I Was A Teenage Werewolf never explains why poor old Tony is dispatched with wimpy police issue bullets. And if you think that I just laid a real smelly dog turd of a spoiler on your front lawn there, try to remember that a teenage werewolf whose transformations are triggered by the school bell probably isn’t a prime candidate to reach old age, even in dog years! I mean that sucker is going to be growing fangs and eating teachers and students about what – 14 or 15 times a day? Someone is bound to eventually notice that!
Tony is just your average high school kid with an anger management problem. He’ll fight you just as soon as look at you and he doesn’t mind fighting dirty if that’s what the situation calls for! Whether this involves swinging a shovel at another guy during one of his after school fights or chucking dirt in his opponent’s eyes, one thing is for sure: Tony is in it to win it. To him, second place is the first loser.
Nowadays, Tony would be immediately recruited for the high school football team where he could put his psychopathic need to inflict pain on others to better use on crosstown rival Oakdale High en route to an inevitable state championship and MVP award. (Assuming that all his suspensions and criminal charges would be cleared up by then.)
Back in the 1950s though, they didn’t have all that medical research showing that a dude with intermittent explosive disorder is really just a defensive end in search of a team, so the cop that breaks up Tony’s most recent fight tells him he needs to get his act together.
The cop advises that there’s even this really awesome psychologist who’s doing really great work with the police department who might be able to help Tony. Tony knows that the pigs are just trying to kill his buzz and he declines the offer of help.
Tony’s old man tries to talk some sense into him, but with Tony’s mom dead and Tony’s old man working the nightshift, there’s nothing for Tony to really do but heave a big bottle of milk into the kitchen wall!
Things finally come to a head when he’s hanging out with the gang at a Halloween party and everyone is pulling pranks on one another. Even Tony gets into the act, rigging it so a bucket of water falls on one of his pals. In response to this, his pal sneaks up behind Tony and blows a horn in his ear!
Sure, Tony beats him up and manages to hit his squeeze as well, but I would have ripped that crud’s lips off, too! Who needs some jerk blowing a horn in your ear?
And why would you do that to the hottest hothead in school? He had it coming, but Tony realizes he needs help when everyone looks at him like he raised his leg and peed all over the floor.
Next stop: The offices of Dr. Brandon. Dr. Brandon and his worrywart assistant Hugo aren’t exactly what they seem as we discover that Dr. Brandon’s hypnotism technique is really just a cover for a scheme that has to go right to the top of the list of “Illest-Concieved Schemes Ever!”
He thinks that Man has crapped out in his present form and that it’s up to him to start over for us. To do this, he’s going to inject Tony with a serum that will revert Tony to his primitive state. And then? Who knows!
I was thinking that the movie would have been better off getting Tony turned into a werewolf by having him bitten by some sexy gypsy who comes to town with a carnival. Oh well, whatever it takes to get the werewolf make-up on and the kids to start getting eaten.
When the first body turns up with Tony-sized fang marks all over it, everyone is stumped. Everyone that is but Pepe, the police janitor! Pepe is from werewolf country and knows a werewolf attack when he sees police photos of one!
He tells this to one of the cops (played by Guy Williams of Lost in Space fame), but he doesn’t believe crazy old Pepe. Pepe, you’re probably just high on urinal cake fumes!
Once Tony eats a gymnast in front of the entire school, the police change their tune. Tony escapes into the woods and the police spend the rest of the movie looking for him.
Eventually, Tony finds himself back at Dr. Brandon’s office where they settle up before the police arrive and do an Old Yeller on Tony, leaving one of the cops to seriously intone something about how man shouldn’t mess around with God’s business. Because it’s God’s business (and cursed gypsies) to make werewolves, not harebrained mad scientists.
Yes, the plan didn’t make any more sense than a dog trying to hump your leg and the school was pretty lucky to have an honest-to-gosh werewolf expert on staff, but the movie is obviously about so much more than just a kid in need of a shave. No, it’s not symbolic of dudes hitting puberty and being sex-crazed dogs. That’s just silly egghead talk. It’s really about the need to reboot the Universal monsters for the drive-in crowd by transplanting the action to high school and putting the Wolf-Man in a cheesy jacket. How could I Was a Teenage Frankenstein not immediately follow?
© 2013 MonsterHunter
2 thoughts on “I Was a Teenage Werewolf (1957)”
Great review of a fun movie. Have you checked out MST3K’s version? One of their better ones.
I watched MST3K religiously in the early 1990s but don’t remember ever seeing this episode. Great show. Always looked forward to the Turkey Day marathon. Haven’t seen it in years though.