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Teen Wolf

Starring: Michael J. Fox
Director: Rod Daniel
Genre: Comedy
Year: 1985
Rating: 2 / 5

There was a time when Michael J. Fox was actually considered a reasonable bet to headline a major motion picture. After all, the likeable Canadian was the star of the wildly popular series Family Ties, and it seemed as though the sky was indeed the limit. Teen Wolf came along at just such a time, and, while it is a nostalgic look back at the mid-1980s, it falls somewhat short of being a quality film. This tale about a high school nerd who learns he is a werewolf offers a dash of the cute, the humorous, and the moral, all in the name of a warm comedy. However, once one gets past the rocking eighties tunes and the so-bad-they're-good fashion statements, Teen Wolf is another formulaic effort from an oft-ridiculed decade.

Scott Howard (Michael J. Fox) is the high school kid we all had inside of us - wanting to a be more popular, wanting to run with the "in" crowd, and, most importantly, wanting to attract the attentions of the beauty down the hall. Scott is the starting point guard on a team of basketball misfits, playing for a coach who does little but punch the clock. Scott begins to notice changes in himself, particularly the lengthening of his teeth and the hair that begins growing all over his body. When things get to be too much for the confused high school student, he turns to his father, who lets him in on the family secret - Scott is a werewolf.

In the midst of a basketball game, as players scramble for a loose ball, the wolf inside Scott is publicly revealed for the first time. Shock slowly gives way to acceptance as Scott, with the heightened senses and skills of a werewolf, leads his team to victory. The "Teen Wolf" is suddenly the most popular kid in school, even winning the affections of the aforementioned beauty. During his rise to prominence, Scott ignores his core group of friends, especially Boof (Susan Ursitti), the girl next door who has more than friendship on her mind. Will Scott be able to come to terms with the praise and adulation in time to recognize what is important in life?

Teen Wolf is certainly an interesting story concept, though it is a shame that tried-and-true ideas are heaped onto what might have been a unique tale. Michael J. Fox, the only actor of note in the film, is forced to carry much of the load himself, though he seems capable of handling the script's minimal requirements. The supporting cast is largely undistinguished, from Jerry Levine and Matt Adler, as Scott's best friends, to Jim McKrell, the school's bigoted vice principal. Teen Wolf is an enjoyable relic from the 1980s, but it, as well as its unfortunate sequel, deserves to remain there for posterity.


Michael J. Fox..........Scott Howard
Susan Ursitti..........Boof Marconi

Certification: Rated PG.
Running Time: 90 minutes.

Additional Info: Internet Movie Database
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