Let’s talk about Teen Wolf for a few minutes. Not that claw and fang soap opera on MTV that your high school cousin watches, but the REAL Teen Wolf. 1985, particularly the summer of 1985 was a good moment in history for Michael J. Fox. Back to the Future was in theaters making about a billion dollars — okay, more like $400 million, but still a lot — and on top of that he had a second hit movie just a month after its release with Teen Wolf. Not bad for a guy who at the time was mostly known for being in Family Ties.
Teen Wolf could have easily died a horrible death at the box office and been a blow to Fox’s Back to the Future cash train. The film’s writer Jeph Loeb and director Rod Daniel were both relativity green, and on paper a movie about a high school kid who becomes a werewolf and is really good at basketball sounds pretty stupid. Teen Wolf didn’t ruin Fox’s box office cred, though, and actually did incredibly well, turning its $1 million budget into $33 million at the box office. It hasn’t been embraced by pop culture history nearly as well as the Back to the Future franchise, but still pops up on cable now and then. I always enjoyed the movie and usually watch at least 20 minutes or so when I run across it, but there’s always been something that bothered me a little: how is Teen Wolf not immediately captured by the authorities? Let’s explore this obvious small town cover-up for the movie’s 30th anniversary.
Michael J. Fox plays Scott Howard, a high school kid living in Any Town, USA with his single father. He’s a mediocre basketball player who plays on the school team with that guy who played John Wayne Gacy in a TV movie, and constantly brushes off the neighborhood girl who’s crushing on him. That right there obviously isn’t cause for any government concern, but it’s not long before Scott’s wild side rears its ugly head.
“Give me a keg of beer.”
Scott’s much cooler than him, but still trying way too hard when his friend Styles is trying to score a keg of beer for the party and having no luck. If they don’t bring a full keg they’ll be turned away like losers and miss out on the party’s PG sex games and have to wait until another time to rub up on their female classmates. Major bummer, dude. At first the cashier rudely brushes Scott off, but when Scott’s voice goes into demonic mode and his eyes turn red he immediately gets the beer. Okay, so he’s not a wolf at this point, but 20 bucks says that old man would have been on the phone with the police as soon as Scott walked out the door and he changed his underwear. We never see that old man again, so maybe Scott went back and finished him off before he had a chance to go blubbering to the town sheriff. Yeah, that makes sense, moving on…