This is it. The final day of AWESOME-tober-fest 2010. It surely has been a blast. Don’t mind me as I get all weepy and shed a tear for the end of this year’s festivities. Hope everyone has had as much fun as I’ve had. And for me, it all begins again in a few months when I plan for AWESOME-tober-fest 2011.
Anyway, last Friday for werewolf TV week, I reviewed The Cartoon Adventures of Teen Wolf which was based on one of my favorite 80s movies, Teen Wolf. So, to cap off this year’s AWESOME-tober-fest, I’m going to review Teen Wolf as well as the sequel, Teen Wolf Too, which I think has a clever title (suck it, haters). Here we go.
Teen Wolf (1985) – Michael J Fox actually filmed this movie before he filmed Back to the Future, but Teen Wolf was released a month and a half later in August 1985 (Back to the Future was released on July 3). I sat down with my wife to watch this movie for the first time in probably 10-15 years (she had never watched it all the way through). And yes, I still enjoy it. It’s a bit cheesy. A bit goofy. Michael J Fox is wonderful as usual. Jerry Levine is great as the scheming Stiles. And it’s just a fun and funny 80s comedy about a teen werewolf. I will admit though, some of the music is an odd fit for this movie. In one basketball montage they have what sounds like a Randy Newman song that was rejected from Toy Story. And the final basketball game has a more typical 80s song over it, but it’s also weird. However I love the “Big Bad Wolf” song during the school dance scene (along with the horribly cheesy “Teen Wolf Dance”). The chick that plays Pamela is pretty hot (and reminds me of the hot blond chick from Sixteen Candles) and her neanderthal boyfriend is appropriately douchey. It’s a good movie. Not great, but good. I think, though, people may remember it as being better than it actually was. But I still enjoyed it, as did my wife. I don’t think this movie was intended to be anything other than a solid B-comedy. FYI…the next night after watching this we went to see the Back to the Future 25th Anniversary Re-release. Great double header.
Teen Wolf Too (1987) – Yes, I saw this in the theater. I loved Teen Wolf so much that I just had to. I remember enjoying it, but thinking that it was nowhere near as good as the original. So, my wife and I sat down to watch this sequel the other night and…it’s exactly as I remember. Not great. The story is extremely similar to the original movie. Replace basketball with boxing and high school with college. It’s not Bateman’s fault this movie is bad, it’s the script and special effects. The movie looks extremely cheap, the werewolf makeup is terrible and there’s like three musical interludes, two of which are montages (TWO MONTAGES!). The third musical interlude is Bateman, as the wolf, singing ‘Do You Love Me’ Ferris Bueller-style at a college party. And I remember thinking back in 1987 that was a horrible choice of songs. I guess they were trying to go classic like Bueller did for ‘Twist and Shout’, but damn, they couldn’ t find (or, more truthfully, afford) a better song? Actually, Dirty Dancing came out a few months earlier, so I believe they may have been trying to capitalize on the success of that movie. Regardless, it was a terrible scene that brings the movie to a screeching halt. There are several lame attempts to connect this movie to the original. Jason Bateman’s Todd Howard is the cousin of Fox’s character from the original. They even bring back Scott’s dad, James Hampton, for two scenes. The character of Stiles awesomely played by Jerry Levine in the first movie is recast and played by someone that looks completely different and doesn’t have half the charisma of the original. They even bring back the character of Coach Finstock but, again, recast him with a goofier actor. They also bring back Chubby from the first movie. All of these feel more like the studio saying, “Hey, remember the original movie? It was good right? So you’ll remember these guys and like this movie even though it sucks”. I was really hoping to have been colored by my love of the original when I saw this in the theater, but it wasn’t that. The movie just blew. I was surprised to find out Todd’s faculty advisor is played by Kim Darby. I didn’t even remember it was her. She was the little girl in True Grit with John Wayne, as well as the mom in Better Off Dead. She’s not great either. So, yes, overall this is probably as bad as you remember. However, I still have a soft spot for it because it’s a Teen Wolf movie. And I’m looking forward to MTV’s take on it. I’ll probably hate it, because by all indications they are totally gaying it up like Twilight, but I’m going to watch it.
Also, check out the blog Countdown to Halloween for more Halloween-y, bloggy AWESOMEness.