Teen Wolf

Dir: Rod Daniel
Star: Michael J.Fox, Susan Ursitti, Jerry Levine, Jay Tarses

"There are three rules that I live by: never get less than twelve hours sleep; never play cards with a guy who has the same first name as a city; and never get involved with a woman with a tattoo of a dagger on her body. Now you stick to that, and everything else is cream cheese." So speaks Coach Finstock (Tarses), easily the best moment in a poor entry in the 80's werewolf revival. Fox plays average Alex, who finds out lycanthropy runs in his family - though his schoolmates, rather than rejecting him for his oddness, fall down in worship, because he's now a b-ball wiz. In a land where high-school football is televised, popularity is apparently and solely linked to sporting prowess. This is why US educational establishments remain impenetrably alien to me.

Also, wish girls at my school had been as slutty as those here (perhaps that was just my sad teenage life...) Such scenes, or when were-Alex sniffs out weed for a pal, suggest the film wants to be edgy, yet jar with an overall hokey tone - not least the final game, whose predictability is exceeded only by its length. The lame wolf FX don't help; compare American Werewolf or The Howling, both made four years before. Any success is largely luck: Back to the Future came out the month before, and suddenly, Fox was a star. His likeable persona helps, but comes far short of salvaging anything from this parade of cliches and stereotypes. It's easy to see why, save him, no-one else involved has done much since.

Jan 2004

I used to be a werewolf, but...
oh, forget it...
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