I Was a Teenage Werewolf


“The Most Amazing Motion Picture of Our Time!”

Tortured teen rebel Michael Landon discovers that acne and body odor are the least of his adolescent problems when he sprouts canine fangs and a full-on fur pelt to rule the school as a totally boss teenage werewolf on the prowl for hot chicks and moonlit kicks. In the classic el cheapo ‘50s drive-in hit I Was a Teenage Werewolf, future Little House on the Prairie homesteader Michael Landon stars as Tony, a hot-headed teen rebel prone to violent outbursts, gang rumbles during lunch period and angst-ridden monologues about how “no one understands me, man.” So far, so Rebel Without a Cause, but when Tony’s girlfriend Arlene and a concerned local lawman (dad’s too drunk to care, naturally) step in and turn Tony over to a local mad scientist named Dr. Brandon (played by ‘50s character actor Whit Bissell) for some “re-socializing behavior modification training” via weird and untested hypnotherapy techniques (surely NOTHING could go wrong with that!), Tony is soon regressing to his most primal state, which results in our hero howling at the school bell and rampaging across campus decked out in blue jeans, varsity jacket and a snazzy, head-to-toe body carpet with matching claws and fangs. No nubile co-ed or annoying jock is safe when Tony unleashes his inner German Shepard, and it’s highly doubtful he’ll find a date to the prom while sporting a serious case of mange. Cooked up by drive-in specialists American International Pictures as a way of cashing-in on the then-new 1950s teen movie market, I Was a Teenage Werewolf is as low-rent and cheesy as one might hope given it’s amazing title, and it kicked off a whole horror subgenre of cheap “teen monster” flicks (I Was a Teenage … fill in the blank), that has never really gone away. Featuring a surprisingly intense performance by Michael Landon as the teen lycanthrope, some goofy rock and roll tunes and a weird anti-psychiatry message, this is one ‘50s monster mash that will really have you howling! (Dir. by Gene Fowler, 1957, USA, 76 mins., Not Rated) Digital