Teen Wolf

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This article is about the film. For the TV series that premiered in 2011, see Teen Wolf (2011 TV series). For other uses, see Teen Wolf (disambiguation).
Teen Wolf
Teen Wolf.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Rod Daniel
Produced by
Written by
Music by Miles Goodman
Cinematography Tim Suhrstedt
Edited by Lois Freeman-Fox
Distributed by Atlantic Releasing Corporation
Release dates
  • August 23, 1985 (1985-08-23)
Running time
92 minutes[1]
Country United States
Language English
Budget $1.2 million[2]
Box office $80 million[3]

Teen Wolf is a 1985 American fantasy comedy film directed by Rod Daniel and written by Jeph Loeb and Matthew Weisman. The film stars Michael J. Fox as a high school student who discovers that his family has an unusual pedigree when he finds himself transforming into a werewolf.


Seventeen-year-old high school student Scott Howard (Michael J. Fox) is sick of being average and wishes he were special. His father, Harold (James Hampton), 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 (Lorie Griffin), is dating Mick McAllister (Mark Arnold), 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. Needing someone else to share his secret, Scott confides his best friend, Stiles Stilinski (Jerry Levine), who accepts Scott's werewolf status. However, Scott inadvertently reveals his transformation to the public at one of his basketball games. After shortly stunning the crowd with The Wolf, Scott goes on to amaze them with his newfound 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 other best friend, Boof (Susan Ursitti), who has loved him since childhood. However, it is later revealed that Pamela is only interested in having sex with Scott, and wants to remain with Mick. Scott ultimately reciprocates Boof's affections after discovering what kind of person Pamela truly is. One night at a school dance with Boof, however, he gets into a confrontation with Mick for his affair with Pamela, causing Scott to become The Wolf and claw Mick. Though Mick is not seriously injured, the crowd starts looking at Scott as a monster rather than the cool basketball star he had become, and Scott himself is starting to be afraid of his alter ego.

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, allowing Scott to shoot two free throws. He makes both baskets, thus putting the Beavers ahead and winning the game. While the crowd is carrying Scott, Pamela walks over to him, but he rebuffs her and runs over to Boof where they kiss. Mick goes to get Pamela, who now has lost interest in the former basketball hero, and she is heartbroken over losing her chance with Scott. The last scene shows Scott, Boof, and Harold embracing as the whole school celebrates.



Teen Wolf was one of the first scripts written by Jeph Loeb.[4] 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 his Family Ties co-star Meredith Baxter-Birney became pregnant, which created a delay in the show's filming that allowed Fox time to complete filming and then return to his TV show.[5]

The beaver mascot logo used in the film was the Oregon State University Beavers's logo, in use by the university at that time.[6]


Box office[edit]

Released on August 23, 1985, Teen Wolf debuted at No. 2 in its opening weekend, behind Back to the Future (also starring Michael J. Fox).[7] After its initial run, the film grossed $33,086,661 domestically,[8][9] with a worldwide gross of about $80 million.[10]

Critical response[edit]

Despite its commercial success, the film's critical reception was at best mixed.[11] 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.[12] On Metacritic, the film has a 25 out of 100 rating based on 5 critics, indicating "generally unfavorable reviews".[13]

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."[14]

Home media[edit]

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.[15] The only special feature available on any of the releases is the film's theatrical trailer.


Teen Wolf: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
Soundtrack album by Various
Released January 1st, 1985
Length 29:05
Label Jackal Records
Teen Wolf: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
No. Title Contributing artists Length
1. "Flesh on Fire"   James House 4:05
2. "Big Bad Wolf"   The Wolf Sisters 2:36
3. "Win in the End"   Mark Safan 4:41
4. "Shootin' for the Moon"   Amy Holland 2:45
5. "Silhouette"   David Palmer 3:54
6. "Way to Go"   Mark Vieha 3:45
7. "Good News"   David Morgan 2:56
8. "Transformation (Instrumental)"   Miles Goodman 2:29
9. "Boof (Instrumental)"   Miles Goodman 1:54
Total length:



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.[16] Another female version of Teen Wolf was in the works that later developed into 1989's Teen Witch.

Television adaptation[edit]

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". It was created by Jeff Davis.[17] Australian director Russell Mulcahy (Highlander) directed the pilot (and several succeeding episodes) of the television series.[18] The first episode for the new MTV series aired on June 5, 2011.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "TEEN WOLF (PG) (!)". British Board of Film Classification. November 15, 1985. Retrieved August 5, 2015. 
  2. ^ http://www.amc.com/talk/2014/06/story-notes-for-teen-wolf
  3. ^ Borrelli, Christopher (September 27, 2011). "'Teen Wolf' director's brutally honest commentary". Chicago Tribune. p. 2. Retrieved September 17, 2012. 
  4. ^ R.J. Carter (January 1, 2002) Interview: Jeph Loeb: Look! Up In The Sky! The-Trades.com. Retrieved 2009-10-31.
  5. ^ http://www.grantland.com/blog/hollywood-prospectus/post/_/id/44054/we-attend-the-teen-wolf-reunion-screening
  6. ^ "Mascot Monday: Benny Beaver". KCcollegegameday. July 27, 2009. Retrieved September 17, 2012. 
  7. ^ "Michael Fox Stays on Top With 'Future,' `wolf'". Sun-Sentinel. August 28, 1985. Retrieved 2011-01-01. 
  8. ^ "Teen Wolf (1985)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 2010-08-01. 
  9. ^ "Movie Teen Wolf - Box Office Data, News, Cast Information". The Numbers. Retrieved 2010-08-01. 
  10. ^ Borrelli, Christopher (September 27, 2011). "'Teen Wolf' director's brutally honest commentary". Chicago Tribune. p. 2. Retrieved September 17, 2012. 
  11. ^ Variety Staff (1985-01-01). "Teen Wolf Review - Read Variety's Analysis of the Movie Teen Wolf". Variety.com. Retrieved 2010-08-01. 
  12. ^ "Teen Wolf - Rotten Tomatoes". Rotten Tomatoes. Flixster. Retrieved September 17, 2012. 
  13. ^ "Teen Wolf". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved August 5, 2015. 
  14. ^ 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. 
  15. ^ Liebman, Martin (April 3, 2011). "Teen Wolf Blu-ray". Blu-ray.com. Retrieved September 17, 2012. 
  16. ^ "The Teen Wolf You Never Saw, Sadly". Io9.com. 2009-07-23. Retrieved 2010-08-01. 
  17. ^ Weisman, Jon (2009-06-23). "MTV greenlights eight projects". Variety. Retrieved 2010-10-21. 
  18. ^ "Russell Mulcahy Piloting MTV's Teen Wolf to Twilight Glory". Dreadcentral.com. Retrieved 2010-10-14. 

External links[edit]