Bad Moon Review – Or: HOOOOOOOWLLL […] ACK! COUGH! Hairball

Yell! Magazine’s review of Bad Moon:

This is my first horror movie review. I’m as giddy as a schoolgirl getting the bottom of her feet tickled by a Muppet. But enough about my perfectly normal yet still disturbing sex fetishes. Bad Moon is a werewolf movie. In the pantheon of movie monsters, werewolves have traditionally come in second place to a more popular, fanged and most definitely not sparkly brethren.

Bad Moon (1996)
Fuck you, Twilight. Fuck. You.

The proper order for movie monsters goes thusly: vampires, werewolves, zombies, homunculus such as Frankenstein, mummies, and the mostly forgettable swamp-dwelling thingamabobs. Part of the problem keeping lycans perpetually playing second fiddle to vamps seems to be that there is no definitive werewolf movie. Oh sure, you can point to Lon Chaney’s The Wolf Man, maybe even Joe Dante’s classic The Howling, or perhaps the morbidly funny Dog Soldiers… but the werewolf genre has a distinct lack of a Dracula or a Night Of The Living Dead. Mention Dracula to random passersby and they’ll nod knowingly. But unless you happen upon a true movie geek, odds are that asking strangers how they feel about Howling will get you a night in the county lock-up with a serial cornholer named Billy Jim Bob Earl Bubba. Esquire.

Plus, I’ve always found werewolves to be lackadaisical in their ability to instill fear. What’s a werewolf? A big freaking dog. Big deal. Ooooh, watch out, Chewbacca’s having a bad day! Better run! Fortunately, a huge part of the fear associated with the hairy bastards has nothing to do with their appearance. Lycanthropy is an uncontrollable curse, traditionally triggered by a full moon or whenever the movie’s script calls for the change to happen. Continually being at the mercy of the beast within? Now that’s scary! Which segues us nicely toward the topic of today’s review, 1996’s Bad Moon.

Directed by Eric Red, who totally sounds like a Viking and is better known to genre fans as the writer behind such classic horror movies as The Hitcher, Near Dark, and Body Parts. Bad Moon stars Michael Pare as a man dealing with severe anger issues, homicidal tendencies and horrific hair growth.

Bad Moon (1996)
It’s the Phil Spector story?

Bad Moon is based on a novel by Wayne Smith, which told the story from a dog’s point of view. The movie ditches this conceit and focuses on the humans in the cast. As you’ve probably guessed, Pare’s character, a photo-journalist, is dealing with the repercussions of a werewolf biting accident that occurred during his last trip to Nepal. Note to self: make sure I’ve had my rabies shot before next vacation to Nepal. This incident occurs during the movie’s opening moments during which Pare and his lover are attacked in a somehow darkly funny case of Lupus-interruptus. Apparently, lycans have a problem with tourists making out in their territory. Either that, or the wolf in question wasn’t getting any from Mrs. Lupus. Heh. Getting any from Lupus. There’s a joke in there somewhere.

Bad Moon (1996)
If I can’t laid, nobody gets laid!

Pare swiftly decides to deal with his lycanthropy by cutting himself off from all human contact, a sensible course of action that is completely derailed once his annoying but well-intentioned sister (Mariel Hemingway) decides to move in with her son and the family dog, named Thor. Can’t a guy deal with his metamorphosis-related conundrum in peace? Bad Moon doesn’t deviate much from the established ground rules for this type of movie. The relatives slowly begin to discover that there’s something odd going on with dear old Uncle Ted. The dog barks at all hours of the night at something in the woods. The shower drain is completely clogged up by hairballs the size of bowling balls. Oh, heavens! Could there be a werewolf nearby, Uncle Ted?

This? This is just a slight glandular problem, I assure you.

To its credit, Bad Moon’s werewolf effects are pretty convincing. Very little CGI was used, due to both budget and technology constraints. This isn’t a bad movie, it’s nowhere near the bottom of the barrel DTV crap you’ll find crowding the shelves of your local video store nowadays. Pare as always been a bit underrated as an actor, lately relegated to cheap Sci-Fi Channel movies of the week. Here he delivers a convincingly tortured portrayal. There’s gore, there’s sex, there’s werewolf-on-dog action… which somehow sounded a lot better in my head… this is a decent time-waster.

Your faithful reviewer,


Also, be sure to check out another great Bad Moon review via our friends at Horrorstuff!, and Back Online. Back On Duty. Thanks again for reading, and feel free to comment about this review below.

Bad Moon (1996) Poster Large
Yell! Rating (x/5 Skulls):
Year Released:
1 November 1996
Eric Red
Mariel Hemingway, Michael Paré, Julia Montgomery Brown, Gavin Buhr, Johanna Marlowe, Hrothgar Mathews, Ken Pogue, and Mason Gamble
Horror, Monster
Official URL:

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