In European mythology, a silver arrow is the only way to kill a werewolf. More recently, the term magic bullet was used to describe the action of vaccines and antibiotics to kill the otherwise-impervious "enemy" and the two terms became confused. See magic bullet for a fuller description of how this combined term is commonly used.

Also, Coors Light beer, one of the most disgusting substances known to man.

UPDATE 7/2/01: It has come to my attention that this used to qualify as a generally bad writeup, for reasons that should be obvious. I will now expound upon the virtues of the Silver Bullet.

Chief amongst the virtues of the Silver Bullet is that it is cheap. Really, really cheap. A 30 pack goes for about 14 bucks, and, like Bic (I think) it is worth every penny.

Second, it's really quite smooth. Smooth like water. In fact, it's like water in a lot of ways, including but not limited to its near-total lack of flavor.

Third, although this one is sadly obsolete, it had a great advertising campaign in the form of Swedish bikini girls towering over the Rockies and bowling.

Fourth, and last, and certainly not least, it has the best name and slogan of any commodity beer on the market (although Schlitz and Pabst Blue Ribbon come close). Who _wouldn't_ enjoy saying "Hey, Nate, can you toss me another silver bullet?" Who _wouldn't want to tap the Rockies?

And that, my friends, is why you should enjoy Coors Light responsibly.

Heh heh. My friend Ron and his girlfriend went to Amazing Video on Route 1 one day when they were bored. They picked up a vibrating metal dildo... it looked like one of those big click pens with twenty different colors of ink, but it was shiny silver. It became known as the Silver Bullet.


But let me ask you if this makes any sense... he broke up with his girlfriend, but he held onto the Silver Bullet. A couple months down the road, he offered it to the girl he was dating, and she freaked (which I can understand). She said that she didn't know where it had been. He said, "You don't know where I've been, either." She said "That's different."

Is it really, though? Considering both are washed, and only one of them can be a carrier of disease... is there really that much of a taboo on sex toys (in America, anyway)? Logically, I think, he's right on target. Disgusting, maybe, but right on target.

Silver bullet has slipped into warez d00dz speak as meaning the one right thing to solve a specific problem.

A (poor) example:
"The only silver bullet for playing copied Playstation games is a mod chip."

Also hodgepodge Coors Light is The Silver Bullet, and yes it is disgusting. Coors comes in an off-yellow color can, and for (and in) equally bad taste is called the Golden Shower.

Also the name given to the world's smallest jet aircraft. It's 3.7 metres in length, has a wingspan of 5.1 metres, weighs in at 198 kilograms and can reach 483 km/h.

It was built in 1976 (and is still owned) by Bob Bishop, a professional aerobatic pilot, though it was used to advertise Coors in the early 90's. Bob still flies it at air shows, and also to simulate a cruise missile on radar during military exercises.

In Magic: the Gathering, "Silver Bullets" refer to one-of cards included in the main deck which are able to wreck particular decks or playing styles. In order to make these bullets available at the right moment, such a deck will also feature a strong tutoring or searching element, be it a "bullets and tutors" approach or an engine such as survival of the fittest.

Such an approach flies in the face of conventional magic deck design. Typically, you include 4 copies (the limit for cards other than basic lands in all sanctioned tournament formats) of your best cards, meaning that you can consistently expect to see at least one copy turn up during a match. Any narrow cards ("hosers") that are only effective against specific decks or colours are left in the 15 card sideboard, and then substituted in for the second and third games of the match once you have an idea of what you're facing.

Why then use silver bullets? If a given decktype can be shutdown by a certain card, then it might seem sensible to run one copy of that card for random "I win" moments against that deck - for instance, running a single Worship in the maindeck of a white weenie deck, simply for its ability to shut mono-red out of the game.

However, the silver bullet approach tries to reduce this element of chance. By including enough tutors, the deck can play as though it had four (or even more) copies when it in fact only has the one. In the Worship example above, the deck could be running 4 Academy Rectors, which, on death, allow an enchantment to be fetched from the library and put into play. Thus, although there is only a single copy of the card in the deck, there are in fact 5 ways to get it - draw any of the 4 rectors, or draw the worship itself.

