Blu-ray (Umbrella Entertainment)

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Gerald

Well-Known Member
Sep 8, 2011
1,617
4,930
The Netherlands
#1
I got the blu-ray from Umbrella.

STEPHEN KINGS SILVER BULLET (BLU-RAY) - Umbrella Entertainment

SK actually was too busy to do the screenplay at the time, but Dino de Laurentiis coaxed him into doing it. It seems he didn't visit the set, but the producers did visit him at his home.

It's great seeing it again. When you haven't seen a film for a long time (I probably hadn't seen it since the eighties) it feels almost brandnew again - certainly with good image and the correct aspect ratio, which you probably never saw on VHS or tv.

I had totally forgotten how big Jane's (Marty's sister) role was in it and her performance by Megan Follows. Also that she narrated it looking back on her life (which makes it feel similar in tone to a lot of written SK stories and books).
When you think of the film, you think of the boy, the uncle, the reverend - you forget about the sister.
Also Terry O'Quinn was still an unknown to me at the time and since (because of The Stepfather and Lost) not anymore.

In terms of image and sound the blu-ray is not great. Everything looks sharp enough when it's close, but everything a little further away is a bit unsharp. Also the sound is rather low, especially the music is very in the background. You can turn your volume up, of course, but when it's low in the first place, you never get it to sound really full in volume.
But I suppose they did the best with it they could, because in every other sense (the extras) it seems every care was taken.

There is about an hour of extras: interviews with producer Martha Schumacher/De Laurentiis (wife of Dino), two special effects artists and the reverend himself, Everett McGill. The special effects interview is the most fun. Only the main werewolf was designed by Carlo Rambaldi, and there was a big shouting match in Italian when Dino saw the result. The two artists think it just wasn't what Rambaldi was very good at designing. There is no word it was at the request of SK that the wolf looked plain (but I still have the commentary to listen to).

There is a commentary by director Daniel Attias (who's debut it was, and he went on to be an in demand tv director; he's actually returning to King for the upcoming Castle Rock series) and an interview/isolated score by composer Jay Chattaway. So in terms of extras it's quite solid.
 
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Gerald

Well-Known Member
Sep 8, 2011
1,617
4,930
The Netherlands
#2
According to this review the image problem stems from too much content being placed on a single layer disc:

Silver Bullet Blu-ray (Australia)

They seem to have no problem with the sound, so that's probably because it's a low budget movie, and it doesn't have the optimal sound of Hollywood films.

It's not often on top of best SK adaptations lists, and you wouldn't call it a masterpiece, but it's such an entertaining film. It's also a good cast of course, and very nice locations.
 

Blake

Well-Known Member
Feb 18, 2013
3,880
15,924
#3
I only bought the normal DVD about six weeks ago, not the blu-ray. The picture quality and sound are okay. There are no special features on the normal DVD. I only bought are new copy as the price was right and I wanted to see what it was like. King doesn't make a cameo in the movie. The part where Marty is chased by McGill's character (like a barn over water, I think) looks like the end scene of the movie IT, where you see a red barn over the water. I don't know if Silver Bullet was filmed in Canada, I think IT was filmed in Canada.
 

Gerald

Well-Known Member
Sep 8, 2011
1,617
4,930
The Netherlands
#4
I only bought the normal DVD about six weeks ago, not the blu-ray. The picture quality and sound are okay. There are no special features on the normal DVD. I only bought are new copy as the price was right and I wanted to see what it was like. King doesn't make a cameo in the movie. The part where Marty is chased by McGill's character (like a barn over water, I think) looks like the end scene of the movie IT, where you see a red barn over the water. I don't know if Silver Bullet was filmed in Canada, I think IT was filmed in Canada.
Silver Bullet was filmed in Wilmington, North Carolina. It was filmed in Canada.
Here are all the locations for Silver Bullet:

Silver Bullet (1985) - Filming & Production - IMDb
 

Gerald

Well-Known Member
Sep 8, 2011
1,617
4,930
The Netherlands
#5
Listened to the commentary with director Daniel Attias, which is a conversation/interview between him and the dvd-producer. It's always better to have someone well-informed about the film have filmmakers guide along with questions, as when you just have the filmmakers talking by themselves they sometimes get repetitive.

According to Attias the generally considered poor were-wolf design was because of Rambaldi not having enough time and money to work on it. No-one on the shoot was happy with it, and Attias tried to work around it by not showing it too much and too long.
Horror is not one of Attias' favourite genres, and he responded more to the family drama and tried to make the horror as funny as possible (where Dino DeLaurentiis really wanted it to be a strong, gory film).
He feels the film is a bit schizophrenic being part serious family drama and part comic book style horror (this never bothered me, because I feel SK often can be both parts equally). The film didn't do well and he was not proud of it, and it made him picky about film projects and rather concentrate on television. It's only been in recent years that he's become aware that it has a big cult-following and people come up to him to talk about it - in his reactions to the film you get the sense that he now quite likes it as he has many favourite moments in it and loves the actors.

