The character Tony Rivers in “I Was a Teenage Werewolf” showcases teenage rebellion and issues in general. Tony is introduced to us as a classic trouble maker. He constantly loses his temper, showing his deep anger issues, and they grow so large the police even become involved. Detective Donovan takes an interest in Tony and recommends he see a psychologist named Dr. Brandon who uses hynotherapy, a type of healing subconscious healing method using hypnosis. Upset, Tony refuses to get help. His girlfriend, Arlene’s concern about his behavior begins to grow as does his father’s. Tony’s anger issues only get worse and he attacks one of his friends at a Halloween party. Everyone at the party is horrified by his actions. This is when Tony is finally able to see that his behavior has gotten overly aggressive and he decides to seek help. Tony goes to see Dr. Brandon who injects him with a serum that turns him into a werewolf. After being injected with the serum, Tony’s principle is incredibly impressed with him and even sees him going to college. Although his anger problems seem to have gone away, he ends up killing several characters in the movie and even has a warrant for his arrest go out. He realizes that he is killing his friends and other innocent people and approaches Dr. Brandon for assistance. Dr. Brandon is seemingly unhelpful as he just wants to film Tony’s transformation to showcase in the scientific world. Tony is triggered into a werewolf again in Dr. Brandon’s office, killing him and his assistant.
Tony’s character in the movie is an excellent example of teenage problems. He has suffered trauma from his mother’s death and lashes out. His behavior continues to get worse with time. He does not get help until he realizes he needs it himself. This leads to another big theme in his character development when he receives the serum. The serum acts as a mask for his problems and doesn’t fix anything. His behavior does improve, but his problems only seem to worsen. He turns into a werewolf that kills people he cares about. Tony’s character is used to show us that you need to personally realize you need help and get help accordingly. Not getting real help or the help you need only causes more problems. Tony shows us that it is important to know yourself and what you need and take responsibility for your actions before it’s too late.