My Mom’s a Werewolf (1988)

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This may be viewed as a somewhat rip-off of Michael J. Fox’s Teen Wolf, but this 80’s werewolf comedy is actually quite funny and haunting, the latter thanks to John Saxon’s excellent performance.

Leslie Shaber is a housewife and mother to teen daughter Jennifer. She feels neglected by her husband Howard, who is both a workaholic and would rather spend his time watching the game and drinking with his buddies than spend time with her. One day, Leslie goes to the local pet store and meets the store owner, a mysterious man named Harry Thropen. When Thropen helps Leslie get her purse back after a failed robbery attempt, the two hit it off. However, when a near affair results in Leslie getting bit on her toe, something strange is about to happen.

Jennifer learns of her mother’s “affair”, but Leslie considers it innocent. However, she finally is able to get Howard’s attention. The next day, Leslie slowly begins to undergo changes. She gets a set of fangs and her ears are starting to become pointy. She soon learns that Harry is a werewolf and he is planning to make Leslie his mate. Jennifer, upon the shocking realization, decides that she must save her mother and to do so, she must rely on the aid of her horror-loving best friend Stacey to find a way to stop Harry.

1985’s Teen Wolf was quite a hoot with the story of a teenager going through changes in the form of becoming a werewolf and gaining popularity. A few years later, cult film writer Mark Pirro, who wrote the beloved A Polish Vampire in Burbank and Curse of the Queerwolf, came up with the idea of a suburban housewife who slowly undergoes a transformation into a werewolf over the course of Halloween and the day after.

Susan Blakely is just wonderful in the role of the titular mom, Leslie, who feels neglected and falls under the spell of the red-eyed pet store owner Harry, played by the always excellent John Saxon. Seriously, this is one actor who makes any film watchable and this is no exception. Blakely is a riot when we see her slowly transform. Her reactions are dead-on as she constantly freaks out on all levels. However, there are other times when she seems to inadvertently relish on her wolf instincts. This is evident when she goes to the local butcher (who is a little too passionate about his meat) and drives in the car, singing while gnawing on a bone.

While John Schuck makes the most of his time as husband Howard, going from hapless loser to finally gaining enough confidence to rekindle the spark in his marriage, it is Katrina Caspary’s Jennifer who is a vital part of the film. She comes off at first as condescending, perhaps due to teenage angst. While she does seem concerned with her mother’s being neglected, Jennifer doesn’t approve of her mother’s impending affair as shortly after her transformation, Jennifer confronts her about the “affair”. However, as the film continues, Jennifer realizes the truth and goes to great lengths to save her mom with the help of Diana Barrows’ Stacey, who definitely would be the definition of a “horror geek” and we do mean “definition”. Marcia Wallace makes the most with her comic wit as hairstylist Peggy, who considers the transforming Leslie her greatest challenge yet.

My Mom’s a Werewolf is a fun Teen Wolf-esque film with Susan Blakely becoming a “scream queen” of sorts while John Saxon is haunting in the role of the werewolf responsible for her transformation. An underrated 80’s werewolf comedy.

WFG RATING: B

Crown International Pictures presents a Hairy production. Director: Michael Fischa. Producer: Steven J. Wolfe. Writer: Mark Pirro. Cinematography: Bryan England. Editing: Claudia Finkle.

Cast: Susan Blakely, John Saxon, Katrina Caspary, John Schuck, Diana Barrows, Ruth Buzzi, Marilyn McCoo, Marcia Wallace, Geno Silva, Lou Cutell, Lucy Lee Flippin, Phil Rubenstein.

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