Main cast: Mariel Hemingway (Janet), Michael Paré (Uncle Ted), Mason Gamble (Brett), and Ken Pogue (Sheriff Jenson)
Director: Eric Red
Imagine my surprise when I learn that this movie actually had a theatrical release back in 1996. Bad Moon lacks the usual pyrotechnics and fireworks of the kind of movies that get a theatrical release. Instead, it feels and looks so much like a TV movie, complete with mediocre to awful acting and an anticlimactic denouement.
While pretending to be Indiana Jones somewhere in Asia, our Uncle Ted takes time with his girlfriend to have sex in the tent and show plenty of skin. Alas, they are interrupted by a werewolf who happily savages the girlfriend to death before getting his head blown off by a naked and injured Uncle Ted. Yes, folks, we have plenty of skin in the first fifteen minutes of the movie. You get to see a brief glimpse of Michael Paré’s dangling bits. Still, not everyone will find the nudity sexy since it’s drenched with gore at the same time.
So, Uncle Ted then becomes a werewolf when the moon is full. Desperate for a cure, he finally decides that family love may just be the answer. Alas, his family isn’t so loving, it turns out. His sister Janet, supposedly a lawyer, is more interested in proving herself right that Ted needs her to take care of him. Brett, her son, is annoying. Their dog, Thor, hates Ted because Ted has a bigger doggy pee-pee than he. All Ted wants is to have a chance to run out into the woods at night where he will handcuff himself to a tree so that he won’t kill anyone in werewolf form, but Thor keeps bugging him and Janet is just so annoying… seriously, it’s a wonder he doesn’t wise up and just kill off those people ASAP.
The acting is pretty bad, and I’m not just talking about that kid. Mariel Hemingway makes her character as gratingly stupid and annoying as can be. When Janet is confronted with the sight of Ted turning into a werewolf, her reaction is to scold him and demand that he tells her what is going on. I’m not joking. Janet is so smug and self-righteous here, she makes Ted come off like the good guy. Michael Paré is always good to look at, but his acting always resemble the hollow thudding of a wooden log as the log falls down a deep chasm.
The werewolf looks very good, really, but he has to suffer the humiliation of fighting with and losing miserably to a 105-lb German Shepard. Thor must be a robot, because he barely gets any injury despite being swiped and clawed by Ted the Werewolf. But one swing of the doggy paw and poor Ted goes down for the count. Werewolves everywhere will never recover from this humiliation, I tell you.
And let’s not start with the lack of logic in this movie, such as how Ted gets himself free from his handcuffs after he transforms back to human in the morning or why it seems like there is a full moon every night for what seems like one month in this movie. This movie lacks gore or campy humor to qualify as a guilty pleasure. It’s just a sub par werewolf TV movie. Watch this only for the brief Michael Paré skin (and really, there are better movies in which he shows more skin) or ridiculous doggy Terminator action.