Teen Wolf Too: Collector’s Edition

| August 3, 2017

When Scream Factory announced they were releasing Teen Wolf (1985) and Teen Wolf Too (1987) in two separate Collector’s Edition Blu-rays, the decision to split the films was met with skepticism by many in comments sections and on message boards. On one hand, that’s a testament to just how much more people like Teen Wolf than they do its sequel. On the other hand, the notion that Teen Wolf Too should not be purchased apart from its Michael J. Fox-starring predecessor has actually been perpetuated by home video distributors for more than a decade. That’s because in 2006, the Teen Wolf sequel was packaged alongside the first film in a DVD Double Feature by Twentieth Century Fox. Then, when the first Teen Wolf was released on Blu-ray in 2011, there was no sign of Teen Wolf Too on HD, and on that double feature DVD it remained until now. And so, for eleven years Teen Wolf Too’s been available on home video as little more than a bonus feature, treated as an afterthought at best.

In a way, thinking of the film as a supplement to Teen Wolf makes perfect sense. Even Teen Wolf Too co-star Stuart Fratkin points out in interview on the Teen Wolf Too: Collector’s Edition that it’s essentially just a companion piece, stressing himself the film’s packaging alongside the original on the aforementioned DVD. Any sequel to a film as successful as the $33 million-earning Teen Wolf would obviously be met by audiences with high expectations. Unfortunately, Too didn’t quite meet audiences’ expectations, it seems.

This is likely because Teen Wolf Too does little more than rehash the first film’s narrative, only this time the teen wolf is Scott Howard’s cousin Todd (Jason Bateman), Todd’s in college instead of high school, and he’s not a basketball player but instead on the boxing team. Heck, the characters of Stiles and Chubby also appear in the sequel and there’s even a Boof surrogate character! So even though the cast is excellent with star Jason Bateman supported by legends John Astin (The Addams Family) and Kim Darby (True Grit), as well as returning cast members James Hampton and Mark Holton, the film doesn’t really bring anything new to the table. It’s a minor variation on the themes of the original.

I wouldn’t say this means the film isn’t worth watching, however. It may not meet the standard set by first installment in the franchise, but it’s an interesting follow-up and a seemingly well-intentioned one at that from director Christopher Leitch’s perspective. If nothing else, it offers up some pure, condensed 1980’s nostalgia fuel complete with a healthy dose of the era’s bizarre fashion during the extended song-and-dance number (yes, the teen wolf sings and dances this time around too). More than that, to me Teen Wolf Too shows just how lucky the filmmakers got the first time around. The original Teen Wolf truly was lightning in a bottle, nearly impossible to replicate even if you’re trying to copy it nearly beat-for-beat.

But is it worth buying as a standalone release? That, I suppose, is the real question, and one that’s hard to answer in the affirmative… on its own. However, if you’re buying Scream Factory’s Teen Wolf: Collector’s Edition, I imagine you’re doing it because you love that film and aren’t content with the previous barebones release. You want to sink your wolf-crazy teeth into those special features and get an in-depth peek behind-the-scenes of the only movie brazen enough to play a story about a basketball-playing-werewolf straight. How such a film could come into being is every bit as fascinating as the existence of the thing itself, and for me at least that’s just as true of the film’s sequel Teen Wolf Too, making its special feature-loaded Collector’s Edition a necessary purchase along with the original’s. Maybe the film really is little more than a companion piece, but it’s a companion piece released with that Scream Factory touch!

The Scream Factory Teen Wolf Too: Collector’s Edition Blu-ray, available August 8, 2017, boasts a series of new cast and crew interviews divided into five featurettes, as well as a stills gallery. At a combined fifty minutes, each featurette is centered on a single interviewee but they do include some necessary deviations into other interviews to flesh out the discussions (including a couple interviews largely conducted for the first film’s Collector’s Edition). The featurette topics are as follows:

-“Working with the Wolf,” an interview with director Christopher Leitch that provides tremendous insight into the film’s rocky preproduction, studio interference, and his thoughts on the mixed reception it’s received over the years;

-“A Man of Great ‘Stiles’,” in which actor Stuart Fratkin discusses how he approached the Stiles character independently of the original Stiles, Jerry Levine;

-“Nerdy Girl Saves the Day,” an interview with Estee Chandler, who plays Todd’s love interest in the film, talking about her own insecurities as an actress and the camaraderie among the young performers;

-a conversation with the legendary Kim Darby in “Otherwordly,” who it seems was unsettled during the entirety of the shoot by the constant presence of her ex-husband;

-and finally, “A Wolf in 80’s Clothing,” a featurette about the film’s costume design centered on an interview with costume designer Heidi Kaczenski.

About the Author:

Jef is a writer and educator in Chicago, Illinois. He holds a degree in Media & Cinema Studies from DePaul University, but sometimes he drops it and picks it back up again. He's also the Editor-in-Chief of FilmMonthly.com and is fueled entirely by coffee (as if you couldn't tell).
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