Thursday, December 8, 2011

Secret Movie Confessions: Teen Wolf [1985]

*Secret Movie Confessions is a segment dedicated to movies which I have affection towards but are generally perceived as cheesy and/or received poor critical response.

The Details:
Year Of Release: 1985
Directed By: Rod Daniel
Written By: Jeph Loeb, Matthew Weisman
Starring: Michael J. Fox and some other people (seriously, he's the only one worth mentioning)
The Story:
A teenager discovers that puberty for him means that he turns into a werewolf like the rest of his family. Apparently this also turns him into a great basketball player and he receives great popularity in his high school.
Fun Facts:
# Despite being made earlier than Back To The Future [1985], it spent time on the shelf and had only been released to capitalize on the success of that other Michael J. Fox movie.
# In fact, the name of Michael's character was changed from Scott to Marty (the name of the character in Back To The Future) for the Italian-dubbed release, while in Brazil, the title was changed to O Garato do Futuro which roughly translates into The Boy From The Future.
# This films success led to a cartoon spin-off TV series and a sequel starring Jason Bateman in 1987, this time with Boxing as its sport of choice. A second sequel starring Alyssa Milano with Ice Hockey for its sport was planned but never materialized.
# In June 2011, MTV released a TV series adapted from this movie.
The Love Relationship Explained:
As a kid growing up in the 1980s, I idolised Michael J. Fox. He was just so cool playing the precociously savvy character Alex P. Keaton in the popular TV sitcom those days, Family Ties [1982-1989]. When Back To The Future [1985] came out, that coolness factor just skyrocketed beyond orbit. It is my absolute numero uno of all-time favourite movies thus why this blog's name is inspired from a quote in that film. I only discovered Teen Wolf a few years later after its original release on VHS. It either didn't get a theatrical release here in Malaysia or I was to young to have noticed. But anyway, the VHS was constantly rented, and I used to memorise every line verbatim.

But when I reached my teenage years I discovered other movies and this film slowly got forgotten by me. Its exactly like how Andy in the Toy Story movies begin to outgrow his toys. But a couple years back I was reminded of this past favourite of mine and for the first time in over a decade watched it all over again. That's when I began to realise how incredibly corny this movie actually was. The story was extremely cheesy and cliché, the acting apart from Michael was awful, and heck, the werewolf he turned into resembles more of a mini-me version of Chewbacca. Oh, don't even get me started on the way his dad's werewolf looked like. If anything, he looked more like a cat than a wolf (don't worry its all in the trailer featured below). It was a quintessential 80s B-movie, only with an A-list actor starring in it. Come to to think of it, almost everyone else from this film currently can't be tracked. Talk about failed careers.

If I was watching this film for the first time today, I probably would've hated it. But that's the key point - this is NOT my first time watching it. Despite how bad it is, I STILL ENJOY IT TO BITS! Blame it on nostalgia if you will but I still love the extreme cheesiness of the movie. I still love the cliché underdog story. I still love the wolf dancing on top of a van to the tune of The Beach Boy's Surfin' USA. And yes, I have a huge soft spot for the 80s. In fact, I think I appreciate the movie even more now!
Original Trailer:

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