Teen Wolf (1985) Film Review by Gareth Rhodes

Teen Wolf (1985) Directed by Rod Daniel. With Michael J. Fox, James Hampton and Jerry Levine. 

teen wolf 1

Michael J. Fox is the Canadian Werewolf in America, which doesn’t quite have that ring to it, does it!? Ok, we’ll call it Teen Wolf. Yes, released the same year as the critically acclaimed and much loved Back to the Future, Michael J. also headlined this, a movie about a teenager, who’s really a werewolf…basically what it says in the poster.

Directed by Rod Daniel, the film aims to skit around the various areas of teen life, with the casting coup of Michael J Fox (red hot at the time thanks to TV’s Family Ties). We begin (and end) at a college basketball game, which introduces the characters in one scene; the bully, the ‘amusingly fat kid (yes, he’s nicknamed Chubby), the party animal, the arrogant Prom Queen, the loyal, but slightly dowdy girl(friend) and, of course, Marty McWolf.

Michael J. Fox is ever the energetic lead, darting around the screen, trying his best to keep the film afloat, despite a flimsy script that doesn’t make enough of his talents. At times, it seems to have ambitions as a loose, frat boy comedy, with wild house parties, preceded by those awkward moments in the liquor store, but actually, its real aim is to subvert those elements, with an overlying narrative about finding the confidence to be your true self, although its too clumsy and dated to score any points on this front, making the end result a bit of a mess.

Yes, there’s some nostalgia to be found from looking back, and Michael J.Fox is eminently watchable, even when he’s forced to carry the weight of the entire production (he didn’t show up for the sequel).  In short, Teen Wolf is squarely for the 8-12 age range…and those who were 8-12 when they saw it for the first time. 2.5/5

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About garethrhodes

Full-time lover of all things creative.
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6 Responses to Teen Wolf (1985) Film Review by Gareth Rhodes

  1. I loved this film! I think I like it better than Back to the Future even. But it could be that I was in that age range you mentioned. lol

    • garethrhodes says:

      Yes, it’s a couple of thousand miles from the genius of Back to the Future, but I can see how there might be a lingering affection for it, despite it being sorely lacking in most areas. I remember loving the basketball bits, as a kid – how when he’s Marty McWolf, he owns the court. That used to rock. Now it’s blatantly obvious it isn’t even Michael J, well, unless the Michael J in question is actually Michael Jordan.

  2. Ho! my god you saw that one. You know some how it became a cult film. Don’t ask I don’t know either. You are going to need some strong whiskey after seeing that one.

    • garethrhodes says:

      Yes, I did this to myself. Haha! You know, it wasn’t THAT bad…not quite reaching-for-the-drinks-cabinet bad, just mildly shoddy and wasteful of Michael J. Fox. You’re right, though, it doesn’t earn cult status, in my mind. I’m just a bit disappointed in 8-year-old me, for having such low standards.

  3. Wasn’t a fan of this one either! Nor was I with the latest television show!
    Great to see you’re still writing reviews! Hope you’re doing well!

  4. Josh Hammond says:

    A more charitable write up than I could probably do, and I was one of the 8-12 year old super fans you allude to (I actually have a copy of the movie review I wrote for a school assignment at age 9). An interesting premise kind of wasted.

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