Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Movie Review: Teen Wolf Too

Teen Wolf Too
Directed by Christopher Leitch
Running Time: 95 minutes
Originally Released: November 20, 1987

Zero (out of four)

I was a little kid when the original Teen Wolf was released in 1985. Being only a lad, I thought the movie was great, and I remember watching the cartoon spin-off of the film when it debuted on Saturday mornings the following year. When Teen Wolf Too was released in theaters in the fall of 1987, I very much wanted to see it. Almost 24 years later, thanks to Netflix Instant Viewing, I have finally seen what I’ve been missing out on for nearly a quarter of a century—total and complete crap.

Teen Wolf Too, as its oh-so-clever title suggests, is not about the teenage werewolf of the first film, Scott Howard (who was played by Michael J. Fox), but about a second teenage werewolf—Scott’s cousin, Todd. Todd (played by a young and pretty Jason Bateman) knows all about his cousin’s lycanthropic tendencies, but so far he thinks himself immune to the family curse. Thanks in part to cousin Scott’s notoriety, Todd has just entered his freshman year of college on a sports scholarship. Never mind that Todd is far from being an athlete. The powers that be are hoping he can nevertheless capitalize on his family genes and, with a little coaxing, lead the school to some ferocious boxing victories. Todd is less certain, but surely enough, as Todd takes his first beating in the ring, his frustration unleashes the animal within and he soon transforms into a werewolf. The furrier version of Todd quickly knocks out his opponent and, like Scott in the first film, becomes an instant sensation. His ego inflates accordingly, and Todd soon forgets his veterinary ambitions and who his real friends are. You know the drill.

I’m not aiming to do a historical research paper here, but it seems fairly evident that Teen Wolf Too was pushed through to production simply to capitalize on the success of its predecessor. That happens often enough, but what makes this film particularly terrible is that it feels as if it were scripted—and that might be a generous word, in this case—not by a professional screenwriter but by a board of executives who knew nothing more than that Teen Wolf was a smash hit. There is next to no development here whatsoever. Todd goes from being the nice boy next door to a self-centered jerk and (spoiler alert!) back again with all the subtlety of a paddle ball being batted around by a six-year-old who’s just eaten one too many Smarties. But how could there be any genuine character or story development when half of the film consists of musical montage? Two of the full-song-length montages even occur back to back. I can only hope the original theatrical version of the film included an onscreen notice to the audience that it was now safe to head to the restroom and visit the concession stand. (Probably not, for fear they would never return.) In the end, I’m unsure if the filmmakers thought viewers would be so stricken with wolf fever that simply watching a werewolf in sunglasses cruising around in a Ferrari for seven minutes at a time would be rewarding enough, or if they simply didn’t care what audiences would think, presuming that movie-goers would line up at the box office either way. I’m guessing the latter.


  1. I thoroughly enjoyed your bashing of TeenWolfToo. It sounds like it lived up to the title of just being a "Too". I agree with you that it might be nice to let people know now is a good time to take their concession break and perhaps many of them would just grab the popcorn and run. Probably, producers are only thinking that if they get you in the theater, they have your dollar in their pocket, so all's well, just like you said. Great review on your part....five stars for you!!!!

  2. Hey, it seems to be working with vampires. ;)

  3. Haha Damsel.
    I think most "too" movies are just what you described. It annoys me and what intelligence I do have. Especially kids shows that they just keep making more and more of. Oh, they're kids, they don't care. Just keep keep telling them the same story... Ugh!