Wednesday, 25 February 2015

Teen Wolf Too (1987)

I'm not sure what's going on with the movies title here, is that suppose to be a clever play on words or something? or maybe just a quirky way of showing its a sequel without using a boring number 2. Anyway this time around we follow the lycanthropic antics of Scott Howard's cousin Todd.

The basic story for this movie is also the basic problem...its exactly the flippin' same. The original movie saw Scott battle with his affliction in high school, dealing with puberty, love, girls, bullies, friends, grades and of course the main issue of his basketball team. In this story Todd has just gotten into his university and has to deal with being a young adult, love, girls, bullies, friends, grades and the main issue of his boxing team. The difference here being Todd doesn't know he's a werewolf and has his first 'wolf-out' occurrence in his new uni surroundings conveniently.

OK so they are pretty much rehashing the first movie...could still be good. Thing is the plot doesn't really add up and is full of blatant idea pinching from the first movie. First off the coach on this uni boxing team is the same coach from Scott's basketball team in high school in the first film! He is actually suppose to be the same person! How would this high school coach now be the coach in this uni at the exact time when Scott's cousin is there? The answer to that is this coach got Todd a full athletic scholarship based on the hopes that Todd is also a werewolf and will turn the uni boxing team into champs. What??!! is that for real?! OK he could help with the scholarship for Todd but how did he manage to become the boxing coach at the same time?? OK OK breathe...

That's one major nonsensical plot point, another is why Scott's father Harold (James Hampton back again) is here. He lives in Beacon Town, Nebraska according to my sources, Todd's university is Hamilton which in reality is located in Colorado (I'm guessing the same for the movie). Now those two states are connected admittedly so its possible these two locations could be close (or not)...but why would Scott's dad be even in this story? Why would he be hanging around and watching the final boxing match? is he staying in a motel somewhere?

Another point that does tend to spring to mind when you watch is why the hell these people haven't turned into mega rich celebrities by now with there impressive family gift. I would of thought by now the science world would be all over them wanting to learn from them, take samples, run tests etc...they'd be on TV, in movies, in papers etc...a new form of humanoid! The fact that Harold flaunts his lycanthropy without a care in the world you'd think many would know by now, he's basically exposing himself. Yet the fact when people do see him as a werewolf they are still shocked...kinda says to me the Howard's haven't come out of the werewolf closet yet. Am I being too picky here? yeah maybe but come on!

The other gaping issues I have with the movie is the continuity or lack of...or shambolic attempt at. OK so I already told you that the coach was suppose to be the same character from the first movie, unfortunately they cast someone who obviously doesn't look like the original guy plus they try to copy the original guys hair and fail. Next up is the classic character of Styles, he's back...but played by someone else. Unfortunately and with great wisdom they cast a clearly much younger person to play Styles plus this guy looks totally and utterly nothing like the original character. Next is John 'Gomez' Astin as the Dean of the university, an original character...oops no, they make him exactly the same character as Principal Thorne in the original movie with the exact same motives. The only proper continuity is Mark Holton as Chubby...wait...did they actually have a musical number in this?

So yeah there are a lot of problems with this movie, glaring easy to spot problems, but its not all bad. They do get the werewolf makeup and prosthetics correct which is nice to see, they do look very close to the original although not quite as good. Jason Bateman does actually fit the role well, he is a likable guy and he does look kinda similar to Fox truth be told, you could believe they are related. That (now) entire cliched 80's frat house vibe is strong here naturally but that's a rose-tinted retro plus point, also check out all the cute 80's girls in their 80's fashions (God I miss the 80's). Lastly the boxing finale is reasonably exciting, it looks OK and relatively realistic, it does just about give you the buzz needed in the end.

In short this movie can't compare to the original in any way. The original had that low budget appeal, a cracking 80's score, some cheeky semi-adult angles and charismatic characters. This movie merely regurgitates the lot but its watered down to appeal to more people. The score doesn't have the same emotional force behind it, the characters are a shadow of their former selves, the new characters are cheap rip-offs of the previous ones and they literately copy the original plot almost scene for scene. One fatal mistake being this time they actually make the main hero character unlikable by the midway point. He becomes such a showboating show off as the wolf and clearly becomes an asshole, where as Scott in the original movie was always likable even with his inflated ego.

Despite all that its still an enjoyable movie I can't deny, maybe its because I grew up with these movies as a kid makes me biased. Even though its a bad sequel, if you try not to think about the superior original and take it as it is, you do have an easy going fun piece of trashy 80's trash.