So, Teen Wolf is kind of fun, right? Michael J. Fox was a charming werewolf dealing with the everyday woes of high school, and Teen Wolf was well received by audiences. So what did the studio do? They made a sequel, Teen Wolf Too, two years later and none of the original actors returned aside from a couple of cameos. Any sense of fun is also missing in this disastrous sequel, which was shot toward the end of the "sequel for anything" 1980s. When Fox did not return, producer Kent Bateman cast his son, Jason Bateman, in the lead role. I'm sure this is a role the now-famous actor is keen to forget. Bateman plays Todd Howard, the cousin of Fox's character, Scott Howard, who begins college at Hamilton University on athletic scholarship. He is also a werewolf, and must deal with the woes of college. This go-round is a lot lamer, but there is a dance sequence.
If you've seen Teen Wolf you can accurately predict the plot of this film. Teen Wolf Too basically copies the original scene for scene, relocates the action to college, and dumbs down everything from the actors to the writing. The University's dean (John Astin) and boxing coach (Paul Sand) know about the Scott family legacy, and offer the scholarship in hopes that the beast within Todd will help the school win a championship. A kind professor, Tanya Brooks (Kim Darby), takes Todd under her wing and encourages him to focus on education instead of athletics. He falls for a homely classmate, Nicki (Estee Chandler), and finds success in the ring. Once his inner werewolf is revealed, Todd is tempted by riches, women and opportunity, disappointing his original friend group.
This movie, from director Christopher Leitch and writer R. Timothy Kring, is a mess. Surely this was written on the fly, or at least quickly, because none of the jokes actually amuse. Teen Wolf Too is 94 minutes of terribly delivered wisecracks and sight gags, and nothing rises above the level of Saturday morning serial material. I'm OK with bad movies that entertain, but this is not one of those movies. The characters have little chemistry, and the film hops around so frequently that I suspect it was hastily re-cut before release. Bateman shows faint sparks of his Michael Bluth personality, but he's lucky this movie did not kill his career. Keep business and family separate, I suppose.
Neither funny nor dramatically compelling, Teen Wolf Too simply exists to make money, of which it made little. It seems no one had much inspiration or faith in the project, and it shows on screen. Todd comes across as a complete tool, and treats his girlfriend and friends terribly. The film concludes with an expected 180 from Todd, but at that point no one in the audience cares. Why does Todd dance to a cover of "Do You Love Me" in one extended sequence, you ask? Because waterboarding is illegal. Even the werewolf make-up looks unhappy to be here. This one is a dud.
Shout Factory releases the film for the first time on Blu-ray with a 1.85:1/1080p/AVC-encoded image. Although this film was not given a new scan, it appears in relatively good shape. The image is nicely detailed and colorful, with pleasing texture and film-like grain. The print is largely free from damage, colors are nicely saturated, and blacks are decently inky. I did notice some blooming highlights and brief aliasing, but this is a solid transfer.
The 2.0 DTS-HD Master Audio stereo mix is serviceable, with clear dialogue and decent element separation. This is a front-loaded mix, but a few effects during boxing sequences and transformation scenes waft to the surrounds. English subtitles are included.
PACKAGING AND EXTRAS:
Shout Factory releases the film in a Collector's Edition to match its release of the original. The disc is packed in a standard case with dual-sided artwork, and a slipcover wraps the case. Shout Factory offers five newly recorded interviews for fans: Working with the Wolf (16:09/HD), an interview with Director Christopher Leitch; Otherworldly (6:33/HD), a chat with Kim Darby; A Man of Great ‘Stiles' (16:27/HD), an interview with Stuart Fratkin; Nerdy Girl Saves the Day (6:31/HD), a sit-down with Estee Chandler; and A Wolf in ‘80s Clothing (9:49/HD), about costume designer Heidi Kaczenski. These are decently informative, and the participants are pretty candid about the film's weaknesses. You also get a Still Gallery (0:55/HD).
God bless Shout Factory for releasing Collector's Editions of cult films on Blu-ray. But Teen Wolf Too just does not do it for me. Not bad enough to overcome the complete lack of inspiration and terrible writing, this is a dull, pedestrian affair. This new Blu-ray looks and sounds good, and offers newly produced bonus content. Fans will want to grab this, but everyone else can Skip It.