Articles, Film Reviews

Teen Wolf Too (1987)

“I just let it get out of hand,” says Todd Howard (Jason Bateman), as he reflects on his recent spree of buffoonery. After receiving a full athletic scholarship to Hamilton University per the dean’s hopes of shaping up the school’s pathetic boxing team, Todd must abide by the dean’s demands in order to stay enrolled – even if Todd has no known athletic ability. Luckily for Todd, college has its way of transforming people and that’s exactly what happens to him. Yes, folks, the hero of our story is a college boy that transforms into a wolf-man creature (one might even call him a “teen wolf”). As a result, he becomes the king of the campus due to his wolf-like physical abilities and his newly realized charisma.

Like the title suggests, Todd is not the first person to turn into a teen wolf. In fact, his cousin, played by Michael J. Fox, more famously did so just a couple of years prior. Thus, Teen Wolf Too is one of those unnecessary sequels where the filmmakers basically copy the first film. Because Fox hit stardom with Back to the Future, he undoubtedly became engaged with acting projects containing a bit more substance and did not return for the Teen Wolf sequel. In return, the writers of Teen Wolf Too have created a clear replica of Fox’s character to spearhead a profitable sequel. Of course, that’s not how things really work; Teen Wolf Too made less than one tenth of its predecessor’s box office gross. 

So right off the bat, Teen Wolf Too fails because it tries too hard to be Teen Wolf. And the thing is, Teen Wolf wasn’t that remarkable of a movie to begin with. However, even with its shortcomings, Teen Wolf Too can actually be an entertaining movie at times. Because it has such a campy attitude, the film brings about a handful of laughs. Most of these have to do with the fact that there is a furry youngster parading around a college campus like a champion, but who wouldn’t crack even the slightest smile at that?

Sure most of the laughing is done at Teen Wolf Too as opposed to with it, but the film is harmless. With a PG-rating, the film never takes its werewolf themes to any mature levels of terror. In fact, for what’s essentially a college party film, Teen Wolf Too is pretty childish and will probably only be enjoyed by fans of werewolves in film and/or anyone looking for a dose of 80s nostalgia (I particularly enjoyed the synth-infused soundtrack, which featured a couple of Oingo Boingo tracks and Real Life’s “Send Me an Angel”).

Of course movies like these can’t be taken too seriously, but it’s sure funny when they themselves want to be taken seriously. With some “heavy” moments that tackle topics like teamwork and soul-searching, the emotional spine of the film is laughable and could easily be applauded for its comedic tone… if this were a parody film, that is. Consequently, Teen Wolf Too is a masquerade of caricatures that would better suit a Saturday morning cartoon instead of a live-action feature film. Fortunately for those of you who would like to see a Teen Wolf cartoon series, one ran on CBS from 1986 to 1987 and it is glorious.

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