"A werewolf is a herbivore. Luckily, this guy's name is Herb."
  — Crow


The Movie

Synopsis

Michael Landon in I Was a Teenage Werewolf

Tony Rivers (Michael Landon), a troubled teenager at Rockdale High, is known for losing his temper and overreacting. A campus fight between Tony and classmate Jimmy (Tony Marshall) gets the attention of the local police, Det. Donovan (Barney Phillips) in particular. Donovan breaks up the fight and advises Tony to talk with a "psychologist" that works at the local aircraft plant, Dr. Alfred Brandon (Whit Bissell), a practitioner of hypnotherapy.

Tony declines, but his girlfriend Arlene (Yvonne Lime), as well as his widowed father (Malcolm Atterbury), show concern about his violent behavior. Later, at a Halloween party at the "haunted house", an old house at which several of the teenagers hang out, Tony attacks his friend Vic (Kenny Miller) after being surprised from behind. After seeing the shocked expressions on his friends’s faces, he realizes he needs help and goes to see Dr. Brandon. On Tony’s first visit, however, Brandon makes it clear that he has his own agenda while the teenager lies on the psychiatrist’s couch: Tony will be an excellent subject for his experiments with a scopolamine serum he’s developed that regresses personalities to their primitive instincts. Brandon believes that the only future mankind has is to "hurl him back to his primitive state." Although Brandon's assistant, Dr. Hugo Wagner (Joseph Mell), protests that the experiment might kill Tony, Brandon continues and within two sessions suggests to Tony that he was once a werewolf.

That night, after a small party at the haunted house, Tony drives Arlene home; and one of their buddies, Frank (Michael Rougas), is attacked and killed as he is walking home through the woods. While Donovan and Police Chief Baker (Robert Griffin) review photographs of the victim and await an autopsy, Pepi (Vladimir Sokoloff), the police station's janitor, persuades officer Chris Stanley (Guy Williams) to let him see the photos. Pepi, a native of the Carpathian Mountains, where werewolves, "human beings possessed by wolves", are common, immediately recognizes the marks on Frank's body, much to the disbelief of Chris, who balks at the idea of a werewolf.

The next day, after another session with Brandon, during which Tony tells the doctor that he feels that there is something very wrong with him, Tony reports to Miss Ferguson (Louise Lewis), the principal of Rockdale High. Miss Ferguson tells Tony that she is pleased with him; Brandon has given him a positive report regarding his behavior; and that she intends to recommend Tony for entry into State College. As Tony leaves the principal's office happy with the good news, he passes the gymnasium where Theresa (Dawn Richard) is practicing by herself. A school bell behind his head suddenly rings, triggering his transformation into a werewolf, and he attacks and kills Theresa. Tony flees the high school and, despite the changes in his facial appearance, witnesses identify him by his clothing, causing Baker to issue an all-points bulletin for his arrest.

A local reporter, Doyle (Eddie Marr), interviews Tony's father, as well as Arlene and her parents, in the hope of locating Tony and getting a scoop. Baker and Donovan attempt to trap Tony in the woods where they think he may be hiding. Still in the form of a werewolf, Tony watches as the dragnet looks for him, but is surprised by a dog and ends up killing it.

In the morning, Tony awakens and sees he has reverted to his normal appearance and walks into the town. After phoning Arlene (who answers, but refuses to tell the police who is on the line), Tony heads to Brandon's office and begs for his help. Brandon wants to witness Tony's transformation, and capture it on film in order to advance himself in the scientific community. Brandon tells Tony he will help him and after telling him to lie on the couch, injects him with the serum again. Immediately following the transformation, a nearby ringing telephone triggers Tony's instincts and he leaps up---and kills both Brandon and Wagner---breaking open the film camera in the process, ruining the film. Alerted that Tony has been seen nearby, Donovan and Chris break in and are forced to shoot several times as Tony advances toward them. Upon dying, Tony’s normal features return, leaving Donovan to speculate on Brandon's involvement – and on the mistake of man interfering in the realms of God.

Information

  • The film became the first to have the word "teenage" in the title.
  • Malcolm Atterbury, the dad from High School Big Shot plays Tony's similarly depressing dad.
  • Dawn Richard, who plays a teenaged gymnast in the film, was 22 years old at the time. She was a Playboy centerfold model, appearing in the magazine’s May 1957 issue which hit newsstands several months before the movie's release to theaters.

The Episode

Host Segments

  • Servo with a facehugger attached.

    Prologue: While Mike buffs Gypsy, Tom Servo tries to stage a mutiny. No one else wants to be captain, so Mike retains his position.
  • Segment 1: The Satellite of Love crew find Pearl, Professor Bobo, and Brain Guy on a nice Camping Planet. Bobo and Brain Guy help Pearl carry stuff. Bobo has to carry a bit more. The Satellite is now on auxiliary power, and has no shields. Tom goes out to inspect a disturbance on the ship, and when he comes back, there's a Facehugger clinging to his bubble.
  • Segment 2: Crow uses his brand new proximity-detector to check for more aliens. He finds out there are aliens everywhere! At least until he realizes he was actually measuring the humidity.
  • Segment 3: Tom gets rid of his face-hugger and grabs his guns and weaponry from his 500 years of roaming the universe. Servo enters the duct work to dispense with the aliens. Mike and Crow takes bets on when Servo will breakdown and cry. Tom gets stuck and, after a few seconds of nervous singing, starts sobbing. Crow wins the bet.

    Mike as Adam Duritz.

  • Segment 4: The crew finds a batch of alien eggs on the bridge, so Mike makes some alien egg omelets. Crow picks a weird time to become a food critic.
  • Final Segment: The ship continues to lose power as the alien drains the energy. They decide to find something that will repulse it and determine that the only option is for Mike to dress up as Adam Duritz. The alien flees. On the planet, Pearl, Bobo, and Brain Guy enjoy a campfire and taunt the SOL crew with a ghost story. Pearl proceeds to scare Bobo and Brain Guy, almost too easily.
  • Stinger: "People bug me, too!"

MST3K cast

Notes

  • First instance of Magic Voice speaking during MST3K's Sci-fi Channel run. She is played by Beez McKeever for the first time.
  • The running plot-line of the host segments mimics the popular 1979 science fiction film Alien, which features a space vessel besieged by a predatory alien life form.
  • This episode aired fourth during Sci-Fi Channel's Thanksgiving Marathon.

Callbacks

Running Jokes

  • Tony's dairy-throwing antics.
  • Various riffs about Tony being a werewolf/dog, before the transformation.
  • Not a running gag in the episode itself, but Servo makes the quip: 'You get a lot of dirt with werewolf, you get a lot of clean with Tide.' It would later be used in Season 9 in the next werewolf movie, Werewolf.
  • Frequent references to Landon's later roles on Bonanza, Little House on the Prairie, and Highway to Heaven.

Obscure References

  • Promotional still for I Was a Teenage Werewolf.

  • "You are not drinking a piña colada at Trader Vic’s, young man, you’re just not old enough."

"I saw a werewolf drinkin' a piña colada at Trader Vic's" is a line from the song "Werewolves of London" by Warren Zevon.

  • "I picked a little fight."

Paraphrase of the lyrics to the theme song from the TV show Bonanza (in which Michael Landon co-starred). The final verse from the pilot episode started with "We got a right to pick a little fight, Bonanza."

  • "Dad played by H. L. Mencken." "Jabba the husband!"

H. L. Mencken was an influential writer and social critic famous for his writings on the Scopes Monkey Trial. The latter riff references the slug-like gangster Jabba the Hutt from the Star Wars franchise.

  • "Tomorrow belongs to me!"

From the song "Tomorrow Belongs to Me", in which a blonde boy wearing a Hitler Youth uniform sings to an audience of all ages about the beauties of nature and youth in the stage musical and feature film Cabaret.

  • "Cab Calloway!....Well...no...."

Cab Calloway was a famous jazz singer/band leader known for his energetic scat singing and dancing. He is most famous for recording the hit song Minnie the Moocher.

  • "Counselor? Come out, come out, where ever you are!"

Quoting Max Cady, the character played by Robert De Niro in the 1991 remake of the film Cape Fear.

  • "Prepare the scopolamine!" "Prepare the made up thing!"

Scopolamine is a real medication used to treat motion sickness and postoperative nausea and vomiting. The drug is known to produce loss of memory following exposure and sleepiness, similar to the effect of benzodiazepines or alcohol poisoning. It was studied for use as a truth serum in interrogations in the early 20th century, but because of the side effects, investigations were dropped.

  • "And what of the lambs, Clarice? What of the lambs?"

Clarice Starling is the protagonist of the novel and subsequent film The Silence of the Lambs.

  • "Who's there?" "Judge Crater!" "D. B. Cooper!" "Madalyn Murray O'Hair!"

These are three notorious people who are famous for having disappeared/gone missing. Judge Joseph Force Crater was a New York State Supreme Court Justice who disappeared in 1930 while his career was embroiled in scandal. He left a restaurant on a Wednesday evening and was never seen or heard from again. Dan "D. B." Cooper is the pseudonym of an unidentified man who hijacked a Boeing 727 in 1971. He extorted $200,000 in ransom (equivalent to $1,260,000 in 2019) and parachuted to an uncertain fate. The perpetrator has never been located or identified, and most of the money also went missing. Madalyn Murray O'Hair was the leader of the group American Atheists. She disappeared in 1995, and her body was not found until 2001 (after this episode aired). For some time, it was commonly assumed that she had absconded with funds from the organization, but she had actually been murdered by one of her subordinates.

  • "Prelude to the Disemboweling of a Teenager."

Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun is a symphonic poem for orchestra by Claude Debussy inspired by the poem "The Afternoon of a Faun" by Stéphane Mallarmé. It is one of Debussy's most famous works and is considered a turning point in the history of music.

  • "A werewolf like that, he'd kill your brother."

A parody of lyrics in the song "A Boy Like That" from the musical West Side Story.

  • "And get Mark Fuhrman on the case!"

Mark Fuhrman was the Los Angeles homicide detective on the O. J. Simpson murder case. His impartiality came under suspicion when it was revealed that he had openly expressed bigoted attitudes (including using racial slurs) towards people with dark skin.

  • "The bells, bells, bells, bells, bells, bells, bells! The tintinnabulation of the bells!"

Part of the poem "The Bells" by Edgar Allen Poe: "To the tintinnabulation that so musically wells / From the bells, bells, bells, bells, / Bells, bells, bells —"

  • "Hey! Lemmy from Motörhead man!"

Lemmy Kilmister was the frontman of the heavy metal band Motörhead. One of their best known songs "Ace of Spades" was used in the title sequence of the earlier experiment Zombie Nightmare. Tony's hairy face as a result of his "werewolf-ism" resembles Lemmy's mutton chops.

  • "I think Nellie Oleson is behind this!"

Nellie Oleson is a character in the Little House books and the TV show Little House on the Prairie (in which Michael Landon co-starred). She is spoiled and prissy, and her manipulative and often cruel antics tended to disrupt the lives of others.

  • "The calls are coming from inside the cop!"

The babysitter and the man upstairs is an urban legend that dates back to the 1960s about a teenage girl babysitting children who is harassed by a series of anonymous telephone calls wherein she is told to "check the children." She eventually calls the police, and, after tracing the next call, they tell her, "The calls are coming from inside the house."

  • "Or they might just reprint 'Please, God, I'm only 17.'"

Dead at Seventeen” by John Berrio is a much-reprinted poem for Dear Abby, written in the voice of a reckless teenage driver who has just suffered a fatal car crash. "Please, God, I'm only 17" is the last sentence.

Memorable Quotes

[As Michael Landon's name appears in the opening credits]
Mike[singing to the Bonanza theme] We got a film, and it's starring Michael Landon...
[A crowd of "teens" watch the fight]
Mike: And the 35-year-old high school students look on.
[Tony, played by Michael Landon, has just punched someone. His friends look on in shock]
Mike [as Tony]: But I thought I had a right to pick a little fight, Bonanza.
Crow: If only they had milk to throw......
Mike: And "Hoss" signs the commitment papers.
.....

....

[Tony takes Arlene home in his sweet ride of a 1950s convertible.]
Crow: If I were a bug, I'd be proud to smash into that grill. Yep.

.....

[As Dr. Brandon walks into his back office, Mike observes all the test tubes and chemistry flasks adorning the place.]
Mike: Wow....(Mike put his finger to his lips and flaps them up and down making a "B-b-b-b-b" noise indicating how crazy Dr. Brandon is.)
Dr. Brandon: Hugo....prepare the scopolamine!
Crow [as Dr. Brandon]: Prepare the "made up thing."
[Dr. Brandon and his assistant Dr. Hugo prepare the scopolamine.]
Dr. Hugo: But you know what might happen....
Dr. Brandon: Might!? In science one must be sure!!
Mike: Even "Movie Science!"
[Dr. Brandon and Dr. Hugo prepare to experiment on Tony.]
Dr. Hugo: What is the plan?
Dr. Brandon: Through hypnosis, I'm going to regress this boy back.....Back into the primitive past that lurks within him. I'm going to transform him! And unleash the savage instincts that lie within!!
Dr. Hugo: And then...?
Servo: (Scoffs) Isn't THAT enough!?

.....

[Leaving the party, first victim Frank walks home through the woods.]
Mike [as Frank][muttering] "I'm okay. I don't need a ride." What was I thinking? It's like 47 miles!
Crow [as Frank]: I'm probably pretty tasty and well-marbled—not something I've often thought of.
. . .
ServoI was a Teenage Werewolf Snack.
[Tony has finished yelling at Arlene for asking an innocent question]
Mike [as Arlene]: ...and I like you because...?
Tony: I'm sorry, Arlene. I don't know why I act like this.
Crow [as Arlene]: Because you're a jerk?
Crow: Does just walking through it make you want to kill yourself? Then it's a high school!
[The werewolf approaches a high school gymnast as she practices.]
Crow: Time for your compulsory Being-Eaten routine!
. . .
[The dark-haired gymnast screams in terror.]
Crow: Judy Garland runs out of pills.
[The werewolf prowls the woods during an amazingly bright night.]
Servo: Well, they couldn't shoot at night because the night belongs to Michelob.
Mike: I thought the night belonged to love.
Servo: Yeah, it did, but it was bought out by Michelob.

Video releases

A home video release of this episode is not currently forthcoming. However, the host segments are available on the Satellite Dishes disc included in Volume XXXIX.

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