Stephen King’s Silver Bullet 38 Years Later, Revised and Revised

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Silver bullet is a 1985 horror film starring Gary Busey, Everett McGill, Corey Haim, and Megan Follows. The plot is about a werewolf who stalks the streets of Tarker’s Mills when the moon gets big and bright. The movie script was written by Stephen Kingadapting one of his own stories: the 1984 novel werewolf cycle.


An excellent connection to a film consists of werewolf cyclehe Silver bullet script, stills from the film and a new trailer from the author. If you’re a King fan and/or interested in how movies are made, we at MovieWeb highly recommend it. The only problem is the cost, which is a bit expensive. Even getting it second hand is usually at least $60 or $70.

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How Stephen King Came to Write Silver Bullet

Stephen King's Silver Bullet movie
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In the trailer, King recounts how werewolf cycle it began at the 1979 World Fantasy Convention, where he was approached by Christopher Zavisa about doing a “storytelling calendar”. Each month of the year would contain a cartoon that would add up to a complete story, accompanied by an illustration by Berni Wrightson, co-creator of the Swamp Thing character.

Zavisa caught King at the right time because he was one, drunk, and two, looking to do something small. Something that would show that he was a normal guy who wasn’t in it for the money. Except, here’s the thing. King likes to write. He writes six pages a day every day for the whole year. It wasn’t long before he began to chafe at the 500-word-per-submission requirement he’d set.

After various hurdles and hurdles in completing the schedule, King sat down to write the July section, which would be about a wheelchair-using boy named Marty Coslaw (played by Haim in the film), who would be very shocked by the Fourth of July fireworks display was cancelled, so much so that he would set off his own, which his uncle provided.

Once he had that, King describes the feeling as like stumbling in the dark and finally finding a light switch. He had exceeded 500 words, but he didn’t care. He could see how the rest of the story would go, plus the things he would have to go back and change. He just needed to tell Zavisa that there had been a slight change in plans.

Corey Haim in Silver Bullet
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Of course, one has to wonder why anyone would approach the author of The support, whose original edition exceeds 800 pages (more than 1,000 in the uncut version), on the writing of cartoons in the first place. Well, after King called Zavisa to say, ‘Hey, there’s been a slight change of plans,’ King’s enthusiastic response made King think Zavisa wanted a “thin novel” all along; he might have been too shy to ask.

Later, Dino De Laurentiis enters, a film producer who had bought the rights to several of King’s works, such as the kill zone (1983), “a pretty good movie” in King’s opinion, and fire starter (1984), which King “wasn’t enthused about”. Asked if he had anything else for him, King gave de Laurentiis a copy of werewolf cycle. Don Coscarelli (Ghost, Bubba Ho-Tep) was meant to direct, but De Laurentiis hated his script and Coscarelli quit.

What you also have to understand about De Laurentiis is that he was a lovely guy. King was only supposed to write an original story for the anthology film. Cat Eye, for example, but De Laurentiis somehow convinced him to write the entire script. However, when King was asked by the producer to write the script for this project, he initially refused until the author came back to see Kill a Mockingbird and was entranced by adult Scout’s (Kim Stanley) narration, which he describes as another light-changing moment.

Differences from the werewolf cycle

silver bullet sister
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Silver bullet it is now narrated by Marty’s sister, who loves her brother, though the extra attention she receives due to his condition makes her jealous. As such, the character named Kate in the source material and Jane (Go On, Tovah Feldshuh) plays a considerably larger role in the film than in the novel, aiding Marty in his search for the werewolf’s human identity.

There are several other changes between the two mediums, such as the characterization of Stella Randolph (Wendy Walker) being almost the polar opposite of her literary version. In order to save time, we’re only going to look at the ones that stand out (at least to this reporter), like the film’s structure.

werewolf cycle it’s very episodic, with Marty, the lead, not showing up until a little over halfway through. Silver bullet it’s much more serialized, with Marty and his family front and center from almost the beginning of the movie. Silver bullet it also takes place in a much shorter period of time. Instead of spanning an entire year, the film begins in May and ends in October. Halloween, to be exact. That creates a plot hole.

RELATED: The Story of Stephen King’s Disastrous Attempt at Director

In werewolf cycle, Marty’s uncle has fireworks in his car because it’s the 4th of July. In the movie, where the celebration has been changed to an October carnival, the guy has them because… well, he’s as eccentric as any character played by Busey, so maybe he drives around with fireworks all the time.

