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In the movie I Was a Teenage Werewolf by Gene Fowler Jr., we see a story of a young teen Tony Rivers, played by Michael Landon, who has been having some issues concerning his attitude lately. Tony is a high school student at Rockdale High, where is he known for easily losing his temper and overreacting towards his peers. We see in one of the first scenes Tony getting into a fight with his classmate Jimmy, where they are fighting until they are broken up by two police officers. After the fight is broken up, one of the police officers advises Tony to speak with a psychologist, but Tony declines this offer, as he has no interest in doing it and also doesn’t see the need. After this, Tony’s girlfriend Arlene also seeks out the possibilities of Tony going to see the psychologist, but he again firmly declines the opportunity. This attitude of his is altered when Tony attacks a friend at a surprise party, which is where he realized that maybe he should seek help for his temper.

When meeting with the psychologist, Dr. Brandon, Tony is hypnotized by the doctor. While in this somewhat unconscious trance, Dr. Brandon confirms that Tony would be a perfect subject for his experiments. In other words, would be the perfect person to transform into a werewolf with his short temper and outrages, and with his need to do anything the doctor advised that would help destroy his temper. This serum causes the person injected to regress to strictly primitive instincts, in which this case made Tony a werewolf that sought after killing humans, no matter their relation to him. By primitive instincts, it is inferring that this serum causes Tony to revert back to an animal-like trance. This theme of getting in touch with primitive instincts can be seen in generations today that try and replicate themselves as wolves, like in the 2010 news broadcast on "Teen Werewolves" done by a local news source in San Antonio. In this broadcast, one of the members of this "wolf pack" mentioned that he believed all of us have an animal inside of us, but we will not know what the animal is until we dig deep enough into ourselves. [1]

The murders begin when Tony and Arlene’s friend Frank is killed after a party as he was walking home through the woods alone late at night. The town is frightened by what happened to Frank, but nobody truly knew how it happened, or what had caused it. Tony went back to his doctor, who assured him that he was making great progress and told him that he was behaving much better because of his treatments. When Tony went to meet with the principal, she also spoke very highly of Tony and how he had finally starting coming around mentally, and that she was going to help him get into the state college. However, Tony is still very irritable, and something so little can set him off.

I-Was-a-Teenage-Werewolf pic

I Was a Teenage Werewolf film picture

As he leaves the principal’s office, he stops in the school gym where a girl is practicing gymnastics alone. He stops and stares at this girl from across the room, until the school bell begins to ring right above him, which startles him and sets him off, turning him into a werewolf. He chases her and attacks her, and ends up killing her. As he is fleeing, he runs past a group of his peers that takes notice of his appearance, knowing that it is in fact Tony because of his jacket. Tony hides from the police for some time until he transforms back into his normal human state, where he seeks the help of Dr. Brandon. Dr. Brandon wants to inspect him, to see what he becomes, so he turns Tony into the werewolf. When Dr. Brandon and Dr. Hugo are inspecting and documenting Tony, the phone in their office goes off, setting off Tony’s temper, and causing Tony to kill both Dr. Brandon and Dr. Hugo. The police find Tony right after the murder of Dr. Brandon and shoot him multiple times until Tony is dead, and this is where the movie ends.[2]

The way I saw it was that Tony never really changed much throughout the plot. The beginning of the movie showed Tony as a very irritable young man, that had trouble listening to anyone ever since the death of his mother. The end of the movie showed Tony as a very irritable young man who could transform into a vampire, and would kill people in the process. He sought after help, showing that there was a part of him that wanted change, but the help that he found did not have his best interest in mind. Dr. Brandon's alternative motive was to perform tests using Tony as the subject, and not to actually treat Tony's temper issues.

  1. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q77sJT8O56E
  2. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5m6bQfk6AXU

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