Teen Wolf is the story of Scott Howard, a boy who discovers hair down there (and everywhere else) and suddenly becomes good at basketball, because apparently werewolves love nothing more than a good slam dunk.
Just The Facts
- Ever dedicated to his craft, Michael J. Fox actually became a werewolf to play the role of Scott Howard and subsequently went on a murderous rampage that left half of the crew dead. This can be found on the DVD blooper reel.
- Lycanthrope experts agree that of all the things a werewolf would do in a 1980's high school setting, #1 on the list would be banging that hot blonde Pamela Wells (#2 would be murder everyone in the school, and #138 would be play basketball).
- Teen Wolf teaches the valuable lesson of just being yourself. It also glosses over the fact that the wolf was part of Scott, so by shunning that side of himself at the end of the film he was quite ironically going against the very message he was trying to convey.
In the 1985 film Teen Wolf, Scott Howard was just your average teenage borderline midget who sucked at basketball. Boy, did he suck.
But then one day, he started to change. He began to notice hair that wasn't there before. He had these strange new unnatural feelings, and he grew some wicked fingernails and clawed the shit out of his best friend, who didn't really seem to care. We're not sure what that says about her, but what can you really expect from a chick named Boof?
And then one day, his transformation is complete. He looks in the mirror to discover he has, in fact, become a lycanthrope.
He's equally shocked to discover his father knew all along, and was in addition the frumpiest werewolf of all time.
Let's get this straight: werewolf powers make you great at basketball, but they can't fix your eyesight?
What a ripoff.
Rather than doing what any normal werewolf would, Scott decides to use his wolf powers for good. And by good, we mean playing basketball, buying beer and scoring with the hottest girl in school (who, by the way, made our list of the 7 Best 80's Movie Girlfriends). Because nothing screams "bloodthirsty monster of legend" like dunking a ball through a hoop, underaged drinking and bestiality.
Hey, what can she say, she digs hairy balls.
In fact, Scott becomes so good at basketball that he takes his team of losers (aren't they always in movies like this?) to the district championship and earns a spot in our Top 11 Movie Basketball Players of All-Time despite the fact that Michael J. Fox gave one of the 5 Most Un-Athletic Sports Movie Performances. He starts surfing on vans, for some reasons joins the cast of the school play about the Civil War because, apparently, werewolf generals were pretty common in the Union army, and then dresses like Tony Manero and invents a crazy new dance.
All the while, no one is even the least bit terrified by the fact that a real live werewolf is walking down the halls of the school, despite the fact that it's established early in the movie that yes, people are aware of the werewolf legend, though Scott seems to think that werewolves basically just kill chickens and howl at the moon. Maybe nobody cares because he's about two feet tall, and people just think someone let a Chihuahua loose in the school.
Aw, he's such a cute little would-be-mass-murderer.
At its core, Teen Wolf is a message movie. Now, the message it seems to be sending is that becoming a werewolf makes you a great dancer, an even better basketball player, and tremendously popular with the opposite sex. But no, the message is that you should always be yourself. Which is why at the end of the film, Scott makes the "selfless" decision to play in the big game as himself, and not the wolf. The team wins, the Big Evil Bad Guy is inexplicably allowed to stand under the basket during Scott's climactic free throws despite that is really, really not even remotely allowed in basketball, and Scott chooses Boof over Pamela.
Um, lesson learned, we guess!
But wait a second. Let's back up here and take a look at that "lesson" about being yourself.
Isn't the wolf part of Scott? By shunning that side of himself, isn't he going against the very lesson he was trying to learn? In reality, when he shows up and refuses to become the wolf, he's shutting out that part of himself, rendering himself incomplete. Seriously, isn't that kind of like a light skinned black person attempting to "pass" for white? And isn't that a horrible, horrible (double emphasis on the double horrible) lesson to be teaching people?
Yeah, we thought so too. Plus, his little act of selflessness was kind of a selfish, dickish move because he was potentially screwing his team's chances of winning the big game just to prove his asinine point.
Yet somehow, despite the fact that his team scored something like 10 points per game before he became the wolf, they managed to defeat the evil Mick (who for some inexplicable reason is about 35 and hangs around Scott's school more than his own) and his Red Team of Doom, which we attribute less to Scott and his little pep talk and more to the exceptional coaching of Bobby Finstock.
And by the end of the film, we do learn a valuable lesson, though it doesn't come from Scott. It comes from the always underrated Coach Finstock, who offers up what 9-out of-10 scientists agree to be the finest advice ever put on film:
"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."
You can trust him, he's a high school basketball coach.