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Sci-Fi Archives


Visit our archives of the MST3K pages previously hosted by the Sci-Fi Channel's SCIFI.COM.

Goodbye Sci-Fi

Mike Nelson, Kevin Murphy and Bill Corbett reflect on MST3K's final broadcast.

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Episode guide: 809- I Was a Teenage Werewolf

Movie: (1957) An unethical doctor turns a short-tempered teen into a monster.

First shown: 4/19/97
Opening: Mike is to be removed as captain
Intro: While camping, Pearl lowers the SOL’s shields, and Tom meets a face-hugging alien
Host segment 1: Crow’s proximity detector malfunctions
Host segment 2: Servo goes after the alien
Host segment 3: It’s alien egg omelets for everyone, but Crow is a critic
End: The alien is draining the SOL’s energy and Mike is forced to become really repulsive. And at camp, Pearl tells some scary stories
Stinger: “People bug me, too!”
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (209 votes, average: 4.36 out of 5)

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• Get Mary Jo’s take on this episode here.
References.
• This episode has not been released on DVD.
• This one is just irresistible. The riffing is great, the movie is an iconic bad movie with a great bad movie cast, the segments are some of the best “parodying the classic sci-fi conventions” stuff they did and the ending is a classic.
• This episode debuted just as the movie “Volcano” was gearing up to hit movie theaters, and after the opening segment, Sci-Fi ran a short bumper with the “Volcano” logo super-imposed over the door sequence. Which means somebody actually thought this movie would appeal to MST3K viewers specifically…
• Not-so-much-annoying-as-amusing commercial: A Radio Shack ad that takes credit for helping people “understand cellular phones.” What was to understand?
• In this, the first full episode with the new evil trio, Pearl clearly prefers Observer to Bobo. It’s a dynamic that doesn’t last very long.
• Tom is still wearing the alien facehugger when he comes into the theater for the first movie segment.
• During segment 1, Crow accidentally bumps the “Mousetrap” game Mike and Tom were playing and sets some of it in motion. Kevin and Mike just roll with it, so to speak.
• Movie observation: That song is weird. What is with the tempo of the lyrics??
• In segment 2 we get another recall of the “Tom did some stuff while on his own in the universe…” backstory, but I think maybe this is one of the last.
• Daleism: [As Michael Landon looks at his hand] Mike: “I thought I was Dale!”
• Then-current reference: The first of several episodes to make reference to Richard Jewel. Now largely forgotten.
• This is the third straight movie featuring psychological regression!
• That’s Beez in a now-rare appearance as Magic Voice.
• Most of the time, when an actor or actress from a popular TV show appears in a movie, they purposely limit themselves to only one or two jokes about it. They did that here with Guy Williams of “Lost in Space” present: they limited themselves to “You’re worse than Dr. Smith!”
• Malcom Atterbury plays almost the EXACT same suicidal dad character he played in “High School Big Shot”!
• Tom enters the theater from the left after segment 2.
• In the ending segment, Tom uses the phrase “sour its milk,” a direct reference to a Star Trek: TNG plot line.
• Once again in a moment of extreme stress, Mike’s preternatural ability to transform himself comes in handy. I gotta say I did NOT see the Adam Duritz slam coming. I consider myself a Counting Crows fan, but Mike was hilarious. Does anybody know if Adam ever commented on it?
• The camping planet story arc — such as it is — begins with this episode, and the stingers thankfully returned.
• Cast and crew roundup: I will not go through the Arkoff/Nicholson litany again. Director Gene Fowler Jr. also worked on “The Rebel Set.” Assistant director/production manager Jack R. Berne also worked on “The Amazing Colossal Man.” Costume guy Oscar Rodriguez also worked on “The Magic Sword” and “Phantom Planet.” Set designer Morris Hoffman also worked on “War of the Colossal Beast.” Score composer Paul Dunlap also worked on “The Rebel Set” and “Lost Continent.”
In front of the camera, Yvonne Lime also appeared in “Untamed Youth.” Whit Bissell also appeared in “Lost Continent. Malcolm Atterbury also appeared in “High School Big Shot.”
• CreditsWatch: Jim gets a producer credit only. Kevin gets a director credit and is also listed as associate producer. Interns Elliot Cobb and Mytch Parks finish up their final stints as interns.
• Fave line: “Um, mistakes were made?” Honorable mention: “Boy, does he ever!” “Sir, I gotta get back and transfer Oswald.”

