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Wonderfully Horrible Netflix Instant Films: “Teen Wolf”

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bill-swift - January 1, 2014

Looking for a way to start the New Year off right? You could spend it with friends and family like you do every year. Boring. How about this year you kick things off by watching one of the best/worst movies of the 1980's? It's a coming of age story in which a young man learns that he suffers from lychanthropy, also known as being a f$@king werewolf. Seventeen is a hard enough age without having to deal with werewolf disease. I'm talking, of course, about the Michael J. Fox classic Teen Wolf. Not only is this film a perfect synthesis of 80's schlock and goofy hijinks, I think it is possibly the Platonic form of 80's comedy.

Teen Wolf tells the tale of Scott Howard, played with maximum Michael J. Foxness by Michael J. Fox. He's just an ordinary guy who hangs out with his loser friend Stiles and pines after a blond chick he will never get. Meanwhile he ignores Boof, the girl who actually loves him. This could turn out to be just like any other coming-of-age teen rom-com except for the fact that 30 minutes in Scott turns into a werewolf. His dad explains that it is a family disease. Scott soon embraces the wolf and becomes the star basketball player, even though he's like 4 feet tall. He also gets laid by the blond chick. What could go wrong? Well, how about him acting like a jerk and alienating the people that truly love him. On the day of the big game he decides to play as his short Canadian self and not as the wolf. One guess as to how it ends. Triumphantly is right!

When I say that Teen Wolf is the Platonic form of the 80's teen comedy, I mean it. The only movie that maybe defines the archetypes better is The Breakfast Club. Stiles IS the lame 80's best friend. Chubs IS the fat buddy and Boof IS THE girl that the boy doesn't pay attention to but is his true love. The premise is, of course, asinine even for an 80's comedy. But none of that matters because the movie is so perfectly itself. It isn't trying to be anything other than a movie in which the kid from Back to the Future and Family Ties wears prosthetic makeup and dances on the roof of a van. I would say that along with Psycho, The Graduate, and The Godfather Part 2, Teen Wolf is a near perfect film. And No, I will not discuss that crappy teen drama Teen Wolf BS that's on TV right now. If I could shoot it with a silver bullet, I would.

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