Silver Bullet – Collector’s Edition (4K UHD Blu-ray Review)

Scream Factory continues to clean up its back catalog of special editions it had on standard Blu-ray and making them 4K Ultra-HD Blu-rays rather quickly. Up for December is the adaptation of Stephen King’s Silver Bullet which they just put out in 2019 (Which I guess was 4 years ago, but that’s before they were doing 4Ks). Aside from the brand new transfer, not much has been done here other than a commentary. However, this was a very top notch release to begin with. You can order yourself a copy to own for the first time or to upgrade, by using the paid Amazon Associate link below.



Originally published 12/11/2019.

A peaceful town is suddenly terrorized by a maniacal killer. The townsfolk think a madman is on the loose, but a wheelchair-bound 13-year-old (Corey Haim, The Lost Boys) knows the truth … a werewolf is on the hunt. With the help of his Uncle Red (Gary Busey, Bulletproof), young Marty Coslaw sets out to stop the half-man/half-beast before he sinks his teeth into another innocent victim. Now, time is ticking … and the full moon is about to rise.

Silver Bullet may go down with its faithful as one of the best Stephen King movies. One of the best ever werewolf movies. One of the best Gary Busey movies(?). Corey Haim(?). Okay, okay, the one I want to add here is that for me, it is one of the best Non-Amblin Amblin movies of the 1980s. This was a Dino De Laurentis production, so no Spielberg was near this thing. But it has the sort of hallmarks on display in those films. More importantly, it manages to capture that “feeling” that people love about them. A lot of that may have to do with beautiful score that kind of gets overlooked with talking about the movie. However, with this Amblin-type film, a vicious, bloody werewolf comes to town and really messes up a small town.

There a care of character going on in Silver Bullet that I appreciate in terms of Everett McGill’s “Reverend Lowe” that under the care or hands of another actor or crew may have not been as effective as it is. I’ve not read the source material, coming from Stephen King’s novella Cycle of the Werewolf so as to know if this praise comes from there and a straight adaptation or not. I can only speak of the film. While McGill is clearly the film’s antagonist (Hell, he’s the damn werewolf), there’s plenty of depth to the character that lends it to being iconic once you’ve finished the film. Not all of it is on paper, either. McGill is a truly underutilized performer (Most know him merely from Twin Peaks, and I’ll throw a “Long live the fighters!” shout out to you Dune lovers out there) and not only exudes menace, but he showcases true sense of who this character in even the most unspoken moments in the film. And in more simple terms, the priest look with the eyepatch is pretty badass for those of you “wears a mask as character depth” type folk out there.

McGill’s werewolf has a pretty cool transformation here and the wolf itself is both awesome and sort of costume-ish at the same time. Overall, Carlo Rambaldi’s design is a success as it truly gets lit, shot and cut to maximum effect. And the effects here about pretty gross and pretty 80s practical rad at the same time. There are some truly gruesome and haunting kills and post-kill make-up effects from start to finish of the movie (It starts off with a damn decapitation less than 5 minutes in) and I included one in my screencaps just to have a gruesome horrific “awe” at.

When it comes to werewolf movies, and probably ones you’ve never seen, Silver Bullet should hit the top of the list. It has a unique cast of characters played by a lot of interesting faces (Busey, Haim, McGill, Terry O’Quinn) and features some great practical effect work to support them. Toss in some killer dream sequences and a beautiful score and you have yourself a treat. And not to poke at, but there are some goofy Mac & Me-like moments that come with Haim’s character but I won’t harp. If you’re familiar you’re familiar. Anyway, check out Silver Bullet already. You’re a few decades late!


Disclaimer: Screen captures used in the review are from promotional images supplied by the studio, not the 4K UHD Blu-ray disc.

Encoding: HEVC / H.265

Resolution: 4K (2160p)

Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1

Layers: BD-66

Clarity/Detail: Silver Bullet’s 4K UHD Blu-ray debut comes from a 2023 transfer from the original camera negative. This is a nice step up and cool to see the added depth and color saturation as well as finer details. There are some moments, the bar in particular, which has a little bit of bleed or overly warm feel on them.