Marty’s uncle, Al in Cyclered in Silver bullet, has also undergone a significant change. In both versions, he appears to be an irresponsible slacker with a hidden depth, but in different ways. Al is mentioned to have earned “a couple” of medals serving in Vietnam, while in the film, Red is able to build Marty these go-kart wheelchairs seemingly from scratch.

werewolf spoilers

One-Eyed Werewolf in Silver Bullet
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Who is the werewolf anyway? The two most sought-after actors are Busey and McGill, who usually play the villains, so that’s an important clue. While the werewolf being Marty’s beloved cool uncle would certainly have been an interesting plot development, the real villain is McGill, who plays Reverend Lester Lowe.

After being outed, Lowe, in Hammy’s glory, explains that everything serves God’s will, even killing people as a literal monster. A religious kook exposing morality in a Stephen King story – stop me if you’ve heard that before. Of course, Lowe is a downplayed example since, by all indications, he was a genuinely good person before he got cursed.

In werewolf cycleLowe has no memory of what he does while transformed and can deny it until Marty puts out his eye with a firework. In the movie version, whether Lowe notices is more ambiguous, especially in the original script. There, he questions how oblivious he is to what he does in his beast form when Lowe says “really slow”, which his werewolf form says repeatedly.

script differences

Silver Bullet Church of the Werewolf scene
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Yes, the werewolf speaks in the Silver bullet script, going one step further Cycle, where his growls are described as sounding “terribly like human words”. Not only that, but the opening scene even has him singing the beer jingle he heard from his recent victim. He describes himself as “horrifying-funny,” a recurring element with King, like “Oz the Gweat and Tewwible” in pet cemetery.

The script also states that the change begins with a partial transformation around the second quarter before gradually reaching “full lobicity” as the moon continues its cycle. The final movie doesn’t convey that subtlety very clearly, but Marty and Jane still offer the theory in dialogue about how the werewolf becomes more monstrous as the full moon approaches.

RELATED: Stephen King’s Best Villains And Monsters, Ranked

In addition to Stella, another character almost completely different from her literary counterpart is Sheriff Joe Haller (Terry O’Quinn), who takes the place of Constable Lander Neary (strangely, Haller is also identified as a police officer in the script). Neary is a know-it-all who speaks loudly about “good police work” to solve the case, before being caught off guard while he’s drinking in his car.

Haller lacks Neary’s arrogance and outright stupidity, but he still comes off as pretty ineffective. He is unable to convince the hunting gang/borderline lynch mob (although it would be hard for anyone to argue with a man who just came from his son’s funeral). He also apparently does not inform anyone that he will be investigating the werewolf’s human identity, which is inadvisable in any murder investigation.

Gary Busey in Stephen King's Silver Bullet
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Haller also has a subplot that was removed within the finished film. After finding the body of Brady Kincaid (Joe Wright), the werewolf’s youngest victim at age 11, he has a crisis of faith. That is not explored much. The script flatly says it’s “a horror movie, not a John Cassavetes movie.” Maybe that’s why they removed it.

Another subplot cut from the script was Grandpa Coslaw. In werewolf cycleHe lives with the rest of the family. In the script, she is presumably in a hospice since Voiceover Jane says that she has been dying of cancer for the past seven years. Her death brings the parents out of the house for the big showdown. In the finished film, Red gives them a couple’s vacation that he had “earned”.

Is Silver Bullet good?

Silver bullet
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Silver bullet is a movie that manages to be sweet, scary, funny, and entertaining. The performances of Haim, Follows, and Busey in particular deserve praise. Like the musical score. Sure, it’s totally 1980s, which some may consider dated, though others may see it as part of the film’s charm.

At the time of its release, reviews of Silver bullet they were mostly negative, and today, they remain mostly negative. On Rotten Tomatoes, it currently has a Tomatometer of 41% and an audience score of 56%. However, there are those who find it to be an underrated werewolf movie. Modern audiences also have an excellent opportunity to judge the film for themselves.

As previously reported by MovieWeb, Silver bullet Will Play in Theaters Across the US to Promote the Physical Release of Rob Saucedo’s Graphic Novel where wolf. He recently finished playing the Alamo Drafthouse Wrigleyville in Chicago, IL. You can check the previous story to find out when and where it will play next, or search for Alamo Drafthouse. Or you can watch the movie, stream it on HBO Max or via a premium subscription on other platforms, available to rent digitally or on DVD and Blu-ray.

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