This strategy therefore allows for greater flexibilty without sacrificing too much consistency. There are a number of limitations which should, however, be noted:

  • The bullet must be potent enough as a one-shot effect. This is because although the tutors act as virtual copies of the card, in that they increase the chances of gaining access to it, they are not themselves the card. What this means is that subsequent tutors drawn do not add to the effect, and if the original card is dealt with there are no replacement copies in the deck, only tutors. In the case of Worship, this might not be a problem - once one is on the table, it should prevent the mono-red deck from winning. If however you tutor for a creature removal spell, then later a better target appears, you cannot draw that bullet again. Thus, suitable bullets must be able to win or seriously hinder their victory condition in a single stroke and not be needed in multiples.
  • Second, it goes without saying that there must be enough good tutors in the format to make this approach viable. If the tutors are restricted or banned (as tends to be the case with deeper card pools such as type 1), then there may not be enough to make up for the inconsistency of only having one copy of a given bullet.
  • As an extension to this, the tutors must be fast enough to be workable. This in part will be determined by the format and in particular by the deck the bullet works against. For instance, Moat basically ends the game for many green-based creature decks. However, such decks can be lethally fast - if you tutor for the Moat on turn 4, ready to cast 5, then this is only of use if you survive to turn 5. If you cannot, then it would have been better to draw and cast the Moat on turn 4 - that is, you need the real consistency of having 4 copies if the virtual copies represented by tutors are too slow against the target deck.
  • Finally, it should be recognised that the more bullets the deck runs, the greater the potential to draw dead cards: that is, a card of no value in the matchup. Thus the deck must have an outlet for these cards (usually discarding them for a payment) or you must be confident that the bullets are of value against the bulk of the metagame. Decks based around Survival of the Fittest have no dead creature cards, as they can simply be turned into a different, more useful card. Similarly, creature bullets at the very least can be used as a mediocre attacker or as a chump blocker. On the other hand, specialist enchantments tend to be all or nothing affairs - although Worship shuts down mono-red, it has zero value against a deck that mills for the win.

Given these restrictions, it is appropriate to give an example of a successful deck in this style. "Flores Black" became known as Napster for its ability to give you exactly what you want, and was piloted to victory at the US Nationals in 2000 by Jon Finkel.

Flores Black Control

2 Phyrexian Negator
3 Skittering Skirge
1 Thrashing Wumpus
2 Skittering Horror
1 Stromgald Cabal

4 Dark Ritual
4 Duress
1 Engineered Plague
1 Eradicate
1 Massacre
1 Perish
1 Persecute
1 Stupor
2 Unmask
4 Vampiric Tutor
4 Vicious Hunger
4 Yawgmoth's Will

4 Rishadan Port
2 Dust Bowl
2 Spawning Pool
15 Swamp

2 Engineered Plague
1 Eradicate
1 Massacre
1 Perish
2 Phyrexian Negator
1 Phyrexian Processor
1 Powder Keg
2 Rapid Decay
1 Stromgald Cabal
1 Stupor
1 Thran Lens
1 Unmask

As can be seen the bullets available are certainly potent enough to ruin the chances of specific decks: perish taking apart green whilst eradicate damages decks revolving around a single creature (such as Academy Rector) beyond repair; whilst the assorted discard effects allow key spells to be forced through against control and the Cabal shuts down combo decks with white cards such as replenish - in other words, there are answers for every aspect of the field, then impressive creatures to go about the job of winning afterwards.

The speed of access to these cards is also about as fast as it can get - the tutor of choice, vampiric tutor, only costs a single mana (the loss of 2 life is acceptable in pursuit of speed) and with dark ritual to power it, other cards can be played that turn or expensive tutored-for cards can be cast the next turn.

The real advantage that this deck has though are the (now restricted, banned or out of print for all formats) 4 copies of yawgmoth's will. This negates the previously highlighted problem of only really having a single copy: if a second eradicate is desired, the tutor can be used to fetch yawgmoth's will which then allows it to be recast, and the tutor can also be recast for another spell of choice! Alternatively, if the card hasn't yet been used, if there are tutors in the graveyard then drawing a will is as useful as drawing the tutor or needed card in the late game. Any dead cards drawn could be used for unmask's alternative casting cost.

Coupled with further options from the sideboard, this combination of fast mana, tutors, silver bullets, and the ability to recast the lot created a deck with more consistency than its rivals running 4 copies of their key cards but little or no search elements.

