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I Was a Teenage Werewolf (1957)

 -  Horror | Sci-Fi  -  19 June 1957 (USA)
4.8
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Ratings: 4.8/10 from 1,612 users  
Reviews: 40 user | 22 critic

A troubled teenager seeks help through hypnotherapy, but his evil doctor uses him for regression experiments that transform him into a rampaging werewolf.

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(original story), (original story), 2 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Yvonne Fedderson ...
Arlene Logan (as Yvonne Lime)
...
Charles Willcox ...
Jimmy (as Tony Marshall)
Dawn Richard ...
Barney Phillips ...
Detective Donovan
Ken Miller ...
Vic
Cynthia Chenault ...
Pearl (as Cindy Robbins)
Michael Rougas ...
Robert Griffin ...
Joseph Mell ...
...
Eddie Marr ...
Vladimir Sokoloff ...
Louise Lewis ...
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Storyline

A troubled teenager seeks help through hypnotherapy, but his evil doctor uses him for regression experiments that transform him into a rampaging werewolf. Written by Mattias Thuresson

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Explosive! Amazing! Terrifying! You won't believe your eyes! See more »

Genres:

Horror | Sci-Fi

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

19 June 1957 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Blood of the Werewolf  »

Box Office

Budget:

$82,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$2,000,000 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Michael Landon later satirized his role in this film on his TV show, Highway to Heaven (1984). In the 1987 Halloween episode, "I Was A Middle Aged Werewolf," written and directed by Landon, the angel Jonathan Smith turns himself into a werewolf to scare off some bullies. Smith and his friend, Mark Gordon (Victor French) watch the movie I Was a Teenage Werewolf (1957) on TV. Watching the werewolf, Mark tells Jonathan, "You know, this guy in the movie reminds me a lot of you. I mean, when he's a regular guy, not when he's got fuzz all over his face." See more »

Quotes

Dr Alfred Brandon: I'm going to TRANSFORM him, and unleash the savage instincts that lie hidden within... and then I'll be judged the benefactor. Mankind is on the verge of destroying itself. The only hope for the human race is to hurl it back into its primitive norm, to start all over again. What's one life compared to such a triumph?
See more »

Connections

Featured in It (1990) See more »

Soundtracks

Eeny, Meeny, Miney, Mo
Music and Lyrics by Jerry Blaine
Sung by Ken Miller (uncredited)
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A classic werewolf movie
8 May 2005 | by (Bromsgrove, England) – See all my reviews

Tony Rivers is a teenager who has a real problem with anger. He's always ready for a fight and explodes at even the slightest provocation. A sequence of unfortunate events lead him to seek help with a psychotherapist, who turns out to be a mad scientist obsessed with the possibilities of reverting man to his animal state. After a few sessions which seem to be helping, brutal animal-like killings begin to occur in the town and Tony fears that he has become ... a werewolf! Although it was made for an extremely low budget by a brand-new production company called American International Pictures, this movie became very successful very quickly. Whether or not somebody actually sat down and figured out that teenagers should be the target audience for movie theatres now that the older folk stayed at home to watch TV is uncertain, but it was definitely a winning formula. Of course, the authority figures at the time were quick to damn the movie, saying it was psychologically damaging the kids who watched it. What a bunch of squares.

The werewolf aspect here is a metaphor for common teenage mood swings, with the anger of Tony being eventually channelled into the beast. There are hints of a darker subtext, particularly in a scene where he watches an attractive, partially-clad female gymnast doing her moves, right before changing into the wolf and attacking her. Overall the movie fails to notice the other similarities between the werewolf myth and adolescence, at least not to the same extent as "Ginger Snaps" or even "Teen Wolf". It tries very hard to be hip to the teenagers of that time, with fifties slang and a completely out-of-place extended music number and dance sequence thrown in. Unfortunately, it isn't really as thrilling or as fun as it really should be in places ... it's quite slow moving, takes a long time to get started and a lot of the scenes in the second half of the movie seem thrown together and lacking in narrative flow. Obviously it isn't perfect (it was given the "Mystery Science Theatre" treatment), but hey -- it's a B-movie.

Michael Landon is a real star in this movie, giving a performance that is both intense and convincing. Rather than setting his sights on movies, from here he went on to become a popular face on television, with major roles in series such as "Bonanza" (for over a decade), "Highway to Heaven", and later starring in "Little House on the Prairie". Nobody else on the cast really stands out, although everyone is competent. Tony's girlfriend is played by Yvonne Lime, who was actually dating Elvis while this movie was being made (how cool can you get?).

The notable writing team here, although originally credited as "Ralph Thornton", were in fact Herman Cohen and Aben Kandel who also wrote the sequels "I Was A Teenage Frankenstein" and "How To Make A Monster", then credited as Kenneth Langtry. Aben Kandel also did some earlier uncredited work on the "Werewolf Of London" screenplay. Unfortunately none of these movies were particularly strong in terms of story or dialogue, but nevertheless they did contribute a great deal to werewolf movie history. Director Gene Fowler Jr made his career in B-movie horrors and westerns, with this being his most well-known work (although "I Married A Monster from Outer Space" has to rank highly).

Werewolf movie fans really have to see this movie, not only because it was so popular and so influential, but because it was one of the most interesting werewolf movies of it's time.


5 of 7 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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