Friday, July 28, 2017

TEEN WOLF TOO (1987) (Collector's Edition Blu-ray Review)

Label: Scream Factory 
Region Code: A
Rating: PG 
Duration: 95 Minutes 
Audio: English DTS-HD MA 2.0 with Optional English Subtitles 
Video: 1080p HD Widescreen (1.85:1) 
Director: Christopher Leitch
Cast: Kim Darby, Paul sand, Jason Bateman, James Hampton, Estee Chandler, Stuart Fratkin 

Synopsis: In Teen Wolf Too, high school was easy, but college is a whole different animal! Jason Bateman (Horrible Bosses) stars as Todd Howard, a Hamilton University freshman with a full athletic scholarship — only Todd has no idea why, since he’s far more interested in veterinary medicine than sports. But his boxing coach, Bobby Finstock, is very familiar with the Howard family secret and he’s hoping he can use it to his advantage. When the whole school — including Todd — finds out that he’s a werewolf with superhuman abilities, Todd’s popularity skyrockets and he becomes the big wolf on campus.

While I have a ton of 80's nostalgia for the original Teen wolf (1995) the same cannot be said of the sequel Teen Wolf Too (1987), which certainly suffered from my "who the fuck is this guy?" reaction to Jason Bateman (Arrested Development) taking over as the titular teen-wolf when I first caught up with it as a teen. In the ill-advised sequel the best they could do was a bad rehash of the first movie, only this time set in a college, not high school, oof. 

Fox does not return as Scott, in his place we have Jason Bateman as Scott's cousin Todd, a science-nerd who has somehow won a boxing scholarship to the local college, though he has never boxed a day in his life. How did this happen? Hamilton is where Coach Finstock, the basketball from the first film, is now employed, but we lose and the amazing Jay Tarses, who did not return, instead we get character actor Paul Sand, who has awarded Todd the scholarship based on the knowledge that he is the cousin of Scotty, hoping that his cousin will have the same life-changing experience his cousin had, doing for the coach's boxing squad what Scotty did for his basketball team. 

Very few of the cast returned for the sequel, wise folk, one of the few returning is James Hampton as Mr. Howard, Scott's dad and Todd's uncle, and he's fine as the supportive uncle. We also have Mark Holton as Chubby returning for more of the same, only this time as a boxer instead of a b-baller. Not returning is Jerry Levine as Styles, in his place we have Stuart Fratkin in the same role, and he's also just fine as a new incarnation of Styles, another schemer hoping to cash-in on the lycanthropic fame of Todd.

Since we're now on a college campus we need to have an authority figure, this time around we have Dean Dunn (John Astin, The Addams Family), a thankless role but Dunn is always fun. Again, our hairy teen must choose between the love of a cute nerdy girl named Nicki (Estee Chandler) and a superficial blond bombshell, it all plays out very similarly to the original with Todd enjoying his newfound fame only to realize he's become a superficial douche bag in the end. It really is an awful watch, even by bad 80s sequel standards, the original had a lot of heart but this is just a weak, watered-down facsimile. I will give it some points for the soundtrack, featuring fun 80s tunes from The Beat Farmer and Oingo Boingo, as soundtracks go I give this a leg-up on the original film. The special effects also look decent for the time, I think Fox look much better in the original, the design is slightly different, but it's a step down in quality in my opinion, not helping is that Bateman does not appear in the make-up in many scenes, including during the boxing and dance scenes. 

Audio/Video: Teen Wolf Too (1987) arrives on single disc Collector's Edition Blu-ray from Scream Factory, this is not being advertised as a new 2K scan, so I am assuming Scream Factory have gone with an HD master provided by MGM, and it looks solid; colors are vibrant, skin tones look natural, details are plentiful and it doesn't appear to have been de-grained in the process. The DTS-HD MA 2.0 audio track is crisp and well-balanced, dialogue sounds good, and the music cues are strong, those Oingo Boingo songs sound great. 

Extras include  about fifty-six minutes of interviews with director Christopher Leitch, stars Kim Darby, Stuart Fratkin, Estee Chandler and costume designer Heidi Kaczenski, plus a still gallery. Again, the star of the film does not appear in interviews for the disc, which is unfortunate, not a fan of the movie but I would been interested to hear his recollections. Rob Galluzzo from the Shock Waves podcast also shows up on the talking heads interview in this one, which was a treat.   

The film comes in a standard blue keepcase with a sleeve of reversible artwork, sporting the original artwork and a new portrait style painting, which is mirrored by the Teen Wolf Collector's Edition, which look great on the shelf together. There's also a limited edition slipcover with the new artwork. 

Special Features:

- Working with the Wolf – An interview with director Christopher Leitch (16 min) HD
- Otherworldly – An interview with co-star Kim Darby (7 min) HD 
- A Man of Great ‘Stiles’ - An interview with co-star Stuart Fratkin (16 min) HD 
- Nerdy Girl Saves the Day – An interview with co-star Estee Chandler (7 min) HD 
- A Wolf in ‘80s Clothing – A look at the wardrobe of Teen Wolf Too with costume designer Heidi Kaczenski (10 min) HD 
- Still Gallery(1 min) 

Teen Wolf Too (1987) is a bad movie and just a plain bad sequel, but Scream Factory did their best to give it a decent Collector's Edition Blu-ray with good A/V and some entertaining extras, if you're a fan or a completest it's worth a pick-up.