Depth: Depth of field is a solid with some good pushback and spacing seen throughout. Interiors see a good pushback. Movements are cinematic and smooth.

Black Levels: Blacks are deep, natural and carry a little heavier grain. No crushing witnessed.

Color Reproduction: Colors have some nice variation and pop in areas. Reds and greens are pretty solid standouts. These are rustic and bold in their look. HDR comes in handy on displays, lights and good contrasting areas in the darkness.

Flesh Tones: Skin tones are natural and consistent from start to finish. Facial features and textures are notable from any given distance in the frame.

Noise/Artifacts: Clean


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

Subtitles: English

Dynamics: Silver Bullet features a lovely mono mix that, like the transfer, I’m guessing comes from the same source as the Umbrella release last year. That’s a win, as this thing really gets the impact of the horror, with a nice balanced blend of vocals, effects and score. It pushes each to great effect with nice depth and layering. I do particular think the score is captured and presented here quite beautifully, easily bouncing back between orchestra and synth.

Height: N/A

Low Frequency Extension: N/A

Surround Sound Presentation: N/A

Dialogue Reproduction: Vocals are crisp and plenty audible and active in the mix, with good clarity.


Silver Bullet – Collector’s Edition is a 2-Disc set which includes the standard Blu-ray edition. Aside from the audio/commentary-based extras, all bonus features are on the standard Blu-ray disc.

Audio Commentary

  • With producer Martha De Laurentiis
  • With director Daniel Attias
  • With The Kingcast

Isolated Score Selections and audio interview with composer Jay Chattaway

A Little Private Justice (HD, 11:51) – An interview with actor Kent Broadhurst. The actor discusses his role, his motivation for having relation to the son, the craziness of filming the werewolves in the church sequence (There was a contact issue, “That was quite an evening”). He’s a pretty gentle speaker, but has a fond, kind memory about it (“I went with some friends with it, we were all kinda please…I felt pretty good about, I was glad I had taken the role.”)

Cutting to the Bone (HD, 16:39) – An interview with editor Daniel Loewenthal. “Silver Bullet was a big deal for me…it probably saved my career”. The editor discusses his start and what led him to doing Silver Bullet, wherein he cut porn, worked on Mother’s Day and in an awesome connection, got hooked up with Joseph Zito and wound up editing Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter. “In the pantheon of great werewolf movies, Silver Bullet is number 4.” He notes that he directed a transformation scene and that Terry O’Quinn wasn’t too pleased about it. There’s also a tale of how Dino De Laurentis wasn’t pleased with the werewolf first and brought a zoologist on set to decipher whether it was possible or not.

The Wolf Within (HD, 16:15) – An interview with actor Everett McGill. This is the same Red Shirt Pictures interview that appeared on the 2018 Umbrella Entertainment Australian Blu-ray release. Its a very good one as Red Shirt is known for, and is a welcome piece of carry over material from that edition.

Full Moon Fever: The Effects of Silver Bullet (HD, 21:03) – An interview with special effects artists Matthew Mungle and Michael McCracken. Another port over from the Australian Blu-ray, this one is a very fun look back at the making of the movie from the effects point of view as both interviewees are seated together, bounce off one another well. They also aren’t afraid of being honest or poking some good fun with the movie. Plus, they met on ICE PIRATES!

Theatrical Trailer (SD, 1:27) 

TV Spot (SD, :31) – “Starts Friday at a theater near you! Consult local listings.”

Radio Spot (HD, :39)

Still Gallery (HD, 6:20)


Silver Bullet continues to have a place in my heart as one of my favorite werewolf movies of all time (#1 is Ginger Snaps in case you were wondering). Scream Factory updates their original release with a pretty terrific new transfer and an additional commentary from a Stephen King fan podcast. If you’re a fan, this is a pretty good step up, though you may want to wait for a sale to do so.

This is a paid Amazon Associates link


Brandon is the host, producer, writer and editor of The Brandon Peters Show (thebrandonpetersshow.com). He is also the Moderator/MC of the Live Podcast Stage and on the Podcast Awards Committee for PopCon (popcon.us). In the past 10 years at Why So Blu, Brandon has amassed over 1,500 reviews of 4K, Blu-ray and DVD titles.

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