Teen Wolf (1985)

Genre: Comedy, Horror | Age: 10-12


Ages 4 & Under -- No
Ages 5 to 7 -- No
Ages 8 to 9 -- With Guidance
Ages 10 to 12 -- Yes
Ages 13 to 15 -- Yes
Ages 15 to 17 -- Yes

Teen Wolf (1985)

HORROR COMEDY: 1985, PG. Young, inept athlete Scott suddenly finds himself growling in times of stress. He begins hearing dog whistles. He can get a keg of beer by using his voice. Suddenly, he’s popular . . . and a werewolf. Once he “comes out,” his friends accept him. Popular Pamela likes him, but her macho boyfriend, is jealous. Scott becomes egotistic in his new success and starts loosing his popularity. Buffy, his childhood friend, likes him as Scott, not as “the wolf.” Scott finally comes to terms with his problems, decides to be himself after all, and encourages others to use their true talents and teamwork to win the championship basketball game.

VIOLENCE/SCARINESS: Teenage slapstick (surf dancing on top of a moving van, etc.).

CRIMES: Underage drinking (U).

MORALS, ISSUES & VALUES: Scott is tired of being an average kid in an average town. Scott works for his father’s store. Scott’s father warns Scott against using his powers in anger. When his father can’t help him, Scott confesses to his friend Styles. Scott is appreciated for who he is, not what he looks like (a great message for teens), however, some of his popularity comes from his skills that come from him being a werewolf. The coach, who pretends to be a friend to the students, is an insensitive jerk and the theater teacher is pretentious. The coach is only interested in winning, not teamwork or play.

Single parent family. Father is very understanding of Scott’s problem since, he, too, is a werewolf. Some mild sexual talk. Some very mild sex games at a party. The change into a werewolf is associated with adolescent sexual changes. Pamela tries to seduce Scott by taking off her bra. She likes Scott only because of his popularity, not for who he really is.

SUBSTANCES: Lots of beer drinking. The underage kids buy a keg of beer for a party. Background smoking at a party. Considerably beer and alcohol at a party. Marijuana smoking in background.

COMMENTS: A very mild and sometimes slow comedy (by today’s standards) in which the transition to werewolf is associated with a solution to all adolescent problems. The film describes many teens’ need to stand out from the crowd (and to fit in at the same time), and deals, fairly honestly, with both the positive and negative consequences.

STARRING: Michael J. Fox, James Hampton, Scott Paulin, Susan Ursitti, Jerry Levine, Jim MacKrell, Lorie Griffin, Mark Arnold.

Followed by a sequel, “Teen Wolf 2.” For something a lot heavier, try “An American Werewolf in London,” and perhaps the very bloody “An American Werewolf in Paris.”


Nudity -- 0
Sexuality -- 2
Physical Violence -- 2
Emotional Stress -- 2
Blood or Gore -- 2
Language/Profanity -- 1
Immorality -- 1
Parental Guidance -- 1
Watchability for Adults -- 2
Overall (For Kids of the Appropriate Age) -- 3
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Copyright Arthur Taussig 2022