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

I have been working as a film journalist since 2010, dividing the first four years between radio broadcasting and entertainment writing in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex. In 2014, I entered Fresh Fiction (FreshFiction.tv) as the features editor. The following year, I stepped into the film critic position at the Denton Record-Chronicle, a daily North Texas print publication. My time is dedicated to writing theatrical film reviews, at-home entertainment columns, and conducting interviews with on-screen talent and filmmakers, as well as hosting a podcast devoted to genre filmmaking (called My Bloody Podcast). I've been married for seven happy years, and I have one son who is all about dinosaurs just like his dad.