Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Rod Daniel|
|Produced by||Mark Levinson
Scott M. Rosenfelt
George W. Perkins
|Written by||Jeph Loeb
|Starring||Michael J. Fox
|Music by||Miles Goodman|
|Editing by||Lois Freeman-Fox|
|Distributed by||Atlantic Releasing Corporation (original)
|Running time||92 minutes|
|Box office||$80 million (worldwide)|
Teen Wolf is a 1985 American fantasy comedy film released by Atlantic Releasing Corporation starring Michael J. Fox as Scott Howard, a high school student who discovers that his family has an unusual pedigree when he finds himself transforming into a werewolf. The film was directed by Rod Daniel based on a script co-written by Joseph Loeb III, Matthew Weisman, and Tim Hayes.
Seventeen-year-old high school student Scott Howard is sick of being average and wishing he were special. His father runs a local hardware store. Scott plays basketball for his high school's team, the Beavers, with a not-so-good win-loss record. The girl of his dreams, Pamela Wells, is dating Mick McAllister, a jerk from an opposing high school team, the Dragons. After another of the team's losses, Scott begins to notice strange changes to his body. While at a party, Scott keeps undergoing changes and eventually he returns home, locks himself in the bathroom, and undergoes a complete change and becomes a werewolf, while his father demands that he open the door. He tries to refuse, only to finally give in and find his father has also transformed. Harold never told his son about the condition because "sometimes it skips a generation" and he was hoping it would not happen to Scott. Scott accidentally reveals his transformation to the public at one of his basketball games. After momentarily stunning the crowd with The Wolf, Scott goes on to amaze them with his basketball skills.
Scott subsequently learns to use his family "curse" to gain popularity at school, becoming the team's star basketball player, and learns to transform at will between his normal self and The Wolf. His team goes from last to first, and Scott begins spending most of his time at school as The Wolf. He also wins the interest of Pamela while ignoring the affections of his best friend, Boof, who has loved him since childhood. One night at a school dance, however, he gets into a confrontation with Mick causing Scott to become The Wolf and claw Mick. Though Mick isn't seriously injured, the crowd starts looking at Scott as a monster rather than the cool basketball star he had become.
The conclusion of the film finds Scott playing in the championship basketball game as himself against Mick's team. During the game Mick constantly fouls Scott leading Scott to remind him if he keeps fouling he will be benched. Mick fouls him one last time leading Scott to shoot two free throws. He makes both baskets putting the Beavers ahead and wins the game. While Scott is being carried by the crowd, Pamela walks over to him, but he snubs her and runs over to Boof where they kiss. Mick goes to get Pamela, who now has lost interest in the former basketball hero. The last scene shows Scott, Boof, and Mr. Howard embracing as the whole school celebrates.
- Michael J. Fox as Scott Howard
- Lorie Griffin as Pamela Wells
- James Hampton as Harold Howard
- Susan Ursitti as Lisa "Boof" Marconi
- Jerry Levine as Rupert "Stiles" Stilinski
- Matt Adler as Lewis
- Kidus Henok as Michael (Police Officer)
- Jim McKrell as Vice Principal Rusty Thorne
- Mark Arnold as Mick McAllister
- Jay Tarses as Coach Bobby Finstock
- Mark Holton as Chubby
- Clare Peck as Miss Hoyt
- Gregory Itzin as English Teacher
- Doris Hess as Science Teacher
- Scott Paulin as Kirk Lolley
- Elizabeth Gorcey as Tina
- Melanie Manos as Gina
- Doug Savant as Brad
- Troy Evans as Dragons coach
- Richard Brooks as Lemonade
- Harvey Vernon as Carry-Out Clerk
Teen Wolf was one of the first scripts written by Jeph Loeb. Loeb was hired to write it because the studio, after the surprising success of the film Valley Girl, wanted to make a comedy that would cost almost nothing (the production costs amounted to about $1 million) and take very little time to film. The project came together when Michael J. Fox accepted the lead role and Meredith Baxter-Birney got pregnant, which created a delay in filming Family Ties that allowed Fox time to complete filming and then return to his TV show.
Released on August 23, 1985, Teen Wolf debuted at #2 in its opening weekend, behind Back to the Future (also starring Michael J. Fox). After its initial run, the film grossed $33,086,661 domestically, with a worldwide gross of about $80 million.
Although the film was a modest hit for Atlantic Releasing Corporation, the film's critical reception was at best mixed. Review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes reports that 47% of 19 critics have given the film a positive review, with a rating average of 4.8 out of 10.
Vincent Canby of The New York Times gave the film a negative review calling it "aggressively boring". He went on to say that "the film is overacted by everybody except Mr. Fox, who is seen to far better advantage in Back to the Future."
Teen Wolf was first released on DVD via MGM in a "Double Feature" pack with its sequel Teen Wolf Too on August 27, 2002. The film was later released on Blu-ray on March 29, 2011. The only special feature available on any of the releases is the film's theatrical trailer.
The film was followed by a cartoon spin-off in 1986, and a sequel in 1987 titled Teen Wolf Too, with Jason Bateman starring as Todd Howard, Scott's cousin. A second sequel starring Alyssa Milano was planned, but never filmed. Another female version of Teen Wolf was in the works that later developed into 1989's Teen Witch.
A Canadian television series similar in theme ran from 1999 to 2002 entitled Big Wolf on Campus.
In June 2009, MTV announced that they would be adapting Teen Wolf into a television series "with a greater emphasis on romance, horror and werewolf mythology". Australian director Russell Mulcahy directed the pilot film of the television series. The first episode for the new MTV series aired on June 5, 2011.
- I Was a Teenage Werewolf (1957), an earlier horror film about a highschool teenage werewolf
- Full Moon High (1981), an earlier comedy-horror film about a highschool teenage werewolf
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- Canby, Vincent (August 23, 1985). "Movie Review - Teen Wolf - SCREEN: 'TEEN WOLD,' WITH MICHAEL J. FOX - NYTimes.com". New York Times. Retrieved September 17, 2012.
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- "The Teen Wolf You Never Saw, Sadly". Io9.com. 2009-07-23. Retrieved 2010-08-01.
- Weisman, Jon (2009-06-23). "MTV greenlights eight projects". Variety. Retrieved 2010-10-21.
- "Russell Mulcahy Piloting MTV's Teen Wolf to Twilight Glory". Dreadcentral.com. Retrieved 2010-10-14.