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BAD MOON ($20) is an enjoyable little werewolf movie, with some fun special effects and a fairly interesting premise. Would you believe that the hero and central character of BAD MOON is the family dog? Yup, BAD MOON was actually adapted from a novel entitled Thor, which tells its story from the point of view of its German Shepard protagonist, who does everything in his power to protect the humans he considers to be part of his pack. While I have not read the novel, it is obvious a film could not be made entirely from a dog’s point of view. So, BAD MOON has altered the structure of the original story to suit cinematic conventions. Despite whatever changes were required to translate the story from the printed page to the screen; a German Shepard named Thor remains the heroic center of BAD MOON.

BAD MOON opens in the jungle, with a grisly werewolf attack that interrupts a passionate lovemaking session between Ted (Michael Paré) and Marjorie (Johanna Lebovitz). While Marjorie is being torn apart by the beast, the seriously wounded Ted is able to lay his hands on his riffle and blow the creature’s head off. Flash forward several months, where we find Ted going to live with his sister Janet (Mariel Hemingway), her son Brett (Mason Gamble) and their dog Thor (Primo) in the Pacific Northwest. With his trailer in his Janet’s yard, which borders on the woods, Ted finds himself an ideal place to deal with the lunar affliction that he inherited from the creature that attacked him out in the jungle. Fortunately for Janet and Brett, Thor recognizes the deadly animal lurking inside Ted and is always on guard whenever he is around. Soon the situation evolves into a game of cat and mouse (or should I say dog and werewolf) between Thor and Ted, with the two adversaries preparing for a final showdown.

Warner Home Video has made BAD MOON available in a fine looking wide screen presentation that has been enhanced for playback on 16:9 displays. Framed at 2.35:1, the transfer is very clean and sharp looking, with a healthy level of detail. Colors are strongly saturated, with neither the warm or cool hues displaying any signs of chromatic noise or bleeding. Flesh tones appear accurate and are usually flattering to the actors. Blacks are very pure and the nighttime sequences have been photographed to deliver a very good amount of shadow detail. The print element used for the transfer displays only a handful of blemishes and almost no perceivable film grain. Digital compression artifacts do not adversely affect the image.

BAD MOON is presented on DVD with a re-mastered Dolby Digital 5.1 channel mix. The forward soundstage is stronger than the rear, with surround effects being utilized primarily during key moments. Still, the mix is very effective (especially during the werewolf scenes) and there is clean channel separation across the board. Dialogue is always intelligible and rather natural sounding. The bass channel is pretty solid; making its presence known during action sequences and for zingers. A French 5.1 channel is also encoded onto the DVD, as are English and French subtitles. The basic interactive menus provide the standard scene selection and set up features, as well as offing access to a theatrical trailer and biographies for Michael Paré and Mariel Hemingway.

BAD MOON is a fun little werewolf movie that is worth checking out for Halloween or any other night you are in the mood for some horror flicks.


Bad Moon (1996)


DVD reviews are Copyright © 2000 THE CINEMA LASER and may not be copied or reprinted without the written consent of the publisher.
THE CINEMA LASER is written, edited and published by Derek M. Germano.



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