Teen Wolf (Blu-ray)
TEEN WOLF is a trip down memory lane for those of us that grew up watching Michael J. Fox in the 80’s. I always considered this part of the “Michael J. Fox” trilogy that also included BACK TO THE FUTURE and THE SECRET OF MY SUCCESS as the quintessential Fox films that defined the 80’s. Once you get past the outdated haircuts and decade-specific dialogue, TEEN WOLF actually holds up pretty well, especially to those of us that remember it from our childhood.
Michael J. Fox is Scott Howard, an average kid in Middle America that stinks at basketball, makes average grades and can’t get the attention of his dream girl. As he deals with the issues of being in high school, he notices his body is doing funny things, which leads to him turning into a werewolf. Instead of making Scott a monster and a killer, the transformation actually makes him smarter and better at basketball, which leads to him being popular with his classmates. But of course, not all is well as he learns being the cool wolf doesn’t necessarily get you what you want.
Whereas John Hughes portrayed teenage angst and deeper themes in a more subtle fashion, director Rod Daniel uses Scott’s wolf transformation as a metaphor for the struggles teenagers go through. In high school, we all tried to be something we weren’t in order to be cool or popular, but Scott physically became something he wasn’t. For Scott, becoming the werewolf was the same as most kids buying new clothes, dieting or combing their hair a certain way in order to fit in. I probably didn’t even pick up on the metaphorical meaning of the wolf transformation as a kid, but watching this 20 years later it’s so obvious it practically hits you on the head.
One of the other unique aspects of TEEN WOLF was the fact it completely ignored all werewolf lore. Werewolves, vampires and zombies are rampant in today’s movies and TV shows, but each time it seems like the drama and lore of the mythical creatures has to be explained. TW doesn’t waste time on explaining who or what they are, they merely jump right in and make him a wolf. Throw in the fact that the school loves him and the media is nonexistent and it’s easy to see the point of the film was focused on a teenager growing up than a werewolf on the loose.
One of the things I noticed after watching TEEN WOLF again was just how captivating and talented Michael J. Fox was. TW wouldn’t have been nearly the fun movie it was had Scott been played by someone else. But Fox managed to make a movie about a teenage wolf and give us a character that we like and care about. TW might not be the best coming of age film from the 80’s, but it stands the test of time rather well and is still worth watching again for those of us that remember the decade.
Video (1080p, 1.85:1): I won’t complain about a questionable transfer from a low-budget 80’s teen movie, but TEEN WOLF had some video issues. This is still better than you’ve ever seen it, but don’t expect this to be reference quality.
Audio (2.0 DTS-HD): The audio track was a little frustrating in that the dialogue volume had a tendency to cut in and out, especially in scenes where the camera panned in or out.
Sneak Peek ‘Teen Wolf- The TV Series’ (2:42): Just a quick trailer like feature.