Moon at first seems like Lassie meets The Howling, don't be too put off. Bad Moon is actually based on a novel that centered on the dog Thor. The book apparently is told almost completely from the dog's perspective, so that's why the dog plays so prominently in the film. Naturally there were some changes made for the film, but there still exist a lot of moments where the dog does some "unlikely" things. Sadly, my major complaint about Bad Moon is that the acting in is not that great. Face it - when the best performances in a film are delivered from a child actor and a dog you know you're in trouble. Even with the flawed acting I still highly recommend Bad Moon to horror fans that like a touch of wolfbane in their horror films, but genre fans in general might find Bad Moon too flawed for their tastes.
http://www.horrordvds.com/reviews/a-m/bm/bm_shot6s.jpg (http://www.horrordvds.com/reviews/a-m/bm/bm_shot6l.jpg) Warner Home Video presents Bad Moon letterboxed at 2.35:1 in a new 16x9 enhanced transfer. Overall this is an excellent transfer from the folks at Warner. The transfer is very clean with hardly any print blemishes ever appearing throughout the presentation. The image is always sharp and detailed, never appearing soft or flat. The colors looked bright and vibrant with good saturation and no bleeding; this is evident in the brightly colored clothing and lush green forests. The scenery in Bad Moon really lends itself to the transfer and exhibits gorgeous looking daylight exteriors. Black level was deep and solid and contrast was excellent. Film grain is also non-existent throughout this excellent transfer. This is great job done by Warner, but since Bad Moon is not a very old film I wouldn't have expected any less.
Bad Moon is presented in an English Dolby Digital 5.1 track. Overall the track is very good but the surrounds get very little usage. The sound does lend a great deal to the werewolf attack scenes though making them seem very ferocious; I know it gave me a sense of unease. Dialogue and sound effects were clear with no distortion or dropouts heard. There is also a French Dolby Digital 5.1 track included on this DVD.
http://www.horrordvds.com/reviews/a-m/bm/bm_menus.jpg (http://www.horrordvds.com/reviews/a-m/bm/bm_menul.jpg) Warner Home Video has only provided a theatrical trailer for this release. The trailer is of good quality but not quite as good as the transfer. The trailer is also 16x9 enhanced which is always a nice touch.
Bad Moon is a good werewolf film that is definitely worth a viewing. Horror fans that don't care much for werewolf films though would be better off just renting Bad Moon. Warner's DVD release is excellent, so fans of the film shouldn't think twice about adding it to their collection.
Image Quality - A-
Sound - B+
Supplements - C+
25 Chapter Stops
English/French Dolby Digital 5.1
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