Teen Wolf (1985)

Film and Plot Synopsis

Like all teenagers, Scott Howard is going through some… changes. Unlike the rest of the students at Beacontown High School, Scott’s changes include long hair that covers his entire body, claw-like fingernails, fangs, a heightened sense of smell, superhuman strength, and the extraordinary ability to play basketball. Naturally, these uncanny new features turn this lovable loser into the most popular kid in school. However, by embracing his newly minted popularity, this Teen Wolf loses sight of what it truly means to be Scott Howard!

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‘Teen Wolf’ Movie Summary

The summary below contains spoilers.
Teen Wolf (1985)In Teen Wolf, Scott Howard under-achieves in high school on an under-achieving basketball team. He lives in an under-achieving little town in middle America. He kinda works at his nice-guy father’s hardware store. He has a crush on the hottest girl in school, Pamela, who is dating 27-year-old town bully, Mick, who plays on the opposing team.

Scott has a con-artist best friend named Styles who loves to surf on top of Scott’s work van and never says die when it comes to buying a keg of beer. Scott has an adorable girl-next-door he’s known all his life named Boof who has the hots for mild-mannered Scott. But Scott is too worried about his lousy hook shot, his six-dollar haircut and a new rash that he’s experiencing at all the wrong times to notice Boof’s obvious advances.

One night, after an especially heated closet tumble with Boof at the most sexualized high school party in recent memory, Scott goes home and immediately does the PG-version of the American Werewolf in London quick-change into a miniature wookie… I mean a werewolf.

Scott’s father meets him at the door in matching Chewbacca, I mean werewolf costume and explains it’s a family heirloom, I mean curse, that may or may not pass from generation to generation. The next morning, Scott’s father tells him when he wants it, Scott has great power. What his father fails to tell him is what those powers are once he becomes a wolf, because it’s a coming-of-age movie and why spoil the surprise.

Scott decides to hide the family secret only until the next day when he turns into the wolf so he can sniff out Styles’ stash of marijuana. During the next basketball game, Scott gets fouled and in a heated dogpile of bodies, Scott gets angry and turns into a mix of Sasquatch and Bill Walton on the court in front of everyone. Scott instantly becomes the second-coming of Magic Johnson in a headband and puts on a basketball clinic, winning the game with a series of awfully edited dunk shots.

The entire student body and town immediately accepts this freak as one of their own without a moment’s hesitation because, that’s really what anybody would do when a bonafide monster appears out of nowhere. Scott starts getting straight-A’s but only when he’s the wolf. He can breakdance on a moment’s notice. His basketball team can’t lose with his body-double stand-in playing like Lebron James.

Styles starts a business selling Teen Wolf memorabilia too big for Boof to wear. Scott is offered a token role in the school play that gets him closer to Pamela. He even gets an up-close-and-personal tour of Pamela herself in her dressing room after play practice one night that leads to some heated howling into the night…

Finally, at the big school dance the day before the big championship basketball game, Scott appears as the big wolf on campus and turns the dance into his own private disco, until Mick calls him a freak and they get into a fight showing Scott’s werewolf claws only tear open button-down shirts and doesn’t actually cause any real carnage like actual werewolves would have done. But the incident scares Scott into choosing not to play the title character of “Teen Wolf” for the remaining 15 minutes of the movie.

During the championship game the next day, Scott shows up without the wolf, to the anger of the entire school population except Boof and his dad. Scott’s rah-rah speech to his team of losers inspires them to beat a team that has slaughtered them for years just by believing in themselves. And suddenly, in the matter of the longest 10 minute basketball montage of insanely poor play ever filmed, Scott’s team pulls within one point of winning the game when Scott is fouled by Mick at the buzzer on the last shot.

Will Scott make the last two baskets with the worst free throw motion in basketball history without actually becoming the wolf to do it? Will Mick end up graduating high school or is he still attending at the ripe old age of 60? Will Boof still love Scott if he loses the game and the entire student body storms his house with torches and pitchforks in anger? Will Stiles be able to trade in the Wolfmobile for a used beer truck? Will Vice Principal Thorne ever remember to put on his Depends before having another run-in with Scott’s father? Will Chubby eat all the Jello in Playmate Linda Wiesmeyer’s cleavage before he dies of arterial sclerosis?

Since Michael J Fox hated this movie so much he refused to appear in the horrifying sequel, I guess we may never know.

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Atlantic Releasing Corporation released Teen Wolf on August 23, 1985. Rod Daniel directed the film which starred Michael J. Fox, James Hampton, and Susan Ursitti.

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