It would be a barefaced lie to say Teen Wolf hasn’t dated. Between its selection of bouffant hairdos and intriguingly bonkers synth soundtrack, used indiscriminately to underscore dramatic and comedic beats, Rod Daniel’s lupine cornball classic all but strolls into your living room screaming “I’m from the ’80s!”
The question is whether it holds any appeal beyond the nostalgia factor, particularly for a generation of teens whose idea of a werewolf looks more like Taylor Lautner with his shirt off than an overly hirsute Michael J. Fox. While not quite so bad it’s good, the film’s main charm lies in its determinedly low-rent quality and total refusal to take itself seriously.
High schooler Scott Howard’s (Fox) wolfy transformations are, to be honest, rubbish – look out for the slo-mo morph in the middle of gym class – and the performances are willfully OTT takes on cardboard characters, from the hot bedroom-eyed blonde bitch who won’t give Scott the time of day (Lorie Griffin) to the sweet, slightly less obviously stunning best friend (Susan Ursitti), who’s clearly his perfect girl, wolf or not.
Fox, though, gives a likable and largely understated performance that helps offset the antics around him – the idea that turning into a hairy wolf-man hybrid creature actually makes Scott the most popular guy in school is never satisfactorily explained, beyond the mad basketball skills it affords him.
This is pure, shameless, senseless cheese, and within those limits it’s damn good fun. After all, you just don’t get enough white-suit-wearing, break-dancing wolves in movies these days.