I have a soft spot for horror send-ups. I Was a Teenage Wereskunk being a blatant send-up of all the 1950’s I Was a Teenage films and Wereskunk does try to pay due homage. Though it’s silly tone and forced comedy miss the mark as often as it hits it. Though I do love its up beat charm and commitment to being as campy as possible. Being partially funded by a Kickstarter does a lot in my book.
I Was a Teenage Wereskunk opens with a pair of lovers, Jerry (Jonathan Rossetti) and Sally (Christian Derup) parked up on lovers lane. When they get attacked by an unseen monster. The film then travels back to the day before and we meet our protagonist Curtis Albright (Scott Monahan), an awkward high school boy trying to figure out how to ask his long time friend Mary Beth (Shey Lyn Zanotti) to be his steady girl in the local diner. A copy of Jack Keroac’s On The Road hanging out of Curtis jacket pocket catches the attention of Finn Potter (Sean Cork), a local beatnik. Finn invites Curtis to hang out at a local bar the next night, to which he agrees. After walking Mary Beth home, but still being unable to ask her to be his steady, Curtis takes a moment to be a peeping tom and spy on Dr. Nancy (Dawn Brodey) as she changes in her home. While in a tree peeping, Curtis’s surprised by a skunk that sprays him, forcing him to run off as not to be discovered. He goes home and bathes in tomato juice hoping to get rid of the stench. But, it’s noticed by his parents Sheriff Albright (Charlie Farrell) and his Mom (Melanie Minichino). Though he pins the smell on the dog, and gets asked to take the dog to the vet. Who happens to be Dr. Nancy. At Dr. Nancy’s he becomes aroused when pressed against her cleavage as she shows him his dog pulse causing him to emit a stink, like that of a skunk. Causing him to leave in embarrassment. Though that’s just the beginning of the changes as when he becomes aroused Curtis becomes a Wereskunk and the victims really start piling up.
As much as this film gets right, and it does get a few things right. Most importantly is the tone. Which hovers between slapstick, toilet humor, parody and genre knowing irony. The irony, coupled with parody is what worked best for me. Where the rest of it falls flat for me.
The acting ranges from an on the nose performance courtesy of Christian Derup, to over-the-top such as Melanie Minichino as Deputy Gary. But all of the actors and actresses do superb jobs and manage to hit that sweet spot of fun and campy.
Though this film does have some issues. Mostly its roaming unfocused story. Which has a meandering pace that gets easily sidetracked by lame jokes. My other point is the film has a 50’s feel, but with 60’s setting. Which I find jarring, going from the 50’s lingo into a sudden slide into 60’s references. The most crass being the Charles Manson jokes.
Final thoughts, overall I liked it. But it has its issues. I wish that it had been a little more thoughtful in the references beyond the surface level. The acting is fun, but often pushes the jokes too far. But for a low-budget horror send-up I couldn’t have asked for better. 7/10