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The Cinematic Katzenjammer: Oct 15: Teen Wolf


Oct 15: Teen Wolf

"A highschooler discovers that he is a werewolf."
Directed by: Rod Daniel, Rated: PG, 91 minutes

Oh, Michael J. Fox, what a career you have had. My question for you, however, is why would you follow up Back to the Future with Teen Wolf, an 80s teenage comedy that falls well behind the rest in the genre? Teen Wolf just tries too hard to be something John Hughes-like, but lacks any heart or charm to make it worthwhile. Sure, it's got Fox in the starring role, and he does his best with what he's given, but his supporting cast and weak script don't even come close. 

I understand the rage in his eyes. 

Teen Wolf is about Scott Howard (Fox), a nerdy-ish teenager who's on the starting squad of his school's horrible basketball team. He's not necessarily looked down upon by everyone in the school, but he's still his own social outcast and struggles to talk to a pretty girl. One day, Scott discovers his body is changing and that he's actually gradually becoming a werewolf. He's never bitten nor cursed, he simply becomes a man-wolf because his dad is one as well. As soon as he's furry and clawed, he finds a confidence he never had, kicks a lot of ass in basketball, and manages to win the hearts of not only his classmates, but yes, of that special girl (because what teenager in the 80s didn't LOVE a furry kid?). 

I believe sexy is the best word for this picture. 

I have to admit, I've only seen clips from this movie up until today. As big of a fan I am of Michael J. Fox, Teen Wolf just never called out to me. I find the entire premise ridiculous and even knowing that's the feeling they were going for, it still feels like the filmmakers thought they could get away with it. Fox is the only name in the film that brings any star-power or charisma, and his supporting friends and classmates are idiotic cliches of each character. His best friend is an annoying twat (played by Jerry Levine) and anything he does would warrant an immediate termination of friendship in my mind. His dueling love interests, the hot blonde Pamela (Lorie Griffin) isn't worth chasing and his friend-for-life-oh-maybe-I-actually-love-her, Boof (Susan Ursitti) is equally un-compelling. 

It must suck having no career after playing someone named Boof. 

Teen Wolf is an easy movie to have on in the background, but even then can get frustrating. The basketball sequences are just as bad, with none of what happens being something that would occur in an actual game (this always frustrates me in movies). Even the makeup is just decent, with each transformation not being any sort of thing you'd see in An American Werewolf in London. There's just not enough substance in Teen Wolf for me to warrant a recommendation. In fact, have you not seen it already, I'd suggest skipping it entirely and watching Sixteen Candles or something instead. But, worry not Michael J. Fox, for you always be Mary McFly in my eyes. Teen Wolf is just a smear on your record that I'll overlook and forget about. I'd suggest you do the same. 

The Good:
Michael J. Fox
The Bad: 
Fox in a role he's clearly much, much better than
The Ugly:
an entire lack of substance, humor, or charm that turns the film into something too easy to forget

Overall: 4.6/10


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