Bad Moon (1996)

I do like a good werewolf movie. Unfortunately despite the pedigree of Eric Red, writer of such greats as The Hitcher and Near Dark, this isn’t a good werewolf movie.

In this film, a journalist named Ted runs afoul of a giant wolf man while hanging out in Nepal, which murders his girlfriend and claws him up in the midst of the movie’s sole sex scene. Nice. Ted returns to the US and then moves to his sister’s place after a few months. However, his sister has a German Shepherd named Thor who immediately knows that something is amiss. Gotta love a good dog.

Unfortunately, dogs can tell when werewolves are about, and this results in a feud between the werewolf and the German Shepherd. This sounds amazing on paper, but it doesn’t work so well in execution because I don’t believe a 100-pound vicious dog can so easily take a 300-pound vicious werewolf which has been shown to pick people up with one hand and toss them around like rag dolls. And while the practical effects for ripped flesh and werewolf jaws are quite good, this movie unfortunately suffers from mid-90s CG effects, leading to one of the worst transformations I can think of. Our werewolf doesn’t so much change into a werewolf but instead kinda gels into it. Melts into it. Weirdly liquefies into it. It’s tough to describe how bad it is.

Also note, the main antagonist Ted’s motivations feel a bit weird. Sometimes he seems like he doesn’t want to hurt people and wants to solve his problems. Then he goes full homicidal on his own family because…what? Because love doesn’t stop him from being a werewolf? Ugh. The movie just ends up muddled despite having ideas I want to get behind. Bad Moon suffers as a result, and it falters behind the likes of much more interesting werewolf movies such as An American Werewolf in London, The Howling, and Dog Soldiers. Don’t you dare say a bad word about Dog Soldiers.

Nice dog though.

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