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I Was a Teenage Werewolf

Entry updated 20 June 2022. Tagged: Film.

Film (1957; vt Blood of the Werewolf). Sunset Productions, American International Pictures. Produced by Herman Cohen. Directed by Gene Fowler, Jr. Written by Cohen and Abel Kandel (credited as Ralph Thornton). Makeup by Phillip Scheer (credited as Philip Scheer). Cast includes Whit Bissell, Michael Landon, Yvonne Lime and Charles Wilcox (credited as Tony Marshall). 76 minutes. Black and white.

As the film begins, quick-tempered teenager Tony Rivers (Landon) is involved in a physical altercation with fellow student Jimmy (Marshall); this is quickly broken up by the police, who have in the recent past responded to several violent incidents involving Tony. At the urging of his girlfriend Arlene (Lime) and others, Tony seeks help from psychotherapist Dr Alfred Brandon (Bissell). Brandon uses Hypnosis on Rivers, not for healing but to regress him experimentally to a point where he becomes a creature similar to the legendary Werewolf: Brandon's Mad Scientist obsession is that humanity passed through a stage in its Evolution where such a state was normal. Tony soon begins to Shapeshift into the Monster at night (not needing a full moon). He kills a fellow student at a party attended by himself and Arlene, without recalling his actions as the creature. Eventually, Tony changes even during daytime, and kills a gymnast at the high school. Realizing something is seriously wrong, he makes his way to Brandon's office as the police search for him. There he transforms again, killing Brandon just before the police arrive and shoot him to death.

Produced as a semi-sequel to I Was a Teenage Frankenstein (1957), the film has a thin sf basis in the use of hypnosis to bring about the transformation, making Tony a quasi-scientific werewolf. Both films were highly successful with their target audience of dating teenagers, mostly on the US drive-in movie circuit. [GSt]


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