The film “I Was a Teenage Werewolf” directed by Gene Fowler, is about a teenager named Tony Rivers who gets turned into a werewolf by a doctor’s new experiment. Tony is a kid who seems to have anger problems and is very troubled. He loses his temper easily as seen in the first scene of the film. Tony feels as though he is being pestered by his peers, parents and others to change his troubled ways before it is too late. His anger reveals some anxieties of what it is like to be a growing teenager in high school. Tony and his girlfriend are invited to a party hosted at a haunted house with a couple of friends. He plays a prank on his friend, Vic, by having water fall on him as he walked through a door and in return, Vic decides to blow a horn in Tony’s ear to get him back. This action scared Tony and sent him into a rage that resulted in Vic getting hurt. At this moment, we see Tony realize that his dad, girlfriend, and the detective were speaking truth about his anger problems. In the song “I Was a Teenage Werewolf” by The Cramps, the last verse says “A Midwest monster, Of the highest grade, All my teachers thought, It was growing pains, oh no , Somebody stop this pain.” Before Tony completes his transformation to a werewolf, people of the town still viewed him as an angst filled teenager.
After his confrontation with Vic, Tony finally agrees to see a phycologist to help him find treatment for his problem. In hopes to get ahold of his anger, Dr. Brandon instead takes advantage Tony’s vulnerability and uses him as a subject to turn him into a werewolf. After Tony received his injection, he felt as if he was not himself. Later that night, he attacks his first victim which happens to be his friend from earlier that night. The angst that Tony felt before his transformation is increased tenfold once his ‘new found self’ is born. Tony seems to show some similarities with little red riding hood. In the many different versions of the story, a young girl trusts a stranger with taking a meal of some kind to her ill grandmother. The wolf betrays her by taking advantage of her innocence,” The wolf cried out to her, softening his voice as much as he could … The wolf, seeing her come in, said to her, hiding himself under the bedclothes,” put the cake and the little pot of butter on the stool and come get into bed with me” (Perrault). Little Red Riding Hood trust the wolf because of how innocent and naïve she is and in most stories, ends up being killed. With Tony, he confided in the phycologists to help him with his anger after denying help for so long. In return, he was taken advantage of for the doctor’s own personal gains and was also killed.
Article interviewing Teen Wolf stars and discussing werewolf classics:
Andrew Lang, The Blue Fairy Book, 5th edition (London: Longmans, Green, and Company, 1891), pp. 51-53. Lang's source: Charles Perrault, Histoires ou contes du temps passé, avec des moralités: Contes de ma mère l'Oye (Paris, 1697).