Teen Wolf Too (1987, Christopher Leitch)

There are worse movies than Teen Wolf Too. There have to be worse movies than Teen Wolf Too. It’s a mantra you can use when watching Teen Wolf Too. Of course, given the era, there may be even a worse theatrically released movie from the same year (1987). But Teen Wolf Too is just the wrong combination of worthless and ponderous.

The obvious worst aspect of Teen Wolf Too is lead Jason Bateman. His performance is so inept, he’s not miscast, it’s a joke he was tested. A lot makes sense once you realize Bateman’s dad, Kent, produced the movie as a vehicle for his kid who couldn’t act. What’s so unfortunate about Bateman’s acting is his apparent effort. He clearly working with some suffering acting coach because his deliveries are laborious. Lots of pausing to think and consider, which just prolongs scenes and makes the deliveries longer. The less Bateman acting, the better, but there’s so, so much of it.

Because Teen Wolf Too can’t afford the makeup people from the first one, which leads to a lousy werewolf mask for Bateman, but then he’s barely in it. Bateman’s only got a handful of scenes wolfed out besides the numerous (four or five) montage sequences, where they can also use a stuntman.

Including an indescribable—but seriously, not worth seeing it for yourself—song and dance number where Bateman’s obviously not singing or dancing. See, Stuart Fratkin’s back from the first movie—well, Fratkin’s character is back. The original actor, Jerry Levine, didn’t return. Since he’d have been thirty or whatever acting opposite maybe just eighteen Bateman. Fratkin’s older but not lots and lots older. Mark Holton’s back from the first movie; he’s lots and lots older. He’s some weird non-trad who went to college to physically assault teenagers.

But Fratkin. He wanted to get Bateman to college to create a new Teen Wolf sensation, and so he’s prepared the song and dance number for Bateman’s Teen Wolf coming out. And hired dancers. Again, indescribably bad. Again, don’t find out for yourself. Don’t even YouTube it.

So, the first movie was high school, and this one is college. Bateman’s playing Michael J. Fox’s cousin from the first movie, who doesn’t think he will be a werewolf because neither of his parents are werewolves. There’s not not an implication the parents are related.

Anyway.

James Hampton is back from the first movie as Fox’s dad and Bateman’s uncle. There’s also not not the implication Bateman’s parents are dead. It’s like the Cat People remake, actually, when you think about it. A lot like it.

Hampton’s not any good because the script’s terrible. Much like untalented white guy lead Bateman, screenwriter Tim Kring failed upward, though maybe he learned to write someday like Bateman learned to act once his dad stopped making his movies for him.

Sorry. Hampton.

Hampton’s not good. But he doesn’t appear embarrassed to be in the movie, which is incredible because everyone else looks mortified. Even Bateman. Bateman looks just as miserable as everyone watching him act.

The film’s cast is a varied assortment of established actors down on their luck, middling ones about to quit acting for something else, or lousy actors kicking off careers acting poorly.

You feel bad for Kim Darby and Paul Sands (though Sands is terrible and Darby’s just bad), but not John Astin. Astin’s atrocious. Fratkin’s awful, Beth Miller’s awful; Holton’s bad but not especially bad. Estee Chandler plays the love interest, who Bateman mentally abuses, and the script treats like shit.

Chandler’s sympathetic. She’s one of the few people not actively making the movie worse. She’s trapped in Teen Wolf Too.

Leitch’s direction is terrible, Mark Goldenberg’s music’s terrible, Jules Brenner’s photography is terrible. On the other hand, the editing–the movie’s got four editors and is ninety-five minutes—isn’t incompetent.

Don’t watch Teen Wolf Too.

Unless Jason Bateman’s dad is paying you to watch it.

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