October 03, 2015

TEEN WOLF (1986)

TEEN WOLF (1986)
(CBS, September 13, 1986-November 7, 1987)


Southern Star Productions, Clubhouse Pictures

MAIN CAST:
Townsend Coleman – Scott Howard
James Hampton – Harold Howard
Stacy Keach, Sr. – Grandpa Howard
June Foray – Grandma Howard, Mrs. Seslick
Jeannie Elias – Lisa “Boof” Marconi
Don Most – Rupert “Stiles” Stilinski


Scott Howard (Michael J. Fox) thought all he had to worry about was puberty and playing for the worst team in high school basketball. However, he soon discovered the family secret: he was a werewolf. But, he quickly came to terms with that fact when he discovered that his wolf form (which he could shift into and out of at will, no full moon required) made him the best player on the team, and quickly brought The Beavers to near-victory. Plus, the most popular girl in school, Pamela Wells (Lorie Griffin), finally noticed him (much to the chagrin of her boyfriend, Mick McAllister played by Mark Arnold). After a confrontation with Mick, Scott decided to curb the wolf and played the championship game as himself and that the girl he really cared about was his best friend, Boof (Susan Ursitti).



Teen Wolf, produced by Atlantic Releasing Corporation, came about due to the success of their 1983 film Valley Girl. They wanted to make a comedy that would cost almost nothing (the budget was $1 million) and could be filmed quickly. It was one of the first movies written by Jeph Loeb, and co-written by Matthew Weisman. The project came together fully when Fox, who had a filming break from his TV series Family Ties, accepted the lead role. Directed by Rod Daniel, the film was released on August 23, 1986 and ended up grossing $80 million in the box office. It debuted in second place behind Fox’s other hit movie that year, Back to the Future, which he filmed after Teen Wolf. To cash in on the former movie, international releases of Teen Wolf either had a time element incorporated into its title (Garato do Futuro, or Boy from the Future in Brazil) or by having Scott’s name translated as “Marty,” such as in Italy.

Scott with Boof, Harold, Grandpa and Lupe.

The movie proved popular enough to warrant an animated spin-off the following year. Like the movie, Scott Howard (Townsend Coleman) was able to change into a werewolf at will. Unlike the movie, Scott’s duality was kept a secret from everyone except his family and best friends Boof (Jeannie Elias) and Stiles (Don Most). The Howard family was expanded considerably. Not only just living with his father, Harold (James Hampton, reprising his role from the movie), but Scott had gained a sister, Lupe (who didn’t yet know if she possessed the family trait), and his grandparents from Transylvania (Stacy Keach, Sr. and June Foray, respectively), who stayed in werewolf form most of the time. Grandpa Howard proved an embarrassment to the family as he tended to act like a large dog, while Grandma Howard dabbled in magic and fortunetelling. Nosy neighbor Mrs. Seslick (Foray) knew about the Howard family’s “condition” but was constantly unable to prove it to anyone else.

Stiles drops by.

Boof’s unrequited crush from the movie was kept intact while Scott lamented for popular girl (now a cheerleader), Pam, who still dated Mick (Craig Sheffer). Mick, who was older due to a prison stint and went to a different school in the film, was now a senior in the same school and a frequent bully of Scott. Without having the wolf to profit off of, Stiles was toned down to be more of a wolf wannabe. Even the town’s name was changed from Beacontown to Wolverton, a town notable for werewolf sightings.



The series ran on CBS beginning on September 13th, 1986 and was successful enough to be renewed for a second season. Unfortunately, the 1986 voice actors’ strike halted production on the series as it did all other programs, resulting in only 8 more episodes being produced. CBS did keep it on the schedule for an additional season comprised entirely of reruns. The opening theme was composed by John Lewis Parker and Barry Mann, while the closing theme was composed by Ashley Hall and Stephanie Tyrell with vocals by Hall.

The DVD cover.

Family Home Entertainment released four episodes to VHS in 1993, while Avid Home Entertainment released two episodes in 1998. In the United Kingdom, where the series was known as The Cartoon Adventures of Teen Wolf, Video Gems released a VHS containing two episodes as well. In 2008, the complete series was released to DVD in Region 4.



In 1987, a sequel, Teen Wolf Too, was released. The movie, written by R. Timothy Kring and directed by Christopher Leitch, essentially followed the same story as Scott’s cousin Todd (Jason Batman) discovered his ability to transform in college. The biggest difference was that the sport in question was boxing instead of basketball. Only Hampton and Mark Holton as Chubby reprised their roles from the last film, and the sequel was universally panned. A second sequel was planned starring Alyssa Milano until it fell through. Another attempt at the sequel was later recycled into the 1989 movie Teen Witch.



In 2009, Jeff Davis developed a live-action adaptation of the move for MTV. Teen Wolf premiered in 2011 as a darker and edgier version of the film. Social outcast Scott McCall (Tyler Posey) was bitten by a werewolf and became one, and now has to balance his night life with his normal life and keep his friends safe from his other half. The series contained a lot of gruesome elements intermixed with dark comedy, keeping it somewhat in line with the original film. Image Comics released a comic based on the show its debut year.


EPISODE GUIDE (no synopses currently available):
Season 1:
“Teen Wolf’s Family Secret” (9/13/86) 

“The Werewolf Buster” (9/20/86) 

“Shopworn Wolf” (9/27/86) 

“The Beast Within” (10/4/86) 

“Up a Family Tree” (10/11/86) 

“Grandpa’s in the Doghouse” (10/18/86) 

“Wolf Pride” (10/25/86) 

“Wolf of My Dreams” (11/1/86) 

“Leader of the Pack” (11/8/86) 

“The Curse of the Red Paw’ (11/15/86) 

“The All-American Werewolf” (11/22/86) 

“Under My Spell” (11/29/86) 

“Teen Wolf Punks Out” (12/6/86) 

Season 2:
“Teen Wolf’s Curse” (9/19/87)

“It’s No Picnic Being Teen Wolf” (9/26/87) 

“Toot Toot Tut Tut and All That Rot” (10/3/87) 

“Down on the Farm” (10/10/87) 

“Diary of a Mad Werewolf” (10/17/87) 

“Teen Wolf Come Home” (10/24/87) 

“Scott and the Howlers” (10/31/87) 

“Howlin’ Cousins” (11/7/87) 

No comments:

Post a Comment