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Teen Wolf Too – Collector’s Edition (Blu-ray Review)

Teen Wolf had a brief run in the 1980s where it was a very big deal, with plenty of stuff for it to market on. The first film was a big hit that had a superstar in Michael J. Fox. That film then spawned a cartoon series for Saturday mornings that ran for a couple years. On then came the sequel, Teen Wolf Too. Michael J. Fox wasn’t coming back, so another sitcom teen actor was brought on to howl at the moon, Jason Batman. Now, we all are familiar with adult Bateman, but back then he was from that damn sitcom that changed its name like three times. Well, he and this film, could not capture the magic from the first again, bombing and getting horrendous reviews, it pretty much dislodged whatever hold Teen Wolf had on popular culture. Now, thanks to Scream Factory, we can revisit the film in glorious Blu-ray and also hear an honest look at the story of making the film. You can pre-order now to have it ready and at your door when it releases August 8th.

Film 

High school was easy, but college is a whole different animal! Jason Bateman 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. But is his fame a gift? Or a curse? And can he keep it from getting in the way of the relationships he has with his best friends and girlfriend? Perhaps a little guidance from his professor, who has a secret of her own, may help Todd learn the biggest lesson of all.

Teen Wolf Too is a steep drop off from the first film. It tries to recapture the same tale with some different details and new characters, but it doesn’t have a grasp on why the first film worked. The film does try to do what it can, its not lacking effort. They trade high school in for college and basketball for boxing. You’d think Teen Wolf would eat up college, but it just ends up being more of the same from the first one. Hell, a better title for this movie could have been Teen Wolf U.

One of the weird things with this movie is that it has some awkward edits, camera shot and line readings that just make you kinda sit wondering why the hell that happened. Maybe its only present if you’re someone who understands more of the technical side, but its there. But, I think everyone can take notice of the humor that really falls flat and the overabundance of montages. While 1980s montages usually are fun, these aren’t that creative. These factor ends up making the film feel like a very long 95 minutes.

Now, this sequel isn’t without its merits. Jason Bateman is pretty fun, Kim Darby is VERY good (And almost unrecognizable) and there are some good songs on the soundtrack. Through a bit of nostalgia, I sort of love the score of this movie in this low-rent late 80s/early 90s local TV sound. Ultimately, those little strings are just not enough to make this a thoroughly enjoyable nostalgia trip. I do think its much better than its been given credit over the years, but its still a subpar, disappointing sequel.

Video 

Encoding: MPEG-4 AVC

Resolution: 1080p

Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1

Layers: BD-50

Clarity/Detail: Teen Wolf Too comes to Blu-ray for the first time, sporting a transfer that is really the sort of “par for the course” variety from Scream Factory. That’s not a bad thing at all, honestly, its a compliment. Depth, detail and sharpness are solid. Its a rather full looking image and they give it a good look and feel akin to what is probably more true for it. Is this one gonna win a load of accolades? No, not at all. But I don’t think anyone should even have been expecting this one to be like that. Easily, Teen Wolf Too on this Collector’s Edition is the best the film has ever looked.

Depth:  Dimensional work is decent, slightly above average which is to be expected. Characters move very well and cinematically. There’s not a whole lot of crazy 3D, backgrounds pushed back-looking stuff to it, but its far from being a flat image.

Black Levels: Blacks are deep and have a nice rich feel to them. Grain comes a bit heavier with the darker scenes. Some detail can be hidden in the shadows and dark places. No crushing was witnessed during the viewing for this review.

Color Reproduction: Colors are natural for the most part. Some stuff pops, like the super 80s looking things (Clothes, cars, decorations). Its impressively bold and reigned in to keep things natural.

Flesh Tones: Skin tones are natural and maintain a consistent look from the start of the film to the final credit reel. Facial details are pretty strong in close ups and decent in the medium shots.

Noise/Artifacts: There is a nice layer of grain, but other than that the print seems to be in good condition.

Audio 

Audio Format(s): English Mono DTS-HD MA

Subtitles: English SDH

Dynamics: This audio track fares better than the first film. Its a solid, lighter ended mono track. Effects are decently rounded and the mix is balanced accordingly. The music probably is what works best. The score always is prominent and full sound, with Real Life’s “Send Me An Angel” sounding quite terrific when it shows up during one of the many montages.

Height: N/A

Low Frequency Extension:  N/A

Surround Sound Presentation:  N/A

Dialogue Reproduction: Vocals are clear and concise. There’s a little bit of analogue sound in the mix, but only really shows in crowed scenes or big shouting moments.

Extras 

Teen Wolf Too – Collector’s Edition comes with a reversible cover featuring the original poster art.

Working With The Wolf (HD, 16:08) – An interview with director Christopher Leitch. Leitch is centerstage here, but this is more of a collaborative effort in telling the story of the film’s production from the ground up. The other actors, crew and Blumhouse’s Rob Galluzzo chime in with anecdotes to fill in the story and attitude of the set of the film.

A Man Of Great Stiles (HD, 16:26) – An interview with co-star Stuart Fratkin. We open with his audition approach and decision not to watch the original film before reading. He admits his Stiles is a completely different character than the first movie. Fratkin goes over a lot of his off screen friendship during the shoot with Jason Bateman. While he shares his thoughts on his choices, scenes and character beats in the film, he’s ultimately disappointed that his hair isn’t in the mullet hall of fame.

Nerdy Girl Saves The Day (HD, 6:30) – An interview with co-star Estee Chandler. She gives her take on the film’s narrative from her character’s perspective. Chandler had a great relationship with Jason Bateman and really enjoyed making the movie. The conversation also steers toward her thoughts of what the internet has done for her career and her take on fandom (Citing Star Trek: The Next Generation fans as the best and most loyal ever).

Otherworldly (HD, 6:32) – An interview with co-star Kim Darby, that also has some insights from director Christopher Leitch to fill in on some outside perspective on directing some scenes (as well as some “tail” commentary from Galluzzo and Fratkin). Darby also highly praises the talents and career of Jason Bateman referring to him as not full of himself and very special. Bateman’s father cast her in the film because he found her “Otherworldly”.  She actually pokes into herself and talks about scenes she should have done differently.

A Wolf In 80’s Clothing (HD, 9:48) – A look at the wardrobe of Teen Wolf Too with costume designer Heidi Kaczenski. A really good in depth look at the mind of a costume designer as she talks about having to study characters, improvise off of script changes and trying to make the actors feel as comfortable as possible with the right outfit choices. She gives some anecdotes about different things during the shoot and is accompanied by some commentary by others at different intervals.

Still Gallery (HD, :56)

Summary 

No, Teen Wolf Too doesn’t work much at all like the first one did. But, Scream Factory’s Blu-ray on the film gives it a whole new spin. Featuring some honest and wonderful interviews that load it up, it makes this subpar film a worthwhile revisit in terms of refreshing yourself on it and then enjoying the retrospective look back at it. It looks and sounds very good. This is a nice companion to the first one’s Collector’s Edition and a real piece of 1980’s nostalgia as well.

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Writer/Reviewer, lifelong obsessive film nerd. As eager to educate in the world of film as I am to learn. An avid lover of horror, schlock and trash, Brandon hosts the Cult Cinema Cavalcade podcast on the Creative Zombie Studios Network (www.cultcinemacavalcade.com) You can also find more essays on his blog Naptown Nerd (naptownnerd.blogspot.com).

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