Encyclopedia of Fantasy (1997)
Teen Wolf

A series of two movies.

1. Teen Wolf US movie (1985). Atlantic. Pr Mark Levinson, Scott Rosenfelt. Exec pr Thomas Coleman, Michael Rosenblatt. Dir Rod Daniel. Mufx Tom Burman, Jefferson Dawn, Kyle Tucy. Screenplay Joseph Loeb III, Matthew Weisman. Starring Michael J Fox (Scott Howard), James Hampton (Harold Howard), Susan Ursitti (Boof). 91 mins. Colour.

Highschool student Scott discovers to his initial horror that he is born of a line of Werewolves. But when his lycanthropy suddenly becomes overt in the middle of a basketball game he finds the condition is not without advantages: his athletic superiority soon makes him the school hero as he brings the basketball team to the championship finals. The adulation, however, makes him insufferable; it takes the love of a good teenager (his girl-next-door childhood friend Boof) to make him realize that, if the idolization is directed towards the lupine Mask, it isn't worth anything, and that the only achievements that matter are those you earn yourself.

The moral is trite, but nicely handled – as is much of the rest of this amiable teen movie, despite suffering from a tendency towards blandness, as epitomized by Fox's somewhat androgynous charms: even as a wolf, he would earn the approbation of most mothers. (He was in his mid-20s when making TW.) Hampton and Ursitti give fine support performances. The glossiness and commercial success of this movie contrast bizarrely with its obvious precursor, I Was a Teenage Werewolf (1957).

There was a short-lived tv spinoff series. [JG]

2. Teen Wolf Too US movie (1987). Atlantic. Pr Kent Bateman. Exec pr Thomas Coleman, Michael Rosenblatt. Dir Christopher Leitch. Mufx John Logan, Michael Smithson. Screenplay R Timothy Kring. Starring Jason Bateman (Todd Howard), Estee Chandler (Nicki). 94 mins. Colour.

Todd, cousin of 1's Scott, goes to Hamilton University to study biology, and is forced into the boxing team. Thereafter the plot is essentially that of 1 except that boxing replaces basketball, bullying is glorified, and much merriment is garnered from the infliction of brain damage; the pits are reached when the cast stage a hilarious fight hurling live frogs at each other. Some follow-ups are better than their originals, but not this one. [JG]

This entry is taken from the Encyclopedia of Fantasy (1997) edited by John Clute and John Grant. It is provided as a reference and resource for users of the SF Encyclopedia, but apart from possible small corrections has not been updated.