Gary Busey was Attias' first and only choice for Uncle Red. They mostly followed King's script quite closely, but a lot of what Red does and says is improvised by Busey. Attias describes him as 'a big kid' and regrets 'he later became a parody of himself'.
What's interesting, and you may not be aware of at first, is that all the characters are wounded in a way: Marty by not being able to walk, Red by alcoholism and Lowe by being a werewolf. Even indirectly Jane is, because her brother's condition is a big burden on her as she has to care for him constantly.

They talk about Castle Rock the series too, and it is because he worked for J.J. Abrams on Alias and Lost, rather than because he already had done a SK adaptation that he got that job. It seems he did the second episode.

It's too bad the music score is rather in the background on the film. It sounds much better on the isolated music track, which doesn't run in synch with the movie, but is a 35 minute conversation with the composer followed by another 35 minutes of selected tracks from the score. It really is quite a beautiful score, which is praised by Attias too.
 

GNTLGNT

The idiot is IN
Jun 15, 2007
83,407
326,525
57
Cambridge, Ohio
#6
Listened to the commentary with director Daniel Attias, which is a conversation/interview between him and the dvd-producer. It's always better to have someone well-informed about the film have filmmakers guide along with questions, as when you just have the filmmakers talking by themselves they sometimes get repetitive.

According to Attias the generally considered poor were-wolf design was because of Rambaldi not having enough time and money to work on it. No-one on the shoot was happy with it, and Attias tried to work around it by not showing it too much and too long.
Horror is not one of Attias' favourite genres, and he responded more to the family drama and tried to make the horror as funny as possible (where Dino DeLaurentiis really wanted it to be a strong, gory film).
He feels the film is a bit schizophrenic being part serious family drama and part comic book style horror (this never bothered me, because I feel SK often can be both parts equally). The film didn't do well and he was not proud of it, and it made him picky about film projects and rather concentrate on television. It's only been in recent years that he's become aware that it has a big cult-following and people come up to him to talk about it - in his reactions to the film you get the sense that he now quite likes it as he has many favourite moments in it and loves the actors.

Gary Busey was Attias' first and only choice for Uncle Red. They mostly followed King's script quite closely, but a lot of what Red does and says is improvised by Busey. Attias describes him as 'a big kid' and regrets 'he later became a parody of himself'.
What's interesting, and you may not be aware of at first, is that all the characters are wounded in a way: Marty by not being able to walk, Red by alcoholism and Lowe by being a werewolf. Even indirectly Jane is, because her brother's condition is a big burden on her as she has to care for him constantly.

They talk about Castle Rock the series too, and it is because he worked for J.J. Abrams on Alias and Lost, rather than because he already had done a SK adaptation that he got that job. It seems he did the second episode.

It's too bad the music score is rather in the background on the film. It sounds much better on the isolated music track, which doesn't run in synch with the movie, but is a 35 minute conversation with the composer followed by another 35 minutes of selected tracks from the score. It really is quite a beautiful score, which is praised by Attias too.
....I thought the whole lycanthrope image rivaled that of a primo cheese ball, but the movie had a quasi “campy” feel to it so the wolf look didn’t disappoint....
 

Gerald

Well-Known Member
Sep 8, 2011
1,617
4,930
The Netherlands
#7
....I thought the whole lycanthrope image rivaled that of a primo cheese ball, but the movie had a quasi “campy” feel to it so the wolf look didn’t disappoint....
It also came out right after American Werewolf in London and The Howling, so it is directly compared to two of the best.

They did the transformation back to McGill at the end the old-fashioned way with dissolves and constantly changing the make-up a little.
You can see the wires though with which they pulled out the face of the wolf (which they played in reverse), there was no way yet of taking those out digitally. I don't notice it on the clip on Youtube of the scene, so it's probably because of the clarity of blu-ray it's visible.
 

GNTLGNT

The idiot is IN
Jun 15, 2007
83,407
326,525
57
Cambridge, Ohio
#8
It also came out right after American Werewolf in London and The Howling, so it is directly compared to two of the best.

They did the transformation back to McGill at the end the old-fashioned way with dissolves and constantly changing the make-up a little.
You can see the wires though with which they pulled out the face of the wolf (which they played in reverse), there was no way yet of taking those out digitally. I don't notice it on the clip on Youtube of the scene, so it's probably because of the clarity of blu-ray it's visible.
...sure, I thought the same...any work would pale in comparison to those two tremendous efforts....
 

Marty Coslaw

Well-Known Member
May 19, 2018
57
214
32
DC
#9
...sure, I thought the same...any work would pale in comparison to those two tremendous efforts....
Any werewolf movie does pale in comparison to An American Werewolf in London, but the Howling? I guess it depends what you're looking for in a werewolf movie. For me, there are good 7 or 8 I can name off the top of my head that I would rank far above Howling.
 

GNTLGNT

The idiot is IN
Jun 15, 2007
83,407
326,525
57
Cambridge, Ohio
#10
Any werewolf movie does pale in comparison to An American Werewolf in London, but the Howling? I guess it depends what you're looking for in a werewolf movie. For me, there are good 7 or 8 I can name off the top of my head that I would rank far above Howling.
...I should have been more clear, my comment was intended as kudos for the make-up fx....
 

Marty Coslaw

Well-Known Member
May 19, 2018
57
214
32
DC
#12
I got the blu-ray from Umbrella.

STEPHEN KINGS SILVER BULLET (BLU-RAY) - Umbrella Entertainment

SK actually was too busy to do the screenplay at the time, but Dino de Laurentiis coaxed him into doing it. It seems he didn't visit the set, but the producers did visit him at his home.

It's great seeing it again. When you haven't seen a film for a long time (I probably hadn't seen it since the eighties) it feels almost brandnew again - certainly with good image and the correct aspect ratio, which you probably never saw on VHS or tv.

I had totally forgotten how big Jane's (Marty's sister) role was in it and her performance by Megan Follows. Also that she narrated it looking back on her life (which makes it feel similar in tone to a lot of written SK stories and books).
When you think of the film, you think of the boy, the uncle, the reverend - you forget about the sister.
Also Terry O'Quinn was still an unknown to me at the time and since (because of The Stepfather and Lost) not anymore.

In terms of image and sound the blu-ray is not great. Everything looks sharp enough when it's close, but everything a little further away is a bit unsharp. Also the sound is rather low, especially the music is very in the background. You can turn your volume up, of course, but when it's low in the first place, you never get it to sound really full in volume.
But I suppose they did the best with it they could, because in every other sense (the extras) it seems every care was taken.

There is about an hour of extras: interviews with producer Martha Schumacher/De Laurentiis (wife of Dino), two special effects artists and the reverend himself, Everett McGill. The special effects interview is the most fun. Only the main werewolf was designed by Carlo Rambaldi, and there was a big shouting match in Italian when Dino saw the result. The two artists think it just wasn't what Rambaldi was very good at designing. There is no word it was at the request of SK that the wolf looked plain (but I still have the commentary to listen to).

There is a commentary by director Daniel Attias (who's debut it was, and he went on to be an in demand tv director; he's actually returning to King for the upcoming Castle Rock series) and an interview/isolated score by composer Jay Chattaway. So in terms of extras it's quite solid.
I just bought two copies of this and found out when I opened it that it's Region B. Does anyone know of a blu-ray version that would play in a US player?
 

Gerald

Well-Known Member
Sep 8, 2011
1,617
4,930
The Netherlands
#13
I just bought two copies of this and found out when I opened it that it's Region B. Does anyone know of a blu-ray version that would play in a US player?
I think this is pretty much its debut on blu-ray. Good in extras, but not optimal in sound and image. It's in essence an independent film, some technical issues can't be fixed no matter how much you would want to, there's only so much you can do with the source material.

Actually it should be region free and play in region A as well. It's an Australian release and may be advertised as region B, but it's actually region free.
 
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Gerald

Well-Known Member
Sep 8, 2011
1,617
4,930
The Netherlands
#15
Can anybody verify the Region B/Region Free distinction? I haven't sent my copy back to Amazon yet, and I'd love to keep it if it'll play for me. Just got a copy of the movie tie-in book as a birthday gift, it's great.
Here it says it's region free: Silver Bullet Blu-ray

It says B on the sleeve, so it's tricky, yeah. When in doubt try mailing Umbrella's official site.
 

Gerald

Well-Known Member
Sep 8, 2011
1,617
4,930
The Netherlands
#16
The sound and image issues are indeed with the film, not with the company. I got Long Weekend (1978; one of my all time favourite horrorfilms) from the same company, Umbrella, and this is excellent quality, and it 's also a small, independent film, much smaller than Silver Bullet even.
 

Marty Coslaw

Well-Known Member
May 19, 2018
57
214
32
DC
#17
Here it says it's region free: Silver Bullet Blu-ray

It says B on the sleeve, so it's tricky, yeah. When in doubt try mailing Umbrella's official site.
Thanks for the comment on this! I ended up keeping my copy and you were totally right, it plays just fine. The sound and picture are great! The special features didn't seem that interesting but I'm sure I'll go back and watch at some point.
 
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