Thus the merits of the silver bullet can be seen. At the extreme are toolbox designs featuring nothing but bullets and tutors, with a way to use the redundant cards, ideally turning them into the appropriate bullet. Of course, in some formats (essentially those that lack efficient tutors or bullets with enough impact to make up for the cards and time used to find them) a traditional four of the best, none of the rest approach is optimal. The trick is to figure out which is the more devastating in a given environment- and if it's the bullets and tutors, then the suprise element also adds to its potency.

Stephen King's astonishing oeuvre gets raided regularly by Hollywood, resulting in cinematic gems and absolute turkeys. Silver Bullet hits a mark between the two. Directed by Daniel Attias (but, also, Don Coscarelli1, the film features redneck hero Gary Busey, lost boy Corey Haim, and Canadian icon Megan Follows in a small town that has come to fear the full moon.

King adapted the script from his own Cycle of the Werewolf, itself a tribute to the lycanthropic legend, as it has developed in the twentieth century. By this point, the popular conception of the werewolf owes more to Hollywood than to millennia of shapeshifter/skinwalker lore. The book is a rather standard King horror, taking its cue from his first novel, Salem's Lot2. A Peyton Place of a small town encounters the supernatural. Only a select few realize the truth. The trope-laden tale does feature a rarity, however, a child hero with significant physical disability.

The film's effects work overall. They falter a little in the critical department of lycanthropes. The producer fought with two directors and King about how graphic and moonlit the werewolf should be. The resulting compromise is less effective than anyone might have hoped, with our monster looking rather like a superior Halloween costume. The most memorable effect scenes feature the beginnings of transformation into an animal. We see these with our antagonist, but also in a dream sequence. The horrific dream from which a character awakes is a horror-movie cliché I generally loathe, but this film's example has been staged effectively and it reveals critical information about the dreamer.

The many actors vary in their skills and styles, and I doubt they were helped by the behind-the-scenes feuding and the change of directors. The principals are fine, and Busey, allowed to ad-lib many of his lines, makes a compelling Uncle Red. We won't ask why he's the only member of his family who speaks with a Texas accent. Cory Haim and Megan Follows do well as siblings, constantly bickering but growing into an understanding of each other.

We have a town's full of characters, and a combination of the source material and the limited running-time reduces most of them to central casting. Silver Bullet feels like an abridged mini-series. When so many minor characters enter and exit a story, we lose the opportunity to really get to know the central characters, and we don't care too much about the secondaries who get slaughtered.

Silver Bullet breaks little new ground, and its musical score ranks among the cheesiest that 80s cinema has to offer. Better were-films certainly exist. However, it works well enough on its own terms, and holds up as Halloween viewing.

Gary Busey as Uncle Red
Corey Haim as Marty Coslaw
Megan Follows as Jane Coslaw
Robin Groves as Nan Coslaw
Leon Russom as Bob Coslaw
Everett McGill as Reverend Lowe
Terry O'Quinn as Sheriff Joe Haller
Bill Smitrovich as Andy Fairton
Joe Wright as Brady Kincaid
Kent Broadhurst as Herb Kincaid
Heather Simmons as Tammy Sturmfuller
James A. Baffico as Milt Sturmfuller
Rebecca Fleming as Mrs. Sturmfuller
Lawrence Tierney as Owen Knopfler
William Newman as Virgil Cuts
Sam Stoneburner as Mayor O’Banion
Laurens Moore as Billy McLaren
Wendy Walker as Stella Randolph
Michael Lague as Stella’s Boyfriend
Myra Mailloux as Stella’s Mother
William Brown as Bobby Robertson
Herb Harton as Elmer Zinneman
David Hart as Pete Sylvester
Graham Smith as Porter Zinneman
Paul Butler as Edgar Rounds
Crystal Field as Maggie Andrews
Julius LeFlore as Smokey
Pearl Jones as Mrs. Thayer
Ish Jones Jr. as Mr. Thayer
Tovah Feldshuh as Older Jane

1. Coscarelli began the picture. He resigned over ongoing conflicts with producer Dino de Laurentiis, but apparently after a fair bit of filming had occurred.

2. Carrie was the first of his novels published, but he wrote Salem's Lot first.

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