Scream Factory unleash restored ‘TEEN WOLF’ films on collector’s editions

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Preston Barta // Editor

TEEN WOLF (1985)
Rated PG, 91 minutes.
Director: Rod Daniel
Cast: Michael J. FoxJames HamptonSusan UrsittiJerry LevineMatt AdlerJames MacKrellMark Holton and Jay Tarses
Available today on Blu-ray exclusively through shoutfactory.com.

TEEN WOLF is a movie that you may remember being cool back in 1985. It features Michael J. Fox as a werewolf teen named Scott Howard. He knows how to shoot some hoop, ride atop cars like surfboards, capture the interest of the most popular girls at school, and have every dude around envious of his abilities. Over the years, however, the movie has lost some appeal. While it still contains a clever representation of the change we all go through heading into adolescence, there’s some silliness that eats at its core.

The film tells the basic story that mixes elements from teen coming-of-age films with sports cliches, all while throwing in some werewolf legend to shake things up. It does a lot of what you expect it to do, ending with a moral lesson during its sporting climax that you can be sniffed out a mile away.

TEEN WOLF is never really that funny, but it does have a particular charm that makes it fun to watch. A big reason for this is Fox, who is a personable actor that’s believable as both as a popular and unpopular high school kid. He wears the role well and works well opposite Boof (a great Susan Ursitti), a close friend that has the hots for him. Their chemistry is infectious.’

Grade: B-

Extras: The Scream Factory Collector’s Edition release includes a new comprehensive documentary about the development of the film, a making-of that features interviews with the cast and crew, a still gallery and original theatrical trailer.

TEEN WOLF TOO (1987)
Rated PG, 95 minutes.
Director: Christopher Leitch
Cast: Jason BatemanKim DarbyJohn AstinPaul SandJames HamptonMark HoltonEstee ChandlerRobert Neary and Stuart Fratkin
Available today on Blu-ray exclusively through shoutfactory.com.

For everything TEEN WOLF gets right, its extremely lazy sequel gets horribly wrong. As much as I like Jason Bateman today with his dry sense of humor, his style wasn’t fully developed before the 1987 release of TEEN WOLF TOO.

Bateman fills out the fur for Fox’s Howard, playing his cousin Todd. Instead of him completely redoing what Fox did in the first film, Todd is placed in college and is taking on a different sport: boxing. Unfortunately, everything else is the exact same — only worse, more boring and way less fun.

Even with all Scream Factory’s outstanding packaging and extras, this is a difficult one to recommend, unless you’re a completionist collector. Otherwise, better let this sad dog lie.

Grade: D

Extras: The Scream Factory Collector’s Edition release includes many, many different interviews with select members of the cast and crew, along with a still gallery.

About author

Preston Barta

Hello, there! My name is Preston Barta, and I am the features editor of Fresh Fiction and senior film critic at the Denton Record-Chronicle. My cinematic love story began where I was born: off planet on the isolated desert world of the Jakku system. It's there I passed the time scavenging for loose parts with my good friend Rey. One day I found an old film projector and a dusty reel of the 1975 film JAWS. It rocked my world so much that I left my kinfolk in the rearview (I so miss their morning cups of green milk) to pursue my dreams of writing about film. It wasn't long until I met two gents who said they would give me a lift. I can't recall their names, but one was an older man who liked to point a lot and the other was a tall, hairy fella. They got me as far as one of Jupiter's moons where we crossed paths with the U.S.S. Enterprise. Some pointy-eared bastard said I was clear to come aboard. He saw that I was clutching my beloved shark movie and invited me to the "moving pictures room" where he was screening the 1993 film JURASSIC PARK to his crew. He said my life would be much more prosperous if I were familiar with more work by the god named Steven Spielberg. From there, my love for cinema blossomed. Once we reached planet Earth, everything changed. I found the small town of Denton, TX, and was welcomed into the Barta family. They showed me the writings of local film critic Boo Allen. He became my hero and caused me to chase a degree in film and journalism. After my studies at graduate of the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, I met some film critics who showed me the ropes and got me into my first press screening: 2011's THE GREEN LANTERN. Don't worry; I recovered just fine. MAD MAX: FURY ROAD was only four years away.