120 Replies to “Episode guide: 809- I Was a Teenage Werewolf”

  1. Smoothie of Great Power says:

    Much like The Brain that Wouldn’t Die, this episode will have a special place for me. While TBtWD was the very first episode I saw, this one was the very last one I saw before the journey of seeing every single Season 1-10 episode was complete.

    And, let me tell you, Mike as Adam Duritz was a very, VERY weird send-off.

       3 likes

  2. Depressing Aunt says:

    @100 Well said. Shout!, the power of suggestion compels you, the power of suggestion compels you…

    Oh boy, it’s scary story time! Speaking of scary days when something scary (or maybe just depressing) happens, Mary Jo mentioned in the episode guide the breakfast of cigarette and Diet Coke, and I wonder how she got ahold of the diary I tried to keep when I was most depressed and that was my favorite breakfast. Speaking of depression, I concur with Crow’s joyful, “Hey, it’s Depressing Dad!”

    I just love the camping planet host segments on this episode, they’re hilarious. Pearl’s taunting “You’ll be without *diapers*, too!” Brain Guy wags his finger in synch with Pearl’s as she tells them, “Buh-bye!” showing just how big a toady he can really be when he sets his brain to it. And of course, scary story time! Man, I love this episode.

    Pepe, talking werewolf lore: “When the evil eye is on you…”
    Crow: “Forget about it!”

       2 likes

  3. MSTie says:

    @100 — I’d be tickled pink if it’s on a future Shout set. I sure hope so. Whenever an episode comes out in an official set, I buy the set and happily give my CheesyFlix disc to my son and fellow MST3K addict. :-)

       0 likes

  4. Cornjob says:

    “the bite infection concept is a Hollywood invention with no basis in real world werewolf lore.”

    Dang, I didn’t know that. I knew about the drinking water from a paw print thing. The idea of a distinction between “real world” werewolf lore, and merely made up werewolf lore is humorous. I suppose Tony being a science based lycanthrope explains why his transformation was triggered by sound instead of lunar cycles, and why non-silver bullets could kill him.

    And if this transformation was the result of an atavistic regression, does this mean that people evolved from werewolves? I only got a “C” in Sophomore biology, but I think I would have remembered that.

       2 likes

  5. ToolAssist says:

    #100 Susan Hart owns this one so unless Shout breaks into her house and kidnaps her, forcing her to give over the rights, it’s a very slim chance. Like maybe a 0.00001%.

       1 likes

  6. MikeK says:

    @97. I think I have read about that before. I’ll allow the movie this, who knows what was really in that syringe that the mad scientist was injecting into Michael Landon’s character? I prefer the “bitten by a werewolf” lore myself. From what you listed, and alternatives we’ve seen in other movies, the bite is the most dramatic. It’s sure better than a scratch from an old yanaglanchi skull, ruining you Chess King jacket.

       1 likes

  7. Sitting Duck says:

    104 and 106: Real world is in the sense that people did believe the lore which had existed for hundreds of years, as opposed to a Hollywood writer grafting vampire lore onto the werewolf legend.

       0 likes

  8. Tim S. Turner says:

    I love this one. One can only hope Shout Factory jumps on it.

       0 likes

  9. HeyCabot! says:

    My landlord is a fan of Michael Landon movies. I invited him over to watch this episode and he liked it a lot. His favorite riff was “Bang on his food bowl, that’ll get him to come out!” My favorite riffs are about how unlikeable Michael Landon is in this movie, like when his platinum blonde porcelain doll girlfriend says “I like him a lot” and Mike just exclaims “WHY?!”

       3 likes

  10. Bill Redfern says:

    That’s something that always cracked me up about “Hollywood” lycanthropy…death by a silver bullet.

