April 30, 2011

Teen Wolf - 1985

Director: Rod Daniel
Writers: Jeph Loeb & Matthew Weisman
Starring: Michael J. Fox, James Hampton, Susan Ursitti, Jerry Levine

"You don't scare me, freak. Underneath all that hair, you're still a dork, Scott. I've handled your kind before. Your mama used to steal chickens out of the backyard until I blew her head off with a shotgun. Right, Scott?" At puberty, Scott Harold (Fox) discovers that his father's side of the family suffers from a severe hair issue--specifically, werewolfism.

This might have been a staple of the 80s teen genre film, but watching it now is all sort of disappointing. The characters are barely developed, the special effects are laughable, the metaphorical aspect is heavyhanded at best...most of all, though, no character in the film treats his condition like it's something to be feared. In fact, it's just the opposite. For lack of a better term, let's call it "Bella syndrome"--normal people treating horrible monsters with excessive compassion and reverence. The first time Scott "wolfs out" in public, he's in the middle of a basketball game. THE CROWD STARTS CHEERING. I wish I were joking. Michael J. Fox was fresh off his BTTF-inspired success when this came out, but it's just another underwhelming film that never deserved its sequel. D

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