An actor truly becomes a movie star not when they get the lead in a major studio film that’s a smash, but when they can turn a minor film into a blockbuster hit. Michael J. Fox had become a TV star thanks to Family Ties. The summer of 1985 was going to have him elevate himself into the movie business as Marty McFly in Back to the Future. This film was going to be a massive hit since it was Steven Spielberg production. The film was going to get a full court promotional push. And the movie dominated the box office. But who was the star: Michael J. Fox or the time travelling DeLorean? As summer was creeping toward Labor Day, Fox earned his superstar stripes when Teen Wolf arrived. The film had been shot in a few weeks when Family Ties production was delayed. The film barely cost a million bucks and made nearly $100. It also sold a lot of VHS cassettes. Teen Wolf let producers and studios know that Michael J. Fox could sell movie tickets.
Scott Howard isn’t doing too well as a teen. Even though he’s a point guard on the high school basketball team, they stink and they aren’t holding him back. The gal he wants to be with is dating a rival basketball player. Even worse is that he’s through second puberty with more odd body hair problems. He wants to quit the team, but his coach (The Duck Factory‘s Jay Tarses) can’t quit give him the advice either way. He’s going through some freakish teenage things that culminates in the night he turns into a werewolf. He’s in pure shock until his father knocks on the door and he too is covered in fur. It’s a family curse. Dad hid this from his son with the hope that he might not get it. But he has. He wants to keep it a secret from others, but that gets ruined when he gets stressed on the basketball court and transforms. Everyone has different reactions, but the fans love him once the Were-Scott starts sinking baskets. He becomes the most popular guy on campus. But the real popular kids aren’t up for Scott stealing their heat. Things get extra messy although Scott seems to have a girlfriend. But can he cope with being the hairiest boy in high school?
Teen Wolf proved popular enough to get a sequel except there was no way Michael J. Fox was returning to the role. The producers decided to once more dip into the TV world to transform into a movie star. They picked Jason Bateman who was starring in the sitcom Valerie that would become Valerie’s Family and The Hogan Family as Valerie Harper had an artistic dispute. Teen Wolf Too continues the saga with Scott’s cousin Todd Howard (Bateman). He’s been accepted into a ritzy college on a scholarship. Except instead of basketball, Todd’s supposed to box. His new coach (Can’t Stop the Music‘s Paul Sand) wants Todd to transform into a werewolf and take out opponents. He doesn’t want to play that way which upsets the Dean (The Addams Family‘s John Astin). But during his first fight, Todd gets pounded pretty hard and transforms mid-round. He wins and the school rejoices. But he’s not happy being famous for his monster side. Can he get a world class education without howling at the moon?
Teen Wolf Too only has James Hampton return as Harold Howard and Mark Holton reprise his time as Chubby. The movie plays like a goofy ’80s teen comedy with a hairy lead instead of the usual nerd character. Unlike Fox, Bateman didn’t have a major motion picture coming out a few month before to elevate his profile. It’s not quite as compelling a story as the original. Bateman doesn’t look too bad when he transforms. But the film does feature a big dance scene and ’80s college fun.
Teen Wolf and Teen Wolf Too are both presented as individual collector’s edition Blu-rays.
The video is 1.85:1 anamorphic. The transfer brings out all the fine hair transformation on both Fox and Bateman. The audio is DTS-HD MA 2.0 with the original mix. You’ll get those ’80s sounds in both speakers and a few howls. The movie is subtitled.
Bonus features on Teen Wolf
Never. Say. Die. The Story Of Teen Wolf (143 minutes) is a feature length documentary that’s 30 minutes longer than the film. They break down how the film happened after the studio had a hit with Nic Cage’s Valley Girl. There’s talk about how busy Fox was during the Fall of ’85 with both movies and his TV show in production. But it all paid off for him when he opened and closed the Summer of 1986
Original Theatrical Trailer (1:52) properly pushes Michael J. Fox and the werewolf.
Still Gallery (6:14) includes promotional material and behind the scenes shots.
Bonus for Teen Wolf Too
Working With The Wolf (16:08) interviews director Christopher Leitch and other crew members about bringing back the Teen Wolf without Michael J. Fox. Why boxing instead of more basketball?
Otherworldly (6:32) is an interview with co-star Kim Darby. She admits one of the producers was her husband at the time. She was in the original True Grit. Director Leitch explains her role in the film.
A Man of Great ‘Stiles’ (16:26) interview co-star Stuart Fratkin. Turns out he hadn’t seen Teen Wolf and didn’t until after the shoot so his version of Stiles was his own and not an impersonation of the original actor.
Nerdy Girl Saves the Day (6:30) lets co-star Estee Chandler how her character made Teen Wolf a winner. She related to her character’s bookish nature. Her character was revolutionary since her nerdy girl character didn’t wear glasses although Chandler wears them in her interview.
A Wolf In ‘80s Clothing (9:48) allows Costume Designer Heidi Kaczenski how your dress a character to convey the progress of the characters through their clothing choices.
Still Gallery (0:56) are shots from the set and promo material.
Scream Factory presents Teen Wolf: Collector’s Edition. Directed by: Rod Daniel. Screenplay by: Joseph Loeb & Matthew Weisman. Starring: Michael J. Fox, James Hampton, Scott Paulin, Susan Ursitti, Jerry Levine & Jay Tarses. Running Time: 92 minutes. Rated: PG. Released: August 8, 2017.
Scream Factory presents Teen Wolf: Collector’s Edition. Directed by: Christopher Leitch. Screenplay by: R. Timothy Kring. Starring: Jason Bateman, James Hampton, John Astin and Kim Darby. Running Time: 94 minutes. Rated: PG. Released: August 8, 2017.
Tags: Michael J. Fox, Teen Wolf, Teen Wolf Too