We haven’t had a good werewolf movie in a long while, and after “Skinwalkers” we still don’t. This cheap chase movie wastes scads of phony ammunition in a torrent of silly gunfight scenes, but more importantly it wastes the time of each and every viewer.

Trashing Navajo mythology, the script refashions the skinwalkers—who might be familiar to you from Tony Hillerman’s novels if nothing else—into two groups of shape-shifters, one of hunters that feed on humans and the other composed of those that resist the temptation by chaining themselves up every full moon and protecting a twelve-year old boy who, according to prophecy, will end the curse on his thirteenth birthday. The former are led by a guy who calls himself Varek (Jason Behr, who was the hero Max Evans on “Roswell”), and the latter by Joshua (Elias Koteas, usually a villain but here the good guy). The kid, Timothy, is a sweet-faced, fragile tyke (Matthew Knight), while his protective mom is Rachel (Rhona Mitra), whose husband Caleb—Joshua’s brother—was supposedly killed thirteen years earlier (notice that coincidence!). Each pack also includes a passel of followers armed to the teeth with guys, knives and—when necessary—teeth and claws.

The trouble begins three days before the prophesied full moon, when Varek finds out that Joshua, Rachel, Timothy and their brood are holed up in a town unaccountably called Huguenot. He and his three helpers ride in like a motorcycle gang and shoot up the place, just the first of a bunch of gun battles in which remarkably few bullets hit their targets—but then one supposes that these critters can’t be expected to be markswolves. There follows a pursuit along which lots of characters bite the dust before a final confrontation between Varek and Joshua in a deserted factory in which—for some reason—strategically-placed bonfires illuminate the place while Rachel and Timothy cower in a cage. There also a big revelation regarding Varek’s true identity, which you’ve already guessed by now, as well as a feel-good coda that leaves room for a sequel, though if one is made—heaven forbid—you can be sure it will be direct-to-DVD.

“Skinwalkers” is atrociously made, from an opening sequence shot in such jittery, hand-held style it’s likely to cause nausea to the showdown, in which no thought seems to have been given to geography or coherence. Bad makeup and sloppy effects are especially harmful in this sort of flick. And the actors perform with an earnestness perhaps indicative of the effort they all have to exert to keep from smirking at all the nonsense they’re spouting. The one interesting thing about the cast is that the young, cherubic-looking Mr. Knight so strongly resembles Christopher Knight, who played Peter on “The Brady Bunch,” that you might think that you’ve been transported back to that old sitcom.

“Skinwalkers” is a werewolf movie so bad it merits a silver bullet.