That Scene in Silver Bullet, you know the one

A so so Werewolf movie based on a Stephen King Novella, Cycle of the Werewolf, readily available on Amazon Prime Video called Silver Bullet with Corey Haim and Gary Bussey.

I was exposed by thoughtful horror vlogger

with an arresting scene the movie so annoyingly doesn’t live up to. He points out that its less a werewolf movie as it is a take off the then popular slasher genre and of course the quiet town with a dark underbelly in Maine

Okay spoilers


First the set up, the Novella follows a year of grisly murders building throughout the town with no culprit but lots of victims happening each night month around the full moon. These follow the slasher formula from jerkass, to fallen to brat and so on. Each month a new killing. Tensions rise up. Who could be the killer? Or Killers? Why do they choose their targets?

See things build up until this ONE scene. damnit its…okay I find it sexy and funny and kind of yikes.

See with each body their is an attendent community reaction from obligatory funeral to rumors to ragging at the police and people move or disappear and so on. people urged to stay in, and more

Then some people form a mob and try to attack at the swamp where someone saw SOMETHING. They attack but get ambushed and some die

Cut to the funeral of the three. There is this… energy to the scene as the congregation sings. Then the priest speaks up trying to find comfort, visibly…perturbed but repressing something. Then one man speaks out, the father of the most recent victim. Wetly he yells how the victims were ‘torn apart’
“There is no grace… only Prrrivate Justice”
The congregation turns tothe priest, the music and sound changes. hey was he always that hairy, he’s bald right?
Those eyes… the… the teeth and his chest the shirt is… THE HAIR

Only its NOT just him! Everyone else who was swaying and sort of egging on the disruption. hungrily or defiantly or just insincerely participating seems to swell and contort and sway and well

THE ENTIRE FUCKING CONGREGATION morphs to the stunned sweating horror of the priest. The howls are a call for bloodshed, violence and just abandonment of social norms and virtue to be beasts and

look it just WORKS. And even in montage you can feel it. The thunder flashes the lights change.

Just the implication. some are dying but everyone is catching it. Just a little at a time its why they get so much more violent and eager. Its not one crazed killer. his madness infected everyone until critical mass and the town becomes kennel of uninhibited animal rage and sensual intensity and…

ITS A FUCKING DREAM SEQUENCE… that also RUINS any tension for “guess who the killer is” and so on.


But seriously that scene is inspirational. moreso as followed up in another sequence where someone looks for someone with a corresponding wound for the werewolf later and it gets more clear its as the moon raises up the beast but its always there devouring the man until only a monster remains.

Seriously think about using something like THAT for a story here. Obviously not a sexual snuff but maybe an attack or a disappearance

Then afterwards repeats, but some cops (there is a small town sheriff) think maybe a copycat. Maybe travelling trafficker or narco or something. But the town itself changes. the effect on the people. The energy. Survivors leave, others turn from vanishingly small timid to viscious and sullen and seem… more severe with animal urges and magnetism unscoring more and more.

Until it turns out EVERYONE is the killer/beast attacker. Just ad something sexual to it. Maybe vignettes of ruttings in the woods, POVs of attacks. Dark dreams and visions, blackouts. Odd changes in moods and drives and senses.

chefs kissI

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It’s an idea (without the actual physical transformation) that has been in culture for a while. Probably the most famous example I know of is the Twilight Zone episode The Monsters are Due on Maple Street. But there the excuse is given that it’s a prelude to an alien invasion. Kind of ruins the whole story, which is a metaphor on McCarthyism. (The similarities to the current U.S. government of fomenting chaos are unmistakable.)

But the best example I know of this is probably little known: The opera Peter Grimes by Benjamin Britten. The townspeople seem like innocent backdrops to the protagonists. But by the end of Act 2 the audience realizes that they are literally blood-thirsty monsters, propelled by unfounded rumors. In Act 3 they revert back to being quiet townspeople, seemingly innocent to the suicide they have caused.

In both cases the set up is of a perfectly routine existence that, when one little different element is introduced, sets things in motion to transform people.

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Yeah. I mean its a major part of IT and the Tommyknockers and so on.

Still I mean think about it. You think you’re hunting this ONE werewolf checking his victims. Maybe most survive. torn leg here, broken back there. some leave. whatever.

You got to face it but still its out there doing damage.

Hmm victim one recovering well, thanks for small blessings but now is more ornery rude and insists its so and so but first won’t tell why. her accused is attacked. The victim says why thought some secret or thoughts but now it doesn’t matter. Maybe it was destined to happen now all about rebuilding her strength, maybe go camping.

Anyways things build and spiral some are just yokels. No one seems to step forward unless already desperate others hide. And you just get this feeling people hide more and more changing as its unsolved.
Until… well

I mean you are right the idea of being in paranoid environment where a drop of infection leads to hysteria or unveils the corruption or it spreads transforming is part of everything from zombies to secret cults. but with the slasher/werewolf angle its the mood change and the hunting of targets for reciprications and condemnation followed by the “and then I go home put on my Proper Person outfit” and go on
Only its a tragedy of the commons. Everyone has a beast in them, sees it in everyone and then… well out it comes and only a few unaffected are now fleeing or targets all while feeling the lure/call.

Similar themes in both The Lottery by Shirley Jackson and Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie. (Minus the bestial aspects) Small community or people quarantined by circumstance who have all a shared secret.

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