PURE TERROR MONTH: My Mom’s A Werewolf (1989)

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: I first read Melody Vena’s writing in last year’s Horror and Sons Halloween Horrors 2018 event and learned that she won the 2017 and 2018 Monster Movie Maniac “Monster Movie Marathon” contest by watching the most movies in one month. She also wrote about Man In the Attic for us last year.

My moms a werewolf hit the screen in May of 1989, a comedy/horror film much like Teen Wolf. With a cast starring John Saxon, John Schuck,Susan Blakely and Ruth Buzzi, and being directed by Michael Fischa the film has that classic 1980s cheesy vibe that we all know and somewhat love.

The movie focuses on an average kind of ditzy housewife (Susan Blakely) who is fed up with her boring doing the same thing every day kind of life, and the situation gets worse by the fact that she is being continually ignored by her husband, Howard (John Schuck). She often finds herself watching TV with the family dog instead of being included in things with the family. Meanwhile her daughter, Jennifer is being dragged to a horror convention by her horror obsessed friend, Stacey. Jennifer finds the whole convention boring. Very disinterested and skeptical by the whole scene, she agrees to have her fortune told by a palm reader at the convention. The fortune teller seems pretty phony at first, but then tells Jennifer that she sees the sign of the pentagram on her face, and warns her that she will “struggle with an unholy evil over the next few days.” Jennifer jokes that she must mean the Halloween party she’s been planning.

Meanwhile, Leslie leaves the house in a huff to go shopping, after being ignored by her husband once again. She goes to a local pet store to buy a flea-collar for her dog but is surprised by the mysterious owner, Harry Thropen (John Saxon), who offers to give her the collar for free. Taken back by the generous offer, she leaves the store and the camera focuses on Thropen as he sneakily eats one of the white mice he has for sale. As the she enters the street a thief grabs her bag, flipping her off before running away. Thropen, sees what happens and is able to catch the purse snatcher by appearing suddenly in front of him and throwing him onto a pickup truck full of eggs. Leslie is befuddled at how he was able to do this but offers to buy Thropen lunch in for his troubles. Worried about her parents’ marriage (all of a sudden), Jennifer goes with Stacey to the restaurant her mother frequents with a bunch of flowers, she has made a plan to tell her mother that the flowers are from her father.

Unfortunately she sees Leslie eating with a strange man and assumes that she is having an affair (I mean she is ignored A LOT). Although Leslie asserts to Thropen that she is a married woman, he goes right ahead and  kisses her anyway. 

The kiss ends abruptly when dessert arrives en flambe, and the flames scare him away.  Leslie chases him back to his shop ( all of a sudden full of courage) with Jennifer and Stacey following close behind. While in the shop Leslie continues to avoid his advances until Thropen removes the sunglasses he has been wearing, revealing disturbing orange irises which hold the ability to hypnotize her. Meanwhile outside Jennifer and Stacey are shooed away from the pet shop door by a policeman who catches them snooping outside, then he proceeds to look in the cracks himself. 

After a few cocktails (some with goldfish swimming in them) Leslie and Thropen start fooling around on a bed covered in animal skins. Leslie seems to be enjoying herself with the strange pet shop owner until he bites her big toe, which causes her to jump up and leave hurry (not the fact that she was about to go full blown affair with a stranger) Thropen allows her to go, saying that she would be back because he would “be in her thoughts.” (cause that’s not weird)

When she arrives back home the family dog, and her only friend, growls at Leslie. Then Jennifer attempts to confront her about the affair, a matter of which Leslie is genuinely ignorant, thanks to the glowing eyes of hypnotism. Howard also notices a change in Leslie, both in the way she cooks meat for dinner despite being vegetarian and more importantly the way she acts in the bedroom (because now all of a sudden he wants to have sex with the wife he has constantly been ignoring…must have been the meat). The next morning Leslie is horrified to learn her teeth have become fangs. She attempts to hide her deformity from her daughter who assumes she is nervous because of the presumed affair. Leslie goes to see the suggestively named dentist, Dr. Rod (and yes, the name fits the persona and behavior of doctor and nurses), to have her fangs filed down, which only results in a broken file and some lewd sounds of frustration from Dr. Rod. (think a lot of moaning and groaning)

Driven by cravings for meat, she stops at a butchery and gets a snack, Leslie drives back home eating raw meat, milk bones, and singing loudly to rock music (apparent werewolf behavior). When an elderly couple pull up next to her at a stoplight and the old man remarks: “Look Edna, a singing werewolf. We don’t see many of those nowadays, do we?”

My Mom’s A Werewolf is such a good time to watch, with its underlying sexual tones, and quick one liners, it’s surprising that it does not have much of a cult following. I will not give away any spoilers, I enjoy leaving you all wanting more, so I highly suggest giving this one a good watch. I mean is a horror comedy with a moral at heart – Men, don’t ignore your ladies because you never know where a furry beast may be waiting to pounce.

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