“I Was a Teenage Werewolf” is a unique horror film that follows a young boy, Tony, as he attempts to quell his anger problems. The film begins by introducing us to Tony and right away you see he has some struggles, at first it doesn’t appear to be any worse than any teen his age, but as the film goes on you see his anger gets physical and on one so incident the police happen to get involved. Tony is recommended by many people close to him that he should get help for his anger and see a psychologist. When he finally takes their advice, after much persuasion and convincing done by Tony’s dad and girlfriend, he goes and sees a local psychologist. Yet, Tony’s concerns and stipulations towards going to the psychologist were completely right. Upon arriving for his first visit it is made very clear to Tony that he won’t have much say in regards to his treatment. Dr. Brandon believes Tony will be perfect to try his new treatment on and really pushes for Tony to try. After a few visits Tony is convinced and they move along with the process. Unfortunately, it doesn’t appear the visits and treatment help at all, rather, they have turned Tony to a werewolf! He didn’t realize it was possible but now when he gets angry or frightened he gets even angrier than before and kills a few people. It is very unfortunate because you saw Tony finally had really wanted to change and had acknowledged his unfortunate temper and instead of getting help from Dr. Brandon, Tony is made even worse. It is clear that Tony had some change of heart or “ah ha moment” in the beginning of the film when he decides to go to Dr. Brandon and get the treatment to get better and fix his temper yet like most traditional vampire tales his fate was already decided because little did Tony know that his treatment to get “better” was really making him worse. As a viewer you feel empathy towards Tony because you know he really just wanted to get better and had no intentions of killing anyone and you feel for his father and even the officer who shot him because at the end of the day everyone knew this wasn’t the Tony they knew but they also knew how dangerous he was if he was left around. Dr. Brandon does not hide his amusement for werewolf’s and towards the end of the film I think he almost acknowledges the madness he’s created when he says “I amuse myself with fantasy, I live by facts.”
This film has a major pop culture presence with many films following “I Was a Teenage Werewolf” by using the tagline “I Was a Teenage…” also the band The Cramps made a song called “I Was a Teenage Werewolf” as well.
A great article (a little long) but gives great analysis on the movie. I was confused with two scenes in the film and this helped me to understand them better: http://www.monstershack.net/sp/index.php/i-was-a-teenage-werewolf-1957/
Short but interesting article comparing the movie to McCarthyism: http://www.organicmechanic.org/2004/09/american-autonomy-and-identity-crisis-in-i-was-a-teenage-werewolf-exploitation-cinema-as-subversive-communist-text/
This article gives some contextual background and some more analysis on the film: https://thetelltalemind.com/2016/09/29/unbeknownst-to-me-i-was-a-teenage-werewolf-1957/