Bad Moon (Blu-ray Review)

Bad-MoonHalf man. Half wolf. Total terror. Scream Factory proudly presents Bad Moon for the first time on Blu-ray on July 19, 2016. This release comes complete with special features, including a new director’s version supervised by Eric Red, and new interviews and audio commentary with cast and crew.   Full, crescent, quarter… each is a Bad Moon for Ted Harrison. By day, he’s a photojournalist visiting family in the Pacific Northwest. By night, he transfigures into a horrific half-human – a werewolf. Dead men tell no tales, so Ted’s sure he alone knows about his vile double life. The secret, however, may be out. The family dog Thor, devoted to defending the household, has his suspicions. Additional details and pre-order info below!

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Ted, hiding his accursed condition from his sister and nephew. What better way to hide it than to create suspicion that the local killings are the work of another – especially if that other is the family’s all-too-wise German shepherd! 

A box office bomb back in 1996, Bad Moon takes to home video, where it maybe should have started in the first place.  However, budgeting for that probably would have lessened what works best in the film.  It didn’t even place in the Top 10 on opening weekend, which came out the weekend following Halloween.  It apparently wanted to avoid running into Stephen King’s Thinner which took that weekend.  Bad Moon barely crossed the one million mark before bowing out.

I’m not familiar with the theatrical cut as I watched the director’s cut.  And, this is actually a pretty good werewolf horror film, especially for the 1990s.  From the aspect of a monster movie, it delivers on the checklisted goodies of things like blood, guts and monster makeup.  Steve Johnson’s werewolf is pretty effective and holds up for the most part with the high definition jump.  This wolf lives and breathes and is a great behemoth.

Michael Pare is pretty rock solid here as the werewolf in the film.  In the finale, he gets a (surprisingly weak, effects wise) transformation scene where he’s actually quite terrifying.  On the opposite end of the spectrum, Mariel Hemingway gives one of her weakest performances.  She’s doesn’t quite pull off the intensity in a lot of the action and chase scenes.  She dolls pull off the one liner she’s given for better or for worse.

This film’s tone is a weird weeble-wobble as it has all the makings of being a more family oriented horror film.  Some light heartedness is present, it revolves around a dog and a very kid-like performance by a boy.  However, the film is also insanely gory and violent and features a pretty raunchy sex scene to open things up.  Its a very odd balance.  However, I’m an adult, so it doesn’t matter, and I enjoyed it pretty solid enough.

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Encoding: MPEG-4 AVC

Resolution: 1080p

Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1

Clarity/Detail:  Bad Moon drops on Blu-ray with a marvelous looking transfer from Scream Factory.  The image is crisp, clean and very full.  Its quite amusing too look at, with all its clarity.  You can really get a great detailed look at the werewolf in the film.  One of their best transfers to date.

Depth:  Some real nice depth work here.  Clarity between background and foreground imagery is pretty top notch.  Spacing is good and movements are smooth.

Black Levels:  Blacks are rich and deep.  Some really terrific shading and the look of scenes taking place in the darkness are beautiful. No crushing witnessed.

Color Reproduction:  Colors are natural, but full and bold.  Reds stick out with a varying palette.  Greens are also strong.

Flesh Tones:  Skin tones are natural and maintain a consistency throughout the feature runtime.  Close-ups and medium shots reveal some real nice detail on wrinkles, stubble, scuffs and scrapes, make-up.

Noise/Artifacts:  Strikingly, this looks really clean

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Audio Format(s): English 5.1 DTS-HD MA, English 2.0 DTS-HD MA

Subtitles: English

Dynamics:  I wasn’t expecting this, but Bad Moon sounds pretty awesome in its maiden voyage to Blu-ray.  Sound effects highlight this track, being well rounded and in your face impactful.  The finale of the film is loud, crazy and pits you in the heat of the chase.  This well balanced track weaves together the music, vocals and said sound effects with ease and clarity.

Low Frequency Extension:  The subwoofer impressive rips through this film.  Gun fires blasts its way through and the werewolf roaring should rumble your seat.  Pretty impressive work here.

Surround Sound Presentation:  A nice full 5 channel feel comes from this mix.  Rear speakers provide some great ambiance for the outdoor sequences.  Front channels really grasp a sense of motion as well as place for characters and action bits.

Dialogue Reproduction:  Dialogue is crisp, clear and dictation is well represented.

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Bad Moon features both Theatrical and Director’s Cuts of the film.

Audio Commentary

  • With Director Eric Red

Nature of the Beast: Making of Bad Moon (HD, 35:17) – Featuring interviews with writer/director Eric Red, actors Michael Pare and Mason Gamble, Special Effects Make-up artist Steve Johnson and stunt coordinator Ken Kirzinger

Unrated Opening Sequence (HD, 6:07) – Features a little more raunchy sex scene than appears in either cut of the film.

Theatrical Trailer (HD, 1:06) 

Transformation Sequence Storyboards (HD, 6:30) 

Thor/Werewolf Fight Storyboards (HD, 9:40) 

Thor Stares Down Uncle Ted Storyboards (HD, 4:15)

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Everything shy of having a slip cover and the words plastered on it, this is as good as any Collector’s Edition Blu-ray from Scream Factory.  The film looks and sounds absolutely marvelous, being on the best I’ve seen from them.  It also contains a retrospective documentary that’s well worth the time and money for this release.  A solid werewolf tale with a terrific Blu-ray debut.  Check this one out!



Brandon is the host, producer, writer and editor of The Brandon Peters Show (thebrandonpetersshow.com) on the Creative Zombie Studios Network. At Why So Blu he is a Writer/Reviewer. Brandon is a lifelong obsessive film nerd. As eager to educate in the world of film as I am to learn. An avid lover of horror, schlock and trash. You can also find older essays on his blog Naptown Nerd (naptownnerd.blogspot.com).

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