Feminist, Fictionista, Foodie, Francophile

Monday, October 1, 2012

Halloween Movie Marathon--Silver Bullet

It is no secret that I'm a fan of Stephen King's books and more often than not, I've really liked the movies/miniseries made from those books. (I love, love, love Dolores Claiborne, and thought Kathy Bates was even better in it than she was in Misery, which won her an Oscar.) I also loved The Stand, and I hear through reliable sources that the reboot/update of that is very good.  I've not heard good things about the new It, though.
One of my favorite Stephen King movies isn't actually that good, 1985's Silver Bullet (or as it was billed, "Stephen King's Silver Bullet"). If you've never seen it, Silver Bullet is a werewolf movie and the "mystery" of the werewolf's identity is pretty much obvious from the moment the character walks on the screen.
Forget the werewolf stuff. The reason to see the movie--the reason I love it so much--is that the story is about a spunky, likable kid in a wheelchair and his maternal uncle, who supercharges the chair without the boy's mother knowing it, and who is a warm and supportive presence in the boy's life.
The kid was played by Corey Haim and his uncle was played by Gary Busey and both were terrific.
It makes me sad that Haim did not survive Hollywood and became yet another drug casualty. Silver Bullet came before the movies he's most famous for, Lucas and Lost Boys.
Gary Busey, who played "Uncle Red" was in kind of a mid-period in his career. He's been working steadily since 1968 (he has three movies coming out next year) and mixed in with the good stuff is so much not-so-good stuff that it's easy to forget just how damn good he is.  I first saw Busey in a little-known television show about a quirky family called The Texas Wheelers. It was sort of a Texas version of Party of Five (although Jack Elam played the dad) and I loved it to death.  Busey played the eldest brother and a pre-Star Wars Mark Hamill was one of his little brothers.  I don't really remember much about it except that the theme song was John Prine's "Illegal Smile."
Three years later, Busey channeled Buddy Holly in The Buddy Holly story and earned, if I'm not mistaken, an Oscar nomination for the part.  He's so natural and so likable in this movie that it's a shame he's been doing so many psycho villains lately.
This is a good Halloween movie to watch with little kids.

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