BAD MOONUnited States-1996

Michael Pare as Uncle Ted

Directed by Eric Red

Screenplay by Eric Red

Based on the novel “Thor” by Wayne Smith

Don’t go around tonight/Well it’s bound to take your life/There’s a bad moon on the rise-Creedence Clearwater Revival

After watching (suffering through) the debacle that was Red Riding Hood, I had to put myself back into familiar and welcome territory for the next installment of my werewolf movie reviews. Bad Moon has gotten a lot of bad press ever since its release in 1996 and I really don’t understand why. I personally think that the film appeals to many levels of movie lovers. The film is a mix of horror and family drama that would make lovers of both The Howling and The Adventures of Rin Tin Tin quite proud.

Michael Paré (Eddie and the Cruisers) is Uncle Ted, an explorer in the jungles of South America along with his girlfriend, Marjorie. Marjorie is attacked and killed by a werewolf and Ted is injured by the beast. We all know what that means. Pretty soon, Ted is back in the United States continuing his wicked, wolfie ways. Ted is invited by his sister Janet (Mariel Hemingway-Star 80) to come live with her and her young son, Brett (Mason Gamble of Dennis the Menace fame). As far as werewolves go, Ted is living pretty high on the hog. Seeing as how Janet and Brett live near the woods, Ted has his share of hikers to feast upon. If he runs out of that, he has Janet and the kid to feed on as a midnight snack. There’s just one little 0ne hundred and five pound catch; the family dog, Thor.

Being a werewolf movie fan, it’s always good to see the beast tear into the characters that deserve to have their asses, as well as the rest of their body parts handed to them. That doesn’t always mean I want to see the beast win. Bad Moon is one of those films where I am definitely pulling for the non-furry humans and their little dog, too. Seeing as how I own a gorgeous German Shepherd named Bella (not named after the character in Twilight, so put that shit out of your minds right now), it did my heart proud to see Thor kick some major werewolf ass. But that’s the entire deal with Bad Moon. The film boils down to the loyalty between man and beast. Ted is loyal to his mistress, the moon. Thor is loyal to the Boy and to the Woman. They are his friends, his family, and his pack.

Yes, Bad Moon comes off looking like a SyFy channel original movie. Yes, it’s overacted. But that doesn’t make it a horrible movie. What amazes me about the film is that it was clearly made on a shoestring budget and it still manages to be an effective little horror film. Red Riding Hood was made for millions of dollars and we got millions of dollars of shit.


In the scene in which Janet makes breakfast, her son Brett is watching Werewolf of London on the television, and he and his Uncle Ted argue about werewolf lore. Actually, the lore that Brett argues that “everyone knows about”, such as details about silver bullets and wolfsbane, comes from The Wolf Man, which Curt Siodmak totally made up.

A few seconds of sex and gore was cut from the opening scene in oder to avoid an NC-17.