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I Was a Teenage Werewolf (1957)

Approved | | Drama, Fantasy, Horror | 19 June 1957 (USA)
A hypnotherapist uses a temperamental teenager as guinea pig for a serum which transforms him into a vicious werewolf.

Director:

Gene Fowler Jr.

Writers:

Herman Cohen (original story) (as Ralph Thornton), Aben Kandel (original story) (as Ralph Thornton) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Michael Landon ... Tony Rivers
Yvonne Lime ... Arlene Logan
Whit Bissell ... Dr. Alfred Brandon
Charles Willcox Charles Willcox ... Jimmy (as Tony Marshall)
Dawn Richard Dawn Richard ... Theresa
Barney Phillips ... Detective Donovan
Ken Miller Ken Miller ... Vic
Cynthia Chenault ... Pearl (as Cindy Robbins)
Michael Rougas Michael Rougas ... Frank
Robert Griffin ... Police Chief P.F. Baker
Joseph Mell Joseph Mell ... Dr. Hugo Wagner
Malcolm Atterbury ... Charles Rivers
Eddie Marr Eddie Marr ... Doyle
Vladimir Sokoloff ... Pepe the Janitor
Louise Lewis Louise Lewis ... Principal Ferguson
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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:

The most amazing motion picture of our time! See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

19 June 1957 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Blood of the Werewolf See more »

Filming Locations:

Big Bear Lake, California, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$82,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$2,000,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Sunset Productions (III) See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

American Internation Pictures rushed out a number of films similar to this in hopes of capitalizing on the success of I Was A Teenage Werewolf. Among them - I Was a Teenage Frankenstein (1957), How to Make a Monster (1958), and Blood of Dracula (1957). See more »

Goofs

The night-time stalking scenes obviously were shot during daylight, like when the teenager leaves the party at night and walks in the forest. See more »

Quotes

Dr Hugo Wagner: But you're sacrificing a human life!
Dr Alfred Brandon: Do you cry over a guinea pig? This boy is a free police case. We're probably saving him from the gas chamber.
Dr Hugo Wagner: But the boy is so young, the transformation horrible -
Dr Alfred Brandon: And you call yourself a scientist! That's why you've never been more than an assistant.
See more »

Connections

Featured in 100 Years of Horror: Werewolves (1996) 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

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.


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