    As a kid I once got into one of those silly schoolyard “debates” with a classmate and finally I lobbed this bomb, “Well? What did they do before they had bullets?” Of course, neither of us were sharp enough to consider that it didn’t have to be specifically a bullet, merely that the penetrating object could be anything, a blade of a knife, spear or arrowhead (shoot, even a spoon if it were thrust hard enough) as long as it was silver. Still, we just kinda’ stood there perplexed thinking that the populace before the invention of firearms were pretty much screwed. Funny how kids can think in “absolutes”.

    Sincerely,

    Bill

       0 likes

  11. @96 Cornjob: Hey thaaanks! Glad you enjoy! I do these little write-ups for myself, really (part habit, part OCD at this point), just in an effort to keep my thoughts straight on each episode. Starting my own Colossal Episode Guide..? Now there’s an idea. . . . .

       1 likes

  12. David francis white says:

    809 is my least favorite episode of the first 10 of season 8!!

    Also ranks in the bottom 20 least favorite episodes of all time of Mst3k!!!

       1 likes

  13. Yeti of Great Danger says:

    This episode fires on all cylinders for me: movie is dumb but semi-competent, great riffing, good host segments. A classic, definitely in my top 20 episodes.

    I don’t get why anyone likes Michael Landon’s character either. Even before he turns into a werewolf, you get the feeling he’s about one glass of milk away from snapping and killing an entire family. Love how the principal’s office and the doctor’s office are the almost exact same sets.

    So here we are four years later and it’s still not released. It’s on YouTube, and there’s a handy little browser add-on called Download Helper. Just sayin’.

       4 likes

  14. Sitting Duck says:

    Speaking of IWaTW still not being available on home video, it’s been well over a month since the reissue of Volume 5, and still no word about Volume 39. Guess we’re down to the rights holders who are equivalent to Pink Floyd as regards Shout’s WKRP DVD collection.

    Bill Redfern:
    Of course, neither of us were sharp enough to consider that it didn’t have to be specifically a bullet, merely that the penetrating object could be anything, a blade of a knife, spear or arrowhead (shoot, even a spoon if it were thrust hard enough)

    And as the late Alan Rickman could tell you, it would hurt more.

       3 likes

  15. thequietman says:

    Rery rinteresting, rut rupid!

    I only vaguely remembered this one, so I’m glad of the chance to revisit it. This was hit-and-miss for me. Mike and Servo panicking as Crow detects impending humidity, funny. Frantically making alien omelettes? Hilarious! But most of the movie segments were only sporadically funny. The film is that much on this side of competent to really open it up for comedic demolition. If the ‘It’s Depressing Dad!” riff was indeed a callback to ‘High School Big Shot’, then it flew right past me and shows how mild they had become until enough Sci-Fi episodes were in the can. I would have loved it if they’d worked in a ‘Wild Rebels’ callback. That Whit Bissell bugs me! He really bugs meeee!

    Fave riffs
    “Now shake hands…”
    And come out fighting. No, wait!

    Before you ask, yes, my face has often been compared to a pork roast.

    The brutal interrogation of Cindy Brady.

       1 likes

  16. Johnny Drama says:

    It’s good to see all the affection for this one. I Was A Teenage Werewolf tends to get overlooked since it’s not released officially. I think it’s much better than that other werewolf movie as an MST3K episode. It’s actually much better than most of season 8

       2 likes

  17. EricJ says:

    Johnny Drama:
    It’s actually much better than most of season 8

    I completely disagree with this, but I’ll leave it at that. It’s an enjoyable episode.

       3 likes

  18. Joe Boltonn says:

    Favorite Riff: “Lamb chops! I wanted lime-grilled brook trout!”

       0 likes

  19. Most of the time, when an actor or actress from a popular TV show appears in a movie, they purposely limit themselves to only one or two jokes about it.

    Yeah, like if Peter Graves or Ian McShane had ever been on a previous series, M&tB generally hold back to just doing that one little nudge-nudge-wink-wink riff and then letting it go for the rest of the episode; they figure the audience has already gotten the joke… ;)

       0 likes

  20. Right, because J&tB never ran a reference into the ground…*cough* “Chief…McCloud…” *cough* Pod People

       